Autumn/Winter Concert 2023

This concert featured some of the most uplifting seasonal music, both old and new. 

The wonderfully sunny nature of Vivaldi's Gloria, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, is characteristic of all of Vivaldi’s music, giving it an immediate and universal appeal. It is his most famous choral work and has twelve varied, cantata-like sections.

Bringing back to the concert stage the work of Richmond's own composer, Mark Harrison, we heard his Cantata for Christmas, Jubilate Natale. When the choir first performed this in 2017 the press review wrote “The cantata was a joyous experience, with the moods of different movements ranging from a spooky introduction through tender, lyrical and stirring passages, ending with an exhilarating high.”

A selection of Christmas carols songs completed the programme. 

This concert was genorously supported by the Joycelyn Farrell bequest.

Joycelyn was a valued member of Richmond Choral Society for many years; her lovely contralto voice and warm, friendly personality brought her many friends within our society.

Joycelyn was born into an Army family at Catterick, her mother was Canadian and her father was serving as a lieutenant; she was subsequently educated at Richmond High School.  During this time her parents were most anxious that she did not acquire an accent, arranging elocution lessons for her which no doubt helped within the various societies she joined. 

Upon leaving school, Joycelyn was employed by Dent and Company who were a firm of architects in Richmond and whilst working for them, she was given a van so that she could travel to sites to carry out surveys.  She was often seen around the area measuring up for future construction.

Both the operatic society and our own choral society benefitted from her outstanding singing ability. She was equally comfortable singing either choral music or musicals and enjoyed performing in pantomimes as principal boy.  It seems she had the legs!

Joycelyn continued to sing all the great classical works with our society for many years being a mainstay of the contralto section.  As Joycelyn retired, she continued to live in Catterick, singing with us until not long before she died, aged 94 in 2020.

A life well sung.

John Clarke


Featured Event

Our next concert on Saturday 4th May is part of Richmond MayFest 2024 and features contrasting works composed a hundred years apart. Verdi, a master of opera, returned to a liturgical text for his final composition Four Sacred Pieces. The influences of Palestrina who he much admired, can be heard throughout. John Rutter took seven well known spirituals, usually solo works in concert, setting them for chorus, solo and ‘orchestra’. It is both joyful and moving. We look forward to seeing you at St Mary's Church, Richmond.


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