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"SURPRISE!" Happy Birthday Ladi and Lynda


Wednesday 17th December 2014 should have been our usual Christmas party but we added an extra twist this year by surprising Ladi and Lynda with a joint birthday party. With one birthday just before Christmas and the other just after it was the ideal time for it.

The surprise was launched by the choir singing a song specially dedicated to Ladi and Lynda to the tune of 'Daisy, Daisy'. Then off to the party where they were both presented with gifts, a music case, a clock, a garden centre gift voucher and a bottle of champagne. David thanked Ladi for all the work he does for the choir and acknowledged the support and help we receive from Lynda

They were both delighted and just a little overwhelmed but that didn't stop them from cutting the cake and joining in the festivities.

Birthday Wishes to Ladi and Lynda
from Finham Choral Society.

Cutting the cake

Christmas Concert

St. Mary Magdalen Church, Chapelfields

On the 13th December 2014 we held our Christmas Concert at St Mary Magdalen Church, Coventry. The Vicar introduced us and said a welcoming prayer. The music started with Jeanette singing the first verse of 'Once in Royal David's City' acapella before the rest of the choir and audience joined in.

Being as it was just 12 days to Christmas the programme was very centred on the nativity. It included 'Personent Hodie' a C16th traditional Italian carol in Latin which also gave Tim Campain the opportunity to demonstrate his prowess on the organ.


The programme included two organ solos by Tim and four readings. Amongst the traditional and modern carols Ladi Merriman-Johnson had included two of his own arrangements for  'Born in the Night' and  'Wise Men Seeking Jesus'.

We ended the evening with the audience and choir singing  'O Come All Ye Faithful' and the choir closed with 'Candlelight Carol' by John Rutter. Then off for a cup of tea and a mince pie and the opportunity to exchange seasons greetings with friends in the audience.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas from Finham Choral Society.


WW1 Commemoration Concert


On the 18th October 2014 Finham Choral Society met at St Mary Magdalen Church to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War 1. In keeping with the solemnity of the occasion the choir wore their red poppies as we performed two masses associated with war.

  • Haydn - Missa in Tempore Belli, Mass in Time of War
  • Karl Jenkins - The Armed Man "A Mass for Peace"

The National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas

The Haydn was performed in the first half. The audience were captivated by the silvery tones of the well modulated voices of our four soloists.

      • Soprano - Cheryl Hockham
      • Alto - Evie Price
      • Tenor - Dale Harris
      • Bass - Rory Carver


After the interval Tim Campain performed an organ solo, Solemn Prelude : In Memoriam - from 'For the Fallen' by Edward Elgar. As the choir started the Armed Man a backdrop displayed photos from the first world war. Between the pieces war poems were read including 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrea which inspired Moina Michael to write 'We Shall Keep the Faith' and subsequently start the red poppy appeal to raise funds for ex-servicemen. The Benedictus from the Armed Man was enhanced by the accompaniment of a violin solo by Emily Howard

The mood of the evening was a fitting and significant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who have fought in wars so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today.

We will remember them.


Messing About on the River


Saturday the 19th July 2014 saw Finham Choral Society take to the water as we boarded The Countess of Evesham Restaurant Boat. We enjoyed a leisurely cruise down the Avon at Stratford while being served a delicious three course meal. The pleasant atmosphere and congenial company made the outing a very good start to the Summer.

Even the weather was kind to us, remaining dry for the boat trip but about half an hour later the heavens opened producing a torrential downpour and thunder storm. I hope you made it back to your cars without getting too wet.


Spring Concert
with City of Coventry Male Voice Choir


On the 29th March 2014 we joined forces with The City of Coventry Male Voice choir for our Spring Concert at West Orchard URC, Coventry. Each choir had chosen a programme which was a mixed variety of classical, modern, spiritual, traditional, show songs and humour. There was definitely something for every taste.

The CCMVC opened the first half with their set of six pieces followed by Finham Choral Society, the order was reversed for the second half. The lively interval gave the choir members the opportunity to chat to the audience and other choir members to compare notes and procedures, always looking for ways to improve our performances.

Now while I know we were only serving tea and coffee I am not sure what the CCMVC had been drinking before they sang 'What shall we do with the Drunken Sailor', there was a lot of swaying going on there.

For an impressive Grand Finale both choirs, with combined voices of about 70, took to the stage to sing 'Morte Christe' and 'Jerusalem'. Thank you for the many compliments received from both choir members and audience. The collaboration was a great success.


Advent to Christmas


On the 7th December 2013 we held our Advent to Christmas Concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Coventry. Rev. Hyde opened the proceedings with a warm welcome to both the audience and the choir. Then to get everyone warmed up the audience were asked to join us singing 'Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending' although Rev. Hyde suggested it was our way of auditioning for new members. This was the first of four carols which the audience were asked to join in so he may be right.


The programme included a variety of music from the familiar classical tune of  'Wachet Auf' - J.S. Bach, to modern day carols like 'The Very Best Time of Year' - John Rutter. Ladi Merriman-Johnson had also included his own arrangements of  'Mystic Rose' and  'O Little Town of Bethlehem' when just the choir sang the third verse.

Tim Campain played two pieces by J.S. Bach on the organ before we stopped for an interval with tea, coffee and biscuits, and he opened the second half with a piece by Wilbur Held.

Towards the end of the evening the audience and choir sang  'O Come All Ye Faithful' together before the choir closed with a rousing rendition of  'O Thou The Central Orb'

Singing always raises the spirits and they were raised even higher on this occasion as we were performing the concert for free with a retiring collection in aid of the Philippines typhoon disaster fund which raised around £270. They will be in our thoughts this Christmas.

Our very best wishes for the Advent and Christmas Season and a Happy New Year.


Autumn Concert 2013


On Saturday 9th November 2013 we invited the Bedworth Singers to join us at St. Mary Magdalen Church for a repeat performance of Schubert's Mass in G which we performed together in April at Bedworth Civic Hall.


Finham Choral Society conducted by Ladi Merriman-Johnson started the proceedings with a tribute to Benjamin Britten in his centenary year by performing two of his pieces:

  • Rejoice in the Lamb
  • This Little Babe

Rejoice in the Lamb is a cantata composed by Britten in 1943 based on a poem written in the 18th century by Christopher Smart while in an asylum. The words call for the praise and worship of God by all created beings and things. People, animals, instruments, flowers and even the letters of the alphabet. The solos were performed by the Soprano, Tenor and Bass soloists who were to sing in the Schubert Mass and Jenny from the Bedworth Singers sang the Alto solo.

  • Look to the Day - John Rutter
  • Bogoroditse Devo - Rachmaninov
  • Steal Away to Jesus - Arr. Hugh S Roberton
  • The Lord's Prayer - Music, David Fanshawe
  • Gaude Mater Polonia - Old Polish

The Bedworth Singers, conducted by Hilary Griffiths chose a variety of pieces ranging from modern day Rutter to the medieval Polish National Anthem. They were accompanied by Barbara Watson on piano but also sang some of the pieces a capella which sounded magnificent in St Mary Magdalen's high domed chancel


This was followed by an organ recital by Tim Campain who played two pieces appropriate to this being Remembrance Sunday weekend:   Nimrod - Sir Edward Elgar   and   Dambusters March - Eric Coates

After the interval the joint choirs amassed in the chancel area to perform Schubert's Mass in G, accompanied by Tim Campain on the organ and three promising young soloists:

Soprano - Lizzie Watson;   Tenor - Dale Harris;   Bass - Rory Carver.


Helen's Sponsored Cycle Ride


Ladi's Summer Garden Party on 20th July 2013 was extra special this year as Helen fulfilled one of her ambitions to do a sponsored cycle ride from Coventry to Ladi's in aid of Finham Choral Society. Not only did she complete the 60 mile journey but due to a missed turn she ending up in Telford and did about 75 miles in total.

The other guests arrived earlier, by car of course, and lined the road to cheer her across the finishing line. Then it was time for refreshments and a presentation of a certificate to show our appreciation and gratitude for her marvellous fund raising achievement. Many thanks also to Ladi and Lynda for providing the venue and vino. Click the box below to read Helen's own account of the day.

Helen with certificate

Derrick Lander Valedictory Concert

Bayston Hill Methodist Church

Everyone had arrived by 5.00pm and our hosts gave the choir a lovely sit down tea of sandwiches and home made cakes. There was time for an hour warm up to get the vocal chords going and at 6.30 we went to get ready.

By 7.00 the audience were in position and it was time to start. Derrick Lander gave a warm welcome to Ladi and Finham Choral Society in his introduction. The programme included songs of thanks and praise that were sung with feeling and served well to reflect the happy occasion of celebrating a lifetime in the ministry. Ladi joined in the performance of 'Where the Gentle Avon Flows' singing bass in a quartet with Jeanette, Janet and Peter.

A big thank you for all involved in organising this concert and to those who came to see us. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Happy Retirement Derrick


The 13th July 2013 was a blisteringly hot Summer afternoon as the choir members started their journey to Bayston Hill Methodist Church near Shrewsbury.

We were off to perform a Valedictory Concert for Ladi's friend Derrick Lander who was due to retire from the ministry. Derrick wanted us to be the first to perform in the newly refurbished Bayston Hill Methodist Church with ticket sales going towards the refurbishment costs.


St. Martin's Church Community Concert


On the 28th June 2013 Finham Choral Society accepted St. Martin-in-the-Fields invitation to participate in their Community Concert. St Martin's Church Choir started the proceedings followed by an organ recital by Kathryn Hunt and a poem read by Gail Brigden. Finham Choral Society then took the stage with our selection conducted by Ladi Merriman Johnson and accompanied by Lucy Young on piano.

  • Our Thanksgiving Song to God - Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Children of Eden - Stephen Schwartz
  • All Through the Night - Hugh S Roberton
  • The Lord is My Shepherd - Howard Goodall
  • A Clare Benediction - John Rutter

St Martin-in-the-Fields

After an interval we were able to enjoy 'Ladies in Lavender' played by Russell Cooper on the violin and Hayoung on the piano and then Victoria Savchuk, soprano, sang Ave Maria and Pie Jesu. The evening ended with community singing led by Finham Choral Society, we sang from our seating position in the audience. the pieces being Kwmbayah, You'll Never Walk Alone, Home Sweet Home and Tell out my Soul.

Now I did hear that one person complained that You'll Never Walk Alone shows a bias towards Liverpool FC and has requested that next time we sing a Sky Blues song, only problem is, they didn't suggest one, so do let us know.

Retiring collection in aid of Myton Hospice and for Christian Aid to buy Mosquito nets.


Choral Masterpiece


On Saturday 6th April 2013 we joined with the Bedworth Singers & the Orchestra of the Swan for a performance of Schubert's Mass in G at Bedworth Civic Hall. In the afternoon we had a short rehearsal under the guidance of David Curtis, the genial conductor of The Orchestra of The Swan then we had a break for tea. In the first half of the performance the choirs occupied the rear section of the auditorium and were treated to a lovely performance of Greig's 'Holberg Suite' with its movement of spirited dances and Dvorak's romantic 'Serenade for Strings'.


After the interval it was the turn of the combined choirs to sing the Schubert Mass. This went well and we were ably supported by the soprano, tenor & bass soloists:

  • Soprano - Clarissa Knee
  • Tenor ---- Dale Harris
  • Bass ----- Mike Fletcher


The performance went without a hitch and was well received by the audience. Hilary and Ladi, the conductors of the two choirs, had joined us to sing in the chorus and were asked to take a bow by David Curtis in acknowledgement of their hard work.

Altogether it was a very pleasant evening, well attended and an enjoyable and successful day out for our choir.


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