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Past Performances

What have we done?  What's been sung and what's to be said?

Our 2023 Christmas event was a great success, when a packed Parish Church enjoyed a wide selection of Christmas Music, and some wonderful solo performances on the magnificent organ by our accompanist, Andy Benoy, who has been with us since 2018. He studied music at Exeter University, while gaining an honours degree in physics. Andy was Choir Master and Church Organist at St Michael's Church, Watford, for 41 years, whilst also working as a research scientist.

Our guest conductor was Richard Burdett, who was Director of Music at Bournemouth School for Girls before moving to Sidmouth. He is deputy director with the Orlando Singers and also works with the St David's Singers, in Exeter. Additionally, he is rehearsal pianist for the Ottery St Mary Choral Society.


This is what we sang:-

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Wright

Come thou long expected Jesus - Bullard

The Angels Carol - John Rutter

God rest you merry gentlemen

A little child there is yborn - Archer

Away in a manger - Bullard

There is a rose tree - Bullard

Candelight Carol - John Rutter

In the bleak midwinter - Gustav Holst

Lo He comes with clouds descending - Bullard

Personent Hodie - Anon

Silent Night - Chilcott

It came upon the midnight clear - Scott

The Bell Carol - Ledger

O Come all ye faithful - Ledger

O Holy Night - Adolphe Adam

Joy to the world - Wilberg

Love shone down - Piercey/de Whalley

In the first and second halves, our Accompanist Andy Benoy gave some beautiful solo organ recitals:-

Organ Interlude 1

The Christmas Song - Robert Wells and Mel Tormé, arr. Carl Elmer/Andrew Benoy
Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson, arr. Thomas Trotter

Organ Interlude 2

Handel Stranded ‘The Queen of Sheba goes out on the town’ - Andrew Benoy
Winter Wonderland - Dick Smith and Felix Bernard, arr. Klaus Wunderlich

Our Concert at Sidmouth Parish Church

Saturday 29th April 2023

to celebrate

The Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort

Review Received  2nd May 2023

"Having been unable to sing with the choral society this year, I was asked to do a review having experienced the music from a wooden pew rather than the platform. The lady behind me had brought a trusty cushion specifically kept for the occasion, a helpful hint for future concert goers. I am no expert in choral music but I have been an enthusiastic singer since I joined my church choir as a teenager.
As I have come to expect, the choice of music was complex and challenging with well loved pieces interspersed with lesser known gems. The orchestra was a perfect combination of instruments which complemented the choir beautifully and was expertly blended by Kris Emmett.
In the first half the four coronation anthems were sung enthusiastically with the juxtaposition of parts working well. Zadok the Priest was a glorious celebration sung with confidence and joy. I felt the final anthem was a little more hesitant in parts. I struggled to hear all the words as the volume dropped, due I felt to uncertainty on the part of some choir members. I also felt that there could have been a little more light and shade which Kris was leading, but was missed by singers looking up too infrequently from their scores. However, the choir excelled with the final two pieces. I particularly enjoyed Gloria and was happily prepared to accept the tenuous link to Scotland.
The second half started well although I would have welcomed a drink and a mince pie as was offered at the interval of the Christmas concert. I must admit I was a little disappointed with “Wherever you are” which has such poignancy, as again there was some hesitancy.
The final Coronation Mass was sung exceptionally well particularly as there were complications due to the words as well as the music. It had many highlights with its haunting melodies and soaring hosannas. I really enjoyed the solo parts sung by groups within the choir.
Overall, this was an enjoyable celebratory evening as the choir excelled in mastering so many classic and complex pieces of music. My only comment would be that either more time or less pieces would have enabled the choir to achieve an even higher standard of excellence. Thank you everyone. I look forward to joining you all again in September.

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