The Blockley Blokes Choir

February 17, 2023

“Since Music is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing”.

 Thus said the composer William Byrd in 1588.  Had Mr Byrd been at the Methodist Church in Shipston last Friday he would have witnessed an event that would have gladdened his heart! The first of our monthly meetings for 2023 featured the Blockley Blokes – a choir of 28 members – all men who like to sing. Their varied program began with “Send Down a Song for Me” by Terry Rigler, a member of Bournemouth Male Voice Choir and, from the opening phrase, the choir sang confidently with clear diction. After a duet from “The Magic Flute”  by Mozart, we heard “Calon Lan” arr. by Edmund Walters. Closing one’s eyes one was transported to the Llangollen Eisteddfod by the classic sound of the male voice choir. A lovely performance. After items from “Carousel” and “South Pacific”, the first half ended with “When the Saints go Marching In” arranged by Dennis Hood – a tribute as he died last year aged 70.

The second half of the evening began with a very confident rendition of “Do you Hear the People Sing?” followed by a heartfelt performance of “Bring Him Home”, both from “Les Miserables”. The ability of the choir to switch immediately from the strong, powerful theme of the first to the yearning sadness of the second was impressive. “Some Blokes Do” by Stephen Foster was sung with gusto and a chorus from “The Yeomen of the Guard” (Gilbert and Sullivan) brought us to the final item.  “Gwahoddiad”, a Welsh hymn of American origin providing a perfect finale to an evening of contrasting songs, from the gentle soothing ones to the energetic, toe-tapping ones. It was a most enjoyable evening performed by “Men Who Sing”! We hope that they will return in the future.

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