Archive for June, 2011

A diamond-studded concert!

The review by Keith Nixon, below, of the 18th June 2011 concert appeared in The Sunderland Echo on Tuesday 21st June in an edited format.

Superb night

Thunderous applause and cheers greeted the performers at the end of the concert in Sunderland. No – this is not a review of Kings of Leon. The performers were our very own Bishopwearmouth Choral Society who let their hairdown in spectacular style on Saturday night.

The arrangements which conductor David Murray made of popular American and gospel songs have been lying in his attic since the 1970s. Thankfully, he dusted them down so that his choir could breathe new life into them and show off what a fine group of singers they are. They demonstrated that they are equally at home singing the songs of Randy Newman and Carole King as they are in their more conventional repertoire.

Jazz singer Ruth Lambert wowed the audience with four amazing songs, admirably accompanied by James Birkett and Tony Abel. Her rendition of Jimmy Davis’s ‘Lover Man’ was simply sensational.

JamesBirkett is a superb guitarist and it was a delight to hear him perform with his 16 year-old pupil Bradley Johnston. The four pieces which they played were spellbinding, particularly Chick Corea’s ‘Spain’ with its contrast betweentraditional and modern. Young Bradley has a very bright future ahead of him.

It was great to have the Bishopwearmouth Young Singers at the party. Eileen Bown can be very proud of her young performers who sang their hearts out. Their performance of David Fanshawe’s ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was very moving but they showed that they could swing with the best of them with the gospel song ‘Feel Good’.

And feeling good was what the whole concert was about. The applause after the encore of ‘Honey, Honey’ at the end of the evening must have been music to David Murray’s ears. The Bishopwearmouth Choral Society is a jewel of a choir and this concert was diamond-studded.

Keith Nixon.