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What A Night!

After months of planning and rehearsing, Saturday’s final concert, marking the retirement of our beloved MD, Andrew Padmore, the day we’d all dreaded, finally arrived.


Emotions were running high from the choir alone, not to mention how Andrew must have been feeling. However, we had to all focus on the task in hand and make this the very best night to remember.

From the moment the Amici Ensemble opened the concert with a magnificent performance of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4, the standard was set and the magic began.


The Music Makers was a very special choice for Andrew who spoke to the audience of how it held fond memories of a time when he first conducted it, met and fell in love with Eileen who was in the choir at the time and now his wife of 45 years. The performance was spellbinding as choir and orchestra together portrayed the intensity and drama within the piece crowned by a magnificent performance by mezzo soprano, Gaynor Keeble.


The second half of the concert was both joyous and moving in equal measure. The orchestra set the scene with Walton’s Crown Imperial and from the thrilling opening chord of Handel’s Zadok the Priest the choir was in orbit to exhilarating performances of other choral favourites by Handel, Rutter, Fauré and Parry - all from memory.

The music was interspersed with speeches and accolades displaying the love and affection held by Andrew and the choir for each other, along with an appreciation for the twenty years of support from Tom Moore as accompanist.


The King’s Birthday Honours List couldn’t have been better timed as it was announced that Andrew was to receive the British Empire Medal for his services to music - a richly deserved award and perfect ending to a wonderful evening and superb tribute to Andrew. Photographs - Thank you to Stuart Cousins who was present all day with his camera capturing every aspect so brilliantly.

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