Aldhelm Mission says 'Go Goliath!'

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Jul, 2019 05:54 PM

The world premiere of an exciting new musical has taken place in a Dorset church, thanks to support from our Aldhelm Mission Fund.

Lyme Regis’ parish church hosted a packed audience on Saturday 29th June, who enjoyed the first performance of 'Go, Goliath!' written as a special commission by composer Nicholas Brown, and with a text by Simon Ford.

Scored for organ, piano, saxophone, male principal singers, and adult and children’s choirs, this semi-staged musical work, for a massed choir of children and adults joining together to sing, tells the biblical story of David and Goliath.

The whole work takes just over half an hour, which made it ideal for a 'Come and Sing' event with participation from the adults of Lyme Bay Chorale and St Michael’s church choir, along with church choirs from across the Golden Cap Team and members of the Devon County Junior Choir.

The event is being supported by the Aldhelm Mission Fund which supports initiatives in parishes, schools and the wider community throughout the Diocese of Salisbury.

The event began with an on-the-day rehearsal, followed by the actual performance at 5pm. In between, the audience were treated to vocal music sung by the Junior Choir.

Key parts were sung by professional soloists Daniel Rudge, David Fouracre and Alex McNeice.

Gill Hanscombe who reviewed the performance said:

"The whole company for Go, Goliath! deserve unreserved congratulations for presenting such a fine performance. They had already rehearsed throughout the afternoon and the children’s choir in particular were wonderfully disciplined: still when required, full of energy when singing, and able to give complete attention to the conductor.

"The staging was cleverly arranged. It was a privilege to be in the audience for this event, and to know that in our region, musicians and singers, adults and children, can have the ambition and energy to initiate and complete such a large-scale project as a new music drama."

Kate Gunn from the Lyme Bay Team described the afternoon:

"By midday on a very hot and sunny Saturday, St Michael's Church in Lyme Regis was alive with activity. Just over 40 children from the Devon County Junior Choir were rehearsing their pieces under the direction of their conductor Rachel Smith, filling the church with precise and beautiful singing.

"Holiday visitors dropped in out of the baking sunshine into the cool church, and stayed to listen.

"At 2 o'clock, around 50 adult singers assembled in the church pews, ready to rehearse the 4-part chorus sections of 'Go, Goliath!', most of them for the first time, under the skilful and gently humorous direction of the composer, Nicholas Brown.

The singers were drawn from all around the area, some of them expert, some beginners, and some rusty but sound.

Kate went on:

"The children returned to join the adults and take up their own chorus line, the soloists arrived, and deft accompaniments from piano, organ and saxophone completed the glorious mix.

"Meanwhile, a group of St Michael's 'regulars' seized the opportunity to lay out enough food for 100 people in readiness for the supper to follow the performance. People dropped by with their promised contributions to the feast.

"Then at 5 o'clock, back went the company into a well-filled church to share the results of their pleasant hard work with their audience, who made up a wide range of people, many of them families connected to the singers, old and young, local and visitors.

"And finally, the evening was rounded off with an excellent buffet supper in the church hall, after which all the visitors went home contented, and the tired helpers restored order to the hall and church kitchens and prepared the church for Sunday. It had been a wonderful, welcoming day at St Michael's Church.

"A big 'Thank You' to everyone who helped and contributed beforehand and on the day, and most of all to Alex Davies, who thought of 'Go, Goliath!” and, with the support of the Aldhelm Mission, made it all happen!"

More information on the Aldhelm Mission Fund here.

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