St George's Day Concert 3pm 22nd April 2012
The Rotary Club of Rochdale held it's annual concert at the Heywood Civic hall on Sunday 22nd April .To a full house and rapt audience, the Ashton-under-Lyne Brass band and the Rossendale Male Voice Choir gave a stirring and very enjoyable programme .
Under the vigorous direction of conductor Steven Beardsmore the band started with a sparkling ‘Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man’, with further highlights being a flugel horn solo by Clare Chalk in Chuck Mangione's ‘Children of Sanchez’. A reflective start by Clare led on to a rhythmic and increasingly exciting musical ending. Another memorable piece was Respighi's ‘Pines of Rome’, which was originally written with an organ part, but the band made up for that with a very resonant explosion of sound.
Rossendale Choir conducted by Charles Crowley had a very interesting programme with an international flavour ranging from An American Trilogy, Beatles songs for choirs, to An African Trilogy with the pianist converting to a bongo drum accompaniment. Their singing was very pleasing to the ear and linked in well with the band
The finale was like the Last Night of the Proms with band, Choir and Audience enjoying old English favourites -Henry Wood's Fantasia on English Songs, Home Sweet Home and Rule Britannia with lots of flag waving around the Hall. Rotarian Ken Davies was an enthusiastic master of ceremonies and many thanks to Trombonist Rotarian Tom Hobson who co-ordinated everything.
£1600 was raised for the Rotary's Charities- Rochdale Boroughwide User's Forum and The Alzheimer's Society.
The Rossendale Male voice Choir.
After the St. George’s Day Concert, I came across a book entitled ‘A History of the Rossendale Male Voice Choir’. I had no idea that they had been around so long, and had achieved such greatness in their 88 year history. They came together in 1924 – two years before our club – and have had many appearances on radio and TV. They have performed with world-class orchestras, shared a stage with some of our finest brass bands, featured at many an Eisteddfod and won innumerable contests over the years. It was indeed a privilege to hear them, along with the Ashton-under-Lyne band on Sunday. In the book I found a piece of poetry which, to me, reflected very well the performance we enjoyed.
Choir Tribute in Dialect
Free Press March 19th 1960.
Folk teks ther entertainment i’ monny different ways,
i’ pictures an’ i’ dancin’, i’ variety an’ plays,
i’ moter cars an’ chara bangs, i’ aeroplanes an’ bykes,
An’ ther’s scores o’ folk as does naught else but cater to eaur likes.
Ther’s some whose bigger interests lie i’ church an’ Sunday School,
An’ then agen ther’s others likes to dabble i’ a “pool”
Ther’s chaps mun av ther football on a Satdy afternoon,
An’ women likes a social an’ to ‘eer Sinatra croon.
Ther’s golfin deaun at th’ Howard Brigg, Ther’s tennis up i’ t’park,
Ther’s cricket an’ ther’s th’ bowling green, An’ courtin’ after dark.
But to top all these ‘ave mentioned, if yer giving me a treat,
Is the Male Voice Choir Concert on a winter’s Sunday neet.
An’ the last were no exception to them we’n ad afoor;
Instead of getting’ stalled, ah like ‘em more and more.
Them soloists a Sunday neet were fit for onny stage,
Wi’ airs fro’ sweet simplicity to operatic rage.
Yon lass should ceaunt’er blessins, she’s gotten quite a few;
A pleasin’ voice, a regal form, an’ comely features too.
‘Er partner, Owen Brannigan, a deep resoundin’ bass
Wi’ tones a reaund an’ mellow as avhe heard in’ onny place,
A repertoire both long and wind, a diction crisp and clear,
Sang songs as couldn’t but please ‘is sternest critic’s ear.
An’ as for th’ lads as forms eaur choir, ther far aboon my pen,
It’s a miracle such ‘armony should come fro’ mortal men.
Neau through all this peroration ah hope you’ll get my text,
At them we’n ad are past and gone ahm waitin’ for th’ next.