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Choir Fest for Leukaemia

 
 
 

On the 13th July 2018, due to the inspiration and hard work of our choir member, Helen, we had the great pleasure of joining with the choir of Stoke St. Michael for an evening of choral and instrumental music.

To our delight the church was full and our opening song reflected that joy. Between the two choirs we sang a wide variety of Music, from Mozart to Gershwin and Rutter all of which was received with enthusiasm. We were also treated to a wonderful organ solo from Tim Campain, our accompanist as well as a very jolly piano duet from Tim and our Director of Music, Ladi Merriman-Johnson.

Both choirs responded to the expertise of our conductors, Ladi Merriman-Johnson and Linda Green, not forgetting our accompanist, Tim Campain

The evening raised £546.00 for Leukaemia UK.

We always welcome new members to our friendly society of people who love making music.

 
 
 
 
 

Easter Meditation - Wednesday 21st March 2018

 
 
 

In an attempt to boost audience attendance figures some changes were made for our Spring term concert. Firstly we sought a closer relationship with St Martin in the Fields Church where we had been rehearsing happily for many years. Secondly we would use social media to extend our advertising and thirdly we would reduce the admission charge.

Newly appointed vicar, the Revd Matt Taylor persuaded us to nominate the Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre as our sponsored charity for this event. The 'Pride in Finham, Wainbody, Stivichall & Cheylesmore' website ably supported us in spreading the word. And, finally, we decided on free admission with a retiring collection, the proceeds to be divided equally between the CRMC and choir funds.

The event started with a presentation by Toni Soni, CRMC Director, who spoke of the aims, activities and excellent objectives of the Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre. When the choir entered the church their surprise and delight was palpable on seeing an audience of around 100 people! The church was nearly full.

The concert opened with the choir singing Brian Lewis' version of the Benedictus, followed by the well-known hymn, 'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross'. There then followed a very moving succession of Lenten and Easter choral items, readings, solos, and duets from members of the choir and Ladi, our Musical Director. Tim Campain, our Accompanist provided two organ solos.

An Encore of 'You Are the Christ' by Joseph M Martin rounded off a very enjoyable and successful evening.

 
 
 
 
 

A Very Busy Christmas 2017

 
 
 

The run-up to Christmas was a busy time for our members, we had three performances in six days.

On Saturday 9th December we supported the Community Christmas Concert at Woodside Avenue Church Centre to a mixed programme of singing, dancing, recitation and instrumental items. We sang a total of seven choral pieces on our own and led the congregation in two popular Christmas carols and some secular songs. At the start of the concert the MC announced that it was his policy to invite a different guest choir each year and expected them always to do better than the previous choir. We don't know but we hope that we met his objective.

 
 

On the following Wednesday 13th we provided choral support to the Co-operative Funeralcare organisation at their annual service for the recently bereaved in Queens Road Baptist Church. The choir provided entry singing of Advent and Christmas hymns as the congregation arrived and sang the Coventry Carol and the Clare Benediction as part of the Service. Many tributes were made by members of the congregation to their recently departed friends and relatives. As a choir we were saddened by what we heard but hoped that our singing helped to lighten their grief.

Queens Road Baptist Church
 
 

Two days later we held our own Christmas Concert at St Mary Magdalen Church. This was a very full programme with over 20 carols sung by the choir, including solos and duets by 4 people, 4 readings given by choir members and, of course, two excellent organ solos by Tim, our Accompanist.

Our thanks, once again, go to Ladi, whose tireless efforts and extensive patience made it all possible.

With all this activity concentrated in only six days we decided to postpone the end of term party until the New Year.

 
 
 
 
 

Music and Readings For Christmas

 
 
 

On Wednesday 14th December 2016 Finham Choral Society held it's Christmas concert at St Martin in the Fields Church. It was a cold damp night so we opened by asking the audience to join in 'Once in Royal David's City' to get everyone in a festive mood.

After the bidding prayer the choir entertained the audience with a variety of yuletide pieces including several written or arranged by John Rutter. One of these, 'Christmas Lullaby' was performed by a semi-chorus of eleven choristers.

Finham Choral Society Christmas 2016
 
 

Ladi Merriman-Johnson added his voice to the evening by performing a Shakespearean duet with Miriam, 'Blow Blow Thou Winter Wynd'. Tim Campain performed two organ solos, Prelude on 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' by Flor Peeters and 'Der Tag Der Ist So Freudenreich' by JS Bach.

The last piece on the programme was the very lively 'This Little Babe' by Benjamin Britten and was followed by sustained applause to show the audiences appreciation for a pleasant evenings entertainment. This resulted in an encore of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' an arrangement by Michael Gray which has extra variations of 'comfort and joy' at the end.

After all that comfort and joy there was also plenty of coffee and mince pies and a chance to chat with friends and wish everyone a HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to Carriers of Hope

 
 
 
 
 

Concert For Carriers of Hope

 
 
 
St. Mary Magdalen Church, Chapelfields

On Friday the 14th October 2016, Finham Choral Society joined with Chapelfields Community Choir to perform a concert for Carriers of Hope, a charity set up several years ago to help refugees, asylum seekers and those experiencing extreme poverty, held at St Mary Magdalen church.

The music included pieces by Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, George Gershwin and Mendelssohn. Also performing was Letitia George, a professional singer. Our accompanist, Tim Campain, played two Elgar pieces as well as accompanying both choirs.

 
 

Dwayne Engh, curate at St Mary Magdalen, Chapelfields, also played two Bach pieces on his marimba. The concert finished with both choirs singing John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth.

The concert was free with a retiring collection. The amount given to Carriers of Hope was £410.00.

 
 
 
 
 

Two Christmas Concerts for 2015

 
 
   
 

On 16th December 2015 we held our first festive concert entitled Christmas Music & Readings. It was held in St Martin in the Fields Church and was an event with several innovations. Firstly it was held on a Wednesday evening instead of the normal Saturday. Would the audience turn out on a Wednesday, we wondered? Secondly, owing to a shortage of tenors we were singing carols to a three part score SAB instead of the usual SATB. This meant that altos, tenors and basses all had to ‘unlearn’ their normal parts and learn new harmonies for most of the popular Christmas Carols. An extra level of concentration was called for.


St Martin-in-the-Fields
 
 

In the event all was well. The Reverend Dr Jeremy Hyde started with an opening prayer and he welcomed an audience that filled about two thirds of the available seats. The singing started with the traditional soprano solo for the first verse of Once In Royal David’s City. The concert continued with a wide mixture of readings and traditional Yuletide lessons from members of the Choir, organ solos from Tim Campain and Carols from a semi-chorus. The usual congregational carols in the programme allowed us to sing our traditional SATB parts and provided much needed relaxation and enjoyment.

The event raised a total of £370 for Baby Lifeline, our chosen charity. The Vicar closed the concert with a Blessing and a big thank you to all who contributed. Tea, coffee and mince pies were then served in the Hub.

 
 
Marlborough Road Methodist Church

Three days later, on Saturday 19th December 2015 we were off to Marlborough Road Methodist Church in Banbury, this time with a much smaller choir of 26 people. However it was well balanced and suited our SAB three part arrangements.

After an excellent sit-down High Tea for the choir provided by members of the Church, the Reverend Victoria opened with a prayer and a warm welcome to us and her very supportive congregation.

 
 

Our Programme was similar to the Wednesday performance but the 'Coventry Carol' was replaced by the now popular 'This Little Babe' not an easy piece to perform owing to its fast tempo, but it went well and delighted the audience.

After a Blessing and another big Thank You from Rev Victoria we went home feeling that our many weeks of learning three part arrangements of our favourite carols was well worthwhile.

 
 
 
 
 

Banbury Methodist Church

 
 
 

On Saturday the 7th February 2015 Finham Choral Society took to the road and headed for Banbury. We had received an invite to sing at the Marlborough Road Methodist Church. Ladi's sister, Rev. Victoria, is the Minister at the church which is celebrating it's 150th year.

We arrived by car at 4.30pm and after a welcoming cup of tea we had a warm up rehearsal for about an hour. Rev. Victoria and the church volunteers then treated us to a delicious buffet followed by home made puddings and coffee.

At 7.30 in front of a full house it was time to start. Rev. Victoria welcomed the choir and the congregation with an opening prayer then handed over to Ladi. We opened with three pieces by John Rutter, 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', 'For the Beauty of the Earth' and 'Look at the World'. A trio of pieces which celebrate the beauty of God's creation. After an organ solo by Tim Campain the choir continued in a spiritualist vain with 'Kwmbayah', 'I Got a Robe' and 'My Lord! What a Morning'.

After a short break for tea and biscuits we continued with our programme which included Ladi and Tim performing a piano duet, Spanish Dance - Mozkovski. Ladi had another surprise up his sleeve when he introduced his sister to the stage to showcase her own musical talents and entertain us with a song.

It's always nice to end on a high note and on this occasion it was to hear that the concert had raised over £600 for the Church funds.

 
 
 
 
 

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