On Saturday May 7th we were blessed with a lovely warm (and dry!) Spring evening evening in which to hold our annual Spring Concert at St. Julian’s Methodist Church. This, along with the undoubted popularity of the choir meant that we had a pleasing turn-out from the good people of Newport and an evening of fine singing meant that the concert had a favourable reception.
As is customary for the Spring Concert we performed a mixed bag of a capella and accompanied choral pieces covering a wide range of music from the Renaissance to the present day.
We kicked-off with John Redford’s Rejoice in the Lord Alway – one of the greatest of Elizabethan anthems. Hot on the heels of this was Adriensen’s madrigal Dibedibedon, sung at break-neck speed to dispel melancholy. Next came a choral setting of Bach’s beautiful Sheep May Safely Graze (sung in the original German) and Elgar’s sweet motet, Angelus. The choir was then given a short break by David Martyn Jones (our Deputy Director of Music) who played Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G Minor.
Next came a rousing modern setting of Psalm 150 Molwch yr Arglwydd by Euron J. Walters, Duruflé’s gorgeous plainchant motet Ubi Caritas and Brahms took us into the interval with How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings from his Requiem (again sung in the original German).
For our concert this year, we were delighted to be joined by the Newport Forget-Me-Not Chorus conducted by Dyfed Wyn Evans and accompanied by Janice Ball. They sang a medley entitled I Wanna Sing and a second piece simply called Sing. Both pieces were performed excellently – from memory and with great commitment. Nice one FMNs!
NPC resumed again with Handel’s rousing coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, followed by a soulful rendition of Geraint Lewis’ The Souls of the Righteous – a new piece for the choir. The choir was then given another breather while Guy and Martyn performed three Italian popular songs – O sole mio, Tosti’s beautiful Non t’amo più and Torna a Surriento.
The choir ensured we were all thoroughly awake again with a rendition of O Fortuna – the famous opening of Orff’s Carmina Burana. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t a rude bit!) This was followed by Guy’s choral arrangement of the wonderful Welsh traditional song Dafydd y Garreg Wen and Martyn’s uplifting arrangement of the spiritual Steal Away. Another choral arrangement by Guy followed – When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt by Stephen Schwarz and, lastly Gershwin’s provocative It Ain’t Necessarily So from Porgy and Bess.
He concert was concluded with NPC and the Forget-Me-Not Chorus performing Sospan Fach together. A good time was had by all!