Choir Xmas Dinner

Thanks to all who made the Choir’s Christmas Dinner such a great success last Saturday. Here are a few pictures from the occasion …

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Petite Messe Solennelle – The Conductor’s Review

Well done to all for a real success of a concert at St Woolos Last month. The spirit of high drama in the performance was just what I was looking for and it was the first time I have heard an amateur choir deliver those fugues without falling into directionless, bewildered slavery. You kept up the phrasing of the subjects and countersubjects throughout and there was never a moment where the thrust of the drama was lost. We kept pitch on the unaccompanied movements (Christe Eleison and Sanctus) better than ever (which more than made up for the reinterpretation of the bass part at the beginning of the Christe!).

Sharon was so impressed by the fact that you were with me all the way through. Ruth Dow enjoyed the performance very much – particularly the Agnus Dei (‘Glorious’ was the word she used!).

We all seemed to enjoy the venue so much and it seems that the opening up of the space means it should suit our orchestral concerts too. The staff were most obliging and made us truly welcome. It seems we have found a happy new home!

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Autumn Concert – Feedback

“Sublime, surprising delight of Rossini’s Mass at Newport Cathedral tonight by the always inspiring Newport Philharmonic Choir and soloists.” – Paul Flynn
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Choir Social Evening

This year’s Social Evening was held on Saturday 15th July in the Village Hall at Redwick – excellent refreshments provided by the Rose Inn next door, an enjoyable time was had by all. Dave entertained, educated and exhausted us with quiz questions … Emma and her table running out the clear and worthy winners.
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Spring Concert 2016

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!

    
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Choir Lunch – March 2016

On Monday 7th March about two dozen choristers met for lunch at the Rock & Fountain, Penhow. We enjoyed good food (when it eventually arrived) and good company. Thanks to Dave for organising … and looking forward to the next time.

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Open Day 2016

On Saturday 30th January the Choir held an Open Day at Newport YMCA. About a dozen newcomers turned up and we hope that someof them will have enjoyed themselves enough to want to join us on a permanent basis.

Here are a few snaps from the day (thanks to Emma Williams):

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Christmas Dinner 2015

Newport Phil held its annual Christmas Dinner at the Masonic Hall on Monday 14th December. An excellent meal, a good turnout, and some fine entertainment (though we say it ourselves) contributed to a most enjoyable evening.
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Christmas Carol Concert 2015

On Saturday 12th December the Newport Phil held its Christmas Concert at St Julian’s Methodist Church in aid of Cruse Bereavement Care. A guest performance by six members of Tongwynlais Temperance Band was very well received, and provided a strong brass accompaniment to the communal carols. One comment received after the concert read: “Last night’s concert was the best Christmas concert to date. Well done everybody.”
The choir repeated their performance on Tuesday 15th December at Caldicot Methodist Church, where the guest soloist was Joyce Rickard, and proceeds in aid of Methodist Homes for the Aged.
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ORA Visit 2015

On Wednesday 21st October members of the Oratorienchor Heidenheim arrived in Newport to prepare for a joint concert with Newport Philharmonic Choir. In between rehearsals, trips were arranged to St Fagans and Raglan Castle, and a guided tour of Monmouth. The concert, Bach’s St John Passion, took place on Saturday at St Julian’s School. The soloists were Angela Kazimierczuk, Margaret Cameron, Paul Badley, Peter Grevatt, Gerard Delrez, and the conductor was Guy Harbottle.

Here are a few more snaps of the the trip:

More photos from this and other trips can be found here.
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