Mevagissey and Moushole Double

Monday 9th November, 2015 - 11:35am

Saturday 24th October saw the Choir embark on one of its longer away trips, to the Chapel Street Methodist Church, Penzance, for a joint concert with our friends, the Mousehole Male Voice Choir. Longer indeed for Second Tenor Chris Bale, who made a full NE - SW crossing of the county from Bude to be in place on time: a star man!

For nearly everyone else, the coach started from Par, a boon to several and certainly a novelty, although less of an adventure than negotiating its way on arrival through the cars parked on both sides of the already narrow road! On board with us were Lyn White and her two charming daughters, Emma and Hayley, regulars on the Quay and at home concerts for the last couple of years, but making their first away trip. Enchantingly dressed for the occasion, the girls looked a picture in their customary front row berth.

The event lived up to its history and matched all expectations as the two choirs, huge admirers of each other’s work, put on a stunning show. Somewhat unusually as the away team, we opened proceedings with four pieces: ‘Anthem’; ‘The Rose’, with Paul Pearce standing in for Terry Coplin; ‘Cornish Hearts’; and‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ - a good first set even though our hosts risers proved a bit of a challenge, being less than totally uniform in height, and with deeper levels at each step!

Led by old friend Steve Lawry and accompanied by the excellent Annette Turton, the 65-strong Mousehole then appeared walking on to ‘The Spirit Lives’. This was followed by the jaunty ‘Wade in the Water’, skilfully and imaginatively accompanied by Maureen Nicholls on the flute. Among their Second Tenors we spotted Justin, son of Ernie Williams, a front row MMC Second for many of our Choir’s early years and who sadly passed away this summer.

With no interval scheduled, events sped on nicely. Our second set included ‘American Trilogy’, apparently dedicated to some Californians in the audience. They asked to take back some Cornish rain with them as their local reservoirs are very low indeed! The recently introduced ‘Only You’, the resurrected ‘Away from the Roll of the Sea’ and ‘Hallelujah’ completed the set.

In unison with the audience, we sang ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling’ as our hosts appeared for their second set. Mousehole’s ‘Rock Island Line’ brought back memories of Lonnie Donegan and tea chest basses, while ‘Lean on Me /We shall Overcome’ was particularly well received.

Paul Pearce had two solo roles in our last set, ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Mevagissey Bay’. Another star man. All went well and our big finish with ‘Au Fond du Temple Saint’ was a resounding success.

Combining the choirs for a rousing finish with ‘We Rise Again’, ‘Deus Salutis’ and ‘Morte Criste’ was ambitious, but one that a standing ovation more than justified. All that was left was to repair to the Astro Club for a handsome array of refreshments and a memorable afterglow.

Steve Lawry prepares the ‘M & M Choir’ for ‘Morte Criste’

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