On Sunday 1st of July, we were treated to a fantastic concert featuring David and Valerie Shelmerdine and a number of their equally talented friends – Suzannah Gray, Lene Sahlholdt, Jasmin Pettigrew, Mary Bennett and David Townsend, accompanied by Rob Nash on piano. As a member of the audience, I can only say that it was one of the best I’d ever had the pleasure of attending. As in previous years, there was an opening turn from the Trinity Tappers tap-dance group, followed by a variety of sung and spoken items, punctuated by an interval with excellent refreshments provided by Valerie.
Highlights included the duet The Prayer (Foster, Sager et al., 1999, popularised by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) brought to us by David and Lene, a beautiful Norwegian classical song and Frank Loesser’s show song Copenhagen from Lene (later reprised as an audience sing-along), a poem about Summer in Wandsworth by Mary Bennett and an inimitable retelling by David Townsend of the story of Grahame Donald, former Dulwich college schoolboy who in 1917 fell out of, and miraculously back into his Sopwith Camel at 6,000 feet, as recounted by Joshua Levine in his book On a Wing and a Prayer (London: Collins, 2008).
The concert closed with a most beautiful harmonised group rendition of the traditional Irish Blessing.
The evening raised £150 for the church and I’m sure we would all want to express our thanks for the amazing efforts needed each year to put on events of this quality, and done on a voluntary basis by all concerned. Thanks again David, Valerie and friends.