DECEMBER 4: The Croydon choir was in fine voice at the Whitgift Centre this afternoon, making the first two charity fund-raising appearances during the run-up to Christmas.
Many shoppers paused to listen to the choir as it sang a selection of carols and other pieces from its current repertoire. There was strong applause for You Raise Me Up, the Hallelujah Chorus, the choir's Christmas medley and long-time favourite White Christmas.
SEPTEMBER 30. The choir sang to an appreciative audience at Rochester Cathedral last Saturday. The cathedral was crowded with visitors many of whom stopped to listen as the choir presented a diverse selection from its cathedral repertoire, ranging from American spirituals to the classic Welsh hymns. One American visitor told the choir she was most impressed that she could hear singing of such quality - and without having to pay for it either!
The Rochester appearance is the latest step in the choir's target of singing in one new cathedral every year. Meanwhile the choir is now preparing for its next concert, at St Barnabas in Beckenham on October 22.
Choir raises £1140 for local charities
DECEMBER 20: In its two Christmas appearances at the Whitgift centre, the choir raised a total of £1140 for three deserving local charities. The three are Croydon Vision, which assists the visually handicapped in Croydon; British Home, a care home in Norwood for adults with severe disabilities and complex medical conditions; and Croydon Council’s ‘Just Giving’ fund for victims and families of the tragic Sandilands tram crash. Each charity will receive £380.
The Whitgift centre performances have been a regular and popular feature of Croydon’s Christmas. With the centre scheduled for major redevelopment, the choir will be looking for a new venue for Christmas 2017. Watch this space!
Beckenham delights with South American bonus
OCTOBER 23: The Croydon choir staged a delightful concert to a new – and highly appreciative – audience at the church of St Barnabas, Beckenham, on Saturday. The church had a lovely acoustic and the choir felt lifted by the warm audience response.
Octavio and Andrea - the sounds of South America
In addition, both choir and audience were treated to two stunning spots by choir tenor Octavio Lopez Garcia and his wife Andrea Leon Cruz, who performed a range of South American folk songs and ballads – adding to the impact in the second half by wearing the traditional dress of Ecuador, their home country.
JULY 12: The Croydon choir closed its 2015-16 season with a stirring performance at Croydon High School on Saturday July 9. The school’s concert hall was packed to hear the choir sing a selection from its current repertoire, including the three poignant WW1 commemorative pieces it performed on its tour to Ypres in May.
The concert opened with the jaunty Can’t Help Falling in Love and – in a switch from the published running order – closed with the stirring American Trilogy. For an encore, it sang the rousingBrotherhood of Man from the musical How to Succeed in Business without really Trying.