Audlem Voices Spring Concert

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Audlem Voices

Well, as if losing an accompanist at short notice wasn't bad enough — although we are all in total agreement that we have found two gems in Treona Holden and Stefan Andrusyschyn — we had to contend with 'an important football match!'

Personally I find the rules of football are very simple, basically it is this, if it moves, kick it, if it doesn't move, kick it until it does. This appears to apply to both the ball and the men!

I have even seen women walk right past a TV set with a football game on and — this always amazes men — not stop to watch, even if the TV is showing replays of the highlights!

Keith West, Audlem Voices doorman

As 7.15pm approached there were only a handful of people, braving the cold winds to watch our performance, but we needn't have worried as the football finished — somebody won — and a stream of latecomers surged in from both entrances.

Undaunted, our personable doorman, Keith West (we need to keep him onside ) tackled the problem, collecting money from both sides whilst handing out programmes with great aplomb! (Keith is the second photo)

Audlem Voices chairman, Jon Richardson, took to the podium to introduce our Musical Director Jenny Collis-Smith, accompanists Treona and Stefan and finally our choir, who looked very smart in their co-ordinating attire.

Jon Richardson of Audlem Voices

Jenny managed to remove our chairman from the podium, he does like to pontificate — I should know, I'm married to him — and the evening's recital began. (Jon is third photo)

The evening commenced with the choir performing from the oratorio 'The Creation' and the exultant chorus 'The Heavens are Telling the Glory of God' forms the conclusion to this great oratorio. Sun, moon and stars, clouds, rain and snow, the continents and the seas, the grass and the trees' all have been included in his musical picture of God's work during the first four days of the Creation.

This was speedily followed by 'Lacrimosa' from Mozart's 'Requiem, which the choir sang sublimely.
Yvonne Parker and Jackie Thompson performed a pitch-perfect and clear-voiced performance of a difficult piece 'Pie Jesu.'

The last performance before the interval was Vierne's work 'Messe Solennelle,' which is not solemn or a Mass, but a feast of pleasures!

Audlem Voices

Under Jennie Collis-Smith's musical direction, Audlem Voices Choir seemed to pick up on the benign spirit of the composer. Their Kyrie had a sweet sanctity, holiness with happiness, and the choir was brilliantly accompanied by Treona Holden, a professional accompanist, who took up the challenge of playing on an unfamiliar church organ for these pieces and succeeded!

The interval arrived, giving both the choir and audience time to come back down to earth and partake of some refreshments — thank you Sue Davies for your assistance, it's not easy catering for over seventy people when the rush comes!

After the interval the choir performed 'Cantique de Jean Racine' by Faure and 'He watching over Israel' by Mendelssohn.

Silence reigned as Val Morrey stood up, exuding confidence, and performed an awe inspiring solo of 'Ave Maria.'

Audlem Voices

The evening of musical culture was climaxed by the choir performing 'God so loved the world' by Stainer and 'Et in terra pax' followed by the rousing 'Gloria' by Vivaldi.

Audlem Voice would like to thank Treona Holden for her professional organ playing, at such short notice, in which she simulated not one, but two organs playing at the same time, no mean feat, and Stefan Andrusyschyn who accompanied the choir on the piano.

Stefan is visually impaired and memorises all of his music. When asked how he remembers each piece, he informed us that there is nothing else in his brain!

Stefan is a prime example of the saying 'Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.' We look forward to working with him again in the future.