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Witham Choral Society Press Releases

Contrasting Easter Music with Witham Choral

After the popular Christmas concert given by Witham Choral in December our thoughts turn to Easter when we will be presenting a concert of contrasting music at Witham United Reformed Church on Saturday 10 March at 7.30 p.m. Members of the Colchester Philharmonic will accompany the choir in a rich treat of seasonal music.

Musical Director Patrick McCarthy told us: “We will be performing Part 2 of Handel’s magnificent Messiah which culminates in the famous Hallelujah Chorus. We are also delighted to be presenting a moving version of The Seven Last Words of Christ by local composer, Alan Bullard, entitled Wondrous Cross. Alan has included negro spirituals and familiar hymns in this accessible piece and we are looking forward to bringing it to Witham. I am also very pleased to welcome back mezzo-soprano Elaine Henson as soloist.”

Tickets are £10 with £5 for those in full-time education. They are available from the Visitor Information Centre at Witham Town Hall and from choir members. Details from 01376 513713.

LAST CONCERT: Sing Christmas!

Witham Choral is presenting a Sing Christmas! concert on Saturday 9 December at 7.30 p.m. at Witham Public Hall which will include carols galore for both choir and audience.

In addition to the carols, it will be a splendid Christmassy mixture of excerpts from Messiah, Charpentier’s Midnight Mass and Vaughan Williams’ Christmas Fantasia. Witham Choral will be accompanied by the Colchester Philharmonic, conducted by Patrick McCarthy, and baritone soloist Alastair Merry will be joining in the seasonal celebrations.

Last spring: Last Night of the Proms at Witham Public Hall

Witham Choral is delighted to be bringing The Last Night of the Proms to Witham Public Hall at 7.30 p.m. in Saturday 11 March. The Colchester Philharmonic and soloists Gill Wilson (soprano) and Roderic Knott (tenor) will be adding to the fun of this ever-popular concert.

Conductor Patrick McCarthy is no stranger to the Proms, having made history by stepping in to replace an ailing soloist during a televised concert at the Royal Albert Hall back in 1974. He was one of the promenaders that evening and went backstage to offer to help out after the baritone had been carried off the stage. “It was a unique occasion,” Patrick told us, “and I was recently asked to appear on The One Show to describe the experience even though it happened all those years ago.”

The choir will be singing The Hebrew Slaves among other well-known opera choruses as well as the much-loved Henry Wood Sea Songs and Jerusalem. And, of course, Gill and Roderic will be joining them in Rule Britannia! “There will be some beautiful orchestral items too,” Chairman Anne Priest added, “and I am sure it will be a great evening.”

Patrick rehearsing the choir & orchestra in preparation for Elijah, May 2013

In preparation for the next concert

Patrick has been a notable figure on the local area musical scene for over twenty years.

He was trained as a singer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Centre. His operatic and singing career has taken him all over the British Isles and Europe. Music lovers may remember his dramatic rescue of a Prom performance of Carmina Burana back in 1974. Read more here


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