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Steventon Choral Society

Concerts in 2005 - 2006

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Saturday 10th June: A Summer Celebration with Steventon Choral Society

Steventon Village Hall

Musical Director: Terry Pearce

Pianist: Robert Thomas

Guests: John Buckley (tenor), Cameron Hunter (guitar) and Paul Hunter (bass guitar)

The first half of the concert featured two solos from John Buckley (Lo, 'Tis the Day by Leoncavallo and I'll Walk Beside You by Murray), a monologue from John Hunt and a selection of traditional choral pieces:

  • Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
  • The Ash Grove
  • Londonderry Air
  • All Though the Night (Ar Hyd Y Nos) – first verse sang in Welsh by Rebecca Joisce
  • I Leave My Heart In An English Garden (ladies only)
  • Deep Harmony
  • How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings
  • Flow Gently Sweet Afton

Steventon Choral Society singing in Steventon Village Hall at its summer concert June 2006

The first half ended with Oom-Pah-Pah from Oliver by Lionel Bart sung by Helen Pearce (soprano) accompanied by a colourful troupe of dancers, with support from Gerry Brewer and Tom Hartley.


Dancers for Oom Pah Pah

Dancers: Diana Bowder, Caroline Miller, Hayley Binch, Joyce Huddleston, Rebecca Joisce and Frances Broadbent

Choreographer: Hayley Binch

The concert marked 25 years with Terry Pearce as Musical Director of Steventon Choral Society. Terry chose the programme for the second half to reflect the music over the last 25 years and it began with some rock'n'roll as a reminder of 'previous' life.

Terry and guests Cameron Hunter and Paul Hunter (bass guitar) begin the session playing Johnny B Goode on their guitars for dancers Hayley Binch and Tom Hartley. Cameron Hunter then took the spotlight with Nights in White, followed by all three (Terry, Cameron and Paul) playing Blues.

Hayley and Tom dance while Terry, Cameron and Paul play Johnny B Goode

Johnny B Goode (dancers: Hayley Binch and Tom Hartley)

Applause for Cameron Hunter (guitar)

Applause for Cameron Hunter

One of the first things Terry did when he became Musical Director in 1981 was to introduce the choral society to the music of Gilbert & Sullivan. Some short excerpts from The Gondoliers (or the King of Barataria) by Gilbert & Sullivan featured the choir, a quartet (Diana Bowder, Salma Azmeh, Terry Pearce and Tom Hartley) with solos from Rebecca Joisce (Frametta), Julia Litt (Tessa), Helen Pearce (Gianetta), Terry Pearce (Antonio) and guest tenor John Buckley (Marco).
Rebecca Joisce
Julia Litt
Helen Pearce
Terry Pearce
John Buckley
Another change was songs from modern musicals such as the two the choir now sang — Love Changes Everything from Aspects of Love by Andrew Lloyd Webber and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. John Buckley then returned for his final solo, La Donna e Mobile by Verdi, before the choir sang An American Trilogy (a compendium arranged by Mickey Newbury and made popular by Elvis Presley) – a medley of three 19th century songs (Dixie, The Battle Hymn of the Republic and All My Trials).
A series of surprises then followed for Terry with short speeches from chairmen (Gerry Brewer, Ray Brewer and John Hunt) during his time as Musical Director and the award to him by the present chairman, Caroline Miller, of honorary life membership of Steventon Choral Society. Gerry was the chairman who asked Terry to become Musical DIrector of Steventon Choral Society; Ray told of Terry's innovations of entering music festivals to improve the choir's singing (we won twice at the North Berks) and singing with an orchestra (now alas too expensive).

John Hunt recalled the famous night in 2000 when Terry got the change to conduct a choir of thousands in a performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. In memory of his Big Night at the Royal Albert Hall. Terry was then asked to take up his baton and conduct Steventon Choral Society singing this famous piece.

The concert ended with Helen and Terry Pearce singing the duet, People Will Say We're In Love, and the choir singing Oklahoma from Rodgers and Hammerstein's famous musical.

At the party after the concert, choir members celebrated with a cake and bubbly.

Helen and Terry Pearce singing People Will Save We're In Love from Oklahoma

Helen & Terry's duet

Cake made by choir member Norma Thouless to celebrate Terry's 25 years as musical director of Steventon Choral Society

Cake by choir member Norma Thouless


Sunday 9th April: Sacred Music for a Spring Evening

St Michael and All Angels Church, Steventon

Conductor: Tim Sandford

Organist: Robert Thomas

The choir expresses its thanks to Tim at the end of the concert

We are very grateful to Tim Sandford for agreeing to travel up from Wales at short notice to conduct the concert in the sudden illness of our musical director, Terry Pearce. Tim, whose family live in Steventon, has a long association with Steventon Choral Society and was, at one time, its deputy musical director.

The concert offered a feast of well-known choral pieces mixed with excerpts from Bach's Jesu Priceless Treasure and six anthems by John Rutter.

Proceeds from the concert will go to purchase new hymn books for the Church

The choir express their thanks to Tim Sandford for stepping in at the last minute to conduct

First half

John Rutter For the Beauty of the Earth
John Rutter God Be in My Head
Bizet Agnus Dei
Brahms How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings
from the Requiem
Bob Chilcott Irish Blessing
JS Bach Jesu Priceless Treasure
  (1) Choral
  (2) Chorus
  (3) Choral
  (4) Trio
Helen Pearce, Diana Bowder and Salma Azmeh
  (10) Quartet
Helen Pearce, Diana Bowder, Salma Azmeh and Alex Freeman
  (11) Choral

Second half

Haydn The Heavens are telling
from The Creation
Mascagni O Rejoice That The Lord Has Arisen!
Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana
Mozart Ave Verum Corpus
Douglas E Wagner And No Bird Sang
Beethoven Creation's Hymn
Handel Ye Men of Gaza – solo by Helen Pearce
from Samson
John Rutter Look At The World
John Rutter A Clare Benediction
John Rutter The Peace of God

Thursday 13th December and Saturday 15th December: Christmas is Coming

Steventon Village Hall

Musical director: Terry Pearce

Pianists: Debbie Jordan (first half) and Robert Thomas (second half)

The proceeds of £560 from the Saturday concert were donated to the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust. At the beginning of the concert, the charity's Oxfordshire Area Fundraiser Glyn Lewis thanked the audience for their support and told them something about its work.

'We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas' ... led the choir into a setting of the old rhyme Christmas is Coming, the Geese are Getting Fat to set the scene for this year's Christmas Concert. Then a change in mood with an anthem by John Rutter – For the Beauty of the Earth. After three audience carols, Rebecca Joisce (soprano) led the choir in Gaudete! Gaudete! Christus est natus. This was followed by two carols – So Gentle the Donkey and Sleep Holy Child – by the choir . Our two pianists came together for a piano duet before the choir sang two pieces – Christmas Day by Gustav Holst and The Shepherd's Farewell by Hector Berlioz –.from composers prehaps better known for their orchestral works. At the Thursday concert this was followed by Wendy Moore (alto) singing The Snowman and, at the Saturday concert as a standin in for Wendy, by John Hunt giving his updated version of the Flander's and Swann monologue, All About the Weather. The first half of the concert closed with three more audience carols and the choir singing a song about that popular character, Frosty the Snowman.

The second half opened with a rousing Christmas carol from the choir, On This Day Earth Shall Ring, and a contrasting lullaby, Sleep My Saviour Sleep. Helen Pearce (soprano) then sang The Road to Bethlehem and John Hunt told us about the fate of the Christmas Pudding treasured by Private Sam Small, a soldier in the Duke of Wellington's Peninsula army in Spain. Three more audience carols were followed by a piano solo (a Joplin rag) by Robert Thomas and the choir singing two contrasting pieces – Gounod's Ave Maria and Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre (a Christmas chart-topper in 1978).

The concert ended with three Christmas songs for the audience to enjoy and, on the Thursday evening, with Handel's Zadok the Priest.

At the end of the Saturday concert, the choir said goodbye to our pianist for the last four years, Debbie Jordan, with a presentation of a music stand and three songs especially for her – Thank You for the Music (with special words), Auld Lang Syne and Land of My Fathers in Welsh (the verses were sung by another Welsh lady Rebeeca Joisce and choir joined in with the chorus). Robert Thomas has returned to take over from Debbie as our pianist, having played for the choir for two years before he went to study music at university.


Audience carols: first half

We Three Kings

Ding Dong Merrily On High

The Holly and the Ivy

Good King Wenceslas

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

I Saw Three Ships

Audience carols: second half

O Come All Ye Faithful

Once in Royal David's City

Silent Night

Jingle Bells

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

White Christmas


Saturday 8th October: Mendelssohn's Elijah
St Matthew's Church, Harwell

Steventon Choral Society and friends formed a choir of 56 singers to support Voices for Hospices 2005 with this sing-in of highlights from Elijah. Programme

The concert raised £1376 for Sir Michael Sobell House, Oxford.

Musical director: Terry Pearce
Organist: Robert Thomas
Continuo: Debbie Jordan
Guest soloists: John Buckley (tenor) and Leslie Macleod-Miller (baritone)
Soloists: Helen Pearce (soprano), Rebecca Joisce (mezzo-soprano) and Wendy Moore (contralto)
Soloists after Elijah - as sing-in by Steventon Choral Society for Voices for Hospices 2005 Society

After the concert

Back row: John Buckley, Terry Pearce, Robert Thomas and Leslie Macleod-Miller

Front row: Wendy Moore, Debbie Jordan, Helen Pearce and Rebecca Joisce

Soloists with members of the quartets and trios

Back row: Tom Hartley, Bert Branker, John Hunt, Gerry Brewer, John Buckley, Terry Pearce, Robert Thomas, Leslie Macleod-Miller, Alex Freeman and Rachel Vevers (Jack Jarvis also sang)

Front row: Joyce Huddleston, Janet Money, Wendy Moore, Debbie Jordan, Helen Pearce, Rebecca Joisce, Diana Bowder, Salma Azmeh and Trish Napper

Soloists and principals - Steventon Choral Society present Elijah for Voices for Hospices 2005

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Last updated 28 November 2008