The Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir were honoured to be invited by the Mayor of Southend to sing at a concert on 7th September 2019 in aid of his chosen charity the RNLI. The concert took place in Prittlewell Priory, Priory Park, Southend-on-Sea. This historic building is a wonderful venue for a concert with a great acoustic.
Janet Walker the Choir’s musical director had been planning to be accompanist for the evening but a recently broken arm made that impossible, so she was conducting instead, and the choir had to sing A Cappella for its first set. The A Cappella pieces were Gwahoddiad, Siyahamba, Calm is the Sea and My Lord What a Morning. All of these were well received by the audience.
The Choir should have been followed by a soloist, but she had been taken ill, so there was an improvised session of audience participation with the Choir leading the audience in What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor and a medley of Swing Low Sweet Chariot and When the Saints Go Marching In. The audience including The Mayor John Lamb joined in with gusto and a good time was had by all! By this time the excellent David Stanley had joined the proceedings to provide accompaniment.
Three members of the Little Theatre Company then took to the stage to provide a selection of songs from their musical performances.
After the interval the Choir started the second half with the rousing Rhythm of Life followed by You Raise Me Up and American Trilogy. All of which received great applause. These were again accompanied by David Stanley despite the fact he had not had any opportunity to rehearse with the choir.
Next on the programme was the impressive Southend Boys and Girls Choir, led by Roger Humprey and accompanied by Rosemary Pennington, who performed a varied selection from their repertoire.
The evening concluded with a Proms style rendition of Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory complete with waving Union Jacks.