The Enchanted Concert in Stockport (18th March)
The Manchester Chorale has a vast repertoire of songs from all over the world and from all ages. Some are serious, some light-hearted, some tell a story, some are mysterious, most are exciting. In our concerts, we try to balance all of these types of music so that there is always something for everyone to enjoy. In The Enchanted Concert, the theme for the evening will be picked up by songs that may delight, fascinate or charm you – you may even feel you are under a spell! Let the music flow over you.
Our first composer of the evening is one of the Chorale’s favourites, Ola Gjeilo. His two religious pieces are both exciting and mysterious – the first like a fanfare, the second with slow-moving harmonies building to a majestic ending.
The next piece will be familiar to all: ‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary’, and the music may recognisable as well, but Beethoven may not have approved. A variety of delightful nursery rhymes follow, slightly changed – see if you can spot them and the music for each one. This is paired with a strange song about an ‘Earthly Rose’. Who is she, what does it mean?
Ravel also wrote some mysterious songs. We sing one about Nicolette who meets a wolf, then a page, then an ugly lord. She chooses one of them. Who can it be? The next song is a warning not to go into the Ormondy Woods – it’s full of monsters, and we sing the names of all of them including gnomides, gorgones and gobelines. Scary stuff.
Then it’s over to St Thomas’ Primary School Choir: ‘We love to sing at St. Thomas’! It’s fun, healthy and makes us feel better about ourselves. It stimulates our brains and turbocharges our memories. We don’t just sing in assemblies – singing happens in the classroom all the time too. It helps us to learn things ... in mathematics, French, phonics, reading, the list goes on.’
Some beautiful arrangements of well-known Irish tunes start the Chorale’s second group. A line from the first two sets the tone: ‘Dear thoughts are in my mind, and my soul soars enchanted’ and ‘I have stockings of silk, shoes of fine green leather’. A song from Northern Ireland completely changes the mood. Tell My Ma has been arranged in a funky style with some fascinating rhythms (to enchant and confuse you).
Did you know that St Thomas’ School has over 100 choir members? Ms Loynes has been running the school choir for over twenty years and under her enthusiastic direction and encouragement, numbers have grown considerably.
Our final group starts with a jazz waltz version of Waltzing Matilda – ‘and his ghost may be heard’. Try tapping your foot to this one. Nella Fantasia is an Ennio Morricone song originally performed and made famous by Sarah Brightman. It’s in the popular Italian style and while you might not understand the words, you may feel the emotion. Billy Joel wrote a lullaby for his 6-year-old daughter. It’s been arranged for a six-part choir and is pure magic. Parents, tune in to this.
There’s always something mystical about ‘parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ – we make it more so by singing it in five time. Scarborough Fair will never be the same again. Wonderland is the subject of Alice. It’s a quick snapshot and allows us to go mad – watch out for the pack of cards.
For the last song of the night, the Manchester Chorale will be joined by St Thomas’ CE Primary School choir to sing an exciting African song, Oremi. This is a very rhythmic piece, which is sung as a round. Our Music Director will have her work cut out. It should be fascinating – and enchanting.
We hope you come to our concert. The Chorale and the children will be trying their best to please you. It’s a great opportunity for you and your children to see what they can aim for. We were all there once and have had a lifetime of enjoyment in playing, and especially, singing music.