THE Ribble Valley's newest choir was launched in spectacular style at English Martyrs RC Church in Whalley.
An audience of almost 150 gave an enthusiastic response to the singing of "Valley Voices", under the baton of founder-conductor Glen Pate, and to its two guest soloists. By the end there was little doubt Valley Voices seems destined to become a real force among East Lancashire choirs.
The choir, accompanied in some pieces by Janet Ismail, arranged the concert as a "thank you" to the church for providing rehearsal facilities.
The ladies of the choir opened the concert with Purcell's "Sound the Trumpet" and the men joined them for "Non nobis Domine", by William Byrd. Then the style jumped forward 500 years to the theme tune from the film "The Rose".
Tenor John Shaw showed his artistry with "The Legend of Klein Zack", from "The Tales of Hoffman", and "The English Rose".
The choir then followed with two folk song arrangements by Glen Pate, "Silver Birch", from Russia, and "All for me grog". A beautifully-toned "Two Roses", by Heinrich Werner, completed the set.
Joanne Smith showed why she has a worldwide reputation as a coloratura soprano with "If I loved you", from "Carousel", and the whimsical "Il Bacio".
The choir brought up the interval with the Simon and Garfunkel classic "The Sound of Silence".
Two selections from stage musicals formed most of the second half. Katherine Blebta, Kate Pool and Rita Eidson were the leading solists in a tour through "West Side Story". Katherine and Kate also took the major solos in pieces from "The Sound of Music".
Between the sets, Joanne Smith sang "Sunrise, Sunset", from "Fiddler on the Roof", and "Rusalka's Song to the Moon".
John Shaw followed his Irish ancestry with "The Kerry Dancing" and the audience joined in with the chorus of "The Holy City".
The concert was brought to an end by Pfeil's "Calm is the Sea" and the "Zum Sanctus" from Schubert's second German Mass, sung in German.
At the request of Fr Philip Price, the evening ended with "For all the Saints", to mark All Souls-tide.
The choir has been approached for several engagements and is busy drawing up a schedule for the coming months. Anyone who would like to book the choir or join its ranks is asked to ring 01254 824312.
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Weather for Clitheroe
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West