Toad Lane Concerts: Notability Choir

Date published: 11 February 2024

According to a recent study by Exeter University, ‘playing an instrument throughout one’s adult life can have substantial cognitive health benefits. Choral singing, which has the added benefit of social stimulation, was associated with better cognitive function’. So, it looks like Notability will enjoy a brilliant future.

The north Manchester based mixed-voice choir that performed at Toad Lane on Wednesday 7 February was established in 1993 when eight choral singers formed an ensemble to sing at a wedding.

The democratic choir does not have a conductor but embraces roles such as tempo establisher, accompanist, and publicity designer within its membership. This is possible because of their experience and choral skills.

After making their mission statement in song with Batten’s ‘O sing joyfully,’ their eclectic taste in music became clear with juxtaposing Bruckner with Howard Goodall, followed by sixteenth century madrigalist Orazio Vecchi with twenty-first century Bob Chilcott.

In further contrast, notable baritone soloist David Bradshaw sang two arias by Mozart.

Sets of Afro-American spirituals and a capella arrangements of British songs culminated in a final set of Richard Rodgers, Billy Joel and Duke Ellington. Piano accompaniments when called for were expertly played by Lesley Cavanagh.

Notability noticeably cooperated well as an ensemble, blending sympathetically and phrasing sensitively. The result was a sublime and focused sound.

The audience was delighted and there were demands for a return; not least from the singers themselves who revelled in the superb acoustic at St Mary in the Baum.

The award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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