2007 Archive

Write up Annual Concert

On the 17th November 2007 Gwent Police Choir were delighted to perform their 37th annual Concert before a sell-out audience, every available seat was taken, then more found for late arrivals, there were even people sitting on the stairs upstairs (but don’t tell the Health and safety bods).

The evening started with the inimitable Mike Gough warming up the audience with his whimsical brand of humour, leading into an introduction of the choir’s first numbers, African Prayer and Gwahoddiadd. The enthusiastic audience reception set the mood for the evening.

Our guests, nine young musicians, all members of the Greater Gwent Schools Brass Ensemble, took to the stage for their first set introduced by their conductor Shaun O’Neill. What a treat for all, choir included; these talented youngsters did themselves proud.

The choir continued with a moving rendition of Bring Him Home From the long running musical Les Miserable. A beautiful love song arranged by Rodger Appleby called ‘I Will’ followed, and a rousing edition of Alexander’s Rag time Band finished this session.

Once again The Ensemble took to the stage with the able Mike Gough covering the furniture removals! Their conductor gave a brief outline of both composer and music that was to follow. They were absolutely tremendous, well deserving the audience applause.

A lovely rendition of Amazing Grace, again arranged by Rodger was warmly applauded and the haunting American Trilogy ended a melodious first half.

After a short break, the second half galloped away with the stirring Toreador’s Song from Bizet’s opera Carmen. For the benefit of those who had not seen the musical ‘Godspell’ Rodger gave the audience a taste of what was to come. Performed with gusto, ‘All for the Best’ tested the breathing techniques of each and every chorister.

Once again Mike ad. libbed his way through the changeover for the Ensemble to treat us to another superb performance. Rodger’s harmonious arrangement of a medley of Gershwin songs was superbly delivered, thoroughly enjoyed by choristers and audience alike. Next, followed the well known spiritual ‘My Lord, What a Mornin’, this must be one of everyone’s favourites. Certainly the audience enjoyed it.

Perhaps looking for new recruits, Rodger enlarged the choir to about 300 by teaching the enthusiastic audience a spiritual ‘Above my head there is music in the air’. I’m sure, even the ‘Can’t sing a note’ brigade were singing lustily by the time he had finished.

For there last appearance, the Ensemble produced a fantastic finale. ‘Soldier, Soldier’ brought the audience to there feet for a standing ovation. They and their teachers are certainly a credit to Gwent.

The final two numbers from the choir, Nessun Dorma and Cwm Rhondda brought the choir’s contribution to a fitting end.

The inspired teaching and conducting by Rodger Appleby, and Nicola Coker’s polished piano accompaniment, ensured the success of this memorable evening.

Jean Comfort.