Over 50 choristers arrived at the picturesque and select Marriott St Pierre Hotel and Country Club to entertain over one hundred employees of Surgo, a Tyneside Construction Company, at the 19th hole. The audience was soon silenced and distracted from their after dinner conversations to listen awestruck to rousing choruses of Rachie and Llanfair and to the more sedate, but tuneful renditions of favourites such as You Raise Me Up, May You Always Have a Song and Can’t Help Falling in Love among others. We finished with a stirring encore presentation of O Gymru. Tommy’s solo was one of the best. Music Director for the evening was Shirley Ann James, who as usual led superbly from the front and the accompanist was the ever excellent Stephen Berry.
Such was the professionalism of the choristers that they weren’t distracted for a second by a flying coffee cup over the back of Surgo’s chairman, nor by the attempted shoulder charge of a tiny waitress carrying coffee and tea on Shirley Ann while she was trying to conduct us. In the best traditions of the Welsh, Shirley Ann stood firm under pressure and didn’t bat an eyelid.
After the short concert, we retired back to the bar where the beer flowed freely to enjoy an excellent afterglow appreciated by many of our Surgo audience, particularly one lady who took an instant liking to Tommy and John (and maybe one or two other choristers who are not saying anything). All in all, from the excellent singing at the performance to the friendly banter afterwards, a really enjoyable night was had by all.