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A Day at the Fair composer sings Bishop's Stortford choir's praises


By Bishop's Stortford Independent reporter


Bishop's Stortford Choral Society with conductor Richard Brain (13222540)
Bishop's Stortford Choral Society with conductor Richard Brain (13222540)

Composer Jonathan Rathbone was delighted with Bishop’s Stortford Choral Society’s performance of his summery piece A Day at the Fair.

Rathbone, who wrote the piece in 2015, was thrilled to see the choir enjoying the songs and really bringing out the scenes of the joys and sorrows of the fairground during its concert in Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church on Saturday.

He was impressed by the work the choir had put in to learn and perform it so well, as he recalled how complex he had made some of the music.

Richard Brain, the choir's music director, called it a “tour de force” as members, together with piano accompanist Liz Hill, got to grips with the huge variety of folk and jazz styles, rhythms and notes.

Chris Bradley was one of the soloists (13222537)
Chris Bradley was one of the soloists (13222537)

Chris Bradley stepped out from the choir to sing beautifully the solo baritone role of the man destined to leave his love and travel in Vaughan Williams’ Turtle Dove.

And Fae Nelson got the best laugh of the evening with her rendition of Mrs Reece Laughs, by Martin Armstrong.

Members of the audience said the folk songs, poems, piano pieces and Rathbone’s A Day at the Fair made a perfect programme for the hottest night in June that anyone could remember.

Bishop's Stortford Choral Society with conductor Richard Brain greets composer Jonathan Rathbone (13222542)
Bishop's Stortford Choral Society with conductor Richard Brain greets composer Jonathan Rathbone (13222542)

A raffle and refreshments at the concert raised more than £250 for the town's winter night shelter at Holy Trinity Church.

Bishop's Stortford Choral Society is a group of around 100 singers who sing large-scale choral music by new and established composers at its three concerts a year. It also performs at community events.

The choir rehearses at Water Lane United Reformed Church on a Thursday evening at 7.45pm from September to July. It is always open to new members and will hold its next open rehearsal on September 12, when it will begin rehearsing its Christmas programme, Rutter’s Requiem and the Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Vaughan Williams.

For more information go to www.singwithbscs.org.uk or find them on Facebook.


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