Critique of June 06 Concert

Martin Pickering mnp@m-picker.demon.co.uk
Conductor Louth Choral Society

The Louth Male Voice Choir has a well deserved strong following and their supporters were there in force for the choir’s summer concert in St James’s Church.  This was a varied programme and the warmth of the reception showed that it found favour with the large audience.

The standard male voice repertoire was on show and included the well known favourites like the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “Men of Harlech” and the like.  The choir sings with great conviction and their words are always clear.  And they sing everything from memory so that their conductors – Graham Burrell and David Watterson – are able to draw out a considerable amount of dynamic contrast.  As well as the Welsh favourites they also sang some less familiar pieces including the excellent setting of Psalm 150 written for the choir by St James’s organist, Fred Goodwin, and a number of contemporary pieces which the men of the choir obviously enjoy singing, such as “The Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity and Paul Simon’s “Homeless”.

Kare Witney was the choir’s guest solosit for the evening and her two groups of songs made a great contrast.  In the first half Kate sang a group of haunting, unaccompanied gospel songs including the very beautiful “Motherless Child”.  In the second, she gave us some operatic arias, accompanied very sensitively by Gwyn Law.  The highlight here was a charming and convincingly “tipsy” rendition from Offenbach’s La Pericole.  Kate has great presence and a fine voice.

Other guests included the choir’s own quartet of singers, Quadwrangle with two perfectly judged nonsense songs followed by two delightfully manic renditions from the deputy musical director David Watterson.

Live music is a wonderful thing and the Louth Male Voice Choir put on a really excellent evening’s entertainment.