Review: Musical act of remembrance in Never Forget at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre

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Remembrance Sunday reached a fitting finale with an atmospheric concert honouring the bravery and sacrifice of those who served their nations in conflict through the ages.

The combined forces of Tideswell Male Voice Choir, Corus Brass Ensemble and guest soloists Erin Alexander, Kieron-Connor Valentine and Madeleine Osborne presented an unforgettable evening of entertainment at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre.

Readings, songs, poetry and haunting images highlighted the victims of the First World War, American Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan conflicts.

Relatives of severely injured serviceman Fred Fielder were among the audience listening to Jennie Gill’s reading of letters from nurses who cared for him in France when he was wounded in the Battle of the Somme.

Baritone Philip Rigley gave a deeply moving performance of Tell My Father and Erin Alexander’s outstanding rendition of Danny Boy typified a mother’s anguish at seeing her son going off to war.

Eleven-year-old Madeleine Osborne enchanted the audience with her performance of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, performing it twice because of microphone difficulties the first time.

Murmurs of appreciation from the audience greeted every item by Tideswell Male Voice Choir, under the direction of Dennis Kay. The highlights of the choir’s performance included a stirring medley from Les Miserables with soloists including Tim Robinson and Sam Clements and An American Trilogy featuring the combined might of voices and brass accompaniment.

Versatility was the key to Corus Brass Ensemble’s selection which included an imaginative arrangement of Greensleeves and an uplifting performance of Chris Hazell’s Homepride,

Kieron-Connor Valentine’s performance of There’ll Always Be An England instilled patriotic pride in the audience, revving the crowd up for a sing-song of First World War numbers which was led by the choir.

The concluding part of this Never Forget concert included a poignant Act of Remembrance during which a musician sounded The Last Post from the balcony while poppy petals floated down onto the stage.