Clarion Newsletter

News

Category – Performance

FABULOUS PERFORMANCE BY SAMANTHA OXBOROUGH AT CELEBRITY CONCERT

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The Arions 50th Celebrity Concert took place at St Thomas's Church Barrowford yesterday and featured the rising you singing star mezzo-soprano Samantha Oxborough.

Samantha, who hails from Sabden has recently graduated with First Class honours from Birmingham Conservatoire and is already making a name for herself both locally and nationally as a talented singer. Samantha is already well known locally as she started her singing career as a member of Pendle Youth Choir and was a pupil of David Wilkinson in Colne.

Samantha, accompanied by Susan Hargreaves, treated an enthusiastic audienceto a programme of English song, occasionally leavened with Americana, and her control and musicality were eveident from the start, to compliment a fabulous voice. Particularly effective was her rendition of the Ivor Gurney song 'I will go with my father a-ploughing' and Jerome Kern's 'Can't Help Lovin' dat Man of Mine'. Samantha finished her 'set' gy performing Ben Moore's 'Sexy Lady', a virtuoso performance which brought the house down. This is a young singer with a great future and we wish her all success in her musical career.

The Arion Choir, conducted by Julie Townson, were also o fine form and particularly poignant was their performance of 'Lily of the Valley' in memory of Jim Tattersall, a long serving choir member who recently died. As well as choral classics, the choir also the forthcoming centenery of the end of the First World War by singing a medley of WW1 songs and a moving arrangement of 'In Flanders Fields'.

 

SPLENDID CONCERT WITH NELSON CIVIC LADIES CHOIR 21ST APRIL 2018

The Arion took part in a particularly successful joint concert as guests of Nelson Civic Ladies' Choir last night (21st April) at Holy Trinity Church, Colne. Each choir gave of their best and came together to end each half of the concert with choral favourites 'Rhythm of Life', 'Speed Your Journey' and 'As long as I have Music'.

Arion Conductor Julie Townson writes 'My thanks to the gentlemen of the choir for their effort, enthusiasm and fabulous singing  last night at Holy Trinity. You really showed your experience in concert singing by putting on a fine display of listening, watching and responding during the items the choir presented. We had many positive comments from members of the audience about the tone quality and balance of parts. Once again, I amproud to be a part of the Arion team'

CELEBRITY CONCERT 21ST OCT 2017

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The annual Celebrity Concertwas distinguished by some excellent singing by the choir and some truly outstanding playing by our guest artist guitarist JOHN GJYLACI. Because St Thomas's is a comparatively large venue and the sound of an acoustic guitar can get lost in such a large space, John Gjylaci used a judicious amount of electronic amplification, with the result that all the audience could experience the nuances of the performance. An excellent use of technology whereby all could hear and appreciate the musicianship and technique on show from this talented artist.

This concert was the first for the choir's new conductor JULIE TOWNSON, and she is to be congratulated for giving a fine display of choral conducting and holding things together immaculately. 

FRANK'S FAREWELL PHOTO

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Thi s photo shows Frank with the choir accompanists, John Taylor (Arion left, rear), Nigel Watts ( KVU right, rear) and Julie Townson, (Conductor Designate, Arion)

FRANK'S FAREWELL

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Frank Smith was given a fitting send off at his final concert as Conductor and Music Director of Nelson Arion. A packed St Thomas' witnessed an emotional evening when Frank conducted both 'his' choirs, the Arion and the KVU Singers, the Arion's guests on this occasion, in a programme of his choral favourites. As usual there was an eclectic mix of old and new, sacred and secular, serious and frivolous, all delivered with Franks usual panache and attention to detail. The concert ended with with both choirs combining for 'Rhythm of Life' after which Frank was given a standing ovation  by the audience and singers alike. This event was the culmination of a series of concerts held to celebrate Frank's long and distinguished tenure of the conductorship of the Arion and to mark his retirement from that role. All that can be said is that this concert lived up to expectations.

Following the concert there was a social event where friends old and new were able to mingle freely and talk over old times. Frank was presented with, among other things, a framed certificate marking his 50 yrs conductorship and now all that we can say ids to wish Frank a long and fruitful retirement.

A CD and a DVD were made of the concert, and these will be on sale shortly. Watch this website for details.

 

MUSIC IN MAY 13TH MAY 2017 A SPLENDID CONCERT

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Music in May 2017, one of the components of Frank's Farewell Festival, proved to be the best so far, with guests Pendle Youth and Children's Choir and saxophonist Maddison Goode. There was a tremendous atmosphere and everyone covered themselves in glory. Special mention must be made to Maddison Goode, already an accomplished musician at the tender age of 14 and a player of rare ability. Surely a star of the future.

The final concert in the 'farewell' series takes place at St Thomas' on Saturday 24th June when Frank's ywo choirs, Nelson Arion and KVU singers combine in what should be a feast of quality choral music. 

Watch this website for further details.

JOINT CONCERT WITH COLNE ORPHEUS 25TH MARCH 2017

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Pendle's two leading male voice choirs were on the same stage at St Thomas' Church, Barrowford on Saturday evening 25th March for another of the series of concerts leading up to the retirement of Arion Music Director Frank Smith. The Arion's contribution was the more traditional with operatic choruses and some of the better known male voice repertoire whilst Colne Orpheus gave an enthusiastic audience items from musical theatre and even Russian folk song, sung in Russian!

The concentration on male voice singing was mellowed by our other guest artiste, local mezzo soprano Laura Wood who delighted the audience with operatic arias (sung in immaculate French) and splendidly sung items from musical theatre. Laura also joined the  Arion a rousing rendition of that old favourite 'The Lost Chord'.

The evening was brought to a conclusion with the two male voice choirs combining in the ever-popular 'Some Enchanted Evening' and the audience were sent home with a stirring rendition of 'When I Survey The Wondrous Cross'.

ONE OF THE GOOD ONES - CONCERT AT SKIPTON 4TH MARCH

A full house at Christ Church Skipton was treated to a very special evening of choral music. The Arion were joined by The Cobbydale Singers, a locally based Ladies Choir, and both choirs took full advantage of the wonderful, choral-friendly acoustic of Christ Church. Both choirs performed both their traditional repertoire and more up-to-date items and came together for the final item 'As Long as I Have Music', which sums up the philosophy of all involved in music. The choral items were interspersed with solo items and duets, notably Rossini's 'Cat's Duet', performed by Elaine and Christine and 'When Song is Sweet' performed by the husband and wife team of John and Christine Whinnerah. All profits from the concert were donated to the Christ Church Building Fund.

FINE START TO FRANK'S FAREWELL FESTIVAL

Frank Smith's Farewell Festival, a series of concerts featuring the Arion  and local choirs which celebrate the imminent retirement of Music Director Frank Smith, got off to an excellent start on Saturday night (21st Jan)  before a large and enthusiastic audience at St John's Methodist Church, Colne with the appearance of Nelson Civic Ladies Choir under the baton of John  Garrett. The two choirs have done joint concerts many times in the past and both choirs performed popular items from their respective repertoires including Dana Dana and Sanctus (Arion) and CanYou Hear Me and a Les Miserables Medley (Nelson Civic) culminating with a joint rendering of 'As Long As I Have Music'. Solo items form Arion members John Shaw, Ken Hollas, Ken Burgess and Les Hammond completed the programme.

Altogether an entertaining and satisfactory evening of music.