Past concerts

Summer concerts 2024 – “Music For a Summer Evening”

Concerts were held as follows.

Friday 28th June at 7:00pm – St Michael & All Angels, (Lyons) Easington Lane
Saturday 29th June at 7:00pm – St Barnabas Church, Burnmoor
Friday 5th July at 7:30pm – St Gregory’s Church, South Shields
Saturday 6th July at 7:30pm – St Andrew’s Church, Roker

Below is the poster for the St Andrew’s concert. (Full size pdf here.) The NODA report is as follows.

Author: Helen Abraham

It’s always a lovely visit to St Andrews Operatic Society, such a warm welcome and you can always guarantee their musical performances will be second to none. Choral arrangements and musical direction under Ken Matthews are always going to be superb and their summer concert “Music for a Summer Evening” was just that, despite the torrential rain outside.

Accompanied by Pam Bell, the group expertly made their way through a varied and beautiful programme of choral and solo arrangements with organ solos by Colin Wood interspersing We began with a beautiful choral rendition of “Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago, followed by “I’ll Make Music”, “The Shepherd” and “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins demonstrating the breadth of his style to quote the programme of events kindly provided to me by group secretary Gilly Beck. I did really enjoy “Adiemus”, the control by the singers was really something very special as was the flute solo by Jen Bradshaw which accompanied it. Thank you to Ken for the fascinating story of the painting purchased by Kark Jenkins due to it inspiring him only to discover the artist had painted it to one of his own works! How wildly fascinating!

These were followed by a beautiful solo from Kim Storey “Dream a Dream” which was lovely to listen to and very atmospheric in the wonderful setting of St Andrew’s Church, Roker.

We then moved on to a theme of “24” with “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Faure who died in 1924; “Locus Iste” by Anton Bruckner who was born in 1824 and “Justorum Animae” by Charles Stanford who also passed in 1924. These were followed by another solo, this one by Eric Stephenson “Silent Worship”. The first Act was concluded with a melody from “South Pacific” where we were asked to identify the song which did NOT feature and was missing from the melody. I think I identified it as “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair”? Was I right? I definitely heard; Bali Hi, Younger than Springtime, I’m in Love, Nothing like a Dame and Some Enchanted Evening!

The second half continued in the same vein with “Those lazy hazy crazy days of summer” by Hans Carste followed by a recognisable “Anything Goes” by Cole Porter, again beautifully arranged and performed by this very talented group of vocalists. We then had a rendition of the very famous “I Dreamed a Deam” from Les Miserables which I’ve never heard performed as a group rather than a solo and it was just beautiful.

We then heard a gorgeous solo from Susan Antcliff, Pilgrim by Enya arranged by Pam Bell which was an absolute joy. We followed on with “Caledonia” by Dougie MacClean, a simple and poignant piece with a soprano lead by Daisy Bradshaw with was crystal clear, then a hilarious solo from Michael Beck of III Wind which had us in fits of laughter. Really well performed Michael, we really enjoyed it. Such a tongue twister almost!

The concert concluded with “The Long Day Closes” and “Dance a Cachucha” both by Arthur Sullivan very much demonstrating contrasting styles and a beautiful solo by Kathy Price which was so heartfelt and sincere, I defy anyone in the audience not to have been moved by it, of “Funny How the Love Gets in the Way”. Absolutely beautiful, you couldn’t hear a pin drop.

We ended with “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller, recognisable from the Toffee Crisp advert in the 1970s ending with audience participation to “When the Saints Go Marching in” of course known from Louis Armstrong’s recording in 1938.

A lovely evening entertainment as always from St Andrews Operative Society. Thank you so much for your kind invitation and I am so pleased I ended up being able to make it. Do look out for their Christmas Concert on 13 December and “The Gondoliers” 19-22 February 2025 as both are sure to be fantastic.


Christmas concert 2023

Below is the poster that we published for our Christmas concert – “Sing Christmas”. The concert was, we gather, a resounding success! Here is the NODA report.

Author: Helen Abraham

It’s always a pleasure to attend St Andrews Christmas performances (provided you bring a cushion – those pews are hard!) and their 2023 “Sing Christmas” carol concert was no exception. Situated in the beautiful St Andrews church in Roker, the Group again performed a beautiful carol concert of festive music, carols, songs and readings.

Their arrangements are always spectacular and vocally one of the strongest groups in my district expertly arranged by Ken Matthews. The voices were lovely, well controlled and arranged. Audience participation was encouraged throughout, and this concert had a more modern and contemporary feel to it which the full church appreciated. Colin Wood accompanied where appropriate on the organ, which is just spectacular in the grand church, the sound quality really does give something impressive and ethereal filling the beautiful church with sound.

The running order felt more modern and contemporary and was really quite enjoyable. We heard some more recent carol additions such as “O Radiant Dawn” by Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan from 2007 (thank you for the information in the programmes, as an audience member they’re very interesting to read) all the way to the perhaps more recognisable favourites such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “12 Days of Christmas” where audience participation was encouraged and very enjoyable.

I was very appreciative of the hot mulled wine in the interval, a lovely touch especially with the weather! Another lovely concert, thank you all very much. Merry Christmas and I shall see you all again in 2024 for “Utopia” which sounds like it is going to be superb.