A TONIC FOR A WARM SUMMER EVENING
It was smiles all round for this Summer Concert by Ashbourne Singers with something for everyone; popular songs, show tunes and familiar classical pieces, including music from the Singers recent trip to Ashbourne’s friendship town in France, Soisy-sur-Seine.
The choir seemed relaxed and confident and the variety of styles kept the audience interested and appreciative throughout. The opening “Toreador” song was followed by the traditional folk song “Early One Morning”, Paul Simon’s “Sounds of Silence” and Faure’s “Cantique De Jean Racine”.
Dan Evans, one of the young talented musicians within the Singers, gave a virtuoso performance of Brahms “Intermezzo Opus 118 no 2” on the piano; a lovely piece that was just right in this setting. This was followed by Ellie Astbury singing a beautiful rendition of Samuel Barber’s “Sure On This Shining Night” – the audience was entranced. Steve Duckworth’s encouragement and use of young talent adds such a lot to the Singers concerts.
A small group gathered around the piano to sing the haunting song “The Lily and the Rose” by Bob Chilcott. We then heard a powerful rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, excellently delivered as a duet by Jessica Duckworth and Beth Schratz. The entertainment moved back to the full choir who sang Paul McCartney’s reflective song “Yesterday”, followed by a rousing medley from “My Fair Lady” and closing the first half with an upbeat rendition of “Hello Dolly” complete with ukulele accompaniment and audience participation! There is no doubt everyone was enjoying the evening!
After the interval it was back to more serious stuff; “Ave Verum Corpus” by Mozart settled the audience before the Singers performed the lesser known “La Nuit” by Jean Phillipe Rameau. This lovely piece is new to the Singers repertoire and was performed at their concert in France (solo voice Dan Evans).
Disney film songs are often overlooked or dismissed but here Steve put together a selection of five moving choices from the Disney stable; “God Help the Outcasts” (The Hunchback of Notre Dame); “Home”, “Evermore” & “Beauty and the Beast” (Beauty and the Beast) and “Candle on the Water” (Pete’s Dragon). Solos were performed by May Sillitto, Elizabeth Chapman, and Paul Flint.
A tongue in cheek “Chanson D’Amour” was then enjoyed by everyone, followed by Liz Grime who stepped forward to lead the choir (and ukuleles) singing “I Love Paris” by Cole Porter; a lovely familiar song that perfectly fitted the bill.
A couple of Abba songs “I have a Dream” and “Mamma Mia” rounded off the evening before thanks were given followed by the Singers finale; “Annie’s Song” by John Denver.
It was a wonderful uplifting evening of musical entertainment, with a relaxed atmosphere, backed up by highly polished performances – perfect for a summer evening.
Musical Director: Steve Duckworth
Piano: Josh Short and Dan Evans
Flute, Saxophone and Piano: Sophie Freeman
We thank the following for their support:
All musicians and helpers within the family of Ashbourne Singers,
St. John’s Church, the Methodist Church,
Ashbourne Arts Festival