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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Centenary concert

Last week, I put on a fundraising concert for the ISCE2012. It was at St Stephen’s Church, London SW7, where the verger had set up atmospheric pools of light along the length of the nave; a cool relief from the unseasonably balmy weather outside.

John Cuthbert accompanying James Geer

I was very lucky to have enlisted the help of Monica McGhee, a soprano completing her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music this year. She planned and coordinated all musical aspects of the concert, such as organising rehearsals. Including Monica, all of the musicians generously donated their time and talent to support the ISCE2012: Victoria Gray (mezzo), James Geer (tenor), Matt Buswell (bass-baritone) and John Cuthbert (piano).

Dr David Wilson, me and Gill B

Me with Duncan Lawie

As the evening was arranged to commemorate the lives and achievements of Captain Scott, Captain Oates, Lt Bowers, Petty Officer Evans and Dr Wilson, it seemed appropriate to set a nautical/travelling theme. The singers chose a thoughtful and robust programme that, as Monica commented, ran the gamut from corals to the inky sea to pirates and mermaids. The arias and art songs were leavened with fin de siècle musical theatre numbers and a Scottish sea shanty. The singing was utterly transporting and the mood of the pieces segued effortlessly from rollicking to doleful to quizzical. The evening ended with light refreshments.

On the far right is Monica McGhee

Amongst the guests were two of the trustees of the ISCE2012, Dr David Wilson (Dr Edward Wilson’s grand-nephew) and Duncan Lawie. Gill B, Captain Oates’s greatniece also came along. A good sum of money was raised, and from the feedback I got from the audience, I gather it was a memorable evening. Having never put on a concert before, I was delighted with the response and relieved that it went smoothly!

Videos and more photos from the concert are on my Facebook page...

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About Me

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Ali is a 28 year old Londoner. He has trained at various things, including tennis playing, biochemistry and bespoke tailoring. He currently works in social housing for a local authority. In his free time, he marinades in Antarctic arcana, runs avidly (middle-distance) and bumbles through music practice. Ali volunteers for the International Scott Centenary Expedition 2012 charity, which aims to honour the legacy of Captain Robert Scott and his four men who died a hundred years ago. Ali is one of ten shortlisted candidates for the final place on the centenary expedition itself.