Death of founder member casts cloud
West Norfolk’s newest choir gave its first public concert in front of a capacity audience on Saturday evening.
The Guildhall Singers’ Music for a Summer’s Evening concert at St Faith’s Church, Gaywood, was attended by some 170 people.
The guests of honour were borough Mayor, Geoff Hipperson and mayoress Rose.
The debut was tinged with sadness following the death of one of its founder members, Helen Lodge, who died, aged 68, a week before its first performance.
The concert was dedicated to her memory and a candle was lit at the start of the performance.
Under the baton of conductor Angela Brun, the 16-strong choir of mixed voices, accompanied by pianist Jonathan Chaddock and double bass player, Neil Quinn, performed a contrasting and varied programme of sacred and secular pieces written by composers from the 16th century right up to more modern works.
While some pieces had musical accompaniment, others were sung without music.
Added interest to the programme came in informative details about the composers and their works from choir leader, Helen Herbert.
In the evening’s programme, including the beautiful Ava Maria by Biebl and Matona, Mia Cara by Orlando di Lasso, George Shearing’s lovely, Who is Sylvia? and Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies Skies, there was something to suit most tastes.
The £1,700 proceeds was for the St Faith’s Community Cafe Project which will see the £200,000 conversion of the redundant church bungalow in St Faith’s Church drive to create a new community hub incorporating a new base for West Norfolk MIND, A new church office and a community drop-in cafe.
At the end of the concert, St Faith’s Rector, the Rev Julie Boyd, thanked the choir members for all their hard work in rehearsal, culminating in such a wonderful debut performance in the beautiful surroundings of St Faith’s Church.
Thanks were also expressed to all those who contributed in any way to the success of the evening.
The new choir is keen to perform in other West Norfolk venues, in support of worthy causes, and more details are available by contacting the leader, Helen Herbert, on 01553 772411.