Choir News, 2008.
Our year got off to a flying start, as guests of Swindon MVC, in a joint concert at All Saints’ Church, Faringdon, in January, raising funds for the Oxfordshire-based charity, Action for Children in Conflict. The concert stemmed from our Annual Concert last year, when Swindon MVC were our guests, which itself resulted from a successful collaboration in 2006, when both choirs prepared for and participated in, the Festival of Brass & Voices at the Royal Albert Hall.
Just as important to the Choir are the local fixtures and January/February included seasonal visits to local homes for the elderly and in February a return concert to St Michael’s Church, Abingdon was held in conjunction with Carswell School. Concert proceeds were shared between the school’s music fund and the church’s re-ordering fund.
At our Annual Concert in Old Mill Hall, Grove, in March, we shared the stage with Saltash Ladies Choir whom we met during our stay in London for the RAH event mentioned above. Last July we were delighted to visit the West Country as concert guests of Saltash Ladies Choir and so it was fitting that we were able to return the favour this year. We now look forward to next May for our second visit across the Tamar, to perform again with the Saltash Ladies - and long may our friendship continue!
In April a return visit to the village of Shippon, to sing at St Mary Magdalene Church, helped with church funds. Then in June, we visited St Helen’s Church Hall, Abingdon as afternoon guests of the local WRVS Darby & Joan Club and, in the same week, we entertained ‘The Friends of Abingdon’ group after their AGM, at the Unicorn Theatre. July saw our busiest month to date, with 4 concerts, at:
The Old Mill Hall, Grove, helping to raise funds for Grove Methodist Church.
St Michael at the Northgate Church, Oxford, for a lunchtime concert.
The Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon, for the local Soroptimists group.
Ferendune Court care home, Faringdon, for the residents and staff.
Late September signalled the end of the summer holiday ‘break’ with an enjoyable concert in St Michael and All Angels Church, Lambourne, forming part of the Church’s patronal festival. Two weeks later we were put to the test with a noon wedding in Shrivenham followed by a mid-afternoon wedding, near Swindon. Punctuality was paramount as always, but particularly for the latter engagement, where our Concert Marshall was the Best Man at his brother’s wedding!
November started with a concert in Twyford, near Bicester to help with church funds. Our next outing involved a coach trip to Chandler’s Ford near Southampton to join with Casterbridge MVC, Solent MVC and hosts Romsey MVC in a massed concert billed as the “Choirs of the South Festival.” Each choir sang 4 pieces before joining to form a choir of well over 100 voices and perform 5 well known male voice choral works to conclude the programme. The venue was Thornden Hall where the excellent acoustics, enthusiastic audience and camaraderie of the choirs all made for a hugely enjoyable event. The month ended with another visit to Ferendune Court care home, in Faringdon.
The December programme brought a very enjoyable year to an end with Christmas carols at three local care homes, a retirement complex and a W.I. Christmas Dinner function as well as at our own Christmas meal and social at a local golf club.