Preparations are now underway to hold a special concert in honour of Maestro Keith Swallow
Readers will recall that Keith is planning to step down as accompanist to the Choir after the Christmas concerts in December. These Christmas Festivals will be the culmination of an astonishing stint as the Choir’s principal piano player of close on 63 years
Keith took on a regular commitment to play for the Choir in performance and rehearsal in April 1957
and whatever the requirements of his glittering career - either as virtuoso soloist or as piano support to the best singers and instrumentalists in the country - he always put his commitment to the Choir at the top of his engagements diary.
A date for your diary
What’s planned for the New Year needs to go into your diary, too - a special celebration event
at Saint Paul’s Hall
on Sunday afternoon, March 29th.
Details will follow but you can look forward to a very special event, featuring Keith as a solo performer
and as accompanist to renowned old colleague, bass soloist and operatic performer, Paul Hudson
The Choir will, of course, be performing, too, to the piano-playing of incoming ‘Principal Accompanist, ‘new boy’ Christopher Pulleyn
It will be an occasion to remember and, we hope, a fitting tribute and thank you to a great musician and one at the core of the Choir’s many great achievements ever since he took on the job in the late fifties. (Don’t worry, Keith will stay around as ‘Accompanist Emeritus’, filling in for Chris, whenever needed.)
To whet your appetite, VotV has discovered a video of Keith, accompanying Paul Hudson.
They are performing in Demontfort Hall in Leicester at a charity gala for 'Save the Children'
It's an old comic drinking song, ‘In Cellar Cool’
. (Hence the beer glass and dishevelled appearance)
Click here or on the picture to watch it
Colne Valley men succeed at second attempt
New baritone, Andrew Ripper
, and second tenor stalwart, Richard Pryor
(evidently with more valour than discretion) embarked earlier this month on ‘The Three Peaks Challenge
That is, they set out to climb the three Yorkshire mini mountains of Whernside, Penyghent
in one crazy day of charity-supporting endeavour.
They picked the worst day imaginable!
Constant horizontal rain and 40 mph gales.
When light faded after having struggled through just two of the three ascents, good sense finally kicked in. They admitted temporary defeat and crawled off homewards to get dry, heal their broken spirits and nurse injuries.
You can’t keep good men down for long
Last weekend, our heroes returned to the fells to complete the challenge and to hope their sponsors would continue to support them. They topped the last peak and came down safe.
They had triumphed.
Their sponsors are recognising the achievement and coughing up.
They're raising large sums to support social charities organised by the Salvation Army.
Richard told Voice of the Valley:-
“The charity we were risking life and limb for is The Salvation Army Social Services. They respond to emergency situations - anything from bomb blasts down to homelessness. They don’t get much publicity or even seek publicity but you will find them supporting the emergency services on major incidents up and down the country.
When you see incidents on the news you will see the police, army and fire services but you can be assured that somewhere in the background is the Salvation Army supporting both the public and emergency services. They are funded mainly by public subscription through events like the challenge that we have undertaken.
Thank you to all who have sponsored us, especially those who have paid up and those who have donated afterwards.”
Well done, Lads