A Century of Song - June 2016
It was gert lush evening
Showing all the animated enthusiasm of television choirmaster Gareth Malone it was bravo for the baton waving men and women who led the singing on Sunday night at the Bristol Hippodrome.
And bravo too to all the choirs and musicians featured in this concert who performed a special selection of pieces with links to the city, from Danny Boy to I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing, Land Of Hope And Glory to Stranger On The Shore.
With the theatre packed to the rafters A Century Of Song traced the past 100 years of the city’s musical history for a Children in Need fundraiser.
Ten BBC Radio Bristol presenters introduced the six choirs from Greater Bristol who took to the stage to perform a mixed medley from sea shanties to Somerset folk songs, from wartime classics to honky tonk piano tunes and a bit of modern pop in between.
The familiar dulcet tones but not always familiar figures of Martin Evans, Richard Lewis, Ali Vowles, Joe Lemer, Emma Britton, Geoff Twentyman, Laura Rawlins, Steve Yabsley, Sasha Bigwood and Nigel Dando gave us an urban history lesson aided by a drop down screen and some informative slides and amusing asides.
The play list wasn’t necessarily in date order as we began with Tears For Fears mod music from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community choir Sing Out Bristol moving to the upbeat Mama Mia songsheet whose connection is its film script was written by Bristolian Catherine Johnson.
The Riff Raff choir entertained with Wichita Lineman and Man Chorus added the nostalgic Lili Marlene.
Loved the Monday lunchtime Hippodrome choir whose practise venue is the piano bar!
And the Penny Brohn Community Choir proved that singing lifted the spirit with its performance.
There were some wonderful solos but the biggest cheers went out for Footlights Vocal Dynamics which is part of the North Somerset performance academy who gave us a boogie woogie rendition and The Bee Song.
We obviously cheered loudest for the Nailsea contingent some of whom were singing with the Gert Lush choir.
We learned Cary Grant born Archibald Leach returned to his hometown many times to bring each of his five wives (not all together) to see its delights.Among the ‘names’ Nailsea’s Adge Cutler and Pensford’s Acker Bilk got a mention.
The finale was like last night at the proms with Charlotte Newstead playing Dame Clare Butt leading the flag-waving audience.
We were told Dame Clare stood more than 6ft tall in her stocking feet but soprano Lottie scaled the heights for a fitting end to a fabulous show.
BBC Radio Bristol recorded the concert and the highlights will be broadcast in a special programme on Monday, August 29.
Children in Need charity show
PREVIEW: Nailsea children are in rehearsals for a performance on the big stage at the Bristol Hippodrome as part of a special one night for Children in Need.
Backed by BBC Radio Bristol and the Bristol Post the charity evening called A Century of Song is a showcase of timeless classics with its roots in the city.
The event on Sunday, June 12, will feature a great selection of music performed by local musicians and choirs.
Proceeds are to be donated to BBC Children in Need with Pudsey Bear even putting in an appearance on stage.
BBC Radio Bristol producer Vicki Klein said "This event will tell the story of Bristol in music, going backwards in time from modern local talent like the band Portishead, all the way back to Dame Clara Butt, one of the most celebrated singers of the Victorian and Edwardian eras whose legendary voice was discovered here in Bristol.
"One of the most iconic symbols in music, Nipper the 'HMV' dog, was also from Bristol!"
The audience are warmly invited to join local BBC radio presenters in a singalong to old favourites and modern classics, including I'd like to Teach the World to Sing, Mamma Mia and Strangers on the Shore.
Vicki added: "This will be a true community event, aimed at encouraging people to discover the joy of singing while celebrating Bristol's contributions to song over the decades."
Several local choirs will be performing alongside Footlights including The RiffRaff Choir, Gert Lush, Man Chorus, Sing Out and the Hippodromes' own Lunchtime Choir.
Bristol Post Editor Mike Norton said: "This promises to be a fantastic night of song, memories and fun.
“There is nothing like music to make people happy – especially in summer – and we've chosen some great songs to celebrate a century of Bristol music with three great Bristol institutions, the Hippodrome, BBC Radio Bristol and the Bristol Post.
BBC Radio Bristol managing editor Jess Rudkin said: “We're delighted to be celebrating the music of Bristol and surrounding area through the decades, and are really happy to be joining forces with the Post and the Hippodrome to make it a concert to remember.
"Our region's made such a great contribution to music - there are so many wonderful tunes to choose from, we can promise we've picked some really good ones – it promises to be a terrific show!
“We'd like to thank all the local musicians and choirs who are getting involved, as it's a truly local event – they'll be accompanied by your favourite BBC Radio Bristol presenters".
Tickets £8 are available online by clicking HERE or from the Hippodrome box office.