WHAT a great performance for Thomas Duchan’s final concert as musical director of the Braintree Male Voice Choir.

The concert, at Christ Church, Braintree, was entitled Thank You For The Music and the BMVC, together with their guests, Great Dunmow Big Voices Community Choir, gave the large, appreciative audience an entertainment of music including pop, showbiz, Cockney sing-alongs and touching renditions of the not-so-well-known.

The BMVC’s opening piece, Rhythm of Life, was delivered with a strong sound which belied their numbers and immediately set the concert’s high standard.

The mixed voices of the Dunmow choir maintained this standard with their opening melody All Aboard.

Further pieces highlighted sections of each choir and their abilities to sensitively harmonize under the competent directions of Thomas Duchan and Jane Prowse.

Most enjoyable were the combined choirs’ pieces when the BMVC voices added a powerful backing to the soprano-led Dunmow choir.

Excellent piano accompaniment was provided by Sue Long and Amy Buchanan for BMVC and, for Dunmow, by Jerome Cacace, who also provided the choir’s arrangements, especially notable on Bring Me Sunshine.

The concert concluded with Thank You For The Music and a thank you to Thomas when BMVC chairman Ian Whiteside presented him with an engraved decanter in recognition of his five years’ excellent hard work with the choir, including his significant efforts to rebuild the choir post-pandemic.

Surely, whoever picks up the baton next will have a tough act to follow. 

Simon Rothman