Music at GMC

2008 Festival Events

During the run up to the Gillingham Festival in July 2008 we held three special concerts. The first saw the return of Chepstow Male Voice Choir who first performed for us during the 2007 Gillingham Festival and now returned by popular demand!

On the following Wednesday we hosted a concert of varied Chamber music given by six accomplished local musicians who call themselves 'The Cross Keys Ensemble'.

The week was rounded off on the Saturday evening with our first Jazz Concert featuring Helen Porter and Misbehavin'.

Further details follow:-

Concert: Festival Event: Choral Concert
Date: Saturday 28th June, 2008
Performers: Chepstow Male Voice Choir
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

Chepstow Male Voice Choir was formed in March, 1988 and gave its inaugural concert in St. Mary's Church, Chepstow, in the same year. Throughout its existence, the choir has remained true to the tradition of giving pleasure to others through song.

The Choir renewed the presence of male choral singing in Chepstow which had lapsed during the Second World War. It may be unique in the tradition of male choirs in Wales in that it draws members not only from long established residents of the area but also includes men from further west in South Wales who came eastwards with the opening of the Llanwern Steelworks and others from across Offa's Dyke in the Forest of Dean, where, too, there has been a long tradition of male voice choirs. This amalgam of voices has given Chepstow a distinctive tone and balance as well as a feature often commented upon by audiences, a clarity of diction.

In male voice choir singing, four part harmony is the format, the usual arrangement of sections (facing the choir) being bass on the right, next to baritone (middle right), then second tenor (middle left), with top tenor on the left. In Chepstow Choir they tried a different line-up a few years ago, with the basses and baritones on the wings (bass on the right) and the tenors in the middle ("tops" to the left of centre and "seconds" to the right). This was the preference of the Musical Director of the time, who felt it gave better balance of sound, and they have kept it ever since.

The choir is led by Brian Howard whose extensive band and choral conducting experience are further emphasising the unique character of Chepstow's singing qualities. He is assisted by Elaine Rigby who has wide choir experience, joining them in 2006. Elaine ran her own youth choir in Chepstow for some years. They also rejoice in having two superb piano accompanists, Rosemarie Lewis and Eileen Chesworth.

The choristers have experienced the joys of singing in the wonderful acoustics of such buildings as Wells and Bristol Cathedrals, in the Royal Albert Hall and in Malmesbury Abbey. Tonight they were delighted to be revisiting Gillingham Methodist Church!


  1. With a Voice of Singing - Martin Shaw
    Speed your Journey - Verdi
    Jacob's Ladder - Spiritual
  2. Solo by Ray Jones (baritone): Summer Song - Dvorak
    Duet by Eileen & Eunice (sopranos): Panis Angelicus - Franck
  3. She - Aznavour and Kretzmer
    Ar Lan y Mor - Emyr James
    Arwelfa - John Hughes
  4. Solo by Tony Davy (bass): Thought - Wenley Adams
    Quartet: The Lower Lights - Philip Bliss
  5. When the Love comes tricklin' Down - Spiritual arr. Gwyn Arch
    Every time I hear the Spirit - Spiritual arr. Alan Simmons
  6. +++ Interval +++

  7. Alexander's Ragtime Band - Irvine Berlin
    Siyahamba - Traditional African
    With Cat-like Tread - Arthur Sullivan
  8. Solo by Clive (tenor): Les Parapluies de Cherbourg
  9. Angels - Williams and Chambers
    Bridge over Troubled Water - Paul Simon
  10. Solo by Richard Fry (guitar): Windmills of your mind
  11. Fantasia on Famous Welsh Airs - Mansel Thomas
    Morte Christe - Emrys Jones

Concert: Festival Event: The Cross Keys Ensemble
Date: Wednesday 2nd July, 2008
Performers: Mary Chelu (soprano and flute)
Sarah Beales (flute)
Natalie Eacott (violin and viola)
Anne Cassal (oboe)
Helen Corlett (bassoon)
David Davies (harpsichord and piano)
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here


  1. Quartet in G - Telemann
    Largo-Allegro-Largo Vivace-Moderato Grave Vivace
  2. Cantata for soprano, flute and continuo - Pepusch
    'Love frowns in beauteous Myra's eyes'
  3. Intermezzo from 'Fennimore & Gerda' - Delius arr. Eric Fenby
  4. Aria: Herr der Gnade, Gott des Lichts - Telemann
  5. Andante and Rondo for Two Flutes and Piano - Doppler
  6. +++ Interval +++

  7. Sonata da Camera in C minor - Janitsch
    Adagio Allegretto Allegro assai
  8. Two Italian Songs:
    Caro mio ben - Giordani
    Danza, danza - Durante
  9. Quintett in D - JC Bach
    Allegro Andantino Allegro assai

Concert: Festival Event: Jazz Evening with Misbehavin'
Date: Saturday 5th July, 2008
Performers: Helen Porter (vocalist)
Karen Wimhurst (clarinet and bass clarinet)
Robin Walter (rhythm guitar)
Pete Brandt (double bass)
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

Misbehaviní is a quartet with a difference featuring Helen Porter vocals, Karen Wimhurst clarinets, Robin Walter guitar and Pete Brandt double bass. As always, they were a heady mixture of jazz run through with classical nuances, flamenco and samba, blues, soul and Italian airs. Numbers by Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Horace Silver, Hank Williams and Jobim were a part of their new set. We all enjoyed the intimate line up of this quartet as well as their theatrical flair and sassy sense of humour. A concert with a difference!

Set List

  1. Undecided
  2. Peel Me a Grape
  3. Lover, Come Back to Me
  4. Calcutta Cutie
  5. Furori
  6. Lost
  7. Blow Wind Blow
  8. Dance Me to the End of Love
  9. Malagena
  10. Get Happy
  11. Evil
  12. +++ Interval +++

  13. Carefree
  14. I Can't Give You Anything
  15. How Insensitive
  16. Yesterday
  17. Broken Bicycles
  18. Mascaras
  19. Midnight Blue
  20. Tender as a Rose
  21. Weary Blues
  22. Well You Needn't
  23. Encore: Throw it Away


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