Spring Concert At Coggeshall, 2016

P1030355-ed 1

Jazz Up Spring. St Peter And Vincula Church, Coggeshall with The Joy Ellis Trio. Saturday May 7

Church concert was a truly joyful experience

The jazz trio’s name echoed the mood of this concert, for it was truly joyful experience.

The Wild Mountain Thyme was an example of the new venue’s different acoustics. The church gave a delightfully softer sound to all parts of the choir and clarity to their words.

Stand-in accompanist, Philip Prior, was anything but temporary, in terms of his musicality. His Verdi trills were exquisite and he threw himself into the populist numbers with admirable verve. Continue reading

Singing Of Note At Male Voice Choir Workshop

Men young and old attended a singing workshop organised by Braintree Male Voice Choir.  The award-winning men’s choir was bolstered by 28 first-timers to rehearse five songs, including the Beatles’ favourite “Yesterday”.

Conductor David Wood also led them through “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “The Wild Mountain Thyme”, “Ah Robin ” and “Boats And Planes”.
Continue reading

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

Choirs Have A Grand Night Out In Aid Of Cancer Centre

Review written by Neil D’Arcy-Jones in Colchester Gazette 29 October 2015

It was grand night out for singing and fundraising at St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

The ladies of the Colchester Military Wives Choir joined with Braintree Male Voice Choir to provide a memorable evening of music for their joint ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’ concert. Held to support the Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign, which is backed by the Gazette, the past chairman Sir John Ashworth attended as did the Mayor of Colchester, Theresa Higgins, and her husband Professor Peter Higgins. Continue reading

Filed under Reviews | Words: Mel Hodsdon

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