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Archive 2014

Choir News 2014

Report on our Christmas Cracker Concert - 13 December 2014
Saturday 13 December 2014 - 3.00pm, Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham
Guests: Jaguar Land Rover Band

 
This concert was very favourably received by the capacity audience.  It was our first 'Cracker' with James Llewelyn Jones as Musical Director, and many positive comments were made about the quality of the singing. Those present also appreciated the accomplishment of the band.
 
As someone commented:
"The concert was absolutely terrific.  The band put more body into the choir, but were not too loud. They played so well, no wonder they won a competition. But it was the singers as well. They were great  - one of the best concerts I have been to, and so professionally done. The choir looked and sounded very good."
Alzheimer's Society UK received £400 in the bucket swing afterwards, a very generous response from the audience.


This was our first Christmas Cracker concert with James Llewelyn Jones as Musical Director and it was a great success.  The choice of music was very varied, and the format of the concert was much enjoyed, especially a reading of 'The Cleckheaton Messiah' by one of the choir members.  Our soloist, Alexandra Stait, sang beautifully and the Jaguar Land Rover Band provided a great programme of festive entertainment.  The choir, despite some doubts early in the day, rose to the occasion and exceeded all expectations.  The whole performance was thoroughly enjoyed by participants and audience alike.
This was our last concert in the Adrian Boult Hall before the Conservatoire moves to Millenium Point in 2017.  We have really enjoyed all the concerts we have held there and would like to thank the staff for their help and support with putting on our events.  We look forward to performing in the new venue at some point in the future.
 
Report on our  Trip to Liverpool - July 2014
 Members of the Choir travelled to Liverpool for  a weekend away on Friday 18 July, performing a concert in the Church of St Matthew and St James in Mossley Hill, with the Liverpool Festival Chorus, under the direction of Colin Porter, Organist and Choir Master.  On the way to Liverpool we stopped off at the fascinating Port Sunlight, in many ways reminiscent of Bournville Village.  We had a warm welcome from our hosts at Mossley Hill who really enjoyed our concert and complimented us on the standard of our singing.  All members enjoyed the weekend and the opportunity to visit Liverpool and its many attractions.   

 Report on our Summer Charity Concert in the Ruddock Hall - 12 July 2014

 Our  Concert in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association was a great success, winning much praise from the audience for the quality of the singing and of our guests, Jodie Smith, who entranced everyone with her outstanding virtuosity and youthful vigour on the violin and Dodderhill School Choir, ages 6 to 18, who sang beautifully.  Our soloist, Alex Stait, who is a member of Phoenix Singers, also gave an excellent performance of her chosen pieces and Charles Matthews on the organ gave a rousing start to the proceedings with his fanfare.
 
This was our first concert with our new Musical Director, James Llewelyn Jones and we performed items such as Zadok the Priest by Handel; a Spiritual, Ride the Chariot; a setting of a traditional Hebrew text, 'Ose Shalom', particularly fine renditions of Nkosi Sikelel Iafrica and The Rhythm of Life, and pieces commemorating the beginning of World War 1.  Many of these were sung from memory, a prospect which filled many of us with apprehension, but on the day produced excellent results.  Many regular audience goers felt that this was our best concert to date.  A wonderful debut for our new Conductor. 
 
The audience were very appreciative of the Ruddock Concert Hall with its wonderful vision and accoustic and its feeling of intimacy, despite a capacity of over 400 in the audience.  We were delighted to be able to sing here and will return for Christmas 2015.
Our March concert in Bournville, The Armed Man - A Mass for Peace - by Karl Jenkins, was a great success.       The audience were full of praise for the performance.
 This was in part a sad occasion for the choir, as Matt Beckingham, our Musical Director for the last eight years, was moving on.  After the performance, there were presentations and speeches, as we  wished  Matt all the best for the future and welcomed our new Musical Director, James Llewelyn Jones.
Click on this link for more information about The Armed Man. 

Phoenix Singers originally performed this work in the Town Hall in June 2009 to much critical acclaim. We were delighted to be able to perform the work again in the wonderful surroundings of St Francis of Assisi Church in Bournville, a local venue near to where we rehearse. 
The DVD of The Armed Man was running as the choir performed this very moving and emotional piece. The scenes depicted complement the music and bring home the horror of war and conflict. This piece was written by Karl Jenkins for the Millenium, in the hope of a more peaceful world in the 21st century, but we are still waiting to see this.
The Church was full and the audience very complimentary in their comments at the end, though some did find it difficult to watch some of the DVD. 
We hope that our local community knows a little more about Phoenix Singers following this concert