Christmas Concert Full Of Festive Delights Is A Sell Out

Christmas Concert, Braintree Male Voice Choir and the Essex Police Band. Braintree Arts Theatre. December 5

I was thrilled to see, at the start of this successful, sold-out show, that Musical Director, David Wood is encouraging his choir to abandon scores where possible and focus their attention on his precise conducting, Exemplified in My Lord What A Morning and well on the way in Softly As I Leave You, it paid dividends. Continue reading

Sing And Swing, Braintree Arts Theatre

Experienced musician, David Woods, quickly established his role as the new Musical Director of BMVC, in this beautifully-programmed concert. His firm conducting was impressive, especially in his endings. He built on the choir’s confidence with successful songs from their repertoire, like Bui Doi. Tenors hit the high notes of Nessun Dorma while the Anglo-Italian drinking song, Viva Tutti was a joy, as the singers sustained its a cappella tempo. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“Children Steal The Show At Christmas”

Christmas choir

Braintree Male Voice Choir and Lyons  Hall Primary School Choir’s Christmas Concert. Braintree Arts Theatre. December 6.

What a delightful Christmas present.

The 40 plus bright-eyed children, aged from seven to eleven, invited to perform instead of the customary band, stole the show. They even had their own woodwind and percussion.

Musical director Rachel Pritchard obtained so much from her charges, from an action song in French to the sweet harmony attempts in the second half. Continue reading

“Maiden Voyage Was A Musical Success For New Director”

Steve applauding audiences Sloop John B ed2A new Musical Director, Stephen Rumsey, at the helm and songs from around the world reflected this concert’s title.

The ebullient conductor achieved plenty of volume from his choir and reliable solo lines from baritone and newly-elected Deputy Director David Wood.

‘Viva Tutti’ worked a treat scoreless. Likewise ‘The Sally Gardens’ should have been successful but a false start affected the rest of that set. However, audience participation in a Beach Boys number and lovely dynamics in ‘The Way We Were’ soon had the musical ship back on course. ‘Away From The Roll Of The Sea’ was my highlight. Knowing that David Kelly’s father had served on Arctic Convoys, added an emotional frisson to the number’s finely balanced delivery. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“Swinging Christmas, Christ Church, Braintree”

‘Braintree Male Voice Choir & The Sweeting Swing Band 7th December 2013. Christ Church, Braintree’

This was Musical Director Elizabeth Miller’s swansong with her choir. However, that it was programmed with a Swing band, made it an uplifting rather than a sombre occasion.
The singers did what they have learnt to do over the 25 years of Elizabeth’s guidance. They entertained with often breath-taking harmonies & delightful visual effects. What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor illustrates this & they were on splendid form with it. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“Choir And Brass Combine To Make It A Wonderful World”

‘It’s A Wonderful World’ Concert, Saturday, May 11 2013, Christ Church, Braintree. Braintree Male Voice Choir and Simply Brass.

What a superb combination these two groups make in concert. Instrumentalists in a small ensemble have to be good and Simply Brass were.

Tico Tico best summed up their talents. Soloist Jordan Carpenter began this catchy, syncopated tune. Then something I’ve never seen or heard before, two trumpeters played into the bells of tuba and horn, to create a delightful sound. Immediately after this, Braintree Male Voice Choir hit the musical jackpot. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“Choir And Guests Bring Festive Cheer”

Christmas Concert, Thursday 6 December, Christ Church, Braintree. Braintree Male Voice Choir and In Cahoots.

As befitted the nature of this concert, full-throated choir, brass quintet and lusty audiensinging made a fine carol finale.

Before this, the biggest applause of the night went to an unusual Twelve Days Of Christmas and an unseasonal, but now universally popular, Nessun Dorma. The first half closed strongly too, with Autumn Leaves and the jaunty, action-packed, This Little Light Of Mine. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“This Choir Knows The Score”

Last Night Of The Proms Concert with Essex Police Band, Saturday May 12th, Braintree Arts Theatre.

Hooray! Hooray! At last members of this lovely choir sang without their scores. And what a success it was when we were able to see singing develop from the feet up. All eyes were on clever .musical director Elisabeth Miller, who charismatically controlled the action.

Even though we got a hilarious high-kicking chorus line in Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue, there was no playing to the gallery. Another innovative, effective number was Troyte’s chant of Eli Jenkins’ prayer. Six or so notes were hypnotic. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins

“Male Voice Working Its Magic”

Braintree Male Voice Choir Christmas Concert with Clacton Co-operative Band, Thursday December 8th, Christ Church, Braintree.

The opening number of this concert, With A Voice Of Singing, could not have been more apt. It illustrated the tonal qualities that have made Braintree Male Voice Choir so identifiable.

The second set was an absolute joy. Accompanist Hilary Morgan had done a fine job arranging Bethlehem for her singers, but it was the two penultimate numbers that revealed them at their lyrical best. Director Elisabeth Miller ensured that the poignantly familiar seasonal songs worked their magic. The Italian Pipers’ Carol and O Holy Night proved the power of music to transcend daily life. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Pat Rudkins