Priory Church of St Mary Chepstow Monmouthshire Wales



On Saturday, 25th May, 2015, Caldicot Male Voice Choir combined in concert with the Chepstow based Divertimenti Recorder Consort; in order to raise funds for Parkinson’s Research UK. The concert had been arranged by Mr Steve Lewis of the Chepstow and District Parkinson’s Support Group and the venue was the magnificent St. Mary’s Church in lower Chepstow.

The audience was treated to a musical feast of six courses with the choir delivering two well balanced performances of power and precision; either side of a twenty minute showcase of recorder harmony in each half. The sweetly intoned woodwind medleys were provided by the excellent Divertimenti Recorder Consort; the members of which are all from the Chepstow area. The group has been together for three years. They performed two eclectic sets of recorder music which spanned a period of over five hundred years. Musical genres as disparate as the sacred music of the Renaissance composer William Byrd was juxtaposed with the work of twentieth century composer Jelly Roll Morton. Their programme visited many styles of music including Renaissance, Baroque, Folk Song, Jazz, Swing and Latin American Dance.

The choir, under the guidance of Siân Hatton and Shirley Anne James and accompanied by Steve Berry and John Nicholson; provided an amalgam of light and shade throughout its work. The theme for the evening was set as the Choir opened with a rousing rendition of Welsh chapel classic Rachie (I Bob un sydd Ffyddlon) followed immediately by an ethereally light rendition of The Rose (made famous by Bette Midler).

At the conclusion of a wonderfully entertaining evening; the organiser Steve Lewis thanked Caldicot Male Voice Choir and the Divertimenti Recorder Consort for their generous support. A debt of gratitude was also expressed for Rev. Chris Blanchard for the use of the church and the Monmouthshire County Council Passenger Transport Unit (MCC PTU) for providing a coach for the choir. Special thanks are also extended to coach driver Geoff Taylor of MCC (PTU) who voluntarily drove the coach to the concert.


Jeff Williams

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