Our annual barbecue was once again held at Pamela Vivian’s home. The event was enjoyed by some 22 members and friends of the choir. The cloudy and cool weather did not dampen spirits, although a number of us preferred the comfort inside Pamela’s house. Tony Furze delivered as usual a generous offering of great barbecued meat which was complemented by salads and desserts prepared by members of the choir. It really was a lovely event and we hope to repeat it again next year.
As a tribute to Pamela Vivian for all that she has done, and continues to do, for the choir, the members offered her an evening to be remembered at Garsington Opera this summer. She sent us her thanks:
Dear All Saints’ Singers,
I cannot tell you how amazed I was at the extraordinary generosity you showed me this summer. The whole evening at Garsington Opera at Wormsley was truly magical. We started with a welcoming champagne ‘hors d’oeuvre’ followed by a wonderful first act of “Semele”. We then had a top notch interval meal in Jamie’s marquee restaurant and ended with the sumptuous and magical second half of Handel’s most wonderful opera. It was a truly magnificent evening in a simply scintillating setting. The weather was fine and the fairy-light atmosphere as dusk came and night descended was totally in keeping with the beauty of the music. This wonderful evening will be one of my most beautiful memories.
Tony and Jenny, David and Angela and David’s sister, Margaret, were there as also were Paul and Carol Gibbs and their daughter. We had an absolutely fabulous evening with Pamela.
This was another great entertaining and fund-raising event.
Vamp til Ready is a tremendously funny and mightily accomplished song-and-dance act that had many of us in stitches earlier this year. Our own Martin Elliff is one of its stars.
Reactions to the event.
Janet Knowles said:
Last night was a triumph. Thank you so much. Our friends loved it, and as my David pointed out, I enjoyed it even more than a folk concert at the Albert Hall on Easter day! Vamp were terrific – what talent. The supper was very good, and clever of you to do it for the ticket price. Several on our table commented on that – they were expecting a mere nibble.
Susan King wrote:
What a brilliant result! It was a very happy event which we enjoyed greatly. Thank you so much to you and all the committee for working so hard to give us such a wonderful evening.
The indulgent among us ate chocolate eggs, some sat down to enjoy a good lunch with wine, followed by feet up on the sofa, a good book, a spot of television perhaps or even Verdi’s Aida live from The Met.?
Instead, a small but enthusiastic group of 15 singers chose to gather in The Matrix to sing madrigals and part songs.
The first rehearsal given by Sebastian in his new “relaxed” style was great fun. His carefully chosen range of music from the 16th century gave every voice a chance to shine and an opportunity to listen to each other only possible in a small group. (When we got the notes right, that is!) Tony’s particular favourite; with its repeated Fa la la chorus and suggestions of merry lads and dainty nymphs, is truly the “month of Maying”
We made a presentation to Pamela who recently decided that it was the right time to leave the choir of which she was a founder member. David, our current chairman, paid tribute to Pamela who had been chair previously and her enormous contributions to the choir. A letter from April Cantelo (who had previously acted as voice coach to the choir) described her as a wonderful lady. Another letter from Margaret, one of the Friends of the choir and a former member, also reminded us of what Pamela had done for us. She had led us through good times and bad.
The money collected was sufficient to be able to arrange a day out to include a Garsington Opera with dinner and champagne showing the esteem in which she is held.
The BBQ was held on the 4th September in Pamela’s garden under a rather cloudy sky. As usual Tony did the cooking while members of the choir brought salads and deserts. Despite the rather low attendance it was a very pleasant afternoon.
The entertainment provided by Professor Angela Gallop and former All Saints Singers Music Director, Dr Gulliver Ralston, was spectacular – the evening was attended by some 40 guests who enjoyed the most interesting insight into what a forensic scientist has to deal with, most of it rather unsavoury, and the hilarious songs (mostly by Noel Coward) and poetry, performed by Gulliver – with great conviction!
The host, Chairman David Russell, ably assisted by Orchestral Manager, Tony Furze, impressed everyone – by turning around the terrible daytime weather at the very last minute – to enable guests to spend a very enjoyable time eating and drinking in the magnificent grounds of his home.
I believe that the aim of raising much needed funds for the choir should have been achieved, and a big thank you to the organizers is in order.