Concert Archive

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                         Reflections

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 Sing for Heroes….

Urmston Choral raised funds for Charities, Help for Heroes and Broughton House – Home for Ex-Service Men and Women

Two evenings of high emotion and light-hearted music were performed when Urmston Choral joined with Salford Gemini Choir to commemorate the start of the First World War.
Tribute was paid to our Armed Forces through well-loved songs and readings from the First World War and other conflicts.
Julie Parker the Society’s Musical Director said “We tried very hard to capture the feelings of nostalgia and thanksgiving in the programme of music chosen, whilst ensuring the sensitivity of the occasion.”
To lighten the mood, the Choirs sang many up-beat war favourites and there was plenty of fun and audience participation.
The concerts were on Thursday 18 September 2014 – 7.15 p.m. at St Luke’s RC Church, Swinton Park Road, Salford, M6 7WR and on Friday 19 September 2014 – 7.30 p.m. at Flixton Girls’ School, Flixton Road, Urmston, M41 5DR

Highlights of the concert were:-

The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins
Violin Solos by Sarah Jones – Schindler’s List and the Ashokan Farewell
Wherever you are – Paul Mealor
Readings by Actors – SARAT BROUGHTON AND ANTHONY MORRIS
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Only Remembered
The Green Fields of France
Music from Band of Brothers
Glenn Miller Music
The White Cliffs of Dover
I Vow to Thee my Country – There will Always be an England
Bless’em All – Underneath the Arches
Its a Long Way to Tipperary
I’ll make a Man of Any One of You

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A Night at the Opera

URMSTON CHORAL  PERFORM AN  OPERA  SPECTACULAR

“A Night at the Opera” concluded the current season of  Urmston Choral Society’s series of concerts and took place at St. Monica’s Church in Irlam Road, Flixton, on Wednesday, May 7.   It was repeated at St. Werburgh’s Church in Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, on the following Saturday, 10th May, both starting at 7.30pm.

With many classical choruses from well-known operas including the Triumphal Scene (Aida), Hebrew Slaves (Nabucco), Brindisi (La Traviata), Habanera (Carmen) and the Anvil Chorus (Il Trovatore), the concerts were among the best the Choir has ever performed.  Soloists included international opera singer, Nicholas Buxton (tenor), Susan Sawyer and Julie Parker (sopranos) and Pru Caville (alto).

Said the Choir’s Musical Director, Julie Parker: ‘People often think that opera is very high-brow and not for them.  While this type of music is something of a departure from the concerts we normally perform, we have chosen the most popular of the opera classics which many people love, not least because they recognise several of the pieces from television and film advertisements.  The Choir thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing and peforming this event and the magnificence of the evening successfully delivered our  audiences a very special night to remember’.

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Autumn Concert – Songs from the Shows!

Urmston Choral Society ‘roared’ with pride when they performed extracts from The Lion King, the West End hit musical, during their September Serenade concert which took place at Brook Road Methodist Church in Flixton on Wednesday, September 25, starting at 7.30pm.  

Along with other Broadway favourites including Evita and the King and I, the Choir also performed classics such as Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ and music from Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’. 

Julie Parker, the Choir’s Musical Director said that the September Serenade event is our more light-hearted annual concert and incorporates music from many different genres, varying from folk and traditional music to the more modern. 

The George Gerswin music was  arranged by the Choir’s very accomplished pianist, Gareth Curtis who also played a delightful piano solo.  For this concert, the soloists were members of the choir and this highlighted the wealth of talent that exists amongst the group.

This popular show at the Brook Road Methodist Church, Flixton was a sell out and was enjoyed by all.  

The concert was repeated on Saturday 28 September 2013 at Cadishead Primary School, where we were joined by the children from the school.

 

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A Diminished Mass by Alan A Craig.

together with anthems by John Rutter & Bob Chilcott

In April 2013, the choir performed a newly created Mass by Alan A Craig at St Monica’s RC Church in Flixton and at St Weburgh’s in Chorlton, Manchester.  Alan Craig, John Rutter & Bob Chilcott acknowledged our work by signing a coy of our performance programme.

Diminished Mass signed programme 003

Background to the Work

Alan A. Craig is a graduate of the music department of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.  He combines work as a freelance musician with his role as Director of Music at Glasgow’s Langside College.  His output unashamedly aims to engage a wide spectrum of listeners through familiar musical language.

“A Diminished Mass” goes back to 1999, when Alan was commissioned to write a Kyrie and Gloria for the 50th Anniversary of the Helensburgh Dorian Choir.  Following suggestions that these should be expanded into the full setting of a Mass, the complete work gradually took shape over the next few years.  The final catalyst came when Archbishop Mario Conti approached the composer with a view to its premier being included in the celebrations for the re-opening of Glasgow’s St. Andrew’s Cathedral in 2011.

Craig sets the five texts of the Mass continuously and the careful listener will hear several recurring themes which serve to unify the musical structure.  In keeping with its plea from mercy, the opening Kyrie is mainly sombre, building to a climax before returning to the baritone solo with which it opened.  By contrast, most of the Gloria is joyful and dance-like, with a more lyrical mezzo-soprano solo at its centre.

Holding together a text of the sheer length and variety of the Credo text has long been a challenge to composers.  They key to this setting lies in the meditative opening, parts of which melody are transformed in different ways to make up all the other conspicuous themes in the section.  Its final Amen merges into a gentle reminiscence of the main Gloria theme which heralds the Sanctus – surely one of the most beautiful passages in the entire work.  This section is completed by a jazzy, ebullient Hosanna and a gentle Benedictus featuring the tenor and baritone soloists.

A brief allusion to the Hosanna theme links into the Agnus Dei and a return to the more penitential manner of the Kyrie.  Finally, from an impassioned climax on the last appearance of “miserere nobis”,  the music falls back into a relective coda in which the prayer for peace recalls the opening of the work.

The programme for the evening was conducted by Julie Parker and included:-

A Diminished Mass – Alan A Craig – Soloists – Charlotte Morley (soprano), Katharine Brown (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Keens (tenor), Maurice Rushby (baritone), Ken Seal (percussion) and Gareth Curtis (piano).

All things bright and beautiful  – John Rutter

For the beauty of the earth – John Rutter

When daisies pied – Thomas Arne    &  A bay in Anglesey – Madeleine Dring performed by Katharine Brown (Mezzo-Soprano) and Charles Parker (Clarinet).

The Lord’s my shepherd – Bob Chilcott

Arm, arm ye brave – George Frederick Handel and Sea Fever – John Ireland performed by Maurice Rushby (Baritone).

Sing you now – Bob Chilcott

The singing of birds – Bob Chilcott

Look at the World – John Rutter

The Lord bless you and keep you – John Rutter

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Carols from Around the World

Urmston Choral Society sang in Chorlton for the first time on Saturday, 22 December 2012 when they took their festive spectacular “Christmas Around the World” to St Werburgh’s Church in Wilbraham Road.

Featuring Christmas music from such varied and exotic places as Spain, Puerto Rica, China, Germany, Ireland and Venezuela, sung in English, as well as traditional Christmas Carols, the 60-strong mixed voice Choir also sang a new version of Bob Chilcott’s “In the Bleak Midwinter”.  They were joined by soloist Mauric Rushby (bass) with Derrick Cantrell playing the organ and Gareth Curtis accompanying on piano. 

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CHOIR  ‘SING’ IN “SEPTEMBER  SERENADE” CONCERT

‘SING’, THE SONG RECENTLY WRITTEN BY MUSICAL SHOWS PRODUCER, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, AND TAKE THAT STAR GARY BARLOW, WHICH WAS PERFORMED FOR THE QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE SHOW IN JUNE, WAS JUST ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF URMSTON CHORAL’S SEPTEMBER SERENADE CONCERT WHICH TOOK PLACE AT BROOK ROAD METHODIST CHURCH IN FLIXTON ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 2012 

BRINGING THEIR ANNUAL EXTRAVAGANZA UP TO DATE was THE CHOIR’S VERSION OF THE MILITARY WIVES’ HIT ‘WHEREVER YOU ARE’ IN ADDITION TO FAVOURITES FROM WEST END CLASSICS INCLUDING PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, WEST SIDE STORY AND OLIVER, AMONG MANY OTHERS.  THE CHOIR’S ACCOMPANIST, GARETH CURTIS, played fine PIANO DUETS WITH HIS DAUGHTER MIRIAM.

SAID JULIE PARKER, CHOIR CONDUCTOR: “OUR ANNUAL SEPTEMBER SERENADE CONCERT GIVES US THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THE CHOIR’S MUSICAL VERSATILITY WHICH CAN RANGE FROM SOME VERY CHALLENGING SACRED MUSIC TO SONGS WHICH HAVE APPEARED IN THE POP CHARTS.   THIS YEAR SEVERAL OF OUR CHOIR MEMBERS SHOW-CASed SOLOS IN SOME OF THE MUSICALS PERFORMed.  THIS IS A NEW DIMENSION IN THE CHOIR’S DEVELOPMENT WHICH WE ARE ALL VERY EXCITED ABOUT.”

THE CONCERT WAS REPEATED WITH THE CHILDREN FROM CADISHEAD PRIMARY SCHOOL IN ALLOTMENT ROAD, CADISHEAD, ON SATURDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2012.                                  

 

 

Music for a Royal Jubilee

The Majesty of the music played at Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953 was performed by Urmston Choral Society at their Jubilee celebraton concert on Wednesday 18 April 2012 at St Monica’s Church, Flixton and on Saturday 21 April 2012 at St Edmond’s Church, Whalley Range.

The concert included well-know Cornonation pieces and other music with Royal connections including Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Parry’s I Was Glad.  The soloists for both concerts were Beverley Shuttleworth (soprano), Judith Briscall (alto), Kenneth Boyd (tenor) and Maurice Rushby (bass) with Julie Parker (conductor), Derrick Cantrell (organist) and Gareth Curtis  (keyboard).

The combined choirs of Manchester Ladies Choir, Salford Community Choir and Urmston Choral Society along with Werneth Concert Band performed Music for a Royal Jubilee at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Sunday 6 May 2012.

This massed musical line up performed a magnificent evening of pomp and majesty.

Vivaldi’s Gloria
& Christmas Carols   

WEDNESDAY 14  DECEMBER 2011

at St Monica’s RC Church, Irlam Road, Flixton, M41 6QB

AND ……

SATURDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2011

at St Edmund’s Church, Whalley Range, M16 8FS.

Conductor – Julie Parker
Organist – Derrick Cantrell
Soloists: Beverley Shuttleworth (Soprano) and Michaela Parry (Alto)

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September Serenade  2011

This  year’s September Serenade Concert included many favourites from shows such as Les Miserables and My Fair Lady, plus an Abba medley from Mama Mia and songs by Gershwin and Porter.  The guest Soloist was Trefor Davies (tenor).

Concert Dates:-

WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2011 at Davyhulme Methodist Church, Brook Road, Urmston, M41 5RQ.

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SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2011 at Cadishead Primary School, Allotment Road, Cadishead, Manchester, M44 5JD.

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To celebrate Easter this year the Choir performed

Stainers Crucifixion

at St Monica’s Church in Irlam Road, Flixton on Wednesday 13 April 2011 and at St Edmund’s Church in Alexandra Road South, Whalley Range, on Wednesday 20 April 2011.

This famous oratorio is a meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer and was composed by John Stainer in 1887, being first performed in London on Ash Wednesday of the same year.  The most well-known piece from the recital is “God So Loved the World”.  Concert soloists were Alan Watkinson (tenor) and Barrie Wright (bass) who have both sung with the Choir previously.

The performance also included “All in the April Evening” and other Easter favourites, sung in latin, Mozarts’ Ave Verum and Dengler’s “Pacem”.

 

Christmas Concerts 2010
Handel’s Messiah

followed by a programme of

Christmas Carols 

Wednesday 8 December 2010 at 7.30 p.m. at  

St Edmunds Parish Church
Alexandra Road South
WhalleyRange, Manchester, M16 8FS
 &   

Wednesday 15 December 2010 at 7.30 p.m. at

St Monica’s RC Church
Irlam Road, Flixton, Manchester, M41 6QB

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September Serenade 2010

Soloists:
Amity Saxophone Quartet
Members of Choral Society
Accompaniment – Piano – Gareth Curtis
Compere – David Cosham

This concert was a wonderful mix of music from the traditional Miller of Dee arranged by John Rutter to Love is the Sweetest Thing arranged by Ken Lee, culminating in a Beatles Medley arranged by Ed Lojeski.  The Amity Saxophone Quartet joined the Choir in Autumn Leaves arr. Alan Simmons and Don’t it Make my Brown Eyes Blue arranged by Alan Woods.  They also performed several solo arrangements including Moondance arranged by Jon Halton and Jamaican Rumba by Arthur Benjamin.

Wednesday 15 September 2010 at  Christ Church Parish Church, Lostock Road,  Davyhulme, Urmston, Manchester

Wednesday 22 September 2010 at St Hilda’s Parish Church, Warwick Road South, Firswood, Stretford, Manchester
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SATURDAY 8 MAY 2010 :

Charity Songfest at Salford Cathedral

Requiem by Gabriel Faure –
Conducted by Julie Parker
Baritone Solo – Maurice Rushby
Treble – Shaun Kane

Adiemus Songs of Sanctuary –
Conducted by Paul Trimble
Vocal Soloists – Julie Parker (Soprano) & Tricia Rose (Contralto)
Recorder Soloist – Emily McArthur

Performed by: 
Urmston Choral Society
Salford Community Choir

Manchester Ladies Choir
Wigan Community Choir
.

Guest Appearance – Salford Youth Training Choir

All the performers are very grateful to the Diocese of Salford for giving permission to use the Cathedral as a venue for the concert and some of the rehearsals.  The Cathedral was provided free of charge which has enabled all proceeds from concert tickets to be given to hospices in Cheadle, Salford and Wigan. The hospices depend upon voluntary donations and the concert was dedicated to the memory of friends and family.

We appreciate especially the support of Canon Tony McBride in helping us plan for the event.

A double CD recording of the concert will be available for purchase in the near future to help alleviate the considerable cost of putting on the event.  These will be available from Salford Music and Performing Arts Service Office at a cost of £6.00 plus £1.00 P&P.  Please contact the MAPAS office on 0161 778 0256 to purchase your copy.

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April 2010

Requiem by Gabriel Faure’
Baritone : Maurice Rushby
Treble: Shaun Kane
Organist: Derrick Cantrell
Conducted by Julie Parker

Adiemus Songs of Sanctuary by Karl Jenkins
Recorder Soloist : Emily McArthur
Drums: Katharine Brown & Charles Parker
Pianist: Gareth Curtis
Guest Conductor: Paul Trimble

Panis Angelicus – Cesar Franck – performed by Baritone, Maurice Rushby accompanied by Organist, Derrick Cantrell
Let there be Peace on Earth – Jill Jackson Miller & Sy Miller – performed by Treble, Shaun Kane accompanied by pianist, Gareth Curtis
The Trumpet Shall Sound – Handel – performed by Maurice Rushby – accompanied by Organist, Derrick Cantrell

Performed at St Mary’s Church Davyhulme on Wednesday 14 April 2010.
In Memoriam – John Newhill (Deputy Conductor of our Choral Society and much missed friend) 1930 – 2010.

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