News and Reviews


The performance of Brahms’ German Requiem by Keyworth Choir on Saturday, 1st April 2017 in  Keyworth Methodist Church was a resounding success. The audience, filling the church, was treated to six of Bruckner’s glorious Motets and some Schubert songs in the first half of the concert and then the Requiem in the second half. There was very warm and generous applause throughout for the choir and the soloists – soprano Sarah Carlin and bass Stephen Godward. Under the direction of their Musical Director Colin Russell, the choir had put in a great deal of work in preparing for the concert (especially in the Brahms, as it was sung all in German!) but their efforts were richly rewarded. Special thanks must go to Alec McGregor for his outstanding piano accompaniment – he did an excellent impression of an orchestra in the Brahms Requiem!

Keyworth News, June 2017



Musical history was made on Saturday 16 March 2013 in Keyworth Methodist Church: Keyworth Choir gave the world première performance of Stephen Godward’s Requiem for soprano solo and chorus. This new work, which blends the traditional Latin from the Requiem Mass with five English texts, was received very enthusiastically by the packed audience, who commented afterwards on both the beauty and the drama of the choral writing and the superb singing of soprano Sarah Simmonds. They identified several movements as real highlights, with ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ and ‘Pie Jesu’ among the favourites. Also noteworthy was the inclusion of a newly-harmonised version of the hymn ‘The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended’, in which the audience were invited to sing along. This they did with gusto!

Stephen Godward was in the audience to witness the première and to acknowledge the audience’s generous applause. He also participated as bass soloist in the other pieces performed in the concert: Pergolesi’s Magnificat and Mozart’s Coronation Mass, in which the other solo parts were taken by Sarah Simmonds (soprano), Dawn Foxall (alto) and Andrew McPhee (tenor). To complete the evening, and to acknowledge this year’s Coronation anniversary, the choir sang Handel’s Coronation Anthem ‘My heart is Inditing’. All in all, a memorable evening for everyone involved.

Keyworth News, May 2013



Keyworth Choir gave a splendid performance of Haydn’s Creation in Keyworth Methodist Church on 1st March.  The forty choir members singing that night did so with a gusto, sensitivity and discipline that captivated the audience.  The Creation is one of Haydn’s masterpieces, full of good tunes and mellifluous harmonies, but it only sounds good if well performed, which it certainly was on this occasion.

Haydn wrote the work for choir, three soloists and orchestra.  The soloists that night were singers of quality who also blended well with the choir and with each other in duets and trios.  And they possessed stamina – between them they must have been singing for over two-thirds of the two-hour work and seemed as fresh and vigorous at the end as at the beginning.  The orchestral part had been adapted for keyboard (piano and harpsichord) and was played with fluency, expression and apparent effortlessness (but how much he must have practised!) by Alec McGregor. In a way, his role was the most demanding of all. He had no breaks: he accompanied every note sung by the choir and soloists, and also had some protracted and demanding solo pieces.  He never faltered.

Keyworth is fortunate to have a choir of such calibre that can attract such able soloists. For that much of the credit must go to their conductor and music director for the past twenty-five years, Colin Russell. His enthusiasm communicates itself to musicians and listeners alike. It is perhaps a shame that all the rehearsals and effort put in to produce such a polished outcome should receive only one performance. If villagers were aware of the high quality of its choir, more would want to hear it, I’m sure.

Keyworth News, May 2008