Summer Concert on the 17th June 2017 at Hathersage Memorial Hall A Wright Good Sing A programme including works by Handel, Bowie, Vaughn Williams, Cohen and Queen with soloists John Shaw, Stuart Gordon, Anna Dutch and the Wright Family. We were all aware that this was Andrea's last concert with us and we were determined to make it an enjoyable successful evening. Our efforts bringing Bohemian Rhapsody to our audience were astoundingly well received much to our relief and surprise.
The Last Concert - A review written by Roger Hilyer
Bohemian Rhapsody is hard to sing. It involves bar after bar in imitation of the sound of guitars, interspersed with chunks of incomprehensible text. It was Andrea Wright’s last evening as Musical Director of the Hathersage Choir. She took the precaution of advising the audience that the choir had not had enough rehearsal time for the complex interweaving of sound that the piece calls for. Minutes later she was shaking her fists in triumph. There was evidently at least some interweaving. Tumultuous applause washed over the choir even as the tenors were singing their final, plaintive “Any way the wind blows”. The choir sang an unexpected Thank you for the music, Andrea listened in tears Andreas' concerts provided a platform for local young musicians. On this occasion Anna Wright contributed to her family’s traditional songs and tunes and Anna Dutch’s voice blended beautifully with the choir in the Rodgers and Hammerstein medley. The posh frock added to the joys of the occasion. The choir provided two soloists. Bring him home is a simple, heartfelt prayer with no repetition, no elaboration, and no clamour. It was beautifully sung by Stuart Gordon who gave space for both the melancholy and the dignity of the piece. The choir repertoire depends heavily on Paul Robeson and American spirituals and Count John McCormack and Irish ballads. John Shaw delivered these quite different traditions in effortless style. Andrea’s rehearsal style is dynamic, constantly on the move, communicating through an impressive repertoire of gestures and facial expressions. There is communication in the way she bends her knees and stamps her feet. Her wit is the lubricant of the rehearsals. A hapless youth, blundering into the room was greeted with “You’re a man!” Andrea used to perform an exaggerated mime of a chorister burying her nose in the score and then peering round in bewilderment, having lost the place. Expostulation spilled over into exasperation, however, with, "Surely you don’t need the score to sing Do Re Me!" She had an inexhaustible supply of anecdotes, drawn from three generations of her apparently quirky family and from teaching music in a comprehensive school, supported by Ofsted. We would relax to listen to the stories but we had to be ready afterwards for brisk instructions. The choristers who forgot that both bars and pages have numbers, and that bar 27 might not be on page 27, were teased mercilessly. If this concert was the last collaboration between Andrea and the pianist, Carol Reid, that’s a pity. To watch the telepathic communication between the two was a joy. It often seemed that Carol had her fingers on the keys before Andrea had formulated the request. Then Andrea would advise “Don’t do what I say, do what I’m thinking.” We wish her joy in everything she takes on but implore her not to take on too much.
Hathersage Choir Concert, June 17, 2017 A "Wright" Good Sing Choir - Art thou troubled? G F Handel, arr. H A Chambers, from the opera Rodelinda Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert, arr. Ed Lojeski Soloist - John Shaw Go own Moses, trad. spiritual Some enchanted evening, Rodgers and Hammerstein Pride of Tipperary, A Lockhead Choir - Hallelujah, L Cohen, arr. R. Emerson Chris, Andrea and Anna Wright, traditional songs and tunes, Choir - Life on Mars, D. Bowie Bring Him Home, Schonberg, arr. Crookall, from the opera Les Miserables, soloist Stuart Gordon Choir - Rodgers and Hammerstein on Broadway, arr. Mac Huff, Soloist: Anna Dutch Chris, Andrea and Anna Wright, traditional songs and tunes Choir - Speed Your Journey, G. Verdi Linden Lea, Ralph Vaughan Williams, arr. A. Somervell Chris, Andrea & Anna Wright, traditional songs and tunes, Choir - Bohemian Rhapsody, F Mercury arr. A Raugh & D Sharon Thank you for the music, ABBA You raise me up, B Graham & R Lovland, arr. R Emerson