queenIf Her Majesty the Queen had been in Ashbourne on Saturday the 9th July I am sure she would have thoroughly enjoyed the Ashbourne Singers Summer Concert.   It was a programme entirely made up of music by British Composers, which included items that are said to be some of her favourites.

The first half was mainly filled with nostalgia with early 20th century songs from Clarence Murphy, Flanagan & Allen, Flanders & Swann and Ivor Novello.  Young Ashbourne Singers must wonder what we got up to in those days especially when the whole choir sang about “have a banana” in “let’s All Go Down the Strand”.  They were more at home with the Webber/Barlow song “Sing” which was written for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Beatles “Penny Lane”.

“The London I Love” was gem of a piece with a lovely poignant melody and words by H. Purcell & G. Posford.  Wendy Cook sang the first verse with beautiful clarity taking us back to another time and place in 1941: I only have to close my eyes and visions of love arise; changed though she may be, in dreams I’ll always see My London as the daylight dies.

The hymn “Praise My Soul the King of Heaven” gave the audience the opportunity to join in with gusto before enjoying the Pimms during the interval.

The second half lifted off with Handel’s “Zadok the Priest”.  Midge Dobbs stepped up from being a singer in the choir to duet with Michael Halls on the piano; four hands are better than two and we look out for more from her in the future!

Soloist Krista Pearson (age 11) gave a wonderful performance topping and tailing  “The Lord is My Shepherd” accompanied by Sophie Young on the Flute and Josh Short at the piano.  The reflective theme continued with the full choir harmonising beautifully on John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” and Will Todd’s “Call of Wisdom”.

Steve Duckworth, the Musical Director of Ashbourne Singers, often arranges special pieces for the choir. His version of “Nimrod” which was set to text from the Requiem Mass had all the various orchestral parts reflected in the voices of the choir  to create the familiar theme we all love.

The concert concluded with a touch of the Proms. Steve and Josh had taught all the familiar tunes to YAS, including “I Vow to The My Country”, “Jerusalem” and “Land of Hope and Glory”, so the whole choir was able to lead the singing with the audience joining  in. Vaughan Williams’s Old Hundredth (“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”) ended the evening before everyone sang a lusty rendition of the “National Anthem”.

The audience certainly seemed to enjoy being involved in what was a relaxed and familiar programme of music from the Ashbourne Singers.


Penny Lane – Josh Short on Trumpet

Let’s All go Down the Strand – Tim Tarling (1st verse)

Sing – various children groups in harmony, finished with a solo by Amelia Banks.

Sailing – lead by solos from Beth and Aiden Perrott.

Underneath the Arches – opened with Jim Shemilt

The London I love – started by Wendy Cook



A London Medley                        Arr. Gareth Malone (2012)

Penny Lane                                       Paul McCartney (1967)

Let’s All Go Down The Strand                     C. Murphy (1904)

The Hippopotamus Song   M. Flanders & D. Swann (1940’s)

Sing                Andrew Lloyd Webber & Gary Barlow (2012)

Sailing          Gavin Sutherland (Sutherland Brothers) (1972)

Underneath The Arches                       Bud Flanagan (1932)

The London I Love                  H. Purcell & G. Posford (1941)

Keep The Home Fires Burning                 Ivor Novello (1914)

Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven      Henry F. Lyte (1868)

 Zadok The Priest                    George Frideric Handel (1727)

The Lord Is My Shepherd                 Howard Goodall (1994)

The Lord Bless You And Keep You           John Rutter (1981)

Call Of Wisdom                                             Will Todd (2012)

Weep O Mine Eyes                              John Bennet (c.1600)

Nimrod                                                    Edward Elgar (1899)

Set to text from the Requiem Mass Arr. S. Duckworth 2016

I Vow To Thee My Country                      Gustav Holst (1921)

Jerusalem                                   Charles Hubert Parry (1916)

Land Of Hope And Glory                       Edward Elgar (1902)

The Old Hundredth                    R. Vaughan Williams (1953)

National Anthem                             Arr. Edward Elgar (1953)

Ashbourne Singers would like to thank: Our Musicians, Josh Short, Sophie Young, Midge Dobbs and Michael Halls for accompanying the choir this evening; all choir volunteers for their help; St. John’s Church for hosting us; Natural Choice, Ashbourne, for hosting tickets.