An unqualified success

Broad Street Congregational Church’s concert in aid of Belgian refugees in the area was a great success: 

Last month I made an appeal for hearty support for our choirs in the effort they were making on behalf of the Belgian Refugees Xmas Fund. It gives me great pleasure now to report the triumphant success of that undertaking [on 25 November], and to express my grateful appreciation and thanks to all concerned. It was a great achievement to have crowded the Large Town Hall; but it was a greater to interest and delight so large an audience, and this was successfully accomplished.

It is not my intention to refer to the various items of a long and varied programme, a full report of which will appear in our next number. Suffice it to say that each of the soloists won well-merited applause. Mme Helene Feltesse and M. Francois Gilliard, the two Belgian friends who came to our help, served us magnificently. My chief concern is with the two choirs – the Church Choir and the Brotherhood Choir. I felt very proud of them both, and rejoiced once more to know that we have their efficient help, Sunday by Sunday, in our services.

The whole concert from an artistic point of view was an unqualified success. I heartily congratulate Mr Harvey upon the outcome of his patient and painstaking preparation, and wish for him and the choirs he leads an ever increasing success.

The financial result too was equally satisfactory. At the time of writing I am not informed of the actual amount raised, but there is good reason to believe that a sum approaching £60 will be handed over to the Belgian Fund. This is something to be proud of and thankful for.

Broad Street Congregational Church magazine, December 1914 (D/N11/12/1/14)

A concert for refugees from heroic little Belgium

Yesterday we reported the upcoming concert at Reading Town Hall, now discover how it went:

CHOIR CONCERT FOR BELGIAN REFUGEES
As briefly reported in our December issue, the concert given under the auspices of our Church Choir and Brotherhood Choir on November 25th last proved a most gratifying success, all concerned, performers and audience alike doing their part in a manner worthy of the occasion, – the occasion being the raising of money towards a special Christmas Fund in aid of the Belgian refugees in the town. The Mayor (Mr Leonard Sutton, JP) graced the proceedings and at an interval in the programme delivered a short speech. His Worship said he would like to express the gratification all felt at the effort being made that evening on behalf of the unfortunate refugees from heroic little Belgium, and he assured the Belgians who had come to Reading, and of whom there were a good number in the hall that night, that no effort would be spared to make their stay in the town as happy as possible.
With characteristic generosity the conductor of the choirs (Mr F. W. Harvey) had arranged a programme of almost too ample proportions, but the audience evidently were out to enjoy themselves and few left before the close.
Dealing with the work of the choirs it may be said that the Church Choir well maintained its reputation, singing a number of part-songs in excellent style. “The Viking Song” (Coleridge-Taylor), “Hymn To Music” (Dudley Buck), and “The Vagabonds” and “Our Island Home” (Eaton Faning), all of the vigorous order, were rendered with expressive enthusiasm, and a tuneful part-song by Parry, “Sweet day, so cool”, a competition test piece for which the choir gained first prize at the Crystal Palace last year, was given in a very finished manner.
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