St Bride's: News

A remarkable journey with an extraordinary choir

nobodyflyer.jpgDiscarding their familiar gowns of mid-brown for dinner jackets and colourful evening dresses and leaving their regular stalls to stand with their backs to the high altar, complete with its magnificent trompe-l'oeil backdrop, members of the St Bride's Choir took their audience on a 50-year journey. And some journey it turned out to be!

Here is a group of dedicated professional singers, superbly conducted by the indefatigable figure of Robert Jones and accompanied this time by the highly proficient Matthew Morley, who will conjure up the magic of low lights, mood music, to the startling sometimes exuberant chords found in Howells's setting for the Eucharist. And they will complete this change in a flash. Now there's expertise for you!

But this particular concert left Herbert Howells for a Sunday, and instead brought in James Horner, whose music in the blockbuster film Titanic stunned cinemagoers around the world.

The concert was one of many celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the restoration and rededication of St Bride's church in 1957. Our journey began in the 1960s with the Lennon and McCartney little heard classic In My Life, the beautifully moving Paul Simon song Bridge Over Troubled Water, Freddie Mercury's brilliant Bohemian Rhapsody (the 70s), Howard Blake's haunting Walking in the Air (80s) and Karl Wallinger's very passionate She's the One, which the choir sang three years ago at a memorial service in the church for a young member of a local law firm whose life was tragically ended early in a road accident. In all we were treated to 21 numbers, and, yes, you've guessed, an encore.

Daniel Jordon, one of the baritones, with the charm of a bon viveur, was host for the evening and he rightly thanked James Irving, the church's administrator, for the first-rate music notes provided in the programme.

The choir consisted of five women and seven men. Each and every one of them is a virtuoso and the thunderous applause they were given by a mesmerised and captivated audience confirmed that fact.

Those of you reading this who feel that you were left out by not being able to attend this great concert, are absolutely right. If ever this choir performs on this type of stage ever again, book your seat now!

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