The Station Singers' Spring Concert in aid of St Teresa's Hospice and Herriot Hospice Homecare, raised over £1,400 in support of its two charities.
St Mary's Church in Richmond was packed to hear a varied and lively selection of “Songs from around the world”. The audience, in fine voice, joined the choirs in community singing and the evening ended with all choirs singing songs from 'West Side Story'. Refreshments were provided by choir members and charity volunteers.
Dr. Harry Byrne ( Chair of Trustees) from St. Teresa's Hospice and Ashley Weighell (Fundraising Manager) from Herriot Hospice Homecare both spoke of their charities' work with individuals and families and of how much the continued and essential support of the community means to them. In addition, local dignitaries Val Arnold (Chair of NYCC), Stephen Arnold ( Councillor) and Baroness Harris were in attendance.
Led by musical director Carol Gedye, and accompanied by Brett Overin, the evening on the 8th April 2017, was a great success.
Opening with dramatic djembe drumming by David Pratt, the combined choirs set the scene with a stunning performance of “Nkosi sikeleli Afrika”. This was followed by the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” sung in Italian with much emotion. With this taste of what was to come, Platform 2 launched the journey around the world with “The leaving of Liverpool”.
Each choir then sang their set in turn, some songs sung in their original language.
Branch Line took us to Ireland with “Home and the Heartland” and David on the bodhran, followed by a gospel set in America, the Maori love song “Pokarekareana” , “El Haderech” sung in Hebrew and a final rousing chorus of “World in Union”.
Platform 1 also visited Ireland with Enya’s “May it be”. “Bon di” was written by the French composer Lully with lyrics by Moliere ( and more drumming from David). They too sang “Dodi Li” most effectively in Hebrew, and finished with a lovely Carpenters’ arrangement of “On top of the World”.
Platform 2 opened with the expressive singing of Mozart’s ”Ave verum”. They ventured into 6 parts and German with Rheinberger’s “Abendlied. This had been a real favourite in rehearsal and was sung with much passion. “Nessun Dorma” took us to Italy, and then a hop across the pond to Broadway for “The Rhythm of Life” and a wonderfully energetic rendition of “Every time I feel the spirit” performed from memory.
Our new deputy conductor Kay Bromhead expertly took the first two songs in the combined choirs’ performance of “West Side Story”. This medley concluded with a heartfelt performance of “Somewhere”. There were many spine tingling moments during the evening. Some of our regular audience passed comments that this was the best concert yet.
Station Singers on song for Christmas
The spirit of Christmas was brought to life in a delightful programme.
On Saturday 10th December, the Station Singers of Richmond held a very successful concert in aid of the Richmond branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI). Under the musical direction of Carol Gedye, and accompanied by Brett Overin, the combined and individual choirs presented a varied and celebratory programme of music from the fourteenth century 'Gaudete', to 21st century songs such as Eric Whitacre's 'Glow' and Janet Wheeler's 'To Bethlehem'. The church was packed, and the appreciative audience joined the choirs in a medley of carols.
Speeches of thanks were given by Sally Conner of RABI and by Bob White of RBL. The raffle was drawn by our distinguished guests Rishi Sunak MP, John Furness, High Sherriff, and Councillor Russell Lord, Mayor of Richmond.
Members of the choirs provided the audience with refreshments and cake, topped with delicious cheese donated by Mainsgill Farm. After the concert it was lovely to see so many members of the community talking together, united by the evening's performances.
Not only was it a delightful social event, but the concert was financially very successful too, raising over £2400 which was divided between the three charities.
If you were unable to attend, you missed a treat. Perhaps you would like to join one of our choirs and if so, why not come along for a taster session?
Make a date for your diary for the Station Singers' Spring concert on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 7.30pm. We look forward to welcoming you.
TOWN TWINNING TRIUMPH
On a very cold and frosty morning on Thursday 28 April 2016, more than 50 members of the Station Singers Tour Choir set off on the road from Richmond via Winchester, Portsmouth and Brittany Ferries, to Caen via Granville to St Aubin du Cormier in Brittany, Richmond’s Twin Town.
We arrived at the Champ de Foire early evening on Friday to be met by our hosts from two local choirs, the Saint Aubin School of Music Choir and an A Capella choir called Opus from St Ouen des Alleux, a neighbouring town to St Aubin.
Carol (MD) had ‘coached us on the coach’ in our opening medley of regional songs and our hosts were warmly greeted by us in several languages–the ‘entente cordiale’ had begun!
We saluted our new friends with Kir Breton before retiring to the host families or hotel, excitedly looking forward to Saturday’s tour of St Aubin, rehearsals and our first performance.
Next day, we enjoyed a delicious home-cooked lunch with our French choirs before rehearsing our solo set with Carol and our joint songs with Jean-Michel and Eleonore , the two French conductors. Jean-Michel gave us a totally new and emotional interpretation of ‘Quand on n’a que l’amour’ and Eleonore encouraged us to ‘Sing Alleluia, Clap your hands’ in unison.
Our first joint concert at the Espace Bel Air was a fantastic modern venue and the big stage with lighting and contrasted with our usual rehearsals in the Station cinema or the Town Hall!
Looking professional in black with a touch of lilac, we wowed the crowd with our 30 minute set of songs in English and French. We knew we’d made it when the French audience sang along heartily to our Beatles’ medley – word perfect!
Afterwards, we shared ‘un moment convivial’ with lots of nice comments and thank you’s.
Sunday 1st May found us discovering the delights of medieval Fougères prior to another convivial lunch before arriving at the main church at St Ouen des Alleux, the venue for our second and last concert. Finally the sun was shining and we sang with joy and sunshine in our hearts in this lovely packed church, feeling very much at home as we sing here in St Mary’s. We were on the circuit now and there was nothing stopping us – standing ovations for ‘Love changes everything’ and many a tear wiped away with our ‘excellent French pronunciation’. What a wonderful end to our magical musical long weekend. One choir member described it as ‘the best experience of their lives’.
We are planning a Tour Celebration Reunion for the ‘Tourists’ in September to share lovely memories, great photos and videos and perhaps a glass to salute the success of the inaugural Tour Choir this year. We’re all looking forward to St Aubin’s return visit to Richmond in two years’ time.
Thanks must go to Carol, Brett, Doreen, Graham and the Twinning Committee and all the helpers for making this so special – not forgetting all the singers who laughed and cried and sang and danced and ate and drank and socialised and made new friends and most of all, had really good fun!
Angela Wall - 05 07 2016