St. Edmund's choir go to the movies
Fundraising concert at Waterloo cinema raises £4,000
'A musical journey through some of the most popular and iconic films.' This is what the audience packed inside Screen 1 at Waterloo’s Plaza Cinema were promised at a special concert on Sunday 14 July, and the choir of St Edmund of Canterbury certainly did not disappoint.
The concert, which raised approximately £4,000 towards Jospice’s 40th anniversary appeal, was titled Songs from the Silver Screen and featured some of the best-loved music from movies.
The St Edmund’s choir have been performing Christmas concerts since the late 90s so this was a different challenge but one they embraced in impressive fashion, and their director of music, Martin O’Boyle, could not have been more pleased. “It was the best concert we’ve given in terms of performance and entertainment definitely,” he said. “They became performers at the Plaza and sent everyone home with a smile on their face, which was brilliant.
It was an evening of memorable performances – from Roy Weissensteiner’s captivating turn as the Phantom of the Opera on Music Of The Night via Anna Corcoran’s superb Skyfall to the choir’s stirring finale of One Day More from Les Miserables, which earned a deserved standing ovation. “To see the audience already rising to their feet before they had finished the piece was incredible,” said O’Boyle who founded the choir back in 1997.
With a selection of songs spanning 80 years of Hollywood, there was plenty of fun too. Kendal Bradshaw, Liz Mercer, Katherine Lee and Sophie Mahar morphed joyously into The Chordettes to sing Mr Sandman while the audience got to join in on Let’s Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins. A night that put a spring in the step ended with smiles on faces too as the choir marched off the stage to the theme from The Great Escape.
“The feedback we had from the audience has been unprecedented," added O'Boyle. "In 16 years of doing concerts with St Edmunds, it’s the first time the public have been moved to write into the local media, it’s fantastic.”
One audience member sent a letter to the Liverpool Echo in praise of 'an incredibly life-affirming event' and 'the best night out I've had at the theatre (or a cinema) in a long while.'
Pat Murphy, Jospice director of fundraising and communications, was delighted with the choir’s efforts towards the 40th anniversary appeal, which is aiming to raise £950,000 towards a refurbishment of the charity’s Thornton hospice. “We are putting an extension on the hospice to modernise six bedrooms, with new bathrooms and a lounge area for patients.
"We still need about £280,000 so the money raised has been a great boost. It was a really great night, a great community event, and everybody pulled the stops out. Everybody enjoyed it and there was really good feedback and remarks as people were leaving the Plaza.”
St Edmund’s choir have already begun preparations for their next Jospice fundraiser - a Christmas concert to be held in the Concert Room at St. George's Hall on Sunday 22 December (7.30pm).
Simon Hart, Catholic Pictorial
A Brilliant Night!
THERE'S so much moaning that goes on these days, some of it with good reason! But I just wanted to let you know about a recent event which restored my faith in humanity. It was a concert called 'Songs from the Silver Screen', held at the Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo.
It featured local artists such as Danielle Thomas and Anna Corcoran and St Edmund's Choir who used it as a fundraising event to launch Jospice's 40th Anniversary Appeal. I believe that all of those involved did it for nothing: the singers, musicians, choir and MC - purely for the desire to help a local charity and give people an enjoyable concert. My word, they did just that.
In an increasingly cynical world, to see the performers and the public enjoy every single minute of the event was incredibly life-affirming.
It was the best night out I've had at the theatre (or a cinema!) in a long while. Well done to Jospice, Martin and St Edmund's Choir. Hats off to you all.
Mike Pearson, Crosby
What a great show!
I HAVE lived in Crosby for the past five decades and I have seen many changes, not always for the better.
So many local businesses and great venues have closed down, with currently our libraries and Civic Hall under threat. There’s also been the winding down of choirs, amateur dramatic groups and dance troupes – all of which entertained the area wonderfully well over the years. An event which took place at the Plaza (our community cinema) last Sunday defied all that. As was advertised in the Herald, it was a fundraising concert for Jospice, called Songs from the Silver Screen.
It was a great night out and I have to say that it made me proud to come from Crosby. Sopranos Kendal Bradshaw and Danielle Thomas excelled, Roy Weissensteiner was mesmerising and Martin O’Boyle as conductor had the fun and charisma of Andre Rieu, the dynamism of Vasily Petrenko and the choral control of Gareth Malone! The 30-strong Waterloo-based St Edmund’s Choir were magnificent, taking on (and meeting) challenging pieces such as the Hallelujah Chorus.
But the highlight had to be One Day More from Les Miserables – which fully deserved the standing ovation it got. I’d love to join them, but I can’t sing a note! I believe £4,000 was raised for Jospice on the night – a credit to the choir and the performers. Keep it up and I can’t wait to see you again at Christmas. Congratulations to all involved once again.Patricia Smythe, Crosby Herald
I went to see St Edmund's Church choir last weekend (July 14) at the Plaza Cinema and thought the performance was fantastic, especially the Phantom himself.
Mrs Boyle, Champion News