International Festival in Chapel St Methodist Church

Tuesday 5th May, 2015 - 10:22am

PENZANCE was once again the first Far West town to host a Cornwall international male voice choral festival concert on its opening night on Thursday (April 30). It reached its climax with a standing ovation at Chapel Street Methodist Church for the finale songs by the 50-strong immaculately dressed and superb singing youth choir from Lithuania, 'Dagilelis'.

They sang in their native tongue, in English, Latin and a flavour of African with their vivid presentations of earth, sky an water, songs of the hills, local dialect. Sanctus, Gloria and a rich closure with 'Praise his Holy Name'. The audience demanded more!

Penzance has featured strongly in all seven festivals and again Mousehole male voice choir were the hosts, with St Michael's Mount and the Town Council the main sponsors.
Among the guests were Lord and Lady St Levan, the Mayor and Mayoress, David and Susan Nebesnick and deputy Mayor John Moreland who were welcomed by chairman Douglas Williams.

It was the youth choir's first visit to the the town and they performed with three other groups, hosts Mousehole with conductor Stephen Lawry and accompanist Annette Turton, the Kidderminster male choir under David Barclay and with accompanist Maureen Bowkett and the West Cornwall 'Strike Sound' formed six years ago with musical director Janette Eathorne and pianists Margaret Bilkey and David Robinson.

The repertoire was wide-ranging with the more than 60 voices from Mousehole - the first in the county to broadcast and appear on national television -  in full voice with 'We rise Again'. They visited Kidderminster last year to take part in their 110th anniversary and will be singing at Chester Cathedral during their autumn tour.

Kidderminster gave the evening a bright send-off with the Peer's Chorus from 'Iolanthe' and had a delightful selection of popular music from their 25 voices. 'Strike Sound' , a close harmony group of some13 drawn from Cornish choirs, was  formed just six years ago and ranged their songs from county favourites in their debut appearance.

Some 3,000 singers from around the world entertained in the Duchy at the weekend in what is now the largest event of its kind in Europe. The compere praised the achievements of retiring festival director Peter Davies, vice-president David Peters, the organising team, patrons, sponsors, committee and joint presidents Lady Mary Holborow and Michael Galsworthy.

Kidderminster Male Voice Choir

Mousehole Male Voice Choir

Dagilelis Boys choir  (Lithuania)  

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