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Issue No. 92 [Back Issues]
19th April 2006

This Week - [Great Crested Newt - Churches Together for Easter - A Bird in the Hand]
[Well Done Ross RFC! - Digital Listening Post - Ross Town Band - Locks off for Macmillan - Rare Baroque Passion]
[Photographic Society Exhibition - Topical Photography - Ryefield Centre Computer Courses]
[150 Years at Llangrove Church - Letters - Opinion - Archive Ross-on-Wye - Nature Watch - Rugby]
[Home Page] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map] [Property]

WNTV: Well Done Ross RFC!

Ross RFC's Simon Gwynne and Paul Hayley talk to Tina Jones about their achievements this year. Please click here for Wyenot Television.

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Digital Listening Post at Ross Library

Ross-on-Wye Library has been chosen to take part in a pilot project with BBC Radio. Public libraries and BBC radio have long been two of the country's most active supporters of reading. Now the two networks are joining forces on a project to create a great new buzz around books.

The scheme will see a selection of programmes about books from BBC Radio 4 - made available to library users at the touch of a button. A pilot project, steered by The Reading Agency in partnership with the BBC, will see thirty listening posts set up in public libraries across the UK and Ross-on-Wye Library is one of the lucky few to be chosen.

The posts are aimed at getting people talking about books and reading, and will be especially useful to the members of reading groups. 'We are delighted that Ross library has been chosen and we are very excited to work with the BBC on this project to help make reading even more of a pleasure,' said Anne-Marie Dossett, Reader Development Librarian.

The BBC has added to the partnership with a new web page, online at This gives information about all the books programmes broadcast on Radio 4 and BBC7, with opportunities to listen to programmes you have missed, and exchange comments on message boards.

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A Fund-raising Concert for Ross Town Band

The concert to raise much needed funds for Ross Town Band will take place in St. Mary's Parish Church on Saturday, 6th May 2006. The money raised will be used to purchase much needed new instruments and uniforms. The Morriston RFC Male Voice Choir will be joined by Soprano, Jennifer Walker and the Ross-on-Wye Town Band and the concert will start at 7:30 pm.

Tickets cost 10 and are available from The Tourist Information Office, The Heritage Centre and County Collections, Ross, Outback Classical Music, Hereford, RMD Records, Coleford, or by telephoning 01594 860497.

Stormin' Norman gets his locks off for Macmillan Nurses

Pictured below, Norman Joyce, aka 'Stormin' Norman' had his head shaved by Jessica Webb at the Horse and Jockey public house on Good Friday, 14th April to raise money for Macmillan Nurses. So far, losing his hair has raised £150.00 for the nurses.

Pictured below, the before and after photos. In the bottom photo are Sheryl and Corinne Watkins of the Horse and Jockey with Arthur Smith, Ben Dean, Julie Taylor, Andrew Holton, Mark Phillips, John Waithe and, of course, Jessica Webb and Norman Joyce.

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Rare Baroque Passion!

With so many performances of Bach's well known Passions this Easter, it was a refreshing change on Tuesday 11th April 2006 in the beautiful setting of 'The Church of St Mary the Virgin', Ross-on-Wye, to have the rare opportunity to hear a Passion by one of his contemporaries, Reinhard Keiser [1674-1739].

The German composer, Reinhard Keiser was educated at the famous Thomasschule in Leipzig, where J S Bach would later teach. He was primarily known as an opera composer having composed upwards of sixty operas by 1728. He wrote a variety of other works including several passions. Like his operas, Keiser's Passions are full of dramatic momentum which Bach admired. Indeed, Bach is known to have directed at least three performances of the St Mark Passion. Tonight's performance was a brand new English translation from the German.

The Ross-on-Wye Baroque Singers along with soloists Katherine Hawnt - soprano, Ben Turner - alto, Christian Sturm - tenor and William Burn - bass, were accompanied by the stylish playing of The Musical and Amicable Society Baroque Orchestra directed by Martin Perkins.

The work follows the passion story which we are all familiar with. Although much shorter than the passions of Bach, Keiser's setting is perfectly formed. The singing was generally of an excellent standard, and I really do admire the way in which Christian Sturm (Evangelist) coped with the new English text. Being German, he had sung the work many times in it's original form and his performance was admirable, if a little tentative at times. The light soprano voice of Katherine Hawnt (no stranger to audiences at Ross) was, as always a delight to hear. Alto, Ben Turner, a Lay Vicar at Westminster Abbey sang with all the professionalism one might expect. A special mention should be given to the absolutely beautiful 'treacle' like bass voice of William Burn. His dramatic and sensitive singing of the role of Christ was memorizing. The chorus (directed by David Backhouse) was also excellent. They were dramatic in the 'Turba' (crowd) choruses and beautifully sensitive in the softer chorale movements Mention should also be given to soloists from the choir Sarah Hall, Andrew Roberts, John Eden and David Backhouse who all sang with dramatic clarity.

One should not forget the orchestra which was superbly led by violinist, Kelly McCusker. Her beautiful obligato playing was truly magical. Particular mention should be given to the rich inner texture provided by the double viola parts, a particular feature of German baroque music at this time.

In the second half of the concert we were given another treat which was Giovanni Pergolesi's [1709 - 1736] setting of the Stabat Mater. This was sung by soprano Katherine Hawnt and alto Ben Turner. The brisk tempi and the stylistic singing and playing made this a truly delightful performance. Again, particular mention should be given to the intricate viola part in several of the movements played beautifully by Kate Fawcett.

The concert was arranged and presented by Ross Live! as the final event in its first year of operation which ends on 30th April.

Malcolm Bennett

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