2015 St James Annual Concert with Kidgate Boys Choir

I asked Florence, the French wife of Paul Firth – our Rain Rain baritone soloist, whether

William Dunning
William Dunning

she understood our French singing of Cantique de Jean Racine. She replied that she realized it was foreign but only understood one word ‘someil’. So much for our dialect which clearly came from a remote part of France unknown to Florence. I suspect that 99.9% of the audience were with us in enjoying the sound as opposed to the literal meaning. Last night we had our annual concert at St James with Kidgate Boys’ Choir, quite a contrast. William Dunning, in his last year at Kidgate, was their compere and gave a very full and interesting intro to all their pieces. It is quite amazing how Chris Wood, their MD, has inspired and taken them all over the place to sing. Chris retires at the end of term and will be sadly missed by the boys. Talking of being inspired,

Chris Wood with Kidgate
Chris Wood with Kidgate

Robert Haynes, our compere, used ‘Inspire 500’ as the linking intro to our pieces. St James’ spire is 500 years old this year with parts of the church going back to 1170 and indeed the side arches that you will see in the accompanying longshot photo date from 1247 and yes, it is not an obscure lens effect, they are leaning out, and in the 1950’s they had to be partially removed and reinforced before being reinstated at the same angle, I guess you can tell I am one of

Auriel, Richard Keeble, Barnie Canter & Graham Burrell
Auriole, Richard Keeble, Barnie Canter & Graham Burrell

the church guides. So Robert linked a few obvious dates in 100 year steps from 1515 such as Waterloo 1815 and a few tenuous ones such as ‘Song From The First World War’ which would have been sung in 1915, as entertaining as ever. However, his best line was informing the audience and groupies, who may have noticed our new grey ties being worn for the first time (actual fact), turning round and pointing to the choir to show 45 Shades of Grey. There was an intended contrast to our repertoire and the boys’, something for everyone with a lot of proud parents, grandparents et al. Nick Brown, the Rector, is doing us a critique, which I will post once I get it, but I think the audience enjoyed it and I had several pleasing comments from people as they left as I St J's Concert Kidgate 2015 2015-06-20 044a lrwas taking orders for CDs of the recording of the concert. Should you want one then let me know. At the conclusion various presentations were made by Richard Keeble, our chairman, to Chris Wood, Gwyn Law – our accompanist, and especially to Graham Burrell celebrating his 30th year as our MD. Afterwards we had a social at which Richard gave a fuller presentation and account of Graham’s time, so far, at LMVC. Barnie Canter and his wife had organized the social and a cake; have a look at the photo it is very well done. Well, we have one more rehearsal night this Tuesday followed by repertoire suggestions the following week, at which Graham will listen dutifully and then as Frank Sinatra sang ‘I Did It My Way’, but, he will be right!