Sunday, 6 December 2015

an evening of Champs Hill cheer

Joyful evening in aid of the excellent Sussex Snowdrop Trust at Champs Hill...

This being the home of, verily, Champs Hill Records... we were in the very room where we recorded Songs of Love and War...
So this room which is attached to David and Mary Bowerman's lovely home is a recording studio, a concert hall and indeed an art gallery!
Here we are rehearsing... (amidst the art):-

You probably cannot recognise Chris Hatt at the piano, as he has lost loads of weight (not that this was a desperate need), and now looks like a teenager again!
His very svelteness puts us to shame (well, speaking on behalf of the male department of the group... well, perhaps, just myself!)

The audience were warm and splendid from the very start; Diana Levantine, Chairman & co-founder of the charity made sure that everyone was sure that this was to be a happy evening.... and so it was!

We performed some Christmas, some of our film/musical show, some classical music and a fair sprinkling of silliness...
Good to sing the Pavane - Belle qui tiens ma vie captive dans tes yeux by Thoinot Arbeau in the same place we recorded it for the album...
We are singing Infant Holy, Infant Lowly this Christmas as a tribute to the wonderful talents of Sir David Willcocks, who died recently after such a glittering career. Its simple beauty has such a great effect.
Excellent to once again have Chris Hatt around, so we could do some great piano numbers... Skyfall, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Laurel and Hardy (Way Out West songs and dance), He's a Tramp and White Christmas (the full Bing, courtesy of Mike - other browsers are available)... 
Also we gave our Sleigh Ride, with the crowd supplying both jingle bells (using car keys for the most part) and the horses' neighs!

The audience appeared mesmerised by the end of the evening... and Chris Hatt's tour-de-force accompaniment to See Amid the Winter's Snow (arranged gloriously by Jonathan Rathbone) was a great part of that!
Lovely to meet/see everyone afterwards... including Chris (O'Gorman this time)'s parents.

Thank you to Diana, David and Mary for making this whole experience such fun!
....and royally entertaining us too!

The guy below is in the garden... he commemorates the huge storm of 1987 !

Marvellous also to see this great George Rowlett painting with such thick daubing of the Thames at Greenwich...

Next stop, the Royal Albert Hall, for a gala evening - Christmas with the Stars - in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

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