4 songs performed … 3 Distinctions, plus 1 Highly Commended at the Isle of Man Festival of Choirs 2017
On the 20th October 31 members of the chorus, director Peter Gover and 15 supporters flew out to the Isle of Man from Bristol to compete in the island’s prestigious Festival of Choirs competition.
At the welcome buffet, attended by competitors and supporters, the Rivertones gave an enthusiastic rendition of Amarillo as their party piece and this was very well received. They were joined later in the evening by the Clwyd Clippers and Peter Gover directed both choruses singing Hello Mary Lou together.
The main competition on the Saturday featured some of the best and most famous choirs in the UK – ladies voice, male voice and mixed voice groups and included amongst others:
The Flint Male Voice Choir from Wales, who had been referred to by the organisers in the Isle of Man’s press, as one of the world’s top choirs!
The Friday Voices from Staffordshire have been winners of the ‘Grand Prix’ at the 24th Sligo International Choral Festival 2012; winners of the ‘Small Choir’ Class at The Mrs Sunderland Festival 2014; Winners of the ‘Choir Challenge’ Class at Harrogate Competitive Festival 2016.
The Haydock Male Voice Choir based in Merseyside have won this competition twice out of the previous four times it has been held. They have performed in the USA, Germany, Austria and France.
Chanteuse Chamber Choir were Manchester Amateur Choral Competition Runners Up 2016 & 2017; 2nd Place Female Choir Category – Llangollen Eisteddfod 2016; Choir of the Year National Selection Stage Qualifiers 2016
Clwyd Clippers from Mold in Wales finished some way ahead of The Rivertones at BABS Convention the last time the two choruses competed. Clippers were 14th, about their normal position, Rivertones were 31st!!!
Other choirs in the competition were the Knutsford Star Choir based in Cheshire and three choirs from the Isle of Man itself – Glenfaba Choral, Lon Dhoo MVC and the Manx Voices.
The festival Adjudicator was Stanley Roocroft, MBE, the distinguished musician and conductor.
After a long wait the Rivertones sang their four songs, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Love Me, Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Country Roads,Take Me Home and were given a great ovation by the large audience.
The chorus were placed third in the male voice choir section of the competition and only missed the grand final by a couple of points – which was a bit disappointing. They finished in sixth place overall and were awarded one highly commended mark and three distinctions for their singing. Fantastic result. The adjudicator made some very positive comments about The Rivertones, as did many fellow competitors and members of the audience. Overall we were delighted with our performance and felt all the extra work we had done for many months had been well worthwhile.
Chorus Director, Peter Gover, who did a superb job throughout was delighted with the performance and the recent impressive improvements made by the chorus.
Organisers of the competition have subsequently invited The Rivertones back to the island to take part in a concert for the Manx community in the future, as they were impressed and do not have any Barbershop groups in the Isle of Man.
Organiser Graham Blight was thanked for making all the weekend’s arrangements.
2017 Isle of Man Festival of Choirs
Comments from the festival Adjudicator, Stanley Roocroft, MBE.
Scale of marks
87 – 89 Distinction
84 – 86 Commended
81 – 83 Merit
78 – 80 Moderate
75 – 77 Fair
Class B – Male Voice Choirs
Name of Entrant – The Rivertones Chorus
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
In good style – clarity in production in diction and harmonic structure – easy style. You shape the phasing well. Just occasionally vertical harmonic structure not quite together.
Again the rhythmic content is fluent – your vocal nuance carries well – secure key change, just watch the closure consonants – please! Much to commend again in diction, —– intonation
Can You Feel The Love Tonight
Lovely harmonic flow, well balanced in expression treatment – closure on rest (1) and best (2) not quite so crisp. However the tonal colours are fine. Well done. Deserved applause.
Country Roads, Take Me Home
The feature of your final item is the beautiful texture of tone, easy in flowing rhythmic style – you connect well with your audience, great balance and sustained close. Thank you all.
- (1)Rest – Bars 24, 52
- (2)Best – Bar 56