February 2013 – ‘Wild Britain’ with Colin Westgate FRPS,MFIPA
Internationally celebrated Mersea Photographer Colin Westgate enthralled a completely sold out audience at our Parish Church with his wonderful images from around our beautiful country. Landscapes from all parts and in a variety of weather conditions captivated all who were there. Colin gave an engaging insight to the compositions through his calm and clear talk that focused on artistry rather than technicality. The collection of his work shared with us was created over many years of thoughtful location planning and patient waiting for just the right weather and lighting to optimise effect.
For more information on Colin’s work, visit his website http://www.questphoto.co.uk/
June 2013 – Covent Garden comes to Mersea
This event was an absolute joy. The Covent Garden Minuet Company in their wonderful period costumes were delightful and immense fun. The witty commentary from Charles and the excellent directions for those who wanted to join in with dancing and the secret language of the fan made for success.
Laura Abella gave completely magical performances. Beautiful voice, note perfect; power and control; and most of all, emotion, passion and expression. She really did move the entire audience and so deserved her very long standing ovation at the end.
We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Covent Garden Minuet Company and Laura Abella who gave their performances entirely free of charge to help the Friends’ fund raising efforts to assist with funding our beautiful buildings.
Laura interspersed her programme throughout the evening and she sang:
Sweeter Than Roses – Purcell, Non Mi Dir- Mozart, O Mio Babbino Caro – Puccini, Pie Jesu – Lloyd Webber, The Jewel Song – Gounod, Ave Maria – Schubert, Summertime – Gershwin, Vissi D’Arte – Puccini, Casta Diva – Bellini, Poor Wand’ring One – Sullivan and Time to Say Goodbye – Satori.
For information visit Laura Abella’s & the Covent Garden Minuet Company websites:
August 2013 – Lady Windermere’s Fan
The middle of August saw the production of this Oscar Wilde classic, performed by DOT and organised by Liz and Peter Clements and staged in the garden of their lovely house in Firs Road. Floodlights added a magical touch and a bar sold wine and Pimms befitting a lovely summer evening.
The performance was well attended by over 160 theatre-goers and the event made £1,724, £862 of which went to The Friends and the balance to another charity. We are grateful to Liz and Peter and all those concerned with staging this event.
October 2013 – The Essex Police Choir
On Saturday 19th October a packed church was treated to a most enjoyable evening of music from The Essex Police Choir led by their Musical Director Norman Eastbrook MBE.
Their programme comprised well-known selections from popular shows, including a medley of tunes from Les Miserables and an arrangement of songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, as well as other popular songs and familiar sacred and classical pieces.
The Choir also brought with them the Cavender Singers – a group of six ladies from Clacton who enthralled us with a number of songs including a moving arrangement of “Wherever You Are” made famous by Gareth Malone and The Military Wives Choir.
Finally the well-known local organist Peter Dollimore performed Edwin Lemare’s Andantino in D-flat on the church organ. He told us if we didn’t recognise the title we might well recognise the tune. It turned out the melody was later given words and became known as the song Moonlight and Roses.
November 2013 – Friends Free Concert
This event was an eclectic mix of organ recital pieces, well known British Anthems, and seaside sing-along with a finale reminiscent of the Last Night of the Proms to include the Sailors Hornpipe, Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia with a guest soloist.
December 2013 – Christmas Carol Concert
This was the third annual Carol Concert produced by the Friends of West Mersea Church and performed for us by the hugely-popular community choir Vocalise led by Caroline Laver and the local band Moondance led by Ian Jewitt.