The last time BMS performed Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius was in 1998 under the baton of James Eastham, who conducted the choir from 1977 to 2007.
Saturday night’s performance of this much-loved piece has been long in the planning and the choir was very grateful to receive donations towards it from Geoffrey Taylor, in memory of James Eastham and from Valerie Eastham, in memory of Geoffrey himself, who sadly did not live to hear it.
The concert was further supported by our conductor, Tom Newall, who raised over £1000 towards it by running the Blackpool Half Marathon two years ago and it was dedicated to the memory of Kath Cross, 1945-2014, who left the choir a generous bequest.
For those of us taking part, it was an unforgettable experience and a privilege to sing with such accomplished soloists, contralto Emily Howard Cobley, tenor Benjamin Sweeney and bass Thomas D. Hopkinson, the magnificent Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra and not forgetting our friend on the organ, Sam Hudson.
‘Even though it was the fifth time I’ve sung it, it was wonderful.’ Jean
‘The hardest thing I’ve sung with the choir so far, but it was very rewarding, absolutely brilliant!’ Pete
‘It was wonderful, magnificent and a great credit to Tom.’ Madeline
‘It was magic.’ Chris
‘One had known fear…but it was all triumphantly dispelled on the night.’ Mike
‘The Dream was my dream. I haven’t stopped smiling.’ Madeline
‘It was absolutely out of this world…extraordinary…beyond words….’ Margaret
Last words from our amazing conductor Tom:
‘Gerontius is a piece that I grew up with as a singer, and having performed it numerous times have always wanted to conduct it. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to do it many more times, but I will never forget this very first one….tonight was special.’