Sunday, March 1, 2009
ELSTOW MUSIC FESTIVAL
Happy St. David's Day!
Last night we had a wonderful Concert performed by the Luton Male Voice Choir at Elstow Abbey, concluding our first ever Elstow Music Festival which raised a total of £1,000 towards refurbishing our 11th Century Abbey and repairing the organ.
The 31 strong choir included several Welshmen, very appropriate just before St. David's Day and they sang two Welsh hymns including my favourite Cwm Rhondda. The varied programme included the South African National Anthem sung in Swahili, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como music, a Russian soprano and some lovely piano solos including a haunting Italian piece - Giorni Dispari by Ludovico Einaudi - played by Stewart, one of the two accompanists. The choir sang superbly without a note of music in front of them and almost raised the roof with their robust singing of the football anthem "Walk On" and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Such a pity that we did not have a larger audience but we will invite them back next year so more people can enjoy their wonderful music.
I have a special fondness for Wales as my younger daughter Helen studied Stage Management at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and we had Cwm Rhondda as one of her wedding hymns. Cardiff is a cosmopolitan city and I used to enjoy shopping in Morgans, Cardiff's answer to Harrods, which alas is no longer there.
Helen's student flat was a stone's throw from Cardiff Castle and within earshot of Cardiff Arms Park. On a Saturday afternoon conversation would suddenly stop when we heard a huge roar - the home rugby team had scored a try!