For more than thirty years the choirs of South Brent and Chateauneuf -du-Faou have been crossing the channel between Plymouth and Roscoff to celebrate their shared love of singing by staging joint concerts and offering accommodation and entertainment to each others members.
This year it was the turn of Brent Singers to travel to Brittany and a subdued group of 30 gathered in the rain at 5.30 on Friday 14 th June 2019 outside South Brent to board the coach to the ferry port. The journey was an opportunity to rest but also for getting to know one another better and spirits were high by the time they arrived to be greeted by their French hosts.
After dropping baggage the two choirs assembled for a welcome reception with food and wine provided by members of the Chorale de la Vallee and despite certain communication difficulties old friendships were renewed and new ones created. After a free morning on the Saturday the choirs gathered in the afternoon for a brief separate rehearsal and then performed a joint concert in the beautiful setting of the Eglise de Chateauneuf-du-Faou. Each choir offered a varied but very different repertoire to an enthusiastic audience. Brent Singers included pieces from previous concerts chosen by their musical director, Matthew Searles and were delighted to be accompanied by Richard Lea, a former musical director who had chosen to holiday in Brittany with his partner, Barbara, in order to meet up with the choir again and take part in the concert.
The evening was rounded off by more food, wine and some Breton dancing all provided by the hosts and during the course of the evening a presentation of a commemorative music stand was made by Gillian Haskell, chair of Brent Singers to thank the Chorale de la Vallee for their wonderful hospitality.
All too soon the visit was over and on the Sunday morning the visitors departed for their return journey to Plymouth with promises of returning the hospitality in 2 years time.
(More photos on our Gallery page)