On the evening of July 15th 2017, Colwall Village Hall hosted a summer Picnic Concert given by the Cradley Singers under their musical director Kate Cheetham. The first half of the evening encompassed part songs by Schubert as well as arrangements of jazz classics, notably Gershwin’s “Summertime” featuring mezzo-soprano soloist Bridget Snasdell. The choir’s accompanist Tim Sidford also swapped piano for violin in a rendition of a lively Jewish klezmer solo featuring some spirited improvisation. Many numbers throughout the concert also benefited from the finely-judged support of Ian Armstrong on percussion.
The audience were numerous and appreciative, and accorded the picnic element of the evening due seriousness by bringing many elegant and substantial spreads for enjoyment in the extended interval.
The second half of the concert was marked by a more serious tone as the choir commemorated the recent untimely passing of their chair, Jane Chaundy, with a powerful performance of John Rutter’s “Feel the Spirit”. A sequence of seven movements based on African American Spirituals, this work also featured mezzo-soprano soloist Bridget Snasdell, and ranged from the soulful “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” to the rousing finale of “When the Saints go Marching In”.