In true British style the summer sunshine had turned to showers but it did not dampen the musical delights of our “Concert for a Summer Evening” provided for us by the members of the Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society on Saturday evening.
The 18 singers (11 ladies and 7 gentlemen) from this long-established group of amateur singers looked thoroughly professional as they assembled in the chancel with the ladies all in elegant evening gowns and the men in smart tuxedos.
Led by their genial musical director Andrew Burke and accompanied by their resident accompanist, award-winning pianist, singer and songwriter Matyas Basco, they provided a varied performance of vocal entertainment which was much appreciated by the good-size audience.
In addition to selections from popular Gilbert & Sullivan operettas including “Patience”, “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Gondoliers”, the programme packed in a variety of other musical delights both familiar and not-so-familiar. There were selections of TV theme tunes and popular Billy Joel songs, a couple of comical songs including the rather bawdy “Joyce the Librarian” by Peter Skellern and Richard Stilgoe and a tongue-in-cheek diatribe against pigeons entitled “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” by American 50s and 60s songwriter Tom Lehrer.
The programme also included a sprinkling of classical composers including a lovely ensemble performance of Mozart’s “Ave Verum”. Other classical composers featured were Bach whose 22nd Cantata was cleverly combined with the aria “When a Merry Maiden Marries” from “The Gondoliers” and a Chopin piece delightfully interwoven with a solo rendition of “The Way We Were” . Altogether there was something for everybody’s musical taste professionally performed with wit and style.
Complementing the musical delights, a summer feast of strawberries and cream and yummy shortbread biscuits had been laid on for the audience during the interval with a glass of sparkling wine available to wash it all down.
We are grateful to the members of the Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society for giving up their time to help our cause and as always to the many volunteers from the Friends of the Church who have worked so hard behind the scenes to make this concert happen, in particular to Sarah Robinson the producer for such a successful first production!
(The Society is performing “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge on 25th – 29th October 2016. More information available on their website www.ipswichgands.org.uk or phone 01473 858108)