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Concert in aid of Cruse Bereavement Care, March 2013

St. Mary's Church was the setting on Friday 18 October for a Charity Concert in aid of the All Pembrokeshire branch of Cruse Bereavement Care. The concert featured Haverfordwest Ladies Choir, Whitland and District Male Voice Choir and the Haverfordwest Schools' Brass Ensemble.

The Ladies' Choir, under the baton of Nancy Mann and accompanied by Gerald Nicholas, must be one of the most venturesome of local choirs in their willingness to take on new material, for the ten items in their two sets included several new pieces. Their programme ranged from Jay Althouse's 'African alleluia', which had percussion accompaniment by Inka Lesinska and Emma Halls, and the Appalachian folk hymn 'Wayfarin' stranger', to old favourites like Richard Rogers' 'You'll never walk alone' and what is by now almost a signature tune: Don Besig's 'As long as I have music'.

The Ladies' Choir contrasted splendidly with the deeper and very different sound of the Whitland Choir, so that a feature of the evening was the stimulating contrast in styles and sounds. The Male Voices, with Juliet Rossiter as conductor and accompanist, gave us another varied batch of songs, from traditional favourites like 'Shenandoah' and Ryan Davies's 'Ti a dy ddoniau' to some interesting pieces like 'Esgair llyn' by Pete St. John. Martin Davies and Richard Lewis were well-appreciated soloists.

An additional pleasure was the performance of the Brass Ensemble, a small group of musicians from Tasker Milward and Sir Thomas Picton Schools, who were conducted by Hilary Lewis and who gave the audience both Purcell's rousing 'Trumpet Voluntary' and Hoagy Carmichael's languorous 'Lazybones'. Their playing of Antonin Dvorak's 'Song to the moon' featured an excellent trumpet solo from Ben Richards.

The evening came to a rousing climax when the two choirs joined forces to sing 'Hafan gobaith' and 'Gwahoddiad'.

Robert Nisbet