Posts Tagged ‘Witchford Voices’

Review: Witchford Voices in St. Andrew’s Church, Witchford on Monday 18th July 2011

July 22, 2011

Enthusiasm, liveliness and rhythmic drive permeated the songs delivered by Witchford Voices in their concert in St. Andrew’s Church, Witchford. Under the directorship of Naomi D’Cunha, a host of popular songs filled the programme. Supported by Dee Ireland’s fascinating Sound and Lighting the show entertained the packed audience with polished precision.

This large choir demonstrated moments of considerable talent. Full rich harmonies, fantastic and vibrant pulsation and amazing clarity of diction in the most rapid of lines were the order of the day. The programme included many popular numbers: Billionaire, Don’t Stop Believing, Fix You, Just the way you are, Hallelujah, Lean on me, and Run. Other cultures were delightfully represented most noticeably in Baba Yetu and Africa with Kyrie Eleison providing variety in the list. The carefully orchestrated commentary on the songs by different members of the choir certainly added to the overall impression that this choir knew how to organize themselves and the input of Keith Gallois, Helen Williamson, and Joe Robbins undoubtedly contributed to this effect.

This choir has come on since it was first inaugurated and the medlies from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Les Miserables were a step in the right direction. How such a packed choir managed to suddenly produce costumes and props for Les Miserables was amazing and the effect delightful.

There were a number of notable highlights: The opening sound effects. the rhythmic momentum and the meaningful backing of Africa, the highly amusing characterization of the Billionaire, the clearly marked variety of styles in songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and some gorgeous soft moments that were beautifully shaped in Hallelujah and Run.

This choir shows great potential and it will be interesting to watch their progress in the future. They have already added Ely Cathedral as a venue and a European Tour to their list of notable achievements.

Future events include:

Sunday 4th December 2011 St Andrew’s Church

Friday 9th December 2011 St. John’s Church, Waterbeach

Monday 12th December 2011 Ely Cathedral

Friday 16th December 2011 Witchford Voices Party

The European Tour:

June 3rd 2012 Markt, Bruges, Belgium

June 4th 2012 Hospital of St. John, Damme, Belgium

June 4th 2012: Kerk St. Paulus, Ghent, Belgium

June 5th 2012: Cité Europe, Calais, France

Contacts:

http://www.witchfordvoices.com

Twitter @witchfordvoices

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Review: The Inner Wheels Club of Ely Charity Cabaret Evening on 19th March 2011 at Witchford Village Hall

March 20, 2011

The Inner Wheel Club of Ely is a force to be reckoned with for its Charity Cabaret Evening was certainly a success – over £500 was raised for their charity Red2Green (a Cambridgeshire charity that provides opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities). There was no doubting the enthusiasm of the performers and their love for music of different genres was infectious and their performances highly entertaining.

Lisa Bushell, well-known local singer opened the event by presenting a number of popular songs including Cabaret, Maybe this Time, Tell me on a Sunday, Over the Rainbow, River Deep Mountain High, Simply the Best, Son of a Preacher Man, and The first time ever I saw your face.  The first time ever I saw your face was particularly moving.

Charles Schneider brought considerable amusement to the show with a delightful series of humorous songs including a number of old favorites by Flanders and Swann. He opened with a popular Victorian number Come into the Garden Maud, and then Flanders and Swans’ Tonga with its frustrating language, The Slow Train (dedicated to Peter Heald for whom this was a particular favourite), The Armadillo so much in love with a metal-plated tank, Transport of Delight (a London omnibus), the thwarted lovers the honeysuckle and the Bindweed in Misalliance, the unwise The Ostrich burying its head in the sand in a testing ground, In the Bath, the unhappy The Rhinoceros, the fate of a naïve young lady in Madeira M’dear and the unforgettable The Hippopotamus with its glorious chorus Mud, mud …. In the duets he was joined by a delightful singer, his daughter, Georgia Schneider, a member of Ely Cathedral Girls Choir and he was expertly accompanied by Inner Wheel member and talented local pianist, Constance Heald.

After interval Witchford Voices ended the event with some excellent numbers. This huge local choir is conducted by Naomi D’Cunha and her expertise has led this group of enthusiastic performers to reach new heights of precision and quality in their performance.  This is definitely a choir to be reckoned with.

With powerful harmonies, exciting rhythms and rich tonal quality in the lower voices, these singers brought their songs alive. The programme included songs such as One Vision, Down by the River to Pray, Fix you, I’m yours, Adiemus by Karl Jenkins, Run. Don’t stop believing, Hallelujah (by Leonard Cohen), Man in the Mirror, What I’m Looking for and Africa

Technical support helped to create a strong sense of atmosphere – the most impressive of which was in Africa in which the choir used their hands and feet to create a realistic impression of wind, the patter of rain and thunder so typical of this hot country. Dee Ireland’s box of tricks and lighting effects were particularly valuable.

Forthcoming events for the choir will be on the 18th, 19th and 21st July. Copies of their debut CD may now be ordered. For more information contact choir manager k.gallois@btinternet.com

Review: Witchford Voices in St. Andrew’s Church Witchford Tuesday 20th July 2010

July 23, 2010

Witchford Voices raised the roof of St. Andrew’s Church Witchford for both of their evening performances on July 19th and 20th 2010. Their popularity knows no bounds. From a village with very few singers, Witchford has fast become a centre for singing enthusiasts county wide, thanks to the hard work of Keith Gallois, Naomi D’Cunha and Helen Williamson (amongst others).

Naomi knew her music, and supported by knowledgeable colleagues produced a programme of great songs. Often singing unaccompanied or to recorded accompaniment, the singers knew their music. Not a sheet of paper was in sight – all singers’ eyes were glued to their conductor whose control and inspiration were impressive.

The 90-or-so-strong choir – with 50 of the members performing for this concert – sang with a vibrant enthusiasm that was unforgettable. The packed audience was easily caught up in this wonderful group’s exuberance.

 The opening item: ‘One Vision’, attracted our attention immediately with its tremendous impact. Some of the choir’s potential became apparent in the gentler phrases of ‘May it be’, while we were transported to other more spiky cultures with captivating rhythms in the following three Gospel-like melodic incantations. 

A variety of people interspersed the singing with snippets of information that kept us entertained and informed. Their contributions were just right – not too long and not too short and with just the information we wanted to know.     

The familiar and popular ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Don’t stop believin’ led us to the interval when a free drink was ready and waiting.

‘Adiemus’ by Karl Jenkins, ‘Down by the River to Pray’, ‘Man in the Mirror’, ‘Run’, and ‘Lean on Me’ followed and made the evening complete. In these pieces particularly, the balance and rhythmic precision of this huge choir were phenomenal. One of the highlights was ‘Run’ which began with a gorgeous rich tone in the altos and the men’s tone in ‘Down by the River we Pray’ was also impressive. 

The evening was a delightfully warm and summery and super management meant that everything went off like a dream. Our village church looked resplendent enhanced with a background of colourful lighting produced by Dee Ireland.

Cleverly arranged part singing, rhythmic zeal and excitement, and the ability to convey the sheer joy of participating in this momentous event made the evening a roaring success.  You are advised to book early for their Christmas events:

Sunday 5th December Evening Christmas Concert, St Andrew’s Church, Witchford in aid of Marie Curie

Friday 10th December Evening Christmas Concert, St. Mary’s Church. Ely in aid of Marie Curie

Contacts:

Choir manager k.gallois@btinternet.com

Secretary jlrobbins@talktalk.net

Membership secretary/treasurer helenwilliamson1@btinternet.com

Musical Director Naomi D’Cunha nome@fatcats.org.uk