“They went with songs to the battle, they were young
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and a–glow”
(Opening of Honour 1V, Andrew J Smith)
We provided the second half of this very special evening. Quite a few of us are in both choirs but those who aren’t were able to sit and enjoy this rather inspiring concert, In Remembrance. The Honour Choir was formed originally for a large scale event that took place on 2 August 2014. Read all about it on their web site. Unusually, this choir does not meet every week for a couple of hours like most but meets every six weeks or so for a four hour rehearsal. Success is dependent on members working on their own and learning pieces quickly.
And successful they were.
This very special concert was enhanced by the spoken word parts written by Honour choir member and soon-to-rejoin Ordsall A Cappella Singers Christopher Bowles. This included letters between a young man and his fiancée, a meeting with Edith Cavell just before her execution and the story of one family whose relation went missing in action. Particularly touching was the letter from the solider of his longing for colour. Chris performed this rather than just reading it. All of the readers in any case did more than merely read. Extremely moving as well was when choir members shouted out the names of local soldiers who had fallen in the Great War.
The songs weren’t necessarily the usual ones that make up Remembrance Services although we heard Abide with Me, Ave Verum, and In Remembrance. We also heard Blue Skies, Fix You and Wonderful World. We know most of the songs though two especially composed ones, The Somme and the Ancre and Honour 1V were unfamiliar to us and particularly dramatic and appropriate for the occasion.
After a brief pause for tea and biscuits it was our turn. We whizzed through a fair bit of our normal non-Christmas repertoire. By this time, the Honour Choir members who are not also in Ordsall A Cappella Singers sat down to watch. It is so good having another choir urging you on. They are so appreciative and encouraging. Jeff got the audience doing a couple of things. Again, choir members were useful.
During the interval I met someone I knew. I hadn’t known he was going to be there. “Thank you for coming,” I said. “How did you find out about the concert?”
“Facebook,” he replied.
So, it works.
We had a respectable audience. There’s room for more. No doubt there will be soon.
We used Brunswick Parish Church, which is where Honour normally rehearses. Ordsall has used it a couple of times as well both for concerts and rehearsals. It’s a friendly place and this also helps to make the event successful.
Tomorrow, I’ll post about what else we did at the weekend.