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Steventon Choral Society

Concerts in 2007 – 2008

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Saturday 7th June: Summer Concert

Steventon Village Hall

Musical director: Terry Pearce

Pianist: Robert Thomas

This concert of popular music began with a medley of four songs from Jerome Kern's famous musical, Showboat – Why Do I Love You, Make Believe, You Are Love and Ol' Man River. This was followed by a new arrangement by Steven Porter of the haunting Irish favourite, Danny Boy, and two songs from Scotland – Annie Laurie and The Dashing White Sergeant. The choir then took a break as Robert Thomas played the piano solo, Japanese Carnival, by Albert Ketelbey, before singing the Elton John version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Helen Pearce (soprano) performed Wouldn't It Be Loverly and I could Have Danced All Night – two contrasting songs from Lerner and Lowe's musical My Fair Lady. The first half ended with a medley sung by the choir of songs from Les Misérables by Schönberg (At The End Of The Day, I Dreamed A Dream, Castle In The Cloud, Do You Hear The People Sing, On My Own, Bring Him Home and Finale).

The second half began with an old choral favourite, Linden Lea by Ralph Vaughan Williams, followed by novel take on The Complete History of Western Music which featured 15 tunes from across the centuries in approximately three minutes. The audience were invited to write down the names of these tunes; the winner (by some way) got nine of the tunes! Continuing this light-hearted theme John Hunt entertained the audience with some topical anecdotes and the story of Little Aggie the Elephant by Marriott Edgar. The ladies of the choir then sang the traditional Scottish song, An Eriskay Love Lilt, as an interlude before Terry Pearce took up his guitar to lead the audience is a series of hits by Cliff Richard. The choir returned to sing an arrangement of Come To The Fair by Easthope Martin and, in a reprise from Christmas concerts, Going Home – an arrangement set to words of the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony. The concert ended with the audience joining in as the choir became the Black and White Minstrels on Parade with a medley of songs from the first half of the 20th century (I'm Looking Over A Four leaf Clover, In The Twi-Twi-Twilight, I Was A Good Little Girl, Carolina In The Morning, Two Little Girls In Blue, Broadway Melody, Meet Me Tonight In DReamland and Good-Bye-EE.

Easter 2008: The Crucifixion by John Stainer

Performed at different venues and dates around the weekend of Palm Sunday in aid of the various churches

Thursday 13th March: St Mary's Church, East Ilsley

Saturday 15th March: Trinity Church, Conduit Road, Abingdon

Sunday 16th March: St Michael & All Angels, Steventon

The first two performances were a 'sing in' when we were joined by singers from local choirs, with a particularly strong contingent at Abingdon from the choir of St James the Great, Radley.

The final performance at Steventon, presented as an act of devotion on Palm Sunday, was preceded by four short pieces sung by the choir:

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams' setting for the Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1952 of the Old Hundredth (All People That On Earth Do Dwell)
  • Going Home – an arrangement set to words of the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony
  • Steal Away – African-American spiritual
  • A Prayer of St Patrick – words taken from St Patrick's breastplate from the 5th century in a setting by John Rutter

Musical director:




Terry Pearce

Robert Thomas

John Buckley

Leslie Macleod-Miller

Sunday 23rd December: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
St Michael & All Angels, Steventon (with the church choir)
Organist: Robert Thomas

Thursday 20th December: A Grand Christmas Concert

Steventon Village Hall

Musical director: Terry Pearce

Pianist: Robert Thomas

The concert started with the choir singing a jolly Christmas song, Frosty The Snowman, followed by two traditional carols – Deck The Hall and All My Heart This Night Rejoices – and a modern setting by Andrew Gant of the traditional German carol Still Still Still. Following three carols for the audience to join in and get them really in the mood for Christmas, the choir sang an arrangement of The Angel Gabriel. Rebecca Joisce then sang a traditional folk song, What Child Is this? (words by John Stainer to the tune of Greensleeves), accompanying herself on her electronic harp. This was followed by Terry Pearce playing the guitar and singing the Harry Belafonte favourite, Little Donkey. The choir returned to sing Up Good Christen Folk and Silent Night before the first half of the concert ended with the last two pieces from Handel's oratorio, Samson – Let The Bright Seraphim (soloist Helen Pearce) and Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite.

The popular Leroy Anderson song, Sleigh Ride, opened the second half. John Hunt then entertained the audience with a rendition of the Stanley Holloway monologue, Jubilee Sovereign, which tells another story about young Albert Ramsbottom. The spotlight turned to our talented pianist, Robert Thomas, who performed first part, the Prelude, from Debussy's Suite Bergamasque (Claire de Lune is perhaps the most famous part of this suite). The choir returned with two traditional carols – Ding Dong Merrily On high and an arrangement of It Came Upon The Midnight Clear by Barry Rose. Three more carols for the audience followed before a small group (Helen Pearce, Trish Napper, Caroline Miller, Mo Hunt, Gerry Brewer, Jack Jarvis and Terry Pearce) sang one of Peter Skellern's top-tapping Christmas songs from the 1970s, Were You There? The Banquet Fugue by John Rutter provided further musical fun for the choir. The audience sing song of favourite Christmas songs ended with The Twelve Days Of Christmas (choir members joined in the fun by acting out the various parts). Finally the choir sang The Christmas Song (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire) by Mel Torme and Bob Wells (written in 1944 and made popular by Nat King Cole).

Audience carols

First half Second half
God Rest Re Merry Gentlemen Good King Wenceslas
O Little Town Of Bethlehem Hark The Herald Angels Sing
In The Bleak Midwinter O Come All You Faithful

Saturday 15th December: A Grand Christmas Concert

Steventon Village Hall

Musical director: Terry Pearce

Pianist: Robert Thomas

The concert raised£536 for the Oxford group of Headway – a charity that offers support and services to people affected by brain injury

Programme as for the concert on Thursday 20th December


Saturday 8th December: Christmas Festival of Voice & Brass as guests of Abingdon Band

St Helen's Church, Abingdon

Steventon Choral Society sang two groups of four pieces in this annual concert by the Band.

First half: Frosty the Snowman, Sleigh Ride, Christmas Song, Jingle Bells

Second half: All My Heart This Night Rejoices, Deck The Hall, Still Still Still, Ding Dong Merrily On High

Proceeds from the concert were divided between St Helens Church and Abingdon Band


Saturday 6th October: A sing-in of Handel's Messiah in aid of Sir Michael Sobell House, Oxford

Parish Church of St Michael & All Angels, Steventon

Musical director: Terry Pearce

Organist: Robert Thomas

Continuo: Valerie Cooper

Trumpet: Mark Prowen

Soprano: Helen Pearce

Mezzo-soprano: Rebecca Joisce

Tenor: John Buckley

Bass: Leslie Macleod-Miller

A choir of 62 singers made up of members of Steventon Choral Society and friends enjoyed a rousing and uplifting performance of Handel's Messiah in aid of Sir Michael Sobell House in Oxford – one of many events taking place around the world on the same day to raise money for hospices and palliative care units as part of Voices for Hospices 2007.

Thank you for your support.

The sum raised for Sobell House was £850.


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

Front row: Rebecca Joisce, Valerie Cooper, Helen Pearce

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Last updated 28 November 2008