During the summer of 2012 we were approached by the Twinning Committee of Great Glen on behalf of the choirmaster of a French choir in Le Ferté-sous-Jouarre, which is about 45 miles due East of Paris and famous for producing millstones and Brie. The area is close to the Champagne producing region further to the East and, descending from the sublime to the ridiculous, Disneyland is also nearby.
We performed two concerts over the late May Bank Holiday 2013. These were in two local churches and were a mixture of joint and individual performances by both choirs. A reciprocal visit from the French is expected the following year to coincide with Remembrance Services in November. A party of 20 members formed this first group.
We gave a performance in two Churches, L'Eglise Saint Croix in Bassevelle and L'Eglise Saint Etienne Saint Denis la-Ferté-Sous-Jouarre
The trip was enormously successful not only for the promotion of the Twinning projects, but also in making new friends. Our thanks go to the members of the Twinning Committee on both sides, our chorus masters and drivers, and especially to our French hosts who looked after us so magnificently.
Our performances were very well received and we have exchanged ideas with the local choirs on the music we sing and content of our repertoire. We sang a total of three times, plus an impromptu performance in the Cathedral of St Omer, and joined with our host choir in singing Non nobis Domine as part of each concert.
Needless to say, our rendering of ‘Unchained Melody’ went down a storm and even earned a standing ovation on one occasion!