Rehearsing The Armed Man at the Royal Albert Hall on 3 April 2022. Fewer singers perhaps, but those who joined us were
certainly in good voice!

3 April 2022
THE ARMED MAN: A MASS FOR PEACE
Royal Albert Hall

Our performance of The Armed Man on Sunday 3 April was a tremendous success, although we will be glad when numbers get back up to pre-Covid levels!

The singing was especially heartfelt, with the text no doubt taking on a particular significance as war rages between Ukraine and Russia. Emily Gray was our mezzo-soprano soloist (‘a beautifully haunting voice’, commented one participant); Manvinder Rattan sang the Adhan (the evocative Muslim call to prayer), the Last Post, played by EFO principal trumpet Joe Atkins, provided a very poignant moment, and the cello solo which underpins the Benedictus was played for us most magically by principal cellist Nicholas Roberts. The English Festival Orchestra, led on this occasion by Abigail Young, did us proud.

In overall charge, not only for The Armed Man but also for the orchestral items in the first half, was TRBC’s Principal Conductor, Brian Kay. He and the orchestra treated us to some patriotic Elgar (Pomp & Circumstance March no. 4); Butterworth’s beautiful and soulful rhapsody A Shropshire Lad and, finally, Sibelius’s musical response to the waves of Finnish nationalism in the wake of increased Russian censorship: the rousing tone poem Finlandia.

Combat Stress was our apt charity partner, benefiting from programme sales and bucket collections. With lower numbers, and fewer people having ready cash, the amount raised by the charity was a little short of £4,000 – a good result under the circumstances.  Click here to read the appreciative thank you from their Director of Fundraising. If you didn’t get a programme, and would like to make a donation, please visit their website: www.combatstress.org.uk (link opens in a new tab/window).

Photos taken during rehearsal and performance can be viewed/downloaded via this link.

Feedback from our singers:

‘A very poignant performance, in special surroundings.’ (Angela F.)

‘A big thank you to the TRBC team for everything yesterday. Amazing arrangements, and nine of us had a day to remember.’(Nick P.)

‘What a fabulous day and even more fabulous concert. I was proud to be part of this wonderful singing group.’ (Lynn B.)

‘Wonderful mezzo soloist and the cello solo in the Benedictus – wow!’ (Anne C.)

Book now for the Mozart Requiem on 23 July and for Messiah from Scratch® on 13 November.