Two great Choirs in harmony for a great cause
A full Abbey audience is always a fantastic way to start a concert and to us on stage it looked almost like standing room only. The evening marked the third time the Military Wives accepted RMVC’s invitation to join forces in a concert and on each occasion the wonderful harmony between the two choirs has grown more and more apparent.
This harmony was never more evident than in the opening joint performance of Let the River Run by Carly Simon and in the subsequent joint numbers, You’ll Never Walk Alone and the lovely, emotional song Somewhere from West Side Story.
Each choir sang their own very varied pieces during the concert, with RMVC showing its linguistic versatility in Welsh, Russian and Maori as well as including notable solos from Keith Lawrenson, Geoff Skinner, Jim Philbin, Clive Matthews and Martin Cullum, and once more performing just a little (not too difficult) choreography.
For their chosen musical pieces, the Military Wives were in fabulous voice and who couldn’t feel moved by the choristers’ rendition of Danny Boy and the Songs that Won the War. Like RMVC they too showcased choir soloists including the wonderful Hannah Sandu demonstrating her musical versatility, in matching talents as an accompanist with an amazing singing voice.
Both Choirs were as ever keen to support charity through the concert and on this occasion the aim was to raise as much money as possible for Help for Heroes. To support this aim HfH Ambassador and forces veteran Rob Shenton took to the stage to share his life changing, moving and in so many ways positive personal story. This illustrated as nothing else could the difference an individual’s determination to recover, coupled with the support of Help for Heroes, can make to those whose lives will never be the same due to PTSD or injury. Thank you Rob for helping us all to understand this so much better.
We will let everyone know how much was raised for HfH on the night in the near future.
For RMVC it was also special to have two of the Choir’s Patrons present in the Abbey; the Honourable Alexandra Knatchbull and Dr Haydn James, both joined by Romsey Mayor, Councillor Janet Burnage, Test Valley Mayor, Councillor Martin Hatley and our long-time supporter Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Nokes.
We can never conclude without saying a huge thanks to the two Musical Directors, our own Marion Maxey and SPMWC’s Susan Raeburn – we can’t do it without you! Neither can we do it without the talented accompanists, RMVC’s Richard Stannard and the Military Wives Hannah Sandu. Thanks to them and thanks also to Concert Compère Terry Morrison – another great job Terry. Finally, our gratitude goes out to the Abbey itself, to Mike Bull, our Concert Secretary, and the wives and partners of choir members who always do so much to make concerts run smoothly.
PS The Afterglow in the Phoenix Pub in Romsey was pretty good as well so thanks to the staff there for the welcome and the food.