CVMVC Newsletter  –  Spring  Concert 2019      

The Christmas period was an active one for the choir – the concert at the Broadway Baptist Church on December 15th was well attended, despite the very inclement weather.  Again, the young soloists, vocalist Rose Smith, and harpist, Lucy Howitt amazed us with their prowess, whilst the enthusiastic audience participation ended the evening in style.

The following Tuesday, the choir performed in the barn at the Black Horse in Chesham Vale, and Sheila’s encouragement of one of the very young children present, when singing his choice- ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, was a highlight of the evening. At both events money was collected for the choir’s charity, Chiltern Music Therapy. Thanks to Lisa Walker and her staff at the Black Horse for their hospitality.

The Spring (only just!) concert is on March 23rd and, as part of the Choirs 25th year celebrations, it will be held  at the Elgiva Theatre, starting at 7.30,. The concert, in support of Chesham Rotary, titled ”Thank You for the Music” will reflect the wide range of repertoire the choir has performed from the early years to more recent times. As for all the CVMVC concerts, there will be talented young musicians contributing to the programme. On this occasion, they will be bringing a very different, and exciting, touch to the concert -Jasmine Brown, an excellent saxophonist soloist, and the award winning High Wycombe  Music Centre Saxophone Choir. They will be directed by Jasmine’s mother, Katie – an accomplished jazz musician herself- and playing traditional and modern jazz selections.

Jasmine is 16 and a pupil of John Hampden Grammar School (the school’s only female pupil!). She began learning the saxophone at the age of 8, passing her Grade 8 with distinction aged 12, and is now in her 5th year of study at the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where each Saturday she takes saxophone lessons with Sarah Markham and plays in several of the outstanding ensembles there. Jasmine has enjoyed success in many local competitions, including the Marlow Festival for Music and Drama, the Orpheus Festival for Young Musicians, the Chesham Arts Festival and the Toddington Young Musician of the Year Competition. She has performed with both the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain. Passionate about making a career in music, Jasmine and hopes to study the saxophone at a conservatoire when she has finished her A levels.

Katie Brown, studied clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music followed by saxophone and Jazz at the University of Tennessee. She works as a freelance jazz musician and also teaches the saxophone, clarinet and coaches ensembles at various schools, as well as running ensembles at the High Wycombe Music Centre.

The High Wycombe Music Centre Saxophone Choir was set up in September 2014 with just 6 members. The group has grown over the years and is presently 15 strong. They perform a wide variety of jazz repertoire from early traditional jazz through to funk and contemporary jazz. A lot of the pieces feature improvisation and many members of the group are highly accomplished improvisers. Highlights for the ensemble have included performing twice at the Albert Hall, getting through to the finals of Music for Youth on two occasions and winning trophies in many local competitions. Last summer the group recorded a CD, which was an exciting and rewarding experience.

Chris Palmer

Mike Armstrong remembers long standing choir member, Chris Palmer, who died in December “ a friend for many years, our families shared many good times together. He was always the life and soul of a party, and his sense of humour and laughter made it impossible to be glum when in his company.

It is ironic that we rehearse in a Methodist church, because Chris and I – and several other choir members  – enjoyed the relaxing effects of a beer or two after a rigorous rehearsal session, in the ‘Recovery Room’ in the Queens Head,  and enjoyed  many a generous gin and tonic or bottle of wine together.

Chris was a staunch member of St. Mary’s church, in Old Amersham, and served for many years as a sidesman, and looked after the management and allocation of the town’s alms houses. He was a member of the local Griffin Club, and the Amersham Rotary Club, and with his long experience in HR, gave valuable counselling and career advice to many people.

He was a wonderfully supportive father to his four children, and grandfather to 11 grandchildren.

Chris was a caring, compassionate man, but one who did not suffer fools gladly, and I shall miss his company and common sense. In particular, I shall miss his laughter and optimism. An abiding memory is of Chris and I standing nose to nose in our villa in Cyprus, singing ‘I wish I was a Cloud’ to each other, having consumed many G&T’s, and I am sure that he will have found that cloud now, and be wishing us all well from it”.

Our thoughts are with his wife and family


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