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2014 Concert Reports
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Glastonbury concert rounds off 2014 in style

Our final concert of 2014 was held in St Mary's Roman Catholic Church Glastonbury on Saturday 8th November 2014, with tenor John Callaghan making his able debut as MC. We sang the Hinton St George repertoire performed a fortnight ago, plus 'Aberystwyth' which made an appropriate couplet to start the second half as we focussed on Remembrance, beginning with the First World War Medley. As we donned poppies, and were singing as the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance was taking place, there was added significance for us all. Our resident folk band of instrumentalists Trevor Ryder and Nick Llewellyn with singer Roger White continued this theme as they performed a dark version to the tune and using a refrain from 'Waltzing Matilda' about a returning injured Anzac serviceman from the First World War and the Rev Eli Jenkins' evening song from Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood'.

In the first half tenor William Salmon sang a Kenneth McKellar song celebrating Scottish clan tartans with a popular chorus and his energetic version of The Lord of Cockpen. The Brue Belles presented three lovely tunes, starting with Shepherd's Hey, originally an English folk dance tune and used for Morris Dancers, continuing with the theme from 'Last of the Summer Wine' and rounding off with 'Singing in the Rain'. It was a welcome return of the bell ringers to support our concert and their encore was deserved - they are now an accomplished group, and included tonight a cameo appearance of our Chairman Robert Peto on the descant bells - but definitely still a boy and not one of the 'belles'.

The concert was very well attended, we were provided with drinks and nibbles during the interval and it was good to appear at a new venue to a different audience and again help a local Church raise funds. We were again so grateful for the capable piano playing of Hilde Senior (assisted by husband Bob) who has provided accompaniment in rehearsals and concerts since May this year during the absence of our regular pianist Carolyn Young. Our leader and Musical Director Jennifer Westcott will also be delighted that the choir continues to grow as the total number of boys now exceeds fifty as we near the end of our eighth year.

Report from Malcolm Allen on the Hinton St George Concert

The Brue Boys performed on the evening of Friday 24th October to a sell-out audience in Hinton St George Village Hall.

The first half included rousing numbers such as, ‘Alexander’s Rag Time Band’ and ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ along with more contemplative songs including ‘You are the New Day’ and ‘Carrickfergus’.

Local Brue Boy, John Studley, gave two solos, ’Whistle down the Wind’ and ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ to well deserved great acclaim from the audience. Two local ladies, Nancy Walker and Madge Bray, each performed a couple of songs which again were greeted with considerable applause.

The second half started with the Brue Boys giving their rendition of ‘First World War Songs’ – particularly appropriate at this time - and followed by ’Bring him Home’. Grayson Pattemore had the audience them rolling about with his comedy routine, and our final session concluded with ‘The Saints’ and an encore of ‘Always look on the Bright Side of Life’

It was lovely to sing to such a great, enthusiastic and generous audience who at the end gave us a standing ovation. The evening raised over £1000 for the Children’s Hospice South West.

Photo from John Studley
shows a view of the Brue Boys from one of the full tables
during the successful evening

Successful Return to Stourhead's Festival of the Voice

The Brue Boys made their fourth appearance at this Wiltshire music festival in the stunning Stourhead Gardens, the first since the event was moved to September in 2012. We sang three sets of songs, two in the Spread Eagle Courtyard and a finale at the Visitor Centre.

Throughout the day we basked in sunshine more reminiscent of July. The Brue Boys have progressed considerably since our last Stourhead performance in June 2011, not least as we had 34 men singing now we are a much larger choir.

Photo from Annette White shows the choir performing in the Spread Eagle Courtyard conducted by Jennifer Westcott and accompanied by Hilde Senior

The photo above by Margaret Grundy shows Hilde with her husband Bob Senior who assisted with the music organisation
with Bass Grayson Pattemore alongside, no doubt mindful that he would be performing the opening solo in our finale song
'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life'
which was very popular with the large audience
.

Another view a Spread Eagle Courtyard performance
from John Callaghan

Hilde Senior has been standing in for our regular accompanist Carolyn Young for several months and we are so grateful for her cheerful and expert piano playing. At Stourhead she also accompanied the Butleigh-based ladies choir 'For Another Night Only' led by Brue Boy Baritone Dick Warman so she was busy on the keyboards for three hours during the six performances!

Two views (From John Callaghan and Margaret Grundy) of the final performance at the Visitor's Visitor Centre
which was packed as the Festival of the Voice drew to a close.
Below: Two photos of boys gathering before the first 11am performance

June Concert for Baltonsborough School
Report from Malcolm Allen

Baltonsborough Village Hall was, on Saturday 21st June 2014,the venue for a Brue Boys concert for the benefit of the children of Baltonsborough School.

An enthusiastic and participative audience was entertained by the “Boys” singing 14 numbers ranging from modern standards like ‘Unchained Melody’ to traditional numbers like ‘Bobby Shafto’ and the comedic ‘Always look on the bright side of life’.

The ladies of The Brue Valley Ringers appeared in the first half of the concert and played a selection from the opera and musicals and one of the ‘Boys’, Grayson Pattemore brought tears (of laughter!) to the audience with his standup comedy routine.

The second half of the evening’s entertainment included three Irish folk songs performed by Roger White ably accompanied by Nick Llewellyn and Trevor Ryder on guitar, banjo and harmonica. The audience could not keep their feet still and joined in the chorus lines with gusto.

It would be remiss not to mention the excellent supper provided by the ladies of the school which undoubtedly fortified everyone during the interval.

A fun evening was had by all and £650.00 raised for the benefit of the children.

Bath and West Show on Saturday 31st May

It was such a pleasure to be invited back to give performances on the Village Green stage on the final day of the 2014 Royal Bath and West Show. Hilde Senior deputised for Carolyn Young on the piano, but is was wonderful that Carolyn was able to attend and help Hilde turning the music with her fit hand - we wish Carolyn's other hand a speedy recovery.

Photo right from John Callaghan
and others below taken by Margaret Grundy

We sang a selection of eight songs from our repertoire, starting with our own signature song 'There's Something About the Brue Boys', which we always sing to new audiences as an introduction and continuing with 'Chattanooga Choo Choo', 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables, 'You are the new day', Eric Idle's 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life', the lovely Irish folksong 'Carrickfergus', Charles Aznavour's 'She' and finally the rousing 'Amen'. We hope here there was something for everyone.

Photos show various views of the choir
during the two performances as we enjoyed an early summer day out just a few miles from home.

Ditcheat Concert raises over £1400
The Brue Boys were delighted to perform a concert for Shepton Mallet Rotary Club on Saturday 12th April which enabled them to raise over £1400 for the Somerset Flood Relief Fund.
It was a particularly enjoyable concert for us as we had a sell-out, appreciative audience and were treated to a lovely supper.
In addition to thirteen songs by the choir, sung in four sets, Scot William Salmon entertained by singing three of his native songs
'The dark Island', ' The Day We Went to Rothesay O' and the 'The Laird of Cockpen' and our own folk group performed the songs 'Wild Mountain Thyme', 'Bread and Fishes' and finally 'Seven Drunken Nights'. Roger White led the singing, Nick Llewellyn and Micky Little accompanied on guitar and tenor Trevor Ryder played banjo and mandolin. The audience joined in enthusiastically with chorus songs performed by William and the folk group.
Grayson Pattemore excelled again, starting with his musical comedy routine and there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time he had completed his Noddy with his friend Gordon (s) finale (see notes below).

Successful Return to Yeovil College
The Brue Boys returned to Yeovil College to perform a second concert in aid of the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust in association with Yeovil Rotary Club on Saturday 29th March 2014, following our first visit in 2012.

The choir performed thirteen songs including 'You are the New Day' which was sung in concert for the first time. Other choices ranged from upbeat 'When I'm Sixty Four', 'Uptown Girl' and 'Amen', to a revival of the Chilean folk song 'Rio, Rio', romantic songs 'Unchained Melody' and 'She' and Eric Idle's tongue in cheek 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' from Monty Python's Spamalot.
Individual Brue Boys made up the programme. Yeovil Rotary Club President Roger White, accompanied by Nick Llewellyn gave the audience a chance to join in with 'The Sweet Nightingale', followed up by 'Eli Jenkins' Prayer' from Under Milk Wood. William Salmon gave us three Scottish songs, opening up with ' Bonny Mary of Argyle', continuing with Kenneth McKenna's 'The Tartan' and rounding off with ' The Day We Went to Rothesay O'.
The second half included another Grayson Pattemore master class in humour. He started by re-constructed a yarn about Noah and the flood, changing place names used last month in Charlton Mackrell to include local pubs and characters and ending with the ark circling the top of Yeovil Church. Changing genres, Grayson then treated us to another of his radio broadcasts featuring a bored presenter attempting to tell a story about Noddy which quickly deteriorated as we were introduced to his friend 'Gordon', alias 'Gordon's' which was poured and consumed liberally giving wonderful sound effects and a charming children's story soon descended into inebriating gibberish - but we loved it all!
The concert MC was our Chairman Robert Peto who moved things on with aplomb and as usual we were accompanied with her usual excellence by Carolyn Young and conducted in style by our Musical Director Jennifer Martin. It has been confirmed that the concert raised £700 for the Yeovil Young Achievers Trust
.
Valentine's Day Concert
Our first 2014 concert was held on Friday 14th February in Charlton Mackrell Church and featured a strong romantic theme as you would expect from the boys! MC Tim Hare was on his usual good form and included some upbeat and tongue-in-cheek references to how the boys have approached their Valentine on this day. Hopefully we provided an enjoyable and entertaining evening for the crowd who ventured out in such atrocious weather conditions.

 

Photos from Roger White
of the Brue Boys'
Valentine's Night
Concert

We introduced three new songs to our concert repertoire: a melodic arrangement of the Charles Aznavour song 'She' featuring a solo sang in style by tenor William Salmon; Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl' and the well-known 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' from the Monty Python Team's musical Spamalot led by Grayson Pattemore who sang the introduction in music-hall cockney style. Dick Warman stood in for Roger White by taking on the solo in Bobby Shafto
and managed well to take on
the pathos in his part.
(see the Our Music Page for all our repertoire of songs)

 

We were treated to two lovely madrigals by the Madrigirls of
Sally Lester-Shaw, Gail Cornish,
Sue Peto and Carolyn Young.

Carolyn also accompanied
the Brue Boys and other soloists
on the piano
and it was lovely to hear her sing with
the Madrigirls for a change.

Also in the first half tenors John Studley and David Chambers sang contrasting love songs: John's a poignant rendition of 'Love Changes Everything' just right for tonight and David's humorous version of Ivor Novello's song 'And her Mother Came Too' reminded us how times have changed since the 1920s.
The Brue Valley Handbells (or should in be 'belles'?) of Jean Heal, Sue Peto, Louise Clapp, Eileen Heath, Sarah Hare, Jane Jarratt and our musical director and conductor Jennifer Martin began the second half with three stylish tunes ideally suited to the vaulted Church and were given a rousing reception.
As Dick, had done earlier, Grayson Pattemore stepped at the last minute in to round off the solo acts. Before his hilarious song about about why Paddy couldn't come to work today, he re-constructed a yarn about Noah and the flood, bringing in the Charlton's, local pubs and characters and ending with the ark circling the top of Glastonbury Tor, which was the sole dry land in the area. We look forward to more of Grayson's humour at our annual dinner later this month. Tonight his timely warnings of floods ensured a rapidly empty car park as we all plotted a safe journey home. A full moon there may have been, but any romance we may have created inside the Church was not kindled outside on this particular night!

Published by The Brue Boys Choir for Men Copyright © 2014 and all Rights Reserved.