Director’s Notes November 2009

I hope all of you who were at our performance of Haydn’s Creation earlier this year (either performing, or just as importantly as a member of the audience) enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a great all round effort from the choir in the dramatic and energetic choruses, the soloists bringing the characters to life with real engagement and of course the North Wales Philharmonia in fine form. My thanks must also go to Tim Stuart who was until recently our accompanist, but had to leave having taken on the directorship of Ellesmere Port Music Society Choir. Tim played continuo in a colourful way at our performance and he has invited me to do likewise at Ellesmere Port on Saturday 14 November – so I hope to see you there.

Back to St Asaph, via Ruthin, though and we are gearing up to lead a Messiah in the form of a come and sing event at St Peter’s Ruthin on Saturday 7 November. I will be taking the organ bench and The Rev. Philip Barnet is our guest conductor. Philip has done events like this throughout his career and it will be a pleasure to have him on board.

In December, we have of course our main concert on Saturday 12th at St Asaph Cathedral, which is Acis and Galatea set to music by Handel. Here we depart from our usual sacred theme and enjoy this good yarn complete with the monster Poypheme! A good easy listen and whilst not terribly well known this is glorious music both for soloists and choir alike.

In the March concert in 2010, we return to the religious repertoire with the ‘Crucifixion’ set to music by Sir John Stainer, formerly of St Paul’s Cathedral. Whilst not as profound as other settings of the Passion, it speaks clearly and sincerely and appropriately, we sing this on the eve of Palm Sunday. The second part of the concert will in a way look to Easter as we give the premiere of Paul Hicks’ Celebration Mass – Paul is on of our multitalented tenors and those who know him will tell you of his musical skill and enthusiasm.

If that is not enough for you, then you could celebrate Colwyn Choral Society’s 50th anniversary by coming to a very rare performance of the Berlioz Te Deum at St Paul’s, Colwyn Bay on 5 December, which I will be conducting. Do get a ticket in advance, though – it could well be a sell out!

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Graham Eccles