Crescendo International Choir Raises Money for Community with Christmas Concert
The Crescendo International Choir performed a well-attended concert in December featuring a wide-variety of music at the Parroquia de Santiago in Benijofar. Almost 350 euros was raised by attendees to the concert to support the Benijofar community.
Music was sung in both Spanish and English. Spanish pieces included Amapola, El Vito, Fum, Fum, Fum Campana Sobre Campana and Feliz Navidad. Some of the English songs were Imagine, Angels We Have Heard on High and an original song called Christmas Time is Here, with lyrics by Margot Gay and music composed by Antonio Guillen, the choir’s accompanist.
In addition, the choir sang White Christmas in both English and Spanish. Crescendo Choir singers are from many European countries, such as England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, among other nationalities.
The choir’s conductor is Irene Oliva, a Spanish native, who also works as a music teacher. She is accompanied by Antonio (Toni) Guillen on the keyboard. He also teaches piano and music theory.
The money raised by the concert was given to the Benijofar town council social services agency. A large basket of chocolate and sweet treats was also donated by the choir for Christmas hampers for needy families. Crescendo Choir gives several concerts a year, raising funds for a variety of causes. On November 25, 2017, for example, the choir performed a well-attended concert at Campoamor Golf Hotel. A total of €2700 was raised and donated to Pink ladies and AECC, the Spanish Association against Cancer.
Christmas 2017 at a church
Christmas Concert Campoamor Dec 2017
La Siesta Golf Society invited the Crescendo International Choir to help with a concert event to raise money for their chosen charity for 2017, Pink Ladies and AECC. It was held in the Campoamor Golf Hotel on 25 November and was well attended. All enjoyed the concert followed by a wine and tapas reception. The wonderful total of €2700 was raised which was donated to Pink ladies AECC.
Christmas Concert at Casa Verde
As usual in the lead up to Christmas, Crescendo Choir went to sing at the residential home CASA VERDE at Almoradi. This concert is eagerly looked forward to each year by both residents and staff. As well as some fun Christmas songs and carols, the choir sang several traditional Spanish songs encouraging the residents to join in which they did with much enjoyment. Irene, the choirs’ conductor chatted to everyone and Toni, as usual excelled on the piano. (awaiting photo)
Christmas Concert at Benijófar Church
It would not be Christmas unless Crescendo International Choir sang in Benijófar church! This concert was performed on Dec 11th to a packed church. There was a bucket collection at the door which raised 222euros.
This money was given to CLAUDIA who provides food for the underprivileged families in the area. As always, the choir each brought along sweets and treats for Claudia to give to the children of Benijófar.
As always, CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIRS’ Christmas concert went with a swing.
Mary Priddle acted as MC once again, and when Doug Brown sang “Cornish Cream and Cider”, she recounted her time as a Cornish fisherman' s wife.
Jack Van Dam’s voice filled the hall with his version of “The Holy City” and later John Cloney sang a cappella.
All three solos were greeted with huge applause.
Comedy was provided by Mary Mitchell and Mary Sills singing (or rather, meowing), the cats duet by Rossini.
Mary and Margot appeared as 7 year old ‘angels’ to tell everyone about their school Nativity play with references to various choir members as their school mates, (Itchy Knickers and Bogey Pickers included!).
Although we now have an impressive 16 men in the choir, we would still like some more please!
Sequins All The Way
WOW! What a sparkly Christmas concert when Crescendo International Choir joined forces with Spangles Ladies Barbershop. Crescendo ladies wore their red sequined jackets and Spangles were dressed in ankle length harlequin sequined dresses.
Both choirs had several members missing due to illness, but it was a fabulous concert. Spangles sang first; then it was the turn of Crescendo, both sang in several languages with ease and confidence.
They joined together at the end to sing the choruses of “The Holy City” while Jack Van Dam sang the verses.To end the afternoon the whole audience joined together for “Feliz Navidad”.
The concert was in aid of AGE CONCERN and raised 995 euros for this very worthy local charity.
Last Saturday 7th May Crescendo International Choir together with the Chivenor Military Wives presented a -sell out- concert. Thanks go to Torrevieja Christian Fellowship to allow us use of their hall, and Torrevieja Mens Barbershop Chorus for use of their risers. There were standing ovations and calls for Encore, encore. It was an emotional concert with tears from the audience and both choirs. But smiles at the end when the Chivenor Military Wives received €2,000 for their own charity and Crescendo International Choir received €2,000 for The Royal British Legion, Torrevieja Branch. It was with great pride that we sang two songs together, once again more tears, You Raise me Up and Amapola in Spanish which means Poppy. Afterwards we retired to a local restaurant where everybody was ready to relax. With the hope of this becoming an annual concert we bade farewell to a wonderful group of ladies and look forward to when`We’ll Meet Again’.
On Sunday 3rd April Crescendo were pleased to give a concert in aid of Benijófar Caritas The choir also donated large amounts of dried foods and bedding A varied programme of songs sung in Italian ,Maori, Spanish and English . It was held in the beautiful Cultura Center in Benijófar After the concert a retiring collection was made and 270.50€ was donated to the local Caritas of Benjófar
Christmas Concert El Paraiso 7th December 2014
Crescendo’s Christmas concert at El Paraiso on Sunday 7th December certainly put a “tingle in our fingers and a tingle in our toes” to paraphrase words from the rendition of the ‘The Rhythm of Life’.
The winter sun shone on the ladies red sparkling jackets adding yet more tingles to the jingles.
Most songs contained a message of hope, joy or peace the best of Christmas gifts. Twelve songs were interspersed with a duet, two solos and the audience joining in the Christmas carols.
Lesley Rolls entered after the interval, wearing her pyjamas and pink bows in her hair searching for “two front teeth” and wondering why “Mummy was seen kissing Santa Claus”, which created a sense of the fun element of Christmas.
This year the choir has supported Caritas charity in various local towns. Their next concert on Saturday 13th December is at Cristo Resucitado in Villajoyosa in support of that church. The whole choir wish all their friends and supporters a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year. More information at crescendo-choir.com
Concert at La Siesta Church 24th May 2014
The money raised €363, was presented to Howard Cook, La Siesta Evangelical Church Treasurer on Sunday by Lesley, Crescendo Choir Secretary.
SUN, SEA, SAND, SANGRIA and SONG People of all nationalities living locally have no shortage of the above. There are numerous choirs and groups offering a plethora of songs and music in a variety of styles. Further, this area is rich in auditoriums and cultural centres in which performances are given. Saturday March 29th was no exception with more than one musical concert on offer. For those who chose the Palacio de Musica a visiting Danish Chamber Choir of over 20 singers, Lyngby Kammerkor sang songs a cappella (without accompaniment) from the Nordic countries. A Chamber Choir is the equivalent of an instrument ensemble but uses voices, so there are often many different parts at once. Quite a FEAT – well done Lyngby! Then in complete contrast, Crescendo International Choir took to the stage and whisked the audience to the Caribbean with ‘Begin the Beguine’. “Play a Simple Melody” has a melody running against a second melody which the 7 men choristers and 27 ladies handled expertly. A group of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller were cheered by an appreciative audience. Finally, train journey to Chattanooga, Tennessee took Crescendo to their destination in song. Joined by Lyngby Choir, both choirs then sang in the Spanish Language“Sin Ti”. The accompanist, Tony Guillen made the piano literally talk. A line in the final song summed up the concert – the sounding ‘bravos ’ proof enough that the audience agreed – ‘Joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph song of life ’. Thank you for that message Irene Oliva, (Musical Director of Crescendo). Cruz Roja were the grateful recipients of a retiring collection.
Being a member of Crescendo Choir is more than just singing...you become involved with a musical family who enjoy socialising and getting to know folk from other countries. Music crosses cultural and language barriers.
On Saturday 21st September 2013 the choir with friends visited Pinoso. On arrival in the village there was a coffee break before travelling on to a finca in the pueblo of Lel. The owners, Jayson and Glenn had prepared a feast in the garden. The picture shows the choir in good voice at an evening concert in Pinosa theatre, after which 360 euros was collected for the local Red Cross
Crescendo International Choir followed the initiative of the 3 Wise Men and gave the local community 3 gifts for Christmas. The first on 1st December was a programme of fun and entertainment at the packed venue of El Paraiso in Torrevieja. Amongst the Christmas songs and carols was an item by Lesley Rolls bemoaning the fact that she never made it to the altar, “Why am I always the Bridesmaid? ” which caused much merriment. Money raised from this annual event helps with the normal expense of running a choir. In fact, the public who attend mostly free concerts are the main benefactors. A retiring collection enabled the choir to donate €50 to Age Concern. For gift number 2 on the 6th December, Crescendo adopted a more sombre mood at the church in Benijófar. This was the day that Nelson Mandela had died so it was very appropriate that Martin Luther King ’s words “I Have a Dream ” should be one of their songs. A closing collection was made for Caritas who received €175. As the 3rd gift, those who attended the United Carol Service at Torrevieja Christian Church Fellowship were able to enjoy a double package with the inclusion of ‘Just Brass ’ band. Pastor Dave Bickerdyke reminded us that God gives everyone a chance to unwrap the gift of His Son at Christmas. Appropriately this was also the theme of a song included in the medley which Crescendo sang “It ’s a Birthday ” (see photograph). APANEE an Association for Children with Special Needs received €500 from the red buckets on the way out. In total during the year 2013 a total sum of €2640 has been donated to various charities by Crescendo International Choir. Surely this is a good enough reason for attending their concerts throughout the year. Watch the local press for future information, or go onto their web-site www.crescendo-choir.com. So there you have it. The Christmas message wrapped in 3 different packages. As Pastor Dave said, some folk only “do ” Christmas as a Santa event, some see it as mainly as Christian celebration. Others, manage to enjoy the turkey and tinsel but remember and appreciate the ‘Reason for the Season ’.
CRESCENDO CONCERT AT LOS MONTESINOS CHURCH – 20th APRIL
“Well done Crescendo, and well done Irene Oliva, for yet another excellent concert on Saturday 20th April. The Uplifting ‘Gloria ’ reverberated around the delightful church of Los Montesinos which was packed to the gunnels. The sweet tones of ‘Cantique Jean Racine ’, the rousing ‘I have a Dream ’ and the wistful ‘Va Pensiero ’ were followed by the meaningful ‘I Believe ’ among others. The old favourite and toe-tapping ‘Swinging with the Saints ’ was included as were a couple of interesting ethnic songs. Although the men were heavily outnumber by the ladies, they certainly held their own, especially when singing the ‘I Believe/Ave Maria ’ combination, and ‘Locus Iste ’ was a very fitting number for the church setting. Margaret Jennings regaled us with ‘I ’ll Walk with God ’ and accompanist Jose Alberto played a piano solo. It was very gratifying to see such a good Spanish contingency in the audience and they certainly showed their appreciation of the evening ’s performance with a standing ovation. Profits for the evening were donated to Church Funds. Keep up the good work, Crescendo ”
CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR ENTERTAINS NOSMO-KING CLUB
70 plus members of the Nosmo-King Club were entertained by Crescendo Choir at their venue in El Paraiso on the morning of Thursday 17th January. The Ladies ’ shiny red jackets added sparkle to the whole programme. A new pianist, Jose Alberto Morales Rodriguez made his debut and offered a very high standard of accompaniment, working well with the Spanish Director of Music Irene Andres. The programme opened with a Spanish song ‘Besame Mucho ’ which was indicative of the improvement in the choir ’s Spanish language skills thanks to having a Spanish leader.
Throughout the programme every word was heard clearly despite the choir consisting of 10 different nationalities. The words of a line in one of the songs outlined the need to “join our voices in unity ” which can be achieved when music is the common language. The programme was varied and included, opera, Spanish songs, musicals, folk songs, songs with a message e.g. ‘I have a dream ’, traditional, national and African and was much appreciated by the attentive audience. The choir chairman, Mary Mitchell was presented with a cheque for 100 euros at the end – the choir support various charities throughout their year.
On Saturday 3rd March, 2012, Crescendo Choir gave a concert at the Musical School in Los Montesinos in aid of the junior band to raise funds for the repair of their musical instruments. Irene Andres, the choir’s young conductor, had introduced several new pieces and besides some old favourites, Crescendo sang Puccini’s “Humming Chorus” from Madame Butterfly; “Yesterday”- The Beatles, and “Killing me Softly” - Fox and Gimbel.
Toni Guillén, Crescendo’s new piano accompanist, made his début with the choir. He showed his versatility by performing a piano solo and accompanying Sixto Herrero, Crescendo’s new Musical Director playing his saxophone. Toni is studying music composition at the Conservatoire in Murcia under Sixto, as well as harpsichord under Javier Artigas.
Eve Suffield’s beautiful soprano voice sang out an aria from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
There was no entry fee but the collection at the door, which raised almost €300, was made up to €500 from the choir’s funds for this worthwhile cause.
Crescendo choir now rehearses at El Paraiso in Jardin del Mar (close to Carrefour) on Wednesdays from 6-8pm.
If you enjoy singing and would like to join our friendly group you will be made more than welcome, especially if you sing tenor or bass! Just come along to a rehearsal evening and meet the members of the choir. Go to top
On Saturday, January 21st 2012. Crescendo ’s new Musical Director, Sixto Hererro took the choir to sing at his local church Ntra Sra del Rosario in Rafal.
The building was packed, with every available seat taken and people standing around the sides – an encouraging start for the first concert of the year.
The choir was welcomed in both Spanish and English and sang its usual mix of songs, some English, some Latin, ranging from Locus Iste to Chatanooga Choo Choo. Sixto and his pupil Irene Oliva alternated conducting the choir. Then Sixto played a very moving piece on his saxophone, dedicating it to the people of his village.
At the end of the concert, Sixto, Irene, and choir chairman Mary Mitchell were each presented with a framed picture of the church as a memento of the evening. After the performance drinks and nibbles were enjoyed by everyone and new friendships were forged.
The Christmas carol service at Torrevieja Christian Fellowship in December2011, although free entry, raised a huge €1,250 in buckets at the door!
Just Brass and Crescendo each received €150 for a charity of their choice, and the remaining €950 was split equally between APANEE and Alzheimer ’s.
The audience on the night, besides joining in all the favourite carols with the band and choir, had a surprise treat when Crescendo ’s new Musical Director Sixto and his trainee conductor Irene played a couple of duets on saxophone and piano. Cathy Carson sang some Christmas songs, joined in the last one by her friend Shirley. The choir sang a selection of pieces and the band showed off the talent of some of its members who played solos. Guest speakers from each of the churches said a few words.
Later in the New Year, Crescendo ’s chairman Mary Mitchell, along with concert manager Elly van der Vecht, took the money raised to the APANEE headquarters in Torrevieja where they were met by Anna-Maria Garcia and Yaci Valenzuela, and Cristina Carrillo, a psychologist from The Alzheimer ’s Association. They expressed their thanks to everyone who took part in the concert with special thanks to all who attended and gave so generously.
CRESCENDO ’S first concert with their new Musical Director Sixto Herrero, was the annual ‘sing-along ’.
As always, the room at Casa Ventura was full and all the audience was in good voice. This year there were a couple of surprise items in the programme. In the first half, tenor John Dunkin played two solos on the piano to much applause.
To start the second half, Irene Oliva, the choir ’s trainee conductor, took over the piano to accompany Sixto on his saxophone. There was so much applause after their two pieces that they played another two as an encore. Sixto conducted some of the singing and Irene made her dÃ©but as a conductor for the rest of the concert.
Sue Trick accompanied the choir for their numbers and also the carol singing with everyone joining in enthusiastically. Sixto talked to the audience with the aid of Sara Scargill as translator and apologized that his English is still poco. He thanked everyone for coming and said how much he and Irene were enjoying the new experience of working with an international choir.
For the fourth year running, Val Jones had organized a collection of foodstuffs from the choir and made up two huge baskets of Christmas goodies and a couple of single items for the raffle which raised over €250 for choir funds. First prize basket went to Marta Bosseloo, second basket to Joe Wallace. Both audience and choir thoroughly enjoyed the evening making a good start to the Christmas season.
Our musical director Chas asked for any blankets we could spare, as the Salvation Army was in desperate need for the people of Lorca. The choir rose to the challenge and in 3 days collected almost a hundred items, such as sleeping bags, blankets, and towels. When the bus arrived at Quesada Arches to take the choir to Alicante it took several minutes to load all the bags! On arrival at the Headquarters in Alicante, the officers were overwhelmed by the quick and generous response of the choir members.
The concert was introduced by Major Jorgen Booth who told the audience of Crescendo ’s generosity. He showed slides of Lorca and the work that the Salvation Army is doing there, saying that food, clothes, and blankets are still needed.
The concert consisted of a wide range of music including a flute-and-piano duet by Margaret Jennings and Sue Trick, and a Chopin nocturne played by Sue Trick. Then soloist Margot Gay sang I don ’t know how to Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar, and Pat Yardley sang Stranger in Paradise from Kismet. Chas Smith conducted this, his penultimate concert with the choir, and as always Sue Trick was ‘mistress of the keyboard ’ playing for choir and soloists. The evening closed with The Blessing of Aaron and a bucket collection was taken at the door for the Lorca appeal.
The Torrevieja Christian Fellowship held what must have been the biggest and best carol service on the Costa Blanca this Christmas. The hall which holds 500 people was overflowing and extra chairs were brought in before the service started. Crescendo Choir and Just Brass were at their best and Chas Smith did all the announcements starting off by getting everyone to introduce themselves to their neighbours. Highlight of the concert was young ROLF LUPONDO who ’s voice filled the church with the beautiful words of “O Night Divine ” The concert was in aid of APANEE children ’s charity, so Chas called four children from Apanee who were at the concert, onto his podium. He persuaded them to introduce themselves then asked them to sing a carol with the delighted help of the audience. At the end the children stood at the door with collecting buckets and the huge amount of 1,610 euros was given … What a wonderful Christmas present for these special children!
Saturday 13th November 2010 saw Crescendo International Choir singing again in Dolores Church for their restoration fund, raising over 200euros in the collection at the door. Their concert was so well received last year that they were asked back to perform a selection of their best loved pieces. Amongst these was the Spanish “Sin Ti ” and “I Believe/ Ave Maria ”. Performed for the first time were the new words “Living Love ” by Vivienne Gee, a choir member, set to the music of “Poeme ” by Zdenek Fibich. Chas Smith conducted with his usual flair, inviting everyone to join in Bohemian Rhapsody and Unchained melody in whichever language they knew the words! Accompanist Sue Trick worked overtime as always, playing for choir, soloists, and performing a beautiful Chopin Sonata to a very appreciative audience. The two soloists for the evening were both local members who live on the outskirts of the village. Marie Sills, a regular worshiper at the church, studied music at Trinity college of Music, London. Her lovely voice filled the church with “Art Thou Troubled ” by Handel from his opera ‘Rodelinda ’. Margot Gay, whose previous experience has been as an amateur in chorus and cameo parts of musicals, chose “I don ’t know how to love Him ” from Jesus Christ Superstar. George Bright sang the solo part in ‘All through the night ’ and Carol Durman the top soprano line in ‘Easter Hymn ’ To finish the evening, the choir circled the church to sing their unaccompanied “Blessing of Aaron ” the finale to a memorable concert.
Crescendo’s autumn programme started with the backing of a large band, namely the AGRUPACION MUSICAL MONTESINOS. After their successful and well received concert with the band last year Crescendo International Choir were asked back to Los Montesinos to take part in their fiestas. The concert took place in the Music and Cultural School on Friday October 8th2010.
Choir members in their distinctive red and black outfits lined up outside the school, as the band marched through the town with the Fiesta Queens, and were then the first to take the stage with ‘Name that tune’ and ‘My love is like a red, red, rose’ followed by the old Glen Miller favourite ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’. Led as always by their Musical Director Chas Smith, they next sang ‘Hallelujah’ by Cohen, the Spiritual ‘Rocka my soul’ and then the audience’s favourite ‘I believe/Ave Maria’.
There was a short break whilst the band took their positions, then this very talented band, whose members range from ten years old upward, played a Pasadoble, written by the bandleader SIXTO HERRERO, next came a selection from the musical “Chess”. The choir then joined them on stage to sing a selection from “West Side Story”.
After playing for the choir in the first part of the concert, accompanist Sue Trick said how lovely it was to sit at the back of the auditorium and listen to the choir and band together!
Momentos were exchanged between Chas and Sixto to much applause, and Crescendo were asked to come back again next year.
CRESCENDO sing at QUESADAOn Saturday May 29th, Crescendo presented an evening of music and song at Quesada Casa de Cultura. Entry was free but there was a bucket collection at the end for the charity “CARITAS ”. As always, the choir sang a very varied programme ranging from “Gloria ” in Latin to swing numbers like “Chattanooga Choo Choo ” and “String of Pearls ”. Highlight of the concert was their beautiful “I Believe/ Ave Maria ”. Soloists for the concert were Eve Suffield singing “You ’ll never walk alone ”, Pat Yardley singing “Stranger in Paradise ” and a duo of Gilbert and Sullivan favourites from Judith O ’Neil (Ruth ’s song from Pirates of Penzance) and Norman Shelley (Pish Tush ’s song from Mikado, joined by the men of the choir). As usual there was a piano solo, but for the first time Sue Trick, the choirs ’ accompanist yielded the piano stool to choir tenor John Dunkin who played “To the Spring ” by Grieg. At 60+ John said that he is hoping to become the choirs ’ “child prodigy ”!! The concert finished with the “Blessing of Aaron ” as the choir was joined by several past members who were in the audience. Crescendo ’s last concert before the summer break will be at the Casa de Cultura in Pilar de la Horredada on Wednesday June 23rd where they will be guests of the Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers and Spangles, the ladies barbershop group. Go to top
CRESCENDO and Q4 at TCFCRESCENDO and Q4 hit the high notes After their successful concert at Christmas at the Torrevieja Christian Fellowship, Crescendo were invited back to give a concert in May. Musical Director Chas Smith asked barbershop quartet Q4 to join them as guests. Crescendo started the evening with a rousing “Gloria ” followed by “My love is like a red, red rose ” a new arrangement by Chas ’ younger brother. A couple more numbers by the choir then it was the turn of Q4 who came on stage dressed in yellow oilskins to sing “Shine on me ”. A quick change and they were ready for their next piece. Each number needed a change of hat, the boys fooling around as they each found their own. Next Chas asked the audience to join in with “Wonderful World ” …no excuse for not knowing the words as they were projected on the wall above the stage! The choir then sang “The Lamb ”, (a poem by William Blake set to music by John Tavener) unaccompanied in four-part harmony, a first for them as Sue Trick the accompanist asked if she could join the contraltos because it is a favourite piece of hers. Carol Durman and Lawrence Gee sang an operatic duet, then everyone joined in with “Spanish eyes ”. Q4 took the stage again with a varied selection including “The lion sleeps tonight ” and finishing with “Fat bottomed girls ” A new piece for the choir was Cohen ’s “Hallelujah ” telling the story of Sampson and Delilah. This was followed by the Easter hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana, the solo soprano part beautifully sung by Carol Durman. “Name that tune! ” had everyone trying to count the snippets of classics (we think that there are around 20) then everyone joining in for that favourite “Unchained melody ”. Before the choir filled the aisles to sing their “Blessing of Aaron ”, Chas called the children from APANEE on stage. They stood on his conducing podium and each announced their name to the audience, then took their places by the door with collecting buckets. When these were counted they had a fantastic 715 euros. Ticket money of 5 euros per head went to the TCF itself and amounted to over 950 euros. People leaving were heard asking when the next concert like this will be!
CRESCENDO and JUST BRASS at TCFCrescendo International Choir joined Just Brass for the first carol concert at the new Torrevieja Christian Fellowship building at 68. Avenida de Las Cortes Valencianas on Dec 16th 2009. The huge building was almost bursting at the seams as congregation, choir, and band joined in all the old familiar carols. Choir and band each performed on their own, giving everyone else time to catch their breath. Part way through the service there was a Christmas film show with a difference, projected onto the wall behind the band. A collection was taken for the chosen charities - Alzheimer ’s Ass. and Contra Cancer.
CRESCENDO CHRISTMAS at La ZENIA CHURCH
Crescendo International Choir gave their annual Christmas concert at the church of Santa Maria del Mar in La Zenia on Sunday evening, Dec 13th 2009. Musical Director Chas Smith started the evening by asking everyone to shake hands with their neighbour and wish them “Happy Christmas ” which broke the ice and made everyone smile. Traditional carols were alternated with pieces by the choir and Bible readings, both audience and choir lifting their voices to fill the church. Sue Trick, the choir ’s accompanist, teaches music at a local school and recently brought along three of her “A ” level students to practice with the choir. Two of them came along to join in on Sunday and were introduced to the audience who gave them a warm reception. A new piece for the choir was “Name that tune ” a medley of well known classical snippets sung in the manner of the “Swingle Singers ” (Do you remember them?), with the audience asked to count how many they could recognize …current amount stands at 19. The concert as always finished with the choir circling the church to sing “The Blessing of Aaron ” then audience and choir went downstairs to sample the lovely buffet prepared by Maggi Bray and her ladies. There was a raffle with many super prizes which raised more than 200 euros. This, with the ticket money from the concert will go towards the new multi-denominational church being built.
CRESCENDO CHOIR ’S CHRISTMAS SING ALONG
It would not be Christmas on the Costa Blanca without Crescendo ’s sing along concert!! Last years was such a success that a larger room was needed so the Hotel Cabo Cevera was used. This year, on 2nd December 2009, the audience were asked to join in the Hallelujah Chorus and the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco as well as many favourite songs and carols. There was a huge basket of Christmas goodies for a raffle prize. Val Jones organized this by twisting the arm of every choir member to bring along something … …cake, pudding, biscuits, nuts etc. Audience and choir all enjoyed themselves thoroughly, getting together in the interval for a chat and a coffee. The evening ended with Crescendo ’s usual Blessing of Aaron as they stood all around the sides of the room, a lovely ending to a fun evening. Chas Smith, Sue Trick and all members of CRESCENDO CHOIR wish you all A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Crescendo sing at San Roque Church Torrevieja
The Beautiful modern church of San Roque was the venue for Crescendo ’s concert last week. Although it has not been built long, there are some repairs needed so Crescendo offered to sing at the church to help raise some money. The appreciative audience heard a variety of music including vocal solos by Marie Sills, George Bright, and Pat Yardley. Sue Trick played the lovely “Andalucia ” on the keyboard and Chas Smith conducted.
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CRESCENDO AND THE HARMONISERS sing for Los Balcones ChurchWOW!! And what a feast of music and song it was when Crescendo Choir and the Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers joined forces to give a concert at Los Balcones church to raise some money towards new windows.
Crescendo started the evening on Saturday 31st October 2009, with “Gloria ” and four other pieces including a new one “Walking Down that Glory Road ”. Next came the quartet called “Q4 ”, all members of the Harmonisers. They had the audience in stitches when three of them appeared in bright yellow oilskins and the fourth wearing flippers, goggles, armbands and rubber ring. They can be serious though, and sang the very poignant “In my Room ”. While they rushed off to change into their barbershop uniforms, Sue Trick played two piano solos with her usual expertise. The Harmonisers started off with “Come to the Cabaret ”, three other numbers then “The Lion Sleeps Tonight ” from The Lion King featuring their tenor Ray Prentice. Eve Suffield, a new member of Crescendo sang an aria from “The Marriage of Figaro ” in Italian; an outstanding performance from a beautiful voice. Time again for Crescendo with another mix of religious and modern songs. Then, you ’ve guessed it, Q4 again, this time in bright coloured T-shirts and baseball caps asking everyone to clap and whistle. Sue Trick played two more pieces and you could hear a pin drop while the music filled the church. The Harmonisers finished the evening with a varied mix of songs ending with “Bring Him Home ” and “Do You Hear the People Sing ” from Les Miserables after which they stayed on stage while Crescendo stood in the aisles to sing the “Blessing of Aaron ” together.
CRESCENDO sings for DOLORES CHURCH restoration fundFor three of Crescendo ’s members, Dolores is their village; so it was a home from home when the choir sang in the local church of “Nuestra Senora de los Dolores ” on Saturday evening after mass. The concert was suggested by Marie Sills a mezzo soprano in the Crescendo choir as it is the church attended every week by her and her husband Steve. The concert on 24th October, 2009, got off to a rousing start with ‘Gloria ’ in Latin, followed by several standards like ‘Wonderful World ’, and ‘Unchained Melody ’. Highlights from the choir were ‘I Believe/Ave Maria ’ (The men sing I believe while the ladies sing Ave Maria) and ‘Sin Ti ’ (without you) Both of these received standing ovations from the full church. Other pieces sung included ‘The Lord ’s Prayer ’ and ‘Locus Iste ’ Favourite with the local people though was Marie Sills ’ beautiful singing of ‘Panis Angelicus ’.
George Bright sang a lovely version of ’ ‘O del Mio Amato Ben ’ in his rich tenor voice and there were tears on many faces as Sue Trick the choirs ’ pianist played Schubert ’s Serenade. Last song of the evening was ‘Swinging with the Saints ’ which had everyone clapping and joining in. Parish priest Don Augustin Perez Nacher thanked the choir in Spanish and English then choir MD Chas Smith asked everyone there to dig deep into their pockets for the church restoration fund, which they did, raising 230 euros. The choir finished the evening by circling the audience and singing ‘The Blessing of Aaron ’. Already people in Dolores are asking when the choir will come again as they so much enjoyed the evening.
Last Concert and Meal at End of Season
Crescendo International Choir finished the season as guests of the Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers at a concert in Pilar de la Horadada Casa de Cultura. The concert on Friday June 26th was in aid of AECC and the Anglican Church in Campoverde. The choir sang a selection of seven songs, mostly old favourites but with the addition of an arrangement of “I Believe ” sung by the men, with the ladies singing the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria ” softly in the background. This number was greeted by a huge round of applause and looks like becoming one of the choir ’s favourites. Earlier in the week, the choir met for an end of season lunch at the Quesada Country Club. Rehearsals begin again on Sept 2nd at the Oasis bar in Torretta 3.
Surprise gift for ALPECrescendo International choir have been rehearsing in the back room of Bar Oasis in Torreta 3 for some time. On June 10th it was the 50th birthday of Pete Pring the owner of bar Oasis & he invited all his regulars including the choir, to a free barbeque. Pete has not been charging rent to the choir so they decided that it would be a nice surprise if they gave him a birthday present of 500 euros for his favourite charity ALPE. Pete first heard of ALPE, a school for physically & mentally handicapped children in Torrevieja through a friend who ’s daughter was a pupil. The school was founded in 1982 and moved to its present site in 1998. They cater for 75 children aged five to twenty-one and also a number of adults who attend to take part in occupational therapy. The pupils are picked up every day in buses which have been bought from generous sponsorship over the last few years. When Pete and Crescendo chairman Lawrence Gee went to the school to hand over the cheque they were shown around by President Josefa Fructuoso and Director Maria Jose Ortiz. Several groups of adults were busy in the light airy rooms, ready to smile & and wave as the visitors looked in, and there were tables of beautifully made models on display in the corridors. Outside is a well laid out vegetable garden tended by the pupils and a greenhouse with plants on shelves for those in wheelchairs to look after. Lawrence thanked Josefa and Maria Jose for showing him around and said that he hopes the choir can help the school more in the future.
CRESCENDO sing for EUROPE DAY at Torrevieja Church
On Sunday May 10th, Crescendo International Choir along with quartet Soave and ladies choir Cantabile, presented a concert to raise money for the church organ fund at the church of the Immaculate Conception in Torrevieja. The concert took place after the evening mass, with most of the congregation staying to listen. The three groups sang a varied programme of music to a very appreciative audience. Crescendo started the concert with a group of songs including a habanera. Next came Soave with “Panis Angelicus ” followed by a selection of music from Cantabile conducted by Jennifer Morton. Soave then sang “A nightingale sang in Berkley Square ”and Crescendo finished the evening with another selection, as always conducted by their musical director Chas Smith and accompanied on the keyboard by Sue Trick . To finish, all three groups joined together for “The Blessing of Aaron ”. At the end of the evening each group was presented with a special plaque commemorating the fact that they had sung for “Europe Day 2009". There was no charge for the concert but helpers were at the church door with buckets collecting money for the much needed restoration of the church organ. Over €350 was raised.
CRESCENDO sing at Santa Maria del Mar, la Zenia
Sunday 26th April, the Crescendo International Choir gave their fourth Spring concert at the church in la Zenia. As usual, the choir was conducted by Chas Smith and accompanied on the keyboard by Sue Trick. The concert started with a new piece in the choir ’s repertoire, the ‘Triumphal March ’ from Aida. This was followed by ‘Any dream will do ’ and ‘Joshua ’. The quartet within the choir, “Soave ” made up of soprano Aly, contralto Viv, tenor Lawrence, and bass Trent, then sang ‘Panis Angelicus ’ filling the church with their beautifully balanced voices. The choir took the stage again with ‘Unchained melody ’ and ‘Locus Iste ’, and next it was the turn of trained contralto Margaret Jennings who left her wheelchair to stand by the alter and sing ‘Tristesse ’ in Italian ( better known in English as ‘How deep is the night ’) A couple more songs by the choir, then Sue Trick played a piano solo ‘Andalucia ’ with her usual flair … suitably wearing a red Spanish shawl embroidered with black to match the new choir uniforms …. followed by the choir singing ‘Let it be ’ composed by the Beatles and ‘The Lord ’s Prayer ’. Soprano Pat Yardley then sang a pretty little Spanish song entitled ‘La cancion del Olvida ’. The final section was started with ‘Sentimental Journey ’, a favourite with the choir, that had been specially requested by a member of the audience. We finished the concert with ‘What a wonderful world ’ and ‘Rhythm of life ’. Each item in the programme was introduced by Mary Priddle in English, and Jennifer Morton in Spanish. Parish Priest Don Joaquin Carlos thanked the choir and everyone in the audience. The Evening was closed by Crescendo circling the congregation to sing their own beautiful version of ‘The Blessing of Aaron ’ As always there was a mouth-watering buffet laid on downstairs served by Maggi Bray and her ladies. Don ’t miss Crescendo ’s next concert in Torrevieja Church with ‘Cantabile ’ and ‘Soave ’ on Sunday May10th at approx 20.45 after evening mass. This is a free concert they a bucket collection afterwards for the church organ fund. For all info about the choir please visit the web-site www.crescendo-choir.com.
CRESCENDO and JUST BRASS together for RAFA “WINGS ” appealThe Teatro Capital in Rojales was the venue for a very colourful concert on Sunday March 22nd, “colourful ” in both the musical and visual. Hosts and organizers were JUST BRASS and their guests were CRESCENDO International Choir in a concert for the RAFA “wings ” appeal. Just Brass took the stage wearing their burgundy shirts and with brass instruments shining. Led by their musical director; himself, a very talented Tenor horn player who has appeared all over the world including the Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House, the band played a wide variety of music. They moved from the opening RAF march to “Oliver ” then blues, Indian summer, then a piece featuring their drummer Lou Schmid followed by a selection of Old Time Music Hall favourites. The choir came on stage next, in their eye-catching new uniforms of red and black led by musical director Chas Smith with Sue Trick at the piano. They sang a selection of pieces ranging from “The Lord ’s Prayer ” to a boogie setting of “In the mood ”. A short interval followed then the choir took the stage again with “Joshua ” “Bohemian Rhapsody ” and several more numbers. Just Brass came back to play a selection of Broadway hits followed by “All I ask of you ” from ‘Phantom ’ with solos on Cornet by Ian Gibson, and Euphonium ByIan Vine. Highlight of the evening though was former RAF Trombonist Joe Wallace with his own very talented and comic version of “The acrobat ” The band finished with Bach ’s Toccata then were joined on stage by Crescendo for the final number “Sentimental Journey ”, a very fitting finish as many of the pieces brought back memories for members of the audience.
CRESCENDO SING WITH AGRUPACIÃ“N MUSICAL MONTESINOSThe Music School Theatre in Los Montesinos was packed to capacity on Sunday March 8th when Crescendo joined with AgrupaciÃ³n Musical Montesinos for a concert to raise money for the restoration of images (paintings and statues) in the old church of ERMITA la MARQUESA. As people filled the theatre, there was a slide show of the images to be restored giving approximate costs for the work ranging from 200 to 800 euros. The evening started with Crescendo wearing their new very smart, eye-catching uniforms of red sequined jackets over black trousers and blouses for the ladies, and black shirts and trousers with red bow ties for the men . They sang a programme of eight pieces ranging from “Locus Iste ” to “In the Mood ”. Next the sixty strong band took the stage with the second movement of Shostakovichs ’ 10th symphony followed by La CanciÃ³n del Olvido by J Serrano and finally a selection from West Side Story. After a little reshuffling of the timpani section, Crescendo came onto the back of the stage to join the band for “Sin Ti ” by Pepe Guizah then a selection from “Carmina Burana ” by Carl Orff, with the children ’s choir of the music school joining in for “Chramer, gip die varwe mir ” There was a standing ovation at the end with both musical directors taking their bows; D.Sixto Manuel Herrero Rodes of the Montesinos band and Chas Smith of Crescendo,and also accompanist Sue Trick of Crescendo. The choir were each given a plaque commemorating 25 years of the band. Money raised by the concert amounted to 905 euro, a good amount to get the restoration started.
CRESCENDO’S NEW YEAR DINNER-DANCEOn Saturday January 31st, members of CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR held their New Year dinner-dance at “Downtown Quesada”. When everyone had enjoyed a beautiful turkey dinner with all the trimmings, chairman Lawrence Gee said what a successful year it had been for the choir. A magnificent total of 8,500 euro had been raised during 2008 for various charities including AECC, Altzheimer’s, APANEE and local music schools. Some of this was from door money, some from bucket collections and the rest from donations. Lawrence then asked for a show of appreciation for the Musical Director Chas Smith who gives his time and energies to the choir free of charge. Chas was then presented with a cheque, money given by all choir members to buy himself a treat as a “thank you” for his hard work.
The choir are now settling into their new rehearsal venue at the “Oasis” bar in Toretta 3, and are busy practicing for the forthcoming concerts.
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Crescendo International Choir joins La Banda Joven de AlmoradiOn Saturday January 17th., Crescendo hosted a concert at the Teatro Cortez in Almoradi. Their guests were the Banda Joven de Almoradi, a very talented group of young musicians led by their musical director Luis Ramon Rodriguez. The concert was organized by choir members Sonja and Don, who live in Almoradi, with help from Irene Gil and Valerie Saunders.The concert started with a wide selection of music sung by the choir. This included two numbers in Latin and one in Spanish….the famous habanera “Huellas en la arena”(Footsteps in the sand) also included was an up-beat version of “In the Mood” and several other pieces. There was a short break while the band moved their instruments and chairs onto the stage. A few minutes tuning up and then the audience were spellbound by the music from this young local band. First they played 1492 by Vangelis, next came Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury and then the well known Pink Panther theme by Henry Mancini. The lasting applause gave plenty of time for Crescendo to come back on stage for the band to join them for “Sin Ti” (Without You”) When the applause died down and Chas Smith the choir’s Musical Director had thanked everyone involved for their help, translated into Spanish by choir member Jennifer Morton, he said that all monies from the evening were going to the band towards new instruments. The door money amounted to 639 euro, then Chas asked people to dig deep in their pockets for a little more to help these youngsters and another 132 euro was collected. Choir members and audience all agreed that it was one of the best concerts they had been to and look forward to Crescendo and the junior band getting together again.
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History In PhotosAn Early Photograph taken outside at Los Balcones, probably the first and last outside event Crescendo have done. It does show the original costume of ladies in black with colourful scarves, Men could wear any colour of bow tie.
The Crescendo International Choir, who were invited to perform in the final concert of the Multicultural, Multi-Religion, III Palament les Religions, were very enthusiastically received by a mainly Spanish 700-strong audience in the University Auditorium in Alicante . The photo shows Farhang, President of Mesa Interreligiosa de Alicante, assisting Chas Smith in translating the Hebrew of 'Shalom Chaverin' (Peace my friends), as a 'round', with the participation of the audience. (May 2007) Go to top
"Thank You" Plaque for 'inestimable collaboration' in the European Culture Festival,April 2007. Go to top
La Zenia Church in aid
of new organ for
the church Go to top
The Casa Ventura Bar was the venue for our terrific Christmas show, and to make matters worse our Chairman won the raffle - Merry Christmas. Go to top
DIAMONDS ARE FOR EVER. The words of the song are certainly true for one couple who live in San Luis. On July16th 2009, Jean and Rowland Townson will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary, but have known each other for over 76yrs!! Rowland was born in Heckmondwike,a small town in the centre of West Yorkshire, in 1926, Jean was born in Bradford two years later and her family moved to Heckmondwike when she was five. They married on July 16th 1949 not long after Rowland had been demobbed from the RAF. An RAF pal was best man and Jean had two young bridesmaids, a cousin of Rowland ’s and the young daughter of a workmate of Jean ’s; her long dress was made by a friend. They married in Heckmondwike parish church on the only Saturday that year when it poured with rain. Some years earlier a great uncle of Rowland ’s had left some money to the church to buy a peal of bells but the structure was not strong enough so Jean and Rowland had no bells to welcome them as man and wife. For the first few years of marriage they lived in Dewsbury where their two daughters Janice and Linda were born, then later moved to York, where Jean sang with many operatic groups and appeared regularly on television. Twenty years ago they bought a house in San Luis and moved here permanently when Rowland retired two years later. Daughter Janice lives next door and the rest of their family visits often …Linda, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Jean was a founder member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Cantabile, and Crescendo Choir where she is still a well-known soloist. Rowland has always been her most ardent “fan ” going to all her performances and taking many photos. They are a very devoted couple who we hope still have many happy years together to look forward to! CONGRATULATIONS from all their friends in Crescendo Go to top
There was standing room only when more than eighty people crowded into the tanatorio chapel in Rojales for the funeral of FREDERICK GEORGE SAUNDERS. Fred was born on March 18th 1918 in Birmingham. He started work as an electrician for GEC and became a member of the Territorial Army. When war broke out he joined the Army as a Lance Bombardier and saw action in Egypt, Italy, and Cyprus. During the war he married his sweetheart Beatrice (Beatie) and in 1941 their only child Valerie was born. After being de-mobbed. Fred and Beatie bought a greengrocery shop which they ran for several years. A change of job and Fred became a paint sprayer for BSA occasionally doing small spray jobs for Lord and Lady Docker. A few years on, he went to work for Fisher and Ludlow who were later taken over by Leyland then Jaguar, working for them till his retirement. Fred and Beatie decided they would leave the Midlands and spend their retirement years in Devon, so in 1980 they moved to Brixham. A short time later Val and her husband Tom followed them to Devon with their son Tony and daughter Karen. When his beloved wife Beatie started to suffer from Alzheimer ’s and Fred was finding it difficult to manage on his own, Val and Tom bought a larger house so they could all live together. This proved to be a good arrangement but sadly Beatie died about seven years ago. Fred was keen on afternoon TV and always enjoyed programmes such as “A place in the sun ” and it was his suggestion that they all come to Spain and look for a house. They saw one being built in Catral that they liked and decided that this was the right place to live. The house was finished in July 2006 so Fred, Val, and Tom moved in bringing the family Labrador Tess with them. The large garden was a challenge for Fred as he had always had a passion for gardening and each house he lived in had one of the best gardens in the neighbourhood after his green fingers had worked their magic. Val and Tom ’s daughter Karen and her husband Lee moved to Spain shortly after, keeping this close knit family together; only Tony stayed in England. Fred loved living in Spain; the only thing he said he really missed was going round the local charity shops looking for teapots to add to his large collection.
Fred was a supporter of Crescendo and father of member Val Jones Go to top
GOLD, not JUST BRASS for Joe and Jean. Joe Wallace of “Just Brass ” and his wife Jean who is a soprano in Crescendo choir, celebrate their
Golden Wedding on August 1st. They will be in England on the actual date so held a party for their friends in Spain on July21st which was Jean ’s birthday. Jean and Joe were both members of the Salvation Army when they met so the wedding was in the Central Hall, Uxbridge conducted by Brigadier L M Clothier. Jean wore a long brocade dress and Joe wore his Salvation Army uniform. He later swopped this for an RAF uniform, joining the band as a trombonist. They spent many years abroad but decided to retire to Spain to live in Los Montecinos. The party was well attended and started with Jean and Joe renewing their wedding vows followed by a concert put on by several friends from the choir and band. Joe played a trombone piece specially written for him by his younger son Stuart, himself a talented musician. As Joe is a Londoner, the main part of the buffet was a dish of “bangers and mash ” with onion gravy followed by chunks of bread pudding. There was also a mouth-watering buffet and a beautiful cake made and iced by Adele and Sandra, two of Jean ’s friends in the choir. CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to JOE and JEAN, wishing you both many more happy years together.
CHARLIE IS STILL CRESCENDO’S DARLING!!!
The rumours are not true – Crescendo’s personable and dynamic musical director, Mr Charles Smith, is NOT retiring from Crescendo. Chas, as he is usually known, has taken the decision to retire from directing the Torrevieja Barbershop Harmonisers but will carry on guiding Crescendo to even greater heights in singing. Chas has been conducting choirs and brass bands and even light opera now for 54 years and his experience and enthusiasm has brought Crescendo to its current position as one of the foremost choirs on the Costa Blanca.
Crescendo’s music ranges from classical to jazz, from pop to religious and always sung with enjoyment in mind, both for the performers and for the listeners. We invite you to attend one of our concerts when we are singing in your vicinity, or come along to a rehearsal at the Oasis bar Torreta 3 on a Wed between 6 and 8pm.
Crescendo celebrate their first five years as a choir at the end of September.
MARGARET JONES goes back to UK
Margaret Jones, who has been in Crescendo Choir since it started, has decided to return to the UK. She came to Spain seven years ago with her husband Lee. They bought a house in La Marina and soon had quite a collection of rescued dogs and cats. When her husband died, her neighbour Chas Smith persuaded her to try singing with the newly formed choir. This was a totally new thing for Margaret who had never sung before. She soon realized that she had a good soprano voice and has always been a very conscientious member, rarely missing a rehearsal. As her favourite piece of music is Bohemian Rhapsody, the choir sang it especially for Margaret at her last rehearsal with them. She was also given a hand made plaque with the Crescendo logo to remind her of the happy times spent with the choir. Now that Margaret has been bitten by the singing bug, she intends to find a choir as soon as she has settled in back in the UK. All members of Crescendo wish her health and happiness for the future.
CRESCENDO’S HIDDEN TALENT
Crescendo International Choir have recently discovered hidden talent among their ranks! Contralto VIVIENNE GEE has written the words for two contrasting pieces of music which the choir are learning for their forthcoming concerts.
The first is called LIVING LOVE and is set to the music of “Poeme” by Zdenek Fibich. The second one is a new Christmas poem called SING! IT’S CHRISTMAS which has been set to music in four part harmony by Crescendo’s own Musical Director CHAS SMITH. Both pieces have been enthusiastically welcomed by the members of the choir. As one choir member said “It’s lovely to be learning something completely new that no-one else has heard yet. We are really looking forward to singing them and I’m sure the audience will like them both.”
THANK YOU ADELE
Crescendo ’s own
ADELE WOOLFORD was one of the committee who organized the hugely successful Royal British Legion concert at the new theatre in Alicante on
April 2nd. To thank her for all the hard work she put in, both for the choir and the RBL, Crescendo membership secretary Phyllis Webb presented Adele with a bouquet of flowers from Chas and the choir.
Crescendo's Queen Mum Of Song retires:Jean Townson has decided to retire from public singing at the ‘young’ age of 83.
She first appeared on stage at the age of six. By the time she was a teenager, Jean was being hailed as the new ‘Isobel Bailey’ Over the years she has starred in many musicals, and sung on radio and television in variety shows with many famous stars.
Jean preferred though to stay an amateur, she married her childhood sweetheart Rowland and had two daughters. She and Rowland have been married for over 60 years and he has always been her biggest fan.
She has been a much loved and respected member of almost every singing group on the Costa Blanca since retiring here to live in San Luis with her husband in 1991.
For many years she sang with “The Silver Belles”, “Gilbert & Sullivan Society (a founder member) “Cantabile”, and “Crescendo”. She has a huge repertoire of songs and has often stepped in at a moment’s notice to fill a gap in the programme.
For the last couple of years, Jean has only sung with Crescendo, including the RBL 90th anniversary concert in Alicante in April, the day before her 83rd birthday where she was interviewed for local TV, the oldest member of the 160 strong choir.
At Crescendo’s rehearsal last Wednesday, Chas Smith the MD asked Jean if she would sing a solo for the choir…..facing them, as all they could normally see was her back as she sang. Her daughter Janice quickly provided the music for Sue Trick to play and Jean sang “Bill” from Showboat, bringing tears to a lot of eyes as she brought so much emotion to the song, with a voice that certainly belies her age!
Membership secretary Phyl Webb presented Jean with a bouquet and Choir Chairman Mary Mitchell gave her a specially made plaque from Crescendo, then it was time for a glass of Cava all round.
Jean will be singing with the choir for the last time at Chas’ farewell concert on May 25th 2011…or will she? Somehow we think this lovely lady will always be singing!!
CRESCENDO SAYS ADIOS TO SUE TRICK
It was a sad rehearsal for Crescendo at the end of January 2012, when for the last time Sue Trick accompanied the choir on the piano.
Sue was presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers and a plaque thanking her for all the hard work she has put in over the years. She said that although they are returning to England to live, they will be coming to Spain regularly on holiday, when she hopes that she will be allowed to sing with the choir for a change.
Sue has been the choirs ’ piano accompanist since the beginning; seven years ago. At every concert, as well as playing for the choir, she performed a classical piece, showing her versatility as a solo performer.
There were tears in several eyes as she said her farewells before handing over to one of Sixto ’s students Toni Guillen, who has agreed to take on the task of playing for Crescendo. ADIOS Sue, all our best wishes go with you!
Cheers for Crescendo Choir - March 2012
The children of Los Montesinos junior band held their instruments in the air and said a huge Thank You to Crescendo Choir last week.
Following the successful concert at Los Montesinos Music School, Crescendo Choir’s chairman Mary Mitchell presented a cheque for €500 to Rosa, the music school’s administrator, during a junior band rehearsal. Part of the funds raised at the concert, was supplemented by a donation from the choir; money is urgently required for the repair of instruments.
The pupils begin learning to play at the age of six and can join the band at age nine where they remain until they reach thirteen, after which they progress to the senior band.
There is a desperate need for more instruments for these young children to practice, so if you have any unwanted string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument tucked away they would love to have it. Condition is not important as instruments can be repaired.
Gerry makes 80 - Happy Birthday
CRESCENDO OCTOGENARIANEach month Crescendo Choir meets for a meal and get-together. On May 16th this coincided with the 80th birthday of one of its members. Around forty of us gathered at El Paraiso in Jardin del Mar for a very festive lunch. Gerry Smith, the birthday ‘boy ’ and his wife Rhona sat at the head of the table. There were several birthday cards plus a cake made by Jean Wallace. Gerry is a popular member of the choir, which he joined in 2005, as a bass singer. After the meal, John Dunkin played the keyboard for a sing-along session until the remainder of the choir arrived for rehearsal. Gerry then produced champagne and cupcakes for all. MANY HAPPY RETURNS GERRY!
MAYOR EDUARDO DOLON CREATES HARMONY WITH CRESCENDO
Their title of Crescendo International Choir is made manifestly clear when you consider the members currently include, English, Irish, Dutch, German, Welsh, Danish, Swedish, Russian and a Spanish choir leader and accompanist.
Half-way through their weekly rehearsal on January 16th, whilst practising songs for the following day ’s concert at the Nosmo-King Club, the members must have thought the quest for more male singers was about to be partially satisfied as in walked 2 men – a Spaniard and a Brit. Not to be – unless the Mayor of Torrevieja, Eduardo Dolon and Graham Knight would care to audition for a vacancy? The contingent of 3 included Rosario Martinez of the Concejal de Extranjerias fulfilling a promise to pay an informal visit to become more aware of the activities of the International Community within the Torrevieja area.
Well Senor Dolon, you could be in for a very busy but rewarding time. The ex-pats who have come to share your bountiful Spanish sunshine and hospitality have brought with them a wealth of life-time experience, expertise and knowledge. We widen our own horizons as we share in a huge diversity of social and educational gatherings – right on your doorstep. What is more, a great many of these groups would desire to encourage more Spanish interest to ensure integration is a two way process. The leader of the choir, Irene Andres would encourage anyone of any nationality to join the choir (especially men). The only requirements are a tuneful voice and a commitment to attend a weekly rehearsal.
The benefits are obvious – improved language skills, a greater understanding and tolerance of cultural differences, enjoyment of all types of music, the making of new friends – the list is endless. Music is an international language par excellence. The choir meets at El Paraiso (near Carrefour) on a Wednesday morning. Pay them a visit, listen to a rehearsal and meet the leaders and members.
The mayor has led the way by his visit. Follow his lead – you may be surprised too!
Crescendo 10th Anniversary
CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR CELEBRATES
What would warrant a celebration cake 65 cms in length by 45 cms width? Answer: the tenth birthday party of Crescendo International Choir on the 11th October at El Paraiso.
The current Chairperson, Mary Mitchell, stressed that the increasing numbers of singers from many different countries makes their title more apt than ever. The choir director, Irene Oliva, and pianist Tony Guillen are Spanish born and bred. Members hail from all over the U.K., Holland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Russia. So a united nations if ever there was one – disparate in native tongue but united by sunshine and song in Spain.
Forty Seven choir members regaled their audience at the party with 10 familiar songs from their 10 year repertoire and joined their friends and family for a meal. A hundred people in all enjoying fellowship and food provided by Alberto and his staff, who later received flowers and gifts of gratitude for providing a practice venue, refreshments and extra catering when required.
Mary Priddle created Crescendo and persuaded Chas Smith to become the first musical director with Sue Trick as the pianist. Since then Irene has honed her conducting skills and, as Chas said in his after dinner speech, the choir is currently in good hands. More than one speaker mentioned the amount of money that has been raised for various charities.
Crescendo International Choir is a 4-part choir – soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Of the 47 who sang at the party, the “lower end” had only seven members, 6 men and 1 lady. Therefore it goes without saying if you are a man with a tuneful voice then:-
CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR NEEDS YOU!
Following the very successful concert on May 7th when Crescendo International Choir joined with Chivenor Military Wives, not only was an amazing €4,000 shared between the two choirs but an additional allocation of money raised via the grand rafffle and the bucket collection showing the full appreciation of the packed house having enjoyed the wonderful concert.
The photo below shows Crescendo President Mary Mitchell presenting €200 to Geof Gosden on behalf of Torrevieja Barbershop Harmony group for their charity in thanks for the loan of the risers..
CRESCENDO says ‘so long, farewell’ to LESLEY
At choir practice on Friday everyone said a fond farewell to Lesley Rolls. She and her husband Stuart have decided to return to England after more than ten years. Lesley has been a staunch member of the choir throughout her time here, for many years choir secretary and a keen committee member. She will be remembered also for the comedy songs she sang at Crescendo’s own Christmas fundraising concerts. Stuart, although not a singing member, has supported the choir in many ways. The choir presented Lesley with a beautiful china fruit dish. We wish her and Stuart all the best for the future and hope that it will not be too long before they return for a visit.
CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR donate to DEBRA
Crescendo’s treasurer Mags Vaughn together with Helen Tudor presented 50 euros to the Debra Butterfly Children Charity at their Peublo Bravo shop. This shop was opened nine years ago by Anne Wylie to help children in Spain, although the charity itself is worldwide. Their shops in La Marina and Pueblo Bravo welcome all donations from bedding to bric-a-brac, fashion to furniture, as well as cash donations.
Concert To Save Lives
Music lovers were out in full force to support Crescendo International Choir for their concert at Torrevieja Christian Fellowship hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 4th March 2017 when they sang to raise money for the Ugandan charity “Music to save lives”.
The concert was arranged by choir member Mary Priddle when she learned about this charity which is run by Elisabeth Michot, helping children in an orphanage to learn social skills and self respect through song and dance.
After a medley of ‘swing’ songs by the choir, Elisabeth gave a short presentation with colour slides showing many ‘before and after’ pictures of the children. Several have now gained university degrees and others have jobs in the medical profession and law.
This is a country where money can be made to stretch a long way so every cent of the 1,150euros raised from tickets, buckets, and raffle will be put to good use. There was another selection of popular songs, some in Spanish, from the choir, ending with “Thank you for the music” by Abba, then the African marching song “Siyahamba.”
Mary Mitchell, the choir’s president then gave Elisabeth a ceramic plate with “Crescendo” on it to take back to Uganda.
Pastor Roy from TCF is retiring soon so Cresendo’s Musical director Irene also gave him a plate to remind him of the many concerts held in the venue. Pastor Roy thanked everyone then handed the 150 euro hiring fee for the concert to Elisabeth for her charity.
The afternoon was rounded off by the choir singing their “Blessing of Aaron”. CDs of the children singing and small items made at the orphanage were on sale in the foyer afterwards. These raised another 200 euros, bringing the grand total to €1,500.
A Busy Time. April2017
BUSY TIME FOR CRESCENDO
April has certainly been a busy month for CRESCENDO CHOIR.
On April 7th 2017 they gave their six monthly concert to the residents and staff of Casa Verde in Almoradi.
This is always eagerly awaited as the elderly residents love to join in with the traditional Spanish songs which the choir always sing for them. Top favourite is “Amapola” which means poppy. This time it was so popular that the choir had to sing it again.
The following Friday at rehearsal in El Paraiso restaurant, Mary Mitchell, choir president, was delighted to hand over a cheque for 100 euros to Jean McNary.
Jean is a member of the Torrevieja Hospital Fellowship who provide drinks, cakes, and sweets to outpatients of Torrevieja hospital receiving all day chemo treatment. This is completely funded by donations and, as several of the choir members have received this treatment, it was by way of being a little ‘thank you’ from the choir.
As it was Good Friday, Irene the choir’s MD did not have to rush away to her teaching job in Alicante, so it was decided to stay at the restaurant for tapas and a chat.
On Friday April 21st the choir will be singing at Benejofar church. This is a free concert starting at 7pm but there will be a bucket collection in aid of church restoration.
Crescendo Choir Back to Rehearsals for Spring Concerts
By Nancy Klein
Do you like to sing and like to help needy groups in the wider community? Well, I have the perfect activity for you. That is Crescendo Choir. We are a friendly group of people made up of Sopranos, Altos, Tenors and Basses. We sing a wide variety of songs ranging from musicals to spirituals, from pop to classical and all types in between. The choir practices Fridays from 9:30 to Noon at the Bar El Paraiso, Urb. Jardin del Mar (close to Carrefour), in Torrevieja.
Last year, we gave 6,623 Euros to different charities in the Orihuela Costa community. And if you don’t fancy yourself a singer but love music, you can come to one of our free concerts. We will be having them in the area several times in May and once in early June. You can enjoy the music and then if you feel so inclined donate on your way out into the retiring bucket collection. More details about the upcoming concerts will follow in future articles in this publication.
Now if you are not a singer and don’t really enjoy concerts either, but want to find a way to raise money for a worthy cause, why don’t you contact us? Maybe we can give a concert and raise money for your worthy cause? The web site includes a contact page with the names of the choir’s leadership team and it includes their roles and email addresses.