St Albans, October 2012
A Joint Concert with Hertfordshire County Youth Choir
Herts Advertiser Review by John Manning (extract):
WHEN a choir full of singers with years of experience teams up with a group of youngster who have only been together for a month then it is hard to know what the result will be, but just such a meeting at St Saviour's Church In St Albans on Saturday produced an evening of exciting and well sung music.
The experienced Singers were the prizewinning Imperial Male Voice Choir while the youngsters were the members of the Hertfordshire County Youth Choir
who only started In their present grouping at the beginning of last month.
Although the men of the Imperial choir under their conductor, popular St Albans musician Deborah Miles-Johnson, took the lead in the concert with an eclectic programme ranging from grand opera to Billy Joel's And So It Goes, the young members of the County Youth Choir proved themselves to be fine music makers from their opening with Bob Chilcott's delightful Walk Softly and Sweet Prospect to Roderick Williams' arrangement of the spiritual I Want Jesus to Walk with Me.
As might be expected Imperial had their own show-stoppers Including Deborah Miles-Johnson's arrangement of Moscow Nights and her arrangement of Sit DownYou'r Rocking the Boat from Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls to Jonathan Rathbone's fabulous arrangement of Nobody Knows coupled with Deep River In
which Deborah, a well-known mezzo soprano es well as a choir trainer and conductor, took the solo role. But the real high spots of the evening were the tremendous performances of Shenandoah at the end of the first half and The Boatmen's Dance, At the River and Ching-a-rlng Chaw by American composer
Aaron Copland which concluded the concert.
The two choirs blended wonderfully to provide a truly magnificent sound....
Audience Members' Comments:
"I so enjoyed hearing the Imperial Male Voice Choir sing with such conviction and commitment last Saturday. Under their accomplished conductor, Deborah Miles-Johnson, they sang seriously, lightly, entertainingly, in English and in Russian and presented a wonderfully varied and thoroughly musical programme. A great pleasure!"
"I was very impressed with many aspects of your enjoyable programme. The fine blend, balance, ensemble and response to the conductor; the varied repertoire (able to switch from one style to another with ease); the obvious sense of enjoyment conveyed to the audience; also the successful way the men combined with the mixed choir of young people in performance."
Cathy Heller-Jones, Director of the County Youth Choir:
"Musically it was a delight to listen to the polished and resonant singing of IMVC, with their varied and shaded programme. It is rare to hear male voice choirs, still rarer to hear one of such quality as this. It was a pleasure also to be able to sing with you. I thought our lads blended in beautifully in the Copland, and with the girls joining in, the whole group acquired a wonderful brightness and shimmer. Shenandoah was a highlight and it was great to sing it twice."
Betchworth – June 2012
From the Vicar:
What a fantastic evening !!!!!!!!! I knew that the choir would be good but I didn't realise you guys were THAT good. The church was buzzing this morning with wonderful comments from those who had attended and real disappointment from those that couldn't make it.
We thought Tessa was brilliant and what a character! Debbie has the most beautiful voice oh we were so spoilt.
We have had the monies counted now and the total programme sales came to £1290, We would really LOVE you to come back to Betchworth, but realise that you must be in such demand. I will leave it to you to decide whether you would like to return and when. PLEASE bear us in mind when you are making up next year’s calendar.
Please thank all the choir you must be so proud of yourselves.
I have been playing my CD all afternoon.
Uckfield Festival 2007
My wife and I were at the concert you performed in at Uckfield on Sunday evening and I write to say how very much we enjoyed it and most particularly the overall performance of the choir. Everything about you all was so very impressive and the quality and balance portrayed was outstanding.
As for the 'Three Tenors' - they were absolutely superb.
Congratulations come in abundance to the choir, conductor and accompanist. Thank you for giving us such a wonderful evening - we now have both of your 'CD's' - and when they are played we will be able to reminisce on the happy occasion we so much enjoyed
Best wishes - Terry & Janice Morford.
Thank you so much, Debbie, for letting the Sinfonia share the concert with you. Can I just say on behalf of the Sinfonia how much we enjoyed performing with you on Sunday evening? The whole occasion was such un. The your wonderful choir last night. I have never seen such enthusiasm among the players before. It was quite a different programme from our usual musical fare--I mean the symphonic repertoire.
I loved so much of your programme, especially the Stanford and the lovely baritone. What a wealth of talent there is among those men. I was quite surprised when Roger Nicholls said nice things about the orchestra because I fondly imagined you were used to singing with, eg, the RPO or Academy of St Martins.
MD of Mid-Sussex Sinfonia
choir sang wonderfully, and the three tenors...! (I think our viola players wished they had ear plugs). If I may say so, the positive way in which the evening and the performers were presented to the audience contributed greatly to the occasion and the success of the concert.
I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did - there can't be any doubt that the audience were happy. Thank you for inviting us to take part.
We have very happy memories of the evening
Chairman of Mid-Sussex Sinfonia
Alton music lovers experienced a real treat recently as they relaxed in the beautiful beamed hall at the Alton Maltings Centre and listened to wonderful singing by two choirs.
The Imperial Male Voice Choir sang an impressive collection of songs, including pieces in Russian and French, their superb powerful voices filling the hall with tuneful, romantic and lively music...
HomeStart Weywater are delighted that the evening raised £1,380 for their charity and would like to thank the choirs.......
Alton Herald, 25th June 2010 (extracts)
I would just like to thank you all, both personally and also on behalf of Ancora & Home-Start, for coming to Alton and putting on such a superb concert here. My ladies thought you were great and also really enjoyed singing with you in the joint pieces. One, positioned in front of the 2nd basses, said that it was like having a soothing back massage. Is that what they mean by music therapy. We have already received a fair bit of feedback from locals who attended the concert – all of it full of praise.
MD of Ancora Ladies Choir
Nord Vaudois Broye
Concert in Vallorbe, Switzerland
Imperial Voices in the Festival of Song. Around 400 people stood singing le Vieux Chalet in le Temple de Vallorbe (Switzerland) on Thursday. They had come to participate in a choral concert of great quality. The public were captivated by the imperious voices of the London singers and the young Neuchatel soprano Leana Durney.