Concert review from the Express and Star (written by Jerald Smith):
"Celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in some style, the CWC presented an ambitious programme of mainly 20th Century choral music, demonstrating in the process the considerable progress it has made in recent years.
Opening with an impressive Jubilee Fanfare, composed by music director Gary Cole, and a rousing version of Praise my Soul, followed by Edward Bairstow's Blessed City, Heavenly Salem, where the choir caught the interesting tonal colouring and dynamics of the music, there was ample evidence that these singers have a new-found confidence and enthusiasm.
This was perhaps seen best in John Rutter's Gloria where the singers showed that a distinctive choral voice is beginning to emerge, not only in the choir as a whole, but also in each of its sections."
It's lovely to receive such a positive review, but I think the Express & Star must have been short of space. There's no mention of the Midland Brass Ensemble, who played the opening fanfare with such enthusiasm and performed some pieces on their own, as well as accompanying us - together with Nicholas Johnson on the organ. Nor is there any mention of soprano soloist Helen Johnson, nor of Fran Ambrose, who sang the baritone solos in the Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs with a beautifully warm tone. And it completely fails to mention Joe Cooper, a 19-year-old first-year student at the Conservatoire in Birmingham who acts as our assistant conductor - he conducted the Five Mystical Songs in a manner that would have done credit to someone twice his age and with far more experience.