A report on our recent concert, by Rob Harper, and additional contributions by Jane Scott
In a change from their usual practice Birmingham Clarion Singers had decided to make their October Concert partly a social evening. And how well it turned out. The All Saints Community Centre’s Function Room was full of supporters, friends and guests, many of whom had come along to do a ‘turn’. It was particularly special for Clarion members that two of our retired members, Alan and Irene Rickman, who played key roles in the choir for decades as singers, chair and secretary, were able to attend thanks to their daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Cal, who travelled from Stroud to Birmingham specially to bring Alan and Irene to the event.
In the first part of the evening Clarion sang some of their more recent repertoire, such as I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free, as well as songs like Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika which the choir has been singing in various arrangements since the early 1960s. The audience were loud in their appreciation so we felt the programme was well-received.
Following the break, and the inevitable raffle, we were treated to a wide range of musical offerings. Isla Cameron and Phil Hargreaves had come from Liverpool for the evening and entertained us with some beautiful music on flute and violin. Ingrid, whom some will remember from this year’s Summer School, played a piano accordion solo in her usual show-stopping style. They also joined with others to accompany their singing.
Local singers Gill, Marcus and Brian contributed various vocal solos including David of the White Rock in Welsh, Woody Guthrie numbers and traditional folk songs. Cal Rickman-Williams sang with impressive power and conviction. Clarion members Tim Martin, Anna Rowbotham, Annie Banham , Anne Lockyer and Peter Woodman showed us that they are able soloists as well as excellent choristers.
Contributed by the MC for the evening, Rob Harper