When you see such names as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Lerner and Lowe and Andrew Lloyd Webber in a concert programme, then you know that you are in for a treat. This was the situation on Sunday 24th September at Christ Church, Longridge.
A large audience gathered to hear music performed by a quartet of versatile singers and instrumentalists, combined with updates from Mission Partnerships in Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone which the church has strongly supported for many years
The opening number based on the theme from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ really raised the roof, as the quartet, featuring Ian Williams (piano) Jason McMahon (clarinet) David Rose (percussion) and Carol Rose at the organ launched the afternoon. (Actually I was rather concerned as the roof may be needing repair.)
We stayed with Lloyd Webber for solo items from Carol and Jason. These were ‘Tell me on a Sunday’, a lesser-known song from this composer, and ‘Gethsemane’ from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
All proceeds from the concert, which totalled £504.50, supported the Mission Teams of the Lancashire District of the Methodist Church. During short breaks in the concert, we were privileged, on this occasion, to have our Chair of District, Rev Paul Davis, who shared on the work in Papua New Guinea. Similarly, we welcomed Judith Laycock and Becca Ainsworth, who had been working in the Nixon Memorial Hospital in Sierra Leone. The congregation here in Longridge, has established close links through the constant work of member John Spencer.
‘Musical Moments’ resumed with a rousing playing of the ‘Wedding Processional’ from ‘The Sound of Music’, followed by the lesser well-known repertoire of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Giants in the Sky’ and ‘Stay with Me’ from ‘Into the Woods’.
The ever popular ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story was well received, whilst the medley from ‘My Fair Lady’ had the audience singing along. As we approached the end of the concert, music from Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’ was sensitively performed. Personally, I think ‘Tell me it’s not True’ is one of the most beautiful show songs of all time.
A very successful concert and all participants, (who between them, sang, played piano, organ, cello and percussion) should be congratulated for a job well done.
Thanks to Carol Rose, who devised, directed, played and sang!
As I sit to write this article I am confronted by the news of fighting in Virginia USA and of a car deliberately driven into a crowd, killing at least one person.
Contrast that with a text from St John’s Gospel (chapter 15) in which Jesus told his disciples that he loved them so much, he was willing to give up his life for them. In the same way that God the Father loved Jesus the Son, so he in turn loved his disciples. Then he issued a command saying, “Love one another as I have loved you”.
We see here a progression. Love starts with God who passes it onto his Son, who passes it onto his followers who are then commanded to pass it on to one another. Jesus knew that love cannot be hoarded like some commodity or it will achieve precious little. It needs to be passed on from person to person and as it circulates, it grows in quantity and depth.
So how do we end up with people fighting one another on the streets, on a football terrace, or on estates? I’m sure there are political and sociological explanations for in-fighting, but I’m not learned enough to cite them, explain them or comment on them. I am a man of faith and my observation is that perhaps we have taken Jesus’ command to “love one another” and morphed it into something like “love those who… are like us… agree with us… stand for the same things… come from the same tribe… etc”. We miss the conditional second half of the command – “Love one another as I have loved you”. We are to love in a way that mirrors Jesus’ love for everyone he met; people who were not like him, people who didn’t agree with him and people who didn’t like him.
The challenge of the gospel is to love those who are like us and different from us, those who agree with us and those who oppose us, those we like and those we don’t like, those who like or dislike us. Now that is a challenge!
Reverend Ray Borg | Methodist Minister | Ingol, Lea & Christ Church
The 13th edition of the ‘Music in the Afternoon’ series held at Christ Church on May 14th saw the first visit to Longridge of Preston Flute Group. They are an enthusiastic ensemble of around 20 members, who meet fortnightly on Fridays in Woodplumpton and whose aim, inspired by the late local music teacher Mike Walder, is to promote all aspects of flute playing. Their repertoire demonstrated the wide range of the instruments in the flute family, from the highest, the piccolo, to that of the lowest, the giant contrabass flute.
Skilful ensemble playing was evident from the start with the opening three movements of ‘Animal Crackers’. Musical Director, Rob Rainford then conducted the group in an engaging arrangement of ‘Eleanor Rigby’. Rob went on to demonstrate his expertise at arranging by introducing all the sounds of the various flutes in an amusing performance of ‘When The Saints meet the Flutes’.
The second half opened with Liz Sharma’s ‘Water Birds’ in three movements, which provided some exquisite sounds, as did the popular Mascagni Interlude which followed.
A very special moment was shared when Hilary Ashton played solo flute in a smaller ensemble performing a beautiful rendition of her late father, Ernest Tomlinson’s piece, Chadkirk Idyll.
The enjoyable afternoon concluded with ‘Appalachian Suite’ with four arrangements of American traditional melodies by Kelly Via.
During their well-earned break, Henry Rose and Jason McMahon led a reflection on the work of Christian Aid on the 60th Anniversary of Christian Aid Week. Also, Claire Tuffin highlighted her involvement with’60 Million Trebles’, an international blanket making project for refugees.
The concert raised £430 along with an awareness of the ongoing and much needed work amongst people in need both here and overseas.