The Choir's Latest Press Release, January 2016

 

HITCHIN FESTIVAL AUDIENCE CHARMED BY

AWARD WINNING CHOIR CARITAS HARMONY

PRESS RELEASE JULY 2016

For the third consecutive year, Luton's Caritas Harmony gave a concert of songs from their highly eclectic and varied repertoire as part of the much respected annual Hitchin Festival. On Saturday 23 July, Festival music lovers were treated once again to a very high standard of singing performance that the ladies of Caritas Harmony provide at every one of their concerts.

The evening was wonderfully compered by Hitchin's own Richard Whitmore, Founder President and trustee of The Queen Mother Theatre at Hitchin. Richard skilfully guided the choir's programme of 20 songs and ensured that each item was introduced with clarity and interest. It was the first time that Richard had heard a Caritas Harmony performance and in a note to the choir's concert organiser the following day, he made the following comments:

"I am writing to say how much I enjoyed my evening with the ladies of Caritas Harmony. Having worked with a good number of choirs up and down the land during the past 50 years it was lovely to find one of such a high standard 'on my doorstep' so to speak. It may surprise some of your members but I cannot remember when I last worked with a choir who had committed - how many? - twenty numbers to memory, thus enabling every choir member to project their voice and, equally important, their feeling for the music 100 per-cent. No down-cast eyes, no irritating page-turning to distract us. Marvellous! If only more would make that bit of extra effort to learn their lines and dispense with scores. I'm sure you will have sensed that the feedback from the audience afterwards was very encouraging, a good many expressing the hope that it won't be too long before Caritas Harmony make a return trip to our town."

Led by the experienced and exacting standards of Musical Director Margaret Blenkin and the talented accompaniment of pianist Martin Hart, the choir will be in action again in 2016 at Barton Le Clay, Luton, Toddington and Dunstable. Detailed information of upcoming concerts and how to buy tickets can be found on the choir's website www.caritasharmony.co.uk

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LUTON CHOIR CARITAS HARMONY WIN FIRST PLACE AT BEDFORDSHIRE FESTIVAL OF MUSIC, SPEECH AND DRAMA 5 MARCH 2016

Released to the Local Press 9 March 2016 

The Luton Ladies' Choir, Caritas Harmony, has won a prestigious event held annually at The Corn Exchange, Bedford. The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama attracts amateur artists from across the country and provides a showcase for the wealth of talent in the amateur performing arts in Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas. The Festival offers a wide range of competition classes for all ages covering most musical genres, as well as many varied Speech and Drama classes.

At the 2016 competition held on 5 March 2016 Caritas Harmony walked away with two 'first place' awards. In the Choral Class, they won the 'Open Choral' category and were judged 'outstanding' with their 10 minute contrasting performance of 'Joshua Fit The Battle' (Traditional Spiritual), 'I Am Not Yours' (David Childs), and 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day' (English Traditional). Later in the same event the choir was awarded another 'first place' in the 'Harding Memorial Bowl', with a 'distinction' grade from the judges. For this, they sang two well-known songs 'And So It Goes' (Billy Joel) and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (Freddie Mercury). The Harding Bowl is given in memory of the Bedfordshire Festival's founder, Dr H A Harding.

 

The Choir are pictured here a few days after the competition at their rehearsal hall in Stopsley, Luton with Musical Director Margaret Blenkin 

The Caritas Ladies will be singing at events and concerts throughout Herts, Beds and Bucks in 2016 with many concerts raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, their chosen charity for 2016.  The choir's next concert is at St Mary's Church, Church Street, Luton LU1 3JF on 16 April 2016 - a joint concert with the highly acclaimed Luton Male Voice Choir.  'WITH A VOICE OF SINGING' starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £8 with refreshments available to purchase during the evening.  Ticket information for this concert can be found on the Caritas website.

To hear Caritas Harmony at other venues throughout 2016 and to see reports and photographs of previous concerts and achievements, take a look at their website www.caritasharmony.co.uk  

 

LUTON CHOIR'S YEAR OF HARMONY

Released to Local Press January 2016 

Once again the Luton choir, Caritas Harmony (previously known as Pasque Harmony) has completed a highly successful year of concerts and events in Beds, Herts and Bucks. In 2014 the choir donated £5000 to their newly chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2015, the choir raised another significant sum for Macmillan, yet to be confirmed. Then in 2016 they intend to continue to raise funds for this highly valued service.

Last year the ladies of Caritas Harmony performed a total of 12 concerts in addition to numerous private events for which the choir has a dedicated group of singers. Highlights of the year included a competition at the Bedford Festival in March, an appearance in the Baldock Festival in May and a joyful street event at the High Town Luton Festival in July. The choir's most ambitious concert of the year took place at The Grove Theatre, Dunstable on 21 June and was a resounding success. Besides raising funds for Macmillan from this concert, a donation of nearly £500 was given to the Dunstable Mayor's chosen charity. The choir was joined by internationally acclaimed baritone, Jeffrey Carl, whose songs added to the broad spectrum of genres for which the choir is justifiable renowned.

Other events in the year included concerts for: The Salvation Army, Dunstable; St Mary's Church, Hitchin; St Mary the Virgin Church, Kensworth; and in August, at Barton Le Clay where Caritas ladies sang their annual 'picnic concert' in the beautiful gardens of Wayside Cottage.

2015 was delightfully brought to a conclusion by the choir's annual Christmas Concert which took place on 13 December at St Mary's R.C. Church, Dunstable. At this very special event, the choir was joined by the Hadrian Academy Choir - a highly talented group of children who represented their school. Hadrian is the only school in Bedfordshire with a Platinum 'Sing Up' Award and all children sing every day. They won the School's Got Talent in London in 2014 and were picked to sing at the Dunstable Mayor's Civic Service in 2014 and 2015. Audience members later described the event as 'moving' and 'a wonderful start to Christmas' with the children performing 4 songs of their own and 2 with the Caritas Ladies. The ladies sang 14 songs including favourites such as Russell Robinson's arrangement of 'Silent Night, Michael Neaum's arrangement of 'Gaudete' and Dan Forrest's powerful arrangement of 'The First Noel'.

In 2016 Caritas Harmony will be adding more songs to their already extensive repertoire. The ladies sing every song from memory and according to their Musical Director, Margaret Blenkin, this ensure that they sing 'from the soul'. If you would like to hear this choir and help to raise funds for Macmillan, have a look at their website for information about upcoming events in 2016. The choir has also released their third CD and this can be purchased via the website.

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