The Shipston Proms committee has for the first time arranged some fundraising events before the next events which will take place in June 2024.
There were two events arranged with the first being Mrs. Porter’s Christmas Chamberpot Pourri, which was hosted by St. Edmunds Church in Shipston-on-Stour last Saturday.
Helen and Tim Porter had put on a program of musical excellence, which was sponsored by PRJ Flooring Services. The event was pay on the door and included drinks on offer as well as the obligatory raffle, and brought out a large crowd of Shipston (and the outlying villages) interested musical visitors.
After an introduction from Tim Porter (who has been involved with the Shipston Proms for all its 26 years to date) first to perform were the excellent The Brailes Singers, led on piano by their Musical director Maddy Evans. The numbers they sung included ‘Dream a Little dream’, ‘Let it Snow’, ‘Hallelujah” and ‘The Rose’.
Next up was local opera singer Anna Patalong with her rendition of ‘I Wonder As I Wonder’, accompanied by Helen Porter on piano.
Then up next was the first of the young performers with 15-year-old Henry Clarke, performing a Joni Mitchell number ‘The River’. Then up on stage came 17-year-old Abi Rowberry which sang her songs accompanying herself on guitar. Her numbers in the first
half were ‘Patients’ and ‘The Bridge’.
Then up next was Anna’s opera singing partner ben Nelson who performed ‘O Holy Night’, accompanied on piano by Helen Porter.
To finish the first half Tim Porter played the harmonica with a performance of The Eagles number ‘Desperado’ accompanied by Helen Porter on piano.
Then after an interval for drinks and refreshments we had Amber Liadan and her band on stage. Her band was Amber Liadan (guitar and vocals), Phil Moffatt (guitar and backing vocals), Carol Whitworth (bass and backing vocals), Paul Heskett formally in the band The Specials (keyboards) and for the first time Christian Eugster from Switzerland (drums).
Amber led the group with with passion and conviction for songs she has been proud to write. The numbers performed included ‘Teach Me’, ‘Saturday Night’, ‘Caravan’ and for its public performance her new single ‘In Your Arms’. This was a great sound in the church acoustics and was appreciated by the large audience.
Then Abi Rowberry returned with a couple more numbers ‘With You’ and ‘You’re not Alone' before The Brailes Singers returned with some Christmas numbers including ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Star Carol’ and finished with ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’
Then Tim Porter returned with a number he had been asked to perform ‘A Winter’s Tale' before both the local Opera singers Anna Patalong and Ben Nelson returned for a duet of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ again accompanied by Helen Porter on piano.
Then as a finale, the audience - accompanied by Helen Porter on piano - sang ‘Silent Night’. The second event took place in the Townsend Hall in Shipston-on-Stour on Sunday which was called ‘Cantamus’ which featured the local Shipston group Cantamus singing the classic Christmas carols such as ‘I saw Three Ships’, ‘Charles Ives Carol’, ‘The Infant King’ and ‘The Coventry Carol’.
Also appearing was Anne Hume with some Christmas readings such as ‘Carol Singing’ by Dylan Thomas, ‘The Very First Snow’ by Alan Coren and ‘Credit Crunch Christmas?’ an extract from the 1870 diary of Welsh preacher Rev. Francis Kilvert.
Then the ‘Big Carol Sing’ took place with Cantamus Musical Director Richard Emms leading the whole audience joining in to sing a range of well-known Christmas carols.
The Shipston Proms Chair Charlotte Haines explained: “The Shipston Proms cost over £30,000 to put on and to make sure it’s future is definitely secured we had decided to put on these fundraising events. They have been very well received and have reminded people of the range of music that will be available during the two-week Proms which will take place in June 2024.”
The 2024 Shipston Proms will take place between June 21 to July 6 in Shipston- on-Stour and surrounding villages.