A concert with a difference at Sweyne Park School on Saturday, 15th September! Rather than rows of chairs ‘theatre style’ guests took their places around tables, already loaded with drinks and nibbles, in teams. This promised to be an enjoyable evening and from the feedback received it seems to have exceeded expectations.
Ably compered by MC and Quizmaster Barrington Wilson, assisted by his glamorous assistant who went through many name-changes during the evening (“Chardonnay” seemed a bit extreme!), the evening was a mixture of music from the five decades of the Leigh Orpheus along with quiz questions reflecting the same periods of time.
Others similarly couldn’t resist dressing in clothes they wore way back then!
‘Gwahoddiad’ started the concert off, followed by ‘We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder’, both reflecting LOMVC’s foundation in the Welsh Male Voice Choir tradition and honouring LOMVC’s first Musical Director, Gerwyn Parry. Then the first set of Quiz Questions, all of which had been set by choir member and Deputy Musical Director Dave Smith.
The music progressed through the Leigh Orpheus’s changing repertoire over the years, of course including the fairly recently-introduced, and superbly appropriate, ‘Back to the 60s’ medley. More food served by the Leigh Orpheus’s Front of House Team, then more Quiz Questions – and the scores showed a few front-running teams by this point. Next, ‘Christus Salvator’ (our MD’s favourite piece) and, conducted by Deputy MD Tom Marshall, ‘Rhythm of Life’ accompanied on the piano, four-handed, by MD Janet Walker and Accompanist Kay Duell (and with Liszi Carter ably turning the pages).
After an interval a trio of African songs, demonstrated that the choir can not only sing in English and Welsh, but also in at least three African languages!
The final set of Quiz Questions, followed by another of the pieces recently introduced into the Leigh Orpheus’s repertoire – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
The tension built as the final scores came in and the winning team of the evening was announced – Team Flying Circus. Ten free tickets for the next LOMVC concert for them. Then more tension as the gold envelope containing the results of the votes of the pieces most favoured by LOMVC Patrons was opened. And this year’s Patrons’ Favourites were……?
In second place – ‘An American Trilogy’ and in first place ‘You Raise me Up’. What better pieces to end with than these two, appropriately representing the Leigh Orpheus’s first fifty years.