Presentation of a Cornish hamper by Tim James, secretary, to guest artist Jenny Rust at Mousehole Male Voice Choir's 81st Summer Festival Concert in St. Mary's Church, Penzance on Sunday, 4th August.
It was a night of musical triumph and, despite heavy rain, played to a capacity audience which gave the choir a lengthy standing ovation at the end. Demands for more were met with a moving performance of The Lord's Prayer before the choir finally left the stage.
Musical Director Stephen Lawry had chosen a widely varying programme which included a setting in Cornish of The White Rose and several other new pieces which have been introduced to the repertoire especially for this concert. The composer, Tony Cliff, was in the audience for the very first public performance of his new piece, The Mermaid of Zennor.
This year's special guest was the Soprano Jennifer Rust who had travelled from Manchester especially for this concert and returned home with a basket of assorted Cornish goodies presented by Tim James, the choir Secretary. Jennifer has a versatile voice which is heard frequently on Classic FM and enables her to move comfortably from oratorio to opera and the concert stage. Her performance enthralled the audience and they would not let her go without an encore. Throughout her programme she had the support of the choir's very talented Accompanist, Annette Turton, who deserves a 'Wonder Woman' costume for her skill.
There were moments when the choir showed the vocal power of its large membership and John Harry, who was the choir's Accompanist for 22 years before retiring, provided back-up on the church's recently installed computer-controlled organ.
Mousehole Male Voice Choir is noted for the loyalty of its members and for being a mutually supportive fellowship. Sixty years of membership have been recorded in the past, sadly for men who are now singing in the heavenly choir; there are present members with 50 years of service and Tenor Greg Williams has joined those with 40 years of service, an occasion marked by the choir President, Revd Julyan Drew, with the award of a 40-year lapel badge. A 20-year lapel badge was awarded to Bass, Trevor Walker, and 10-year badges to Baritones Roy Eddy and Charles Law, who is also the choir Chairman.
After the concert, the choir members and Jennifer transferred to The Bath Inn where the singing continued until nearly midnight to the delight of the other customers in the pub. Despite all of this, the weekly rehearsal was held on Monday evening because the choir has a full diary of engagements into 2014 and beyond. On the Tuesday afternoon, the choir sang at the funeral of the Revd. Canon Harvey Pentreath who was formerly their President for many years. in the morning, members of the choir attended the funeral of Bill Ward who, for several years, was the choir Chairman.