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Hello! I’m Sheena Harold, Chairman, and it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Teddington Society. Do please explore our website and let us know what you think – feedback is important to us, and always welcome.

Future events

• Teddington Choral Society’s Night to Remember

• Teddington Choral Society’s Night to Remember

The audience gathers in anticipation of the Teddington Choral Society’s 70th anniversary concert at the Landmark Arts Centre. Photo: © Liang Lu

Oh goodness, what a night we had! This was a special 70th anniversary concert presented by the Teddington Choral Society (TCS) on December 4th – and in a way, the magnificent semi-ecclesiastical gothic setting of the Landmark Arts Centre couldn’t have been more appropriate.

From the moment the choir kicked off with Parry’s rousing I was Glad, the music rang out loud and clear, and performers and audience never looked back. By way of contrast, Fauré’s sublime Cantique de Jean Racine was an elegant delight; then the tempo was upped with a toe-tapping (I noticed people around me!) rendition of Vivaldi’s joyful and uplifting Gloria, with a positively masterful and exuberant piano introduction and accompaniment by Phil Culling.

It could be said that no choral concert is complete without the presence of Mozart, and tonight’s event didn’t disappoint – not only were we treated to the exquisite and deeply moving Ave Verum Corpus (which the TCS once performed from memory) but also two contrasting extracts from his Requiem.

Mascagni’s Easter Hymn from the ever-popular Cavalleria Rusticana is one of the most frequently performed pieces in the repertoire, and it was here that soloist Lisa Swayne’s rich soprano voice thrillingly soared to the rafters, leaving this member of the audience quite smitten.

So far, so classical. But let’s remember that it was the choir members themselves who chose the programme for tonight’s anniversary concert – what a delight, therefore, to be treated to choral interpretations of music by jazz maestro George Shearing (his Songs and Sonnets Number 5 based on the words of Shakespeare), George and Ira Gershwin (Porgy and Bess medley), and Leonard Cohen (the lyrical and haunting Hallelujah).

Then to the evening’s final numbers – and some lusty audience participation. Well, it’s Christmas, is it not, so what better way to close an altogether memorable concert than with two of the best-loved carols ever written? O Come all ye Faithful, of course, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

And did we sing? Didn’t we just! So much so that I’m certain every member of the choir and audience left the Landmark on a high. All credit to the choir, of course, but special appreciation also goes to Julian Collings, now celebrating his third year as the TCS’s high-achieving musical director and conductor, and to Phil Culling, the hugely accomplished piano accompanist, whose arrangements were exciting, spot on and heartfelt.

In every respect, this richly enjoyable 70th anniversary concert was a night to remember. We in Teddington are blessed to have such gifted and dedicated musicians in our midst.

Peter Denton

• The Teddington Choral Society, a registered charity and a much-valued Corporate Member of the Teddington Society, was founded in 1951. Not only does it perform in venues locally and throughout the country, but it also holds workshops emphasising performance and presentation, and it offers individual singing lessons with guest conductors and instructors. New choir members are welcome, particularly male voices. The TCS website is here.

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