Saturday April 2nd 2011 was the date for the long awaited concerts to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion at the Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante.
For those of us who were privileged to take part, it was a once in a lifetime experience.
The five choirs from around the Costa Blanca, CRESCENDO INTERNATIONAL CHOIR, THE ENGLISH CHOIR, THE COSTA BLANCA MALE VOICE CHOIR, THE CORAL CLASSICA JAVIENSE, and CORAL CREVILLENTINA, were under the overall direction of CHAS SMITH, MD of Crescendo. He had spent a lot of time and energy visiting each choir to rehearse them in the four pieces they were to sing…..Sentimental Journey, Sin Ti, I Believe/Ave Maria, and the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah.
The first time that all 160 voices sang together was at the early noon concert……they sounded as if they had always rehearsed together so good was Chas’s coaching, he was definitely the right choice for this mammoth task. What a shame that he is retiring from conducting soon, he will be sorely missed.
Crescendo’s accompanist SUE TRICK was at the keyboard for the massed choirs and also played for the famous ALL ANGELS when they sang their new record release “I’ll Fly Away” backed by the choirs. The four girls, Daisy, Melanie, Charlotte and Rachel then sang a further selection to huge applause.
Gordon Higginbottom conducted his band JUST BRASS for their numbers with his usual expertise, also for the community hymns.
The Torrevieja pipes and drums played wearing their full dress oufits looking spectacular in their kilts,
RUTH LORENZO sang a selection of songs with her powerful voice filling the huge auditorium and our own CATHY CARSON sang two nostalgic WW2 Vera Lynn numbers.
There was hardly a dry eye at either concert when the four CHELSEA PENSIONERS marched down the aisle and onto the stage followed by two army officers just back from duty in Afghanistan and a severely wounded man from the armed forces.
The Drumhead ceremony was very moving led by Bishop David Hamid and assisted by M. Asuncion Prieto, Rev. Helge Petterson, and Rev. Canon Terrence Sampson.
Russell Gray (on holiday from the UK) and playing with Just Brass played “The Last Post” from the balcony while poppy petals rained down on the audience during the two minutes silence, then “Reveille”
The end of each concert brought the entire audience to its feet and the applause seemed to go on for ever……I felt so privileged to be there.
MARGOT GAY …..Press Officer and PR for Crescendo.
Now a selection of photographs from that wonderfull day