Variety the keyword

MONIFIETH Singers completed their session with an excellent Spring Concert last Sunday in St Rules Church, Monifieth, before an appreciative audience.

Put through their paces by musical director, Misia Paul, the choir provided an enjoyable and varied programme, ably accompanied by Susan Jenkin on piano and Sheonagh Coutts, organ. Introductions and narrative were provided by Susan Taylor.

‘Let Trumpets Sound’, the rousing chorus by Eric Thiman introduced the concert, with a promise of what was to come.

The first group of songs were hits from the past and included Levine and Brown’s ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon, round the Ole Oak Tree’. The feet tapping commenced as the male sections excelled with the two-beat melody. Next, we were given a lovely rendition of the Stickles arrangement of ‘Summertime’, from Gershwin’s show, ‘Porgy and Bess’. This time, it was the swaying of heads keeping in time to the haunting lines. Lastly, the choir took us dancing, with the nostalgic ‘Waltz of my Heart’, from another 1930s show, Ivor Novello’s, ‘The Dancing Years’.

A Scottish selection followed. The first piece in this group of three was ‘An Coineachan’ or ‘Fairy Lullaby’ as it is commonly known in English.

Next the ladies of the choir entertained with ‘The Hermaiden’s Song’, arranged by Roberton, and with Susan Jenkin providing the melody line. Very well sung ladies! The last song was another Gaelic melody, a Puirt-A-Beul or mouth music, ‘Ubhi, Abhi’.

Another solo, this time by tenor, George Mitchelson, was ‘Panis Angelicus’.

Three more melodies of differing provenance. Nancy Price and Don Besig took the two well-known American ballads, ‘Across the Wide Missouri’ and ‘Shenandoah’, and combined them to give us, ‘Cross the Wide Missouri.

We have grown to enjoy the ‘Vicar of Dibley’. The theme tune from the series, Howard Goodall’s ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ was next and very well sung. Last in the group was ‘You Raise me Up’, the Rolf Løvland’s song from 2002.

Gladys Tennant entertained next with a lovely rendering of a ‘Wee Hughie’.

Back to the choir. Mancini’s ‘Moon River’ was next. The male section provided the lead in Warnick’s arrangement, and with the required wistful and steady beat. Another 1960s number followed, ‘Yesterday’ by the Beatles. And last in this group, another piece from the 1930s and sung in the same style was Jerome Kern’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’.

Time for a duet: ‘Ye banks and Braes o’Bonnie Doon’, the poignant song by Burns was well captured by Douglas Lang and Liz Pardoe.

There followed three spirituals. In the first, ‘Down by the Riverside’ the words were complemented beautifully by the setting by John Rutter. The second item in this group was the lovely negro spiritual ‘Were You There?’. The arrangement chosen was by Roberton for three male parts. Sung ‘a capella’, it provided the singers with opportunity to provide the required sensitivity. The last song was ‘Rock-A My Soul’ which was delivered in the strict tempo set out.

Gladys Tennant and Susan Jenkin chose the lovely Canzonetta sull’aria, the ‘Letter Duet’ from Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ which was well sung by two matching voices.

The concert finished with a non-stop selection of all the favourites from ‘The Sound of Music’.

So ended another evening of excellent entertainment from the Monifieth Singers. The performance on the night reflected the many evenings of practice put in during the winter months, and also the care chosen with the programme.

Thanks were extended to all who had helped by president, George Mitchelson, who had provided closing remarks and who invited guests to join with the choir in some après concert refreshments.