A large audience enjoyed the Somerset Singers production of Elijah on Saturday 9th December and went home with the music in their ears and full of praise for the overall performance. Alison Blundell in her first appearance as Guest Conductor brought out the best from the chorus and orchestra and enabled the five soloists to sing their solos in their own styles. She also had the pleasure of conducting her husband who sang in the bass chorus and her son George who sang the part of the Youth. Edward Grint as Elijah led from the front with his powerful bass voice and was ably supported by Richard Rowntree (Tenor) who returned to the Somerset Singers Concert to sing the part of Obadiah. In the first half, the Quartet of Emma Brain-Gabbott (Soprano), Louise Mott (Mezzo), Edward and Richard delivered a sublime version of “Cast thy burden upon the Lord” while in the second half, the trio of Emma, Louise and Lucy Balderson (Soprano) gave a wonderful unaccompanied rendition of “Lift Thine eyes”. Once again, Catherine Black led the Lochrian Ensemble from 1st violin to provide weight, sensitivity and power to the overture and major choruses while the 52 members of the Somerset Singers Chorus matched them with powerful, rich enthusiastic voices. The vocal fire definitely “descended from heaven” and in the earthquake the voices certainly “shook the earth” but, in still small voices, “Onward came the Lord”! The concert ended with the mighty “And then shall your light break forth” with the whole ensemble giving their all for the final “Amen”; in summary it was a powerful and memorable concert.
Our Guest Conductor for this concert was Alison Blundell who is also our accompanist.
The Somerset Singers welcomed Edward Goater as our new Musical Director in January 2017, and he trained us and then conducted his first concert with us and the Lochrian Ensemble in Rutter’s “Magnificat” and “The Sprig of Thyme” at St Cuthbert’s Church, Wells at 7:30pm on Saturday 13th May 2017.
Edward is now preparing the choir for our Autumn Concert which will be Mendelsohn’s “Elijah” at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore at 7:30pm on Saturday 9th December 2017. Once again we will be singing with the Lochrian Ensemble together with soloists: Emma Brain-Gabbot (Soprano); TBA (Soprano); Louise Mott (Contralto); Edward Grint (Bass); and Richard Rowntree (Tenor).
Edward obtained a degree in Environmental Science and Agricultural Ecology at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but has studied and performed continuously as a musician since 1998. He is a conductor, tenor and teacher living in Wells, Somerset where he is a Vicar Choral at Wells Cathedral. He studied conducting with Norman Barns MBE and for many years he was a member of the BBC Singers.
As a professional musician, Edward has worked with some of the very best musicians in the world including Pierre Boulez, Bryn Terfel, Judith Weir, Sir Simon Rattle, Bob Chilcott and many more. His expertise in vocal and choral training has seen him conduct many groups including The Harmonium Singers; The Chelsea Consort; The Wesley Singers; many Military Wives Choirs; Wells Cathedral Choir and BBC Singers members. As Chorus Master he has worked with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Edward is currently the Musical Director of the Taunton Military Wives Choir and Taunton Choral Society; he is also Associate Conductor of Berkshire Youth Choir. Edward’s educational work takes him all over the world. He teaches academic music, and has given workshops in singing and conducting at many events – highlights include the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Marlborough College, Malaysia, and the BBC Ten Pieces Project. Edward’s experience as a performer and conductor make him a valued adjudicator in competitions and Guest Speaker for many institutions.
Ed Goater conducting The Lochrian Ensemble
Cheryl Rosevear – Soprano
Left Photo – Richard Rowntree, Mary Walker, Daniel Brown, Craig Bissex & Jonathan Vaughn
Upper Right – The Ensemble Lower Right – Choir, Orchestra & Audience