International Staff Songsters visit to Kettering SA – Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th January 2015
To a capacity filled hall, the I.S.S .casually and in an “add hock” way , introduced themselves to the congregation, and then they began their week-end visit to Kettering,by singing an arrangement from Psalm 24, quickly followed by the song, ” In the Name of the Lord”. For the rest of the evening and indeed for the whole weekend, the large congregations were richly entertained and blessed by a vast range of music that suited all tastes, from the classics to the modern up to date arrangements. “Just like John” , originally written by L/Col Norman Bearcroft, for brass band, was brilliantly adapted for the songsters, and it was a real tongue twister, and was greeted by a prolonged ovation. A major work for the evening was a “Choral Symphony” words by Stephen Pearson and music composed by Staff Songster Richard Phillips, which comprised of four very contrasting sections.The first soloist was songster Rachel Gray who sang from Puccini`s “Visse D’arte. We were then treated to a brilliantly played piano solo, by our own Bandmaster, staff Songster Richard Phillips, to one of “Rachmaninov`s” concertos. Other musical treats, included Handel’s “Worthy is the Lamb” from the Messiah, and another classic from Mozarts “Overture -The Magic Flute” sung in the style of the Swingle Singers, and it was greeted by prolonged applause, so much that it was requested as an add on to the Sunday afternoon programme. A popular group of songs, local to the area, was a compilation of hymn tunes by Sidney Cox, aptly named “Sing along with Sidney” with the congregation encouraged to join in.
During very encouraging Sunday meetings, led by Executive Officer George Pilkington, the Kettering y.p. sections took part and their participation was well received.
Again Sundays festival was a feast of good music, well sung and presented to the highest standard that is the I.S.S. and no one could have gone away disappointed by the gospel message so clearly shown.During the festival, the home sections took part, including an inspiring piece by the band.
the weekend concluded with both songster brigades uniting to sing “God of My Praise” by Chris Springer.