ALSTOM SINGERS NEWS ARCHIVE

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Last updated 31 October 2013

21.09.13 Concert at St Thomas's Church, Walton-on-the-Hill



St Thomas's Church,
Walton-on-the-Hill
ST17 0BY

See map
A selection of items from this concert indicate the diverse range of the Stafford Singers repertoire (YouTube videos):
When I'm 64 (Words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney);
Yesterday (Words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, arranged by A.B. Preece);
Anything Goes (Words and Music by Cole Porter, arranged by Teena Chinn);
I am sailing (Music by Gavin Sutherland, arranged by Peter Hunt, made famous by Rod Stewart);
Men of Harlech, (Traditional Welsh, arranged by former Musical Director J.K.H. Rose), (In this YouTube version performed by the Fron Male Voice Choir);
Jesu, joy of man's desiring (Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Michael Larkin);
Les Misérables (Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, arranged by Ed Lojeski), (In this YouTube version performed by the Cast of Les Misérables with Alfie Boe and Samantha Barks);
More Les Misérables, (French military parade)


10.06.13 Social Evening at Wildwood


Paul

and Ted entertain


18.05.13 Concert at St Paul's Methodist & United Reformed Church, Rugeley WS15 2EH





Images courtesy of Google Earth Street Level

St Paul's Methodist & United Reformed Church,
Lichfield Street,
Rugeley
WS15 2EH


Two views of

the choir seating

Accompanist Amanda and Assistant Musical Director Karen


20.04.13 Concert at Berkswich Methodist Church, Walton-on-the-Hill



Berkswich Methodist Church,
Walton-on-the-Hill
ST17 0LH



See map
Indicative items from this concert (YouTube videos):
Panis Angelicus (César Franck, arranged by Henry Geehl);
Pick a bale of cotton (Traditional Negro spiritual, arranged by Maurice Gardner);
New York, New York (Music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, arranged by Charles Beale, made famous by Frank Sinatra);
Chattanooga Choo Choo (Music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon, arranged by Pete Schmutte, made famous by Glenn Miller);
more Chattanooga
even more Chattanooga


20.12.12 Carol Concert at St Leonard's Sports and Social Club, Stafford
in association with The Stafford Orchestra






Play video

(YouTube videos):
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel's Messiah)
with scrolling bar-graph score;
The Holy City (Stephen Adams (Michael Maybrick), tenor Marino van Wakeren);


17.09.12 50th Anniversary Celebrations


50th Anniversary cake

Chairperson Maureen gives the
address and toasts

Former Musical Director Ken Rose cuts a cake


A social evening was held to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the choir, with many invited guests and former members of the choir (play video). See also the 50th Anniversary entry in the Stafford Singers History Page.


21.05.12 Concert for the residents of "Housing 21"



Summer Field Court, Altona Close, Stone ST15 8AR
A varied programme was presented, and songs from the shows had specifically been requested (Mamma Mia, Super Trooper, Money Money Money, Best of Bond, When I'm 64, Yesterday, and The Sound of Music (play video). The programme included:

Best of Bond (medley)
The Sound of Music (medley)


27.04.12 Concert in aid of RNLI (Lifeboats)





Mansfield House, 40 Market Street, Rugeley WS15 2JL

Stafford and Rugeley are of course far from the sea, but the two towns have a history of support for the Rhyl RNLI station.



The D-class inshore lifeboat D-485 Stafford with Rugeley was at Rhyl in 1995.



Also, the National Memorial Arboretum, at Alrewas, Staffordshire has a RNLI lifeboat memorial designed by Chris Beardshaw and sculpted by Andrew Fitchett.



The varied programme specifically included items with a watery theme (the Skye Boat Song, Flow gently, sweet Afton, I do like to be beside the sea side, The Mermaid, South Pacific, The Drunken Sailor, and Eternal Father, strong to save (play video). The programme included:

Flow gently, sweet Afton (Robert Burns)
Eternal Father, strong to save (Hymn, RNLI compilation)


24.03.12 Concert at Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall



A varied programme of folk songs, madrigals and songs from the shows (play video). The programme included:

Little David, play on your harp (Traditional spiritual, arranged Philip Kern)
Old Mother Hubbard (Traditional nursery rhyme, set in the style of Handel by Victor Hely-Hutchinson, arranged J. Michael Diack)


10.03.12 Concert at Trinity Church, Stafford



A varied programme of folk songs, madrigals and songs from the shows (play video). The programme included:

Another Op'nin', Another Show (Cole Porter, Kiss Me Kate, with words modified to "in Stafford, Rugeley, or even Stowe")
All things bright and beautiful (words by Mrs C.F. Alexander (1823 - 1895), arranged John Rutter)


14.12.11 Carol Concert at St Leonard's Sports and Social Club, Stafford
in association with The Stafford Orchestra (Guest Conductor Peter Lacey)


St Leonard's Sports and Social Club
Image courtesy of Google Earth



A Christmas celebration in aid of the Stafford & Cannock Hospitals Radio, recorded for broadcast in the hospital wards over the Christmas and New Year period (play video). The programme included:

Jesu joy of man's desiring (Bach Cantata No. 147)
White Christmas
Have yourself a merry little Christmas (Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel Messiah)


10.12.11 Carol Concert at St Paul's Church, Stafford



A varied programme of traditional and modern carols (play video). The programme also included:

Dream a little dream of me (Willy Schwandt, Fabian Andre & Gus Kahn, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Can't take my eyes off you (Bob Crewe & Bob Gaudio, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Flow gently sweet Afton (Robert Burns, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Auld Lang Syne (Robert Burns, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)


24.10.11 Vale Bill Reynolds



We regret to report the loss of Bill Reynolds (1930 - 2011), former Secretary of the Alstom Singers, who provided much of the archive information on the history of the choir for this website. Bill passed away suddenly on 30.09.11 at Jersey Hospital, aged 81 years. His funeral service was held at St Matthew's Curch, Derrington on 24.10.11.

14.05.11 Three Choirs, Collegiate Church of St Mary, Stafford

The Alstom Singers, Cantemus, and Stafford & District Choral Society:

In the first part of the programme the choirs performed their own particular music blend individually, and the Wind Band from Sir Graham Balfour School also performed.



In the second part of the performance the massed choirs performed Feel the Spirit, a cycle of spirituals for Mezzo Soprano, mixed choir, and orchestra, beautifully arranged by John Rutter, and conducted by Margaret Outen, with soloist Harriet Goodwin. Commencing with "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho" the moods swing through a huge range of emotions until the work finishes with the wonderful climactic chorus "When the saints go marching in".

Watch YouTube videos:
1. Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho
2. Steal away
3. I got a robe
4. Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
5. Ev'ry time I feel the spirit
6. Deep river
7. When the saints go marching in
Interview of John Rutter (born 1945):
Part 1 (28.01.09) (1 hr 1min 52sec)
Part 2 (28.01.09) (45min 29sec)
John Rutter BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week (25.01.10)


09.05.11 Joint Rehearsal of Alstom Singers with Stafford & District Choral Society and Cantemus Chamber Choir
at Weston Road High School, Stafford

Conducted by Margaret Outen, with Cathy Garside taking the part of the Mezzo Soprano soloist.


Accompanists Leslie Smith and Marian Brannan.


18.04.11 Joint Rehearsal of Alstom Singers with Stafford & District Choral Society
at Risingbrook Methodist Church, Stafford


Risingbrook Methodist Church interior shot in the Interval, showing the grand piano on the stage

Conductor, organist and accompanist Marian Brannan. The score in the foreground is part of "When the saints go marching in" from Feel the Spirit by John Rutter.

Marian Brannan GRSM ARMCM AMusLCM DipEd TD


15.12.10 Carol Concert at St Leonard's Sports and Social Club, Stafford
in association with The Stafford Orchestra, conducted by Paul Nivens


St Leonard's Sports and Social Club
Image courtesy of Google Earth

The concert was a Christmas celebration in aid of the Stafford & Cannock Hospitals Radio, and was recorded for broadcast in the hospital wards over the Christmas and New Year period.

Recently the orchestra welcomed Paul Nivens as its new Musical Director. He is a trumpeter who has played with the Halle Orchestra, and English and Welsh National Opera Companies. He started conducting with Maurice Miles at the Royal Academy of Music and has conducted numerous local choirs and bands.

The programme included:
A Merry Christmas (Traditional West Country Carol, arranged by Arthur Warrell, including references to "figgy pudding") -
get your recipe for figgy pudding here (courtesy of Simon Rimmer and BBC Food);
(YouTube videos):
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel's Messiah)
with scrolling bar-graph score;
White Christmas (Words and music by Irving Berlin; according to the Guinness Book of World Records the version sung by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide); and
The Coventry Carol (Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, 15th Century CE, arranged by Martin Shaw).


Publicity Poster

Programme obverse

Programme reverse

St Leonard's Sports and Social Club Main Hall

The Stafford Orchestra prepares

The choir seating awaits.
Note the microphones ready for the recording by
Stafford & Cannock Hospitals Radio

Choir ladies in the preparation room shared with the
Stafford Orchestra
(note the cello case in the background)

More choir ladies discussing the music
before the performance

Play video.


04.12.10 Carol Concert at Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall



A varied programme of traditional and modern carols (play video).

The programme included:
(YouTube videos):
Gold for a Manger Bed (Malcolm Archer, arranged Timothy Dudley-Smith)
and the Cowboy Carol (Words and music by Cecil Broadhurst, arranged by Malcolm Sargent).
See also The Story behind the music of the Cowboy Carol (American Christmas Classics, music in this video by the Halle Orchestra and Chorus).

Many of our familiar carols have been influenced by traditions of festivity (The Holly and the Ivy, Little Jack Horner, Deck the Halls, Here we come a-wassailing, We wish you a Merry Christmas - with its ambience of carol singing outside stately homes and demands for "figgy pudding", and the Boar's Head Carol, designed for the entertainment of scholars of The Queen's College, Oxford who could not travel home at Christmas because of the bad weather. Some carols have their origin in darker festivities of the year's rebirth, the Winter Solstice, reviving the sun at its weakest point, and the Celtic season of Yule (Winter Solstice, When the Sun's Reborn). Another group of carols have their origins in political and radical events in history (De Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy may have been imported on slave ships from West Africa to Trinidad; Oh Come, All Ye Faithful may be a call to the Catholic Faithful to aid Bonnie Prince Charlie (in the latin version Adeste Fideles "regem angelorum" may be a pun on "regem Anglorum" = King of the English), The Twelve Days of Christmas may be a sort of primer (in the tradition of Green Grow the Rushes, Oh) for Catholic youth written at a time when Catholic instruction was suppressed, and the words of Angels from the Realms of Glory were written by James Montgomery, editor of a radical Sheffield newspaper, who was imprisoned for reporting a street protest in which two people were killed during an attack by the militia). There are even references to winter sporting events (Jingle Bells). For a general discussion on this theme see a recent article by Esther Addley of The Guardian here (© esther.addley@guardian.co.uk 08.12.2010).


Publicity Poster

The Yamaha Clavinova
played by Amanda Wells,
Accompanist of The Alstom Singers,
who had come prepared for the very
cold snowy weather, although the
Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall
had been newly refurbished and was
very warm.
 

The next three photographs are by Rev. Steven Abram:
  

Alstom Singers in the newly-refurbished
Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall 04.12.2010

The choir with
Accompanist Amanda Wells at the Yamaha Clavinova

The choir conducted by
Musical Director Cathy Garside


16.10.10 Concert at Holy Trinity, Eccleshall

A varied programme of classics, folk songs and songs from the shows (play video).

The programme included three songs from ABBA (words and music by Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson & Björn Ulvaeus, arranged by Lin Marsh):
(YouTube videos):
Mama Mia
Money, money, money
Super Trouper


Publicity poster

The Yamaha Clavinova played by Amanda Wells, Accompanist of The Alstom Singers

Members relaxing in the interval

Ready for the second half


15.08.10 Summer Garden Party at Penkridge


 
Sun at last! and Janet's alpacas

08.05.10 Three Choirs Festival, Collegiate Church of St Mary, Stafford

Massed choirs of The Alstom Singers, Cantemus, and Stafford & District Choral Society:

YouTube videos of choral music:
Massed Choirs:
Antonio Vivaldi Gloria
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
I. (SATB) Gloria in excelsis Deo
II. (SATB) Et in terra pax
III. (2S) Laudamus Te
IV. (SATB) Gratias agimus
V. (SATB) Propter magnam gloriam
VI. (S) Domine Deus
VII. (SATB) Domine Fili Unigenite
VIII. (Contralto & SATB) Domine Deus, Agnus Dei
IX. (SATB) Qui tollis
X. (A) Qui sedes ad dexteram
XI. (SATB) Quoniam Tu Solus Sanctus
XII. (SATB) Cum Sancto Spirito

Alstom Singers:

Little Jack Horner (J. Michael Diack, in the style of Handel)
Songs of a Rainbow Nation (South Africa):
Hamba Lulu (Zulu traditional, arranged Alexander L'Estrange. This is a wedding song with words translated as "Listen, Lulu, to all the things they are telling you about getting married")
Jesu ukukhanya (Botswana traditional, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Retro Classics:
Can't take my eyes off you (Words and music by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)
Is this the way to Amarillo? (Words and music by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, arranged Alexander L'Estrange)


The keyboard of Leslie Smith, Musical
Director of Stafford & District Choral Society

St Mary's Crossing Altar, with Alstom
Singers members in the background

Alstom Singers members relaxing in the interval

Members of the audience, including
MP Jeremy Lefroy, and Mayor Jean Tabernor

MP Jeremy Lefroy,
new MP of Stafford, elected 06.05.10

Councillor Jean Tabernor, Mayor of Stafford Borough 2009/2010


24.04.10 Massed Choirs (Alstom Singers, Cantemus, Stafford & District Choral Society)
Rehearsal at Weston Road High School, Stafford


The three choirs in rehearsal at Weston Road High School

Cathy Garside,
Musical Director of Alstom Singers,
conducting Antonio Vivaldi Gloria


16.12.09 Carol Concert at St Leonard's Sports and Social Club, Stafford
in association with The Stafford Orchestra


St Leonard's Sports and Social Club
Image courtesy of Google Earth

Listening to The Stafford Orchestra, and awaiting the next choir item

    Enjoying the buffet after the concert


12.12.09 Carol Concert at Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall


Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall


Concerts are also social events...


    Alstom Singers at Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall 12.12.09
    Photo courtesy of Steven Abram


    Checking the music


05.12.09 Carol Concert at Stafford Rangers, Stafford


    Alstom Singers at Stafford Rangers Football Club 05.12.09


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Send all comments, updates and queries for The Alstom Singers News Archive Page to John Wilcock


Version: 32 06 June 2014 updated by John Wilcock