On a very wet Saturday evening, the Harrow Apollo Male Choir and the Grimsdyke Brass Ensemble gathered at St John Fisher RC Hall to perform in aid of Cardiomyopathy UK. The event was organised by Ashley and Jan who regularly raise funds to help people affected by this heart muscle condition to live fulfilling lives. The choir performed at a similar event at the same venue several years ago, also organised by Ashley, for this worthwhile cause.
The concert was opened at 7.30pm by Toastmaster, Gloria Sweden introducing the band, who played the first set which included the suite, 3 Brass Cats by Chris Hazell: Mr Jums, Black Sam and Borage. Please note: these have no relation to T.S. Eliots’ Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and therefore, neither to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats.
The choir then sang four numbers while the band took advantage of the bar facilities before returning to the stage to perform American Trilogy jointly with HAMC. Many commented on how successful the combination of voices and brass instruments was in creating a very moving performance of this number.
After the interval, the choir performed their second set with some audience participation encouraged during Do You Hear the People Sing.
A fourth cat, Kraken was later added to the aforementioned suite by Chris Hazell and the Grimsdyke Ensemble opened their second set with this. The bandmaster dedicated their second piece to the Harrow Apollo choristers: Keep Young and Beautiful.
The final item on the programme was another joint number, You’ll Never Walk Alone. However, the concert ended with a joint encore, demanded by the audience, who wanted more, of I Vow to Thee My Country.
Entry fees and donations for refreshments raised £617 on the night. Raffle tickets were also sold for Cardiomyopathy UK’s Summer Raffle, which is run by the national charity and will be drawn on 31st August 2018.
Thanks to everyone who braved the elements to attend and make the evening a success both in terms of enjoying the range of music in a relaxed atmosphere and in raising a worthwhile amount for charity. Thanks also to David Phelops, who provided most of the photographs used to illustrate this blog and additional ones that can be seen in our gallery of the event.
For more photographs of this event see St John Fisher 2018 Gallery