Music at GMC

2009 Festival Events

During the run up to the Gillingham Festival in July 2009 we held four special concerts.
The first on Saturday, 27th June was an enchanting evening of love songs presented by Helen Porter and Pete Rosser giving us 'The Truth about Love'.
On the following Wednesday (1st July) we hosted a concert of varied Choral music given by local choir The St James' Singers.
On Saturday, 4th July there was a concert called 'Beyond the Stave, a musical evening with a difference...
The week was rounded off on the Sunday evening (5th July) by an exciting visit from Vocal Works Gospel Choir.

Further details follow:-

Concert: The Truth about Love
Date: 7.30pm, Saturday 27th June, 2009
Performers: Helen Porter
Pete Rosser
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

Two highly versatile and entertaining musicians, Helen Porter (singer with the jazz cabaret Misbehavin') and pianist Pete Rosser (formerly accordionist with Tango Siempre) brought us the ultimate truth about love - a concert of music beginning with a rare chance to hear the Four Cabaret Songs by Benjamin Britten and WH Auden. Also included in the programme were songs from the 1930's and 40's by Kurt Weill and American musical genius Stephen Sondheim.
The second part of the performance moved into jazz territory, and included new songs written by Helen and Pete in collaboration with the lyricist Amanda Smith.
Stunning piano solos by Pete Rosser punctuated the performance.


  1. Four Cabaret Songs by WH Auden and Benjamin Britten
    • Tell Me The Truth About Love
    • Funeral Blues
    • Johnny
    • Calypso
  2. Piano Solo: Over the Bars - James P Johnson
  3. Je Ne T'Aime Pas - Kurt Weill
  4. I am A Stranger Here Myself - Kurt Weill
  5. Piano Solo: El Choclo - Angel Villoldo
  6. The Girls of Summer - Stephen Sondheim
  7. What More Do I Need - Stephen Sondheim
  8. +++ Interval +++

  9. Four Cabaret Songs, lyrics by Amanda Smith, music by Helen Porter and Pete Rosser
    • I'll Tell You The Truth About Love
    • Don't Tell Me
    • Back For My Birthday
    • Midnight Scarper
  10. Piano Solo: I Should Care - Stordahl/Weston/Cahn
  11. My Romance
  12. You Don't Know What Love Is
  13. Yes, My Darling Daughter
  14. Piano Solo: Frosty, Sharp and Free - Pete Rosser
  15. The Scorpion and the Frog
  16. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  17. Encore: What Is This Thing Called Love?

Concert: Choral Concert
Date: 7.30pm, Wednesday 1st July, 2009
Performers: The St James' Singers
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

It was in 1987 that Rev David Botterill, the vicar of St James’ Church, Shaftesbury, and his wife decided to organise a small group of musical members drawn from the congregation to sing a few unaccompanied anthems at the Easter service. This was so successful that they continued to sing together and to perform at the church’s major festivals. Thus the St James’ Singers were born. Over a period of 22 years under various conductors numbers have grown and their repertoire has increased.

Soloists:Anne Louise Richards (soprano)
Megan Booth (soprano)
Frances Ferguson (soprano)
Mary Chelu (soprano)
Alison Rigby (contralto for the vocal quintets)
Chris Mahon (organ)

Chris Mahon has been Organist and Choirmaster at St James’ Church since 1997. He played at one of our first Summer organ recitals in 2004 and has been a good musical friend of GMC ever since.
Mary Chelu is a local soprano who sings with Sarum Voices and the Exon Singers.
Greg Underwood (accompanist) is Director of Music at St Peter’s Parish Church, Shaftesbury. Greg also played at one of our Summer organ recitals in 2005 and will be appearing again at GMC in September.


Choir:Cantato Domino - Pitoni
I will Sing with the Spirit - Rutter
Vocal Solo:Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice greatly - Handel (Messiah)
Organ Solo:Five pieces for Musical Clocks - Haydn
Vocal Solo:Nel cor piu non mi sento - Paisello
Vocal Quintet:King of Glory, King of Peace - Lloyd
Choir:View me Lord - Lloyd
The Call - Lloyd
Vocal Solo:O had I Jubal's Lyre - Handel (Joshua)

+++ Interval +++

Choir:Kyrie from Mass in G - Schubert
God so Loved the World - Stainer
Vocal Solo:Ich Folge, dir Gleichfalls - JS Bach (I Follow, I Follow - St John's Passion)
Batti, Batti, O Bel Masetto - Mozart (Don Giovanni)
Vocal Quintet:King of Glory, King of Peace - Harris
Organ Solo:Humoresque: L'Organo Primitivo - Yon
Vocal Solo:O for the Wings of a Dove - Mendelssohn (Elijah)
With Verdure Clad - Haydn (Creation)
Choir:The Peace of God - Rutter
Deep Peace - Rutter

Concert: Beyond the Stave
Date: 7.30pm, Saturday 4th July, 2009
Performers: Ros Fish (clarinet)
Deborah Binnington (piano)
Stephen Binnington (piano)
Fraser Wilson (presenter)
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

Beyond the Stave was a delightful and imaginatively varied programme of concert pieces for Clarinet and Piano, and Piano Duet together with light anecdotes, poetry and prose, mostly about music and musicians.

It answered the questions:-

  • What happened to Handel in Marylebone Gardens?
  • What is there to be said about Tenors and Basses?

A novelty item provided an opportunity for a little audience participation!
The programme included the magnificent ‘Concertino’ for Clarinet & Piano by Weber and music by Purcell and Handel etc.

Ros Fish worked for the BBC in both radio and television and for the Daily Telegraph. Recent solo work includes performances of concertos by Mozart, Weber and Finzi.

Deborah Binnington was a double prizewinner at the RAM, London from where she graduated with diplomas in Piano and Singing. She particularly enjoys accompanying choirs and her musical skills in this field have brought wide acclaim from eminent conductors. She is currently accompanist to the Dorset Bach Cantata Club.
The husband and wife team of Stephen and Deborah Binnington enjoy performing a wide and varied repertoire of piano duets.

Stephen Binnington graduated from the RCM, London, and his busy career as a piano accompanist and organist has taken him to many parts of the UK and several countries abroad. Earlier this year he gave an organ recital in the International Series in Southwell Minster and recital bookings over the next twelve months will take him to Shrewsbury Abbey, Milton Abbey (Music Festival) and his second recital in Westminster Abbey. He combines performing with his post as Director of the Farrington Music School, Port Regis.

Fraser Wilson is the Director of Drama at Port Regis, Shaftesbury. He trained at the Rochdale School of Art and the New College of Speech and Drama, London. He worked as an actor for fifteen years in regional theatre, community theatre and children’s theatre before teaching at the Arts Educational School, Tring. He performed in several BBC Television dramas including We the Accused with Ian Holme and Nancy Astor with James Fox. He co-presented 33 programmes of Play School. Recent performance work includes poetry and music recitals, and a guest appearance in the Farrington Music School with Patricia Hodge.


  1. RONDEAU (Abdelazar) - Henry Purcell
    (Arranged for Clarinet & Piano by Stephen Binnington)
  2. SONATA in D (Op. 6) for Piano Duet - Ludwig van Beethoven
    • Allegro molto
    • Rondo – moderato
  3. PASSACAGLIA in G minor (Suite No. 7) for Piano - GF Handel
  4. CONCERTINO for Clarinet & Piano - CM Weber
    • Adagio
    • Andante
    • Allegro

    +++ Interval +++

  5. PLAYFUL PIZZICATO for Piano Duet - Benjamin Britten
    (Arranged by Howard Ferguson)
  6. OBLIVION (Film – Henry IV) for Clarinet & Piano - Piazzolla
  7. SCHERZO for Piano Duet - Edward Samuel
  8. To Mr. ARTIE SHAW (Tributes) for Clarinet & Piano - Geoffrey Bush

Concert: Choral Concert
Date: 7.30pm, Sunday 5th July, 2009
Performers: Vocal Works Gospel Choir
CD available: Yes - please contact Music at GMC here

Vocal Works Gospel Choir's repertoire is a mixture of both traditional and contemporary gospel music along with many other genres of soulful, uplifting, funky and popular music. Their regular performances include concerts, weddings, festivals and corporate events - where the choir inspire their audiences with their energy, presentation and soulful voices. VWGC are based in Bath, but have performed throughout the country and abroad. Recent performances included live session work broadcast on BBC1, ITV, BBC3, and BBC Radio, Womad with the Blind Boys of Alabama, support act for Courtney Pine and Jamie Cullum, and pre-match entertainment for Bath Rugby. They have also performed with artists such as Matt Stevens (England Rugby), Adam Hepkin (West End Performer), recorded a soundtrack for Bath Rugby TV and released two recordings - ‘Live at Invention Arts' and 'Live EP'. Their third album will be released in 2009.


  1. Love Train
  2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  3. Walk With You
  4. How Sweet It Is
  5. Precious Lord
  6. Here's Where I Stand
  7. Knock On Wood
  8. Your Love Keeps Lifting Me
  9. Shackles
  10. I'll Be There
  11. Lean On Me
  12. Someday
  13. +++ Interval +++

  14. Circle of Life
  15. One More Try
  16. Somebody To Love
  17. You're All I Need To Get By
  18. I Will Follow Him
  19. Many Rivers To Cross
  20. If You Love Somebody
  21. Earth Song
  22. Ain't No Mountain High Enough
  23. Joyful Joyful
  24. Encore: Happy Day


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