I have had the pleasure of attending a Lenborough Singers concert for many years now and watched a dedicated group or people become a very successful and highly motivated choir due to the efforts of the choir director/musical accompaniment and it is self evident many hours of rehearsals.
They perform choral music from the classics and popular repertoire intertwined by solo performances by choir members which adds to the pleasure of the evening.
The short intermission presents a great opportunity to meet members of the choir and get to know more people. Over the years they have collected a great deal of money for worthwhile charities and thoroughly recommend attending their exceedingly popular and entertaining evenings.
- Patrick Leake
Regarding Spring Concert 2023
Lenborough Singers @ St. Bernardine's:
Ed Grimsdale attended its Spring Concert on 27th March 2023. It was dedicated to the late Reverend Bob Willmott who had taken a solo part in an earlier choir performance of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
The first half was a pot-pourri of tasty morsels. I was delighted that Sarah Wakeman, the Choral Director chose to start with ‘As Long as I Have Music' which her choir sang with élan and warmth, and without music-they had learned all its lyrics and notes. They were responding from their hearts to Sarah's clear direction and that immediacy and togetherness communicated to a packed an enthusiastic audience . My word was the choir's diction clear and that standard was maintained through a long afternoon. The choir told stories which the audience lapped up - I could chuckles in ‘real' time from all around me, the audience were ‘on message'. I was very impressed that the Singers sang an African setting of the Lord's Prayer [Babu Yetu] in Swahili as if they has been born and bred in Soweto. One of Ms Wakeman's great strengths is that she possesses a keen sense of rhythm and communicates that wonderfully well to her choir. Splendid work.
Onwards- through a duet for two soloists and guitar that told a sad tale from the first World War with moving simplicity, through White Winter Hymnal, a pentatonic piece which is accompanied by a rhythm track created by the singers slapping and tapping their bodies, to pieces that starred ‘ladies who read' a.k.a contraltos, and others who ‘love to hug and hold the tune' i.e. soppy sopranos. The audience roared over two humorous pieces, with one, a skit on the Church of England, having them ‘rolling in the aisles'. The first half ended with another number from the full chorus sung entirely from memory. It produced the best performance of the evening with the singers putting their trust in the expressive hands of their conductor, and Sarah forging a fine interpretation that was far greater than the sum of its parts. Choirs who sing from memory stay together.
A feature of the Lenborough Singers is that they integrate their ‘Good Cause' into their Events. The Charity for today's two concerts was the South Central Ambulance Service Charity and we heard a brief introduction to their invaluable work which is carried out by volunteers.
The long second half (Yes, it was ‘squeaky bum time' by its end) was Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's popular JOSEPH AND AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. It was performed with panache and pizzazz and it contained plenteous opportunities for fine solo contributions by choir members. When I saw the technicolour waistcoat, I thought: gosh they've stolen it from Councillor Robin, a.k.a. Bandana man. My image taken from my seat as the choir assembled shows the ‘elephant in the room': poor sight-lines for much of the audience. Sitting bolt upright for almost 2.75 hours is very tiring. Even so, we missed lots of ‘bits of business'. What a shame. I have concentrated on the Choir and its Leader in this report. The multiplicity and variety of individual contributions exceeds my ability to be fair to them if I were to comment on each. I will just say ‘well done' and end by saying that this Choir creates marvellous, enjoyable concerts and presents them with flair and care. They are at the top of their game