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from the Wokingham Times, June 2001

Wokingham Choral Society's 50th Anniversary Concert - Anniversary accent on English composers
St. Paul's Church, Wokingham

THE concert given by Wokingham Choral Society at St Paul's Church to celebrate its 50th anniversary was devoted to English composers from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The works were an excellent choice for the choir and soloists, and were just right for the audience on a lovely June evening.

Edward Gardner has now been working with the choir for four years, and his training has made a marked difference to the tone and musicality of the singing.

The choir has an excellent diction, and this was particularly noticeable in the unaccompanied part songs.

The programme began and ended with two Elgar anthems based on psalms.

The depth and colour of tone was most exciting, and the ladies of the chorus blended beautifully.

Sadly, the tenors and basses were depleted -- perhaps due to half term?

There is a certain imbalance that needs correction with more members in the lower parts.

The soloists were all excellent.

Denny Lyster played two organ solos, Matthew Beale (tenor) sang On Wenlock Edge, the song cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Adam Green (baritone) sang excerpts from Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel.

These young singers will go far, so look out for their names in the future.

It was a most enjoyable evening.

After the concert, the audience joined members of the choir in the church hall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the choral society.

One of the original founder members, Joyce Green, was presented with a certificate and flowers to mark her 50 years of singing.

Miss Green cut the cake with the help of Claire Hornby, one of the bursary students and youngest member of the choir.

Rosemary Bayliss