It was an invitation our German friends of the Mannergesangverein 1865 Werdorf e.V to celebrate their 150 anniversary that was the impetus behind our Euro Tour. Whilst on tour the Choir sang in St Quentin’s Cathedral, Hasselt; the Marienbasilika, Kevelaer; Dreifaligkeitskirche, Mar; the Menin Gate Ypres and the Suffolk Regiment memorial at le Cateau. At the Menin Gate and at le Cateau we sang an arrangement of Rupert Brooke’s poem The Soldier by Ben Mason.
Here is an abridged version of Diane Partridge’s report:
At 5.30pm on this very warm Saturday evening we all set off in the coach, the choir resplendent in white shirts black trousers and gold ties and waistcoats, it being far too hot for jackets. On arrival the wives and partners were asked to take their seats in a very crowded and warm hall to listen to choirs of every age perform, whilst SEMVC went for a final practice. We were given a very warm welcome from the stage as we took our seats. The choirs made very enthusiastic and cheerful sounds, and we sat and waited for our turn in the second half.
At last SEMVC went on stage and went straight into Mustang Sally which enlivened the evening’s atmosphere and which was greeted by just as enthusiastic applause. Sure on this Shining Night was followed by You Raise Me Up. The latter must have been the favourite of the evening, and in fact of the whole tour as it transpired, as it was greeted by thunderous applause from the 500 strong audience.
During Rhythm of Life several choirs from the audience joined in flying way up high with arms flapping wildly. E’en as a Lovely Flower quietened the audience, and again the appreciation was quite overwhelming, perhaps especially so, as it was sung in German.
When two of the choirs joined for the finale there was still yet to come as they insisted on closing the evening by joining together with SEMVC in another sing of You Raise Me Up.

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