IAN SMITH CELEBRATES 40 YEARS WITH DANESBOROUGH CHORUS WITH A STUNNING ELIJAHStuart | YLF
There was a special celebration on Saturday, 1 July 2017, at the Danesborough Chorus summer concert in Woburn Parish Church, when Ian Smith’s 40th anniversary as the choir’s Musical Director was marked by a stunning performance of Mendelssohn’s action-packed choral drama Elijah. The choir was accompanied by the Milton Keynes City Orchestra, and joined by soloists Bethany Seymour, Anna Huntley, Justin Lavender and Benjamin Bevan.
Taking the role of the fearsome but insecure prophet Elijah, Benjamin Bevan led the story throughout, expertly supported by the other soloists. As both the crowd and an angelic chorus, the choir expressed beautifully a range of emotions, one moment calling loudly for the prophet’s death, and the next, joyfully praising God the creator. Elijah calls for a young singer to play the part of a youth helping the prophet look for rain, and Harlan Todd, a chorister from Bedford Preparatory School, made an impressive debut.
At the end of the performance, choir chairman Jeremy Hopkinson said: “As members of Danesborough Chorus, we are delighted to congratulate and thank Ian for bringing us the joy of singing together for 40 years. Ian brings a tremendous energy and enthusiasm to the choir, and he tries to bring out the abilities of every member. In the wider area, he has brought music-making to hundreds – even thousands – of people, of all ages, throughout Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.”
Danesborough Chorus members say: “We are brought together by our love of singing some of the greatest music ever written for voices, and Ian’s sense of fun and his expertise ensure we return every week, trying to reach the high standards he expects in rehearsals and performances. Who knew that learning to sing well could be so enriching?”
Danesborough Chorus brings together people of all ages from a wide range of jobs and interests. Rehearsals are held every Wednesday at 7.45pm in Aspley Guise Village Hall, and starting on 6th September, the choir will be preparing Brahms’ German Requiem. If you like choral singing, but haven’t sung for a while or are new to choral singing, why not get in touch about joining. We’re particularly keen to hear from sopranos and basses. Please call Carol Yirrell, tel: 01296 680328 for more information and encouragement.