2019 was a year of mixed fortunes for Stithians Ladies. Two personal tragedies early in the year were endured with the constant support of this wonderful group of women who are always there for each other. Ill health sometimes marred attendance at practice and each member had her fair share of serious responsibilities but weekly laughter and shared music making are a wonderful antidote to such things.
A SLIDE SHOW OF 2019
During the year we raised thousands of pounds for charity, spread a little happiness, explored new venues, forged new partnerships and continued the long tradition of fine music making and enduring friendships that Stithians Ladies represents. We bade farewell to a few members and welcomed new ones so …..
The Ladies Choir has finished its December celebrations, having shared a wealth of Christmas music with a wide range of appreciative people at Truro Cathedral, Stithians Methodist Church and the National Trust’s Trerice Manor. We are all off for a break now and restart our practices in January.
Pictured: the Ladies after their magical performance in Truro Cathedral.
It’s obvious that the lady in the front row had magical powers in that stick ( or is it perhaps a wand? )
Stithians Ladies Choir was delighted to take part in the Truro Big Sing once again. Together with other choirs and a packed cathedral they helped to raise the roof with carols and raise money for Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal. They opened the evening with a truly magical performance of Benjamin Britten’s Hodie, Christus Natus Est. Not only were the Cathedral lights extinguished but the ladies were standing in a place invisible to the congregation so their voices came, in glorious unison plainchant, apparently from nowhere! They also gave a beautiful rendering of Becky McGlade’s setting of In The Bleak Midwinter with the composer there to hear it – another magical first for us. Then the rafters rang with Deo Gracias, Britten’s joyful song of praise with our fabulous accompanist Rico Gerber giving his all on the grand piano.
Our recent concert with Marazion Apollo Male Choir was a resounding success and took us to a lovely new venue. We had not performed in St Hilary church before and we were really impressed with the unusual interior and the famous acoustic.
The choirs join together to sing Morte Christe lead by MD Kate Wood-Cattran.
We were really pleased that we had set off early because the coach got stuck in the narrow lane approaching the church and we had to walk the last bit – thank goodness the rain, so overwhelmingly present during the week, had abated and it was not freezing cold!
The standard of singing in this concert was incredibly high with the sweet tones of the Ladies contrasting with the powerful delivery of the Gentlemen and yet blending beautifully for the finale. The Ladies were particularly pleased to be able to present a performance of the gorgeous carol that they recently commissioned from Cornish composer Becky McGlade. They are preparing this stunning piece for Truro Big Sing in the Cathedral on 12th December and, judging by the audience reaction, it is going to sound wonderful.
The evening was rounded off with refreshments prepared by the ladies of St Hilary Church and then we departed for home, but not without a few “big coach in a little lane” issues! All’s well that ends well!
Composer Becky McGlade receives the thanks of Stithians Ladies
When the choir was invited to take part in this year’s Truro Big Sing in the cathedral we thought hard about what to sing for this very special occasion. We came up with the idea of a commission from our friend Becky McGlade who often takes part in our concerts as a ‘cellist. She is a skilled musician with an incredible talent as a composer, having written several works which reflect her love of choral singing. Her carol “In The Bleak Midwinter”, a setting of Christina Rossetti’s words, was originally composed for mixed voices but she kindly agreed to arrange it specially for our choir.
The result is a beautifully crafted piece for women’s voices which has required all the vocal skills the choir can muster. It has been a real challenge for the Ladies to learn but we are thrilled with the results. Becky came to our regular practice last night to listen to our progress and she was really pleased at the sound. She is pictured above receiving our thanks for the wonderful gift she has given us.
The Ladies recently sallied forth to South Brent to sing as guests of the Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir. The venue was the stunning church of St Petroc …
and both choirs sang their hearts out. The Ladies, on this occasion, were conducted by the choir’s deputy Musical Director, Vivienne Nicholas ….
and, although somewhat depleted in numbers, they gave fabulous performances of all their songs, receiving warm appreciation all round. The audience was also treated to solos from accompanist Rico Gerber and Joanna Wood one of the choir’s sopranos. The choir, in return, was treated to a scrumptious supper before they wended their way back over the Tamar.
As an encore the Ladies performed “Together” – a fitting tribute to the sense of belonging that each member feels in this fabulous group of women.
Ever wondered where our concert money goes? Here’s what happened to the proceeds of our July concert at Budock Church, shared with our wonderful young friends The Beatroots.
PICTURED ABOVE Lynne Lees, Community Fundraiser for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity receives a cheque from treasurer Connie and Chairman Peggy at the regular Thursday night practice. Lynne had a lovely time at our practice and published a video of us in full flow! This donation will go to support the work of The Mermaid Centre.
PICTUREDABOVE A cheque for the Muhaze Mothers of Tanzania was presented to Dr. Sally Amos who is a regular worshipper at Budock Church. Sally worked in Tanzania for many years, helping mothers, especially those coping with the stigma of AIDS. Recently she presented a slide show at church showing the progress of the proposed clinic building and explaining that our donation will go towards the installation of windows. This wonderful charity is supported by Budock Church on a regular basis and Stithians Ladies Choir was honoured to assist on this occasion.