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2008-12-04 Richmond Hill, Canada

reviewed by Barb

 
Last night found myself and 2 very good friends, Gloria and Jennie, attending a concert performed by the Celtic Tenors. They were originally scheduled to sing in the new Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre, but alas, there was a delay in the completion of the Centre and so the venue was moved to the Richmond Hill United Church which proved to be a beautiful setting for a combination Christmas / regular CT concert. The church itself is lovely and you can read about its history and see some photos of the interior at:http://edrh.rhpl.richmondhill.on.ca/cemeteries/churches/default.asp?ID=s05

We arrived almost an hour prior to the start of the concert after a longish subway and bus ride, and decided to go across the street for a coffee since the doors wouldn't open until 7:30. We arrived back at about 7:40 only to find the first rows filled, so to our dismay we ended up sitting 9 rows back. Still this did not, in any way, deter from our viewing and listening pleasure when the lads took to the stage.

Listed below are the songs performed during the concert:

First Half:

Remember Me - instrumental by Colm on piano
Spanish Lady / Marie's Wedding - CTs
You Raise Me Up - CTs
Finnegan's Wake - CTs
O Holy Night - CTs
Silent Night - CTs
Star of the County Down - CTs
The Holy City - CTs
Carrickfergus - solo by Daryl who accompanied himself on piano
Hard Times - CTs (Daryl on guitar)
Four Strong Winds - CTs
Shenandoah - CTs a cappella
Remember Me - CTs

Intermission

Second Half:

Bring Him Home - CTs
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - CTs (Daryl on guitar)
Christmas medley - CTs
Come What May - solo by James who accompanied himself on piano
Ave Maria - CTs
Fearless Love - solo by Matthew (backing by James and Daryl) (Daryl on
guitar)
Belle of Belfast City - CTs
Danny Boy - CTs a cappella
White Christmas - CTs
Ding Dong Merrily on High - CTs
Adeste Fidelis - CTs
Time to Say Goodbye - CTs

Encore:

Nessun Dorma - CTs (backing by audience)
------------------------

I know I cannot match the attention to detail or the articulate manner of some of the splendid reviewers we are lucky enough to have in the Fan Club, so I will do as I usually do and just list some of the special highlights for me.

1) First time I've seen the lads perform in a church and hopefully not the last - certainly the atmosphere of this setting was very appropriate to the Christmas
season, and the acoustics were well suited to the lads' voices, particularly in the `a cappella' selections.

2) Meeting Colm Henry for the first time - what a very handsome, very young and extremely gifted pianist, and how very lucky for the CTs to have snagged the talents of Colm as their musical director!! Unfortunately, we were sitting 9 rows back on the right side of center, while Colm and the piano were at the front to the left side, so our view of him was, for the most part, fairly obstructed. Still, we were able to listen with pleasure as he accompanied the lads through most of the songs.

3) Hearing the lads once again perform solos in a concert! Daryl, you were wonderful on the piano as you sang Carrickfergus! Matthew, what a lovely
dedication to Celestine with Fearless Love! And James, ahhhhh James, what can I say about your version of Come What May? Many a heart melted when you used to sing Summer of My Dreams, and now I believe, Come What May will surely have the same effect! Simply superb!

4) Four Strong Winds - how proud my friends and I were to hear this distinctive, Canadian favourite being sung by this wonderful trio of tenors. And how very special to have this song dedicated to us! Thank you lads!!!

5) You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - as a Bob Dylan fan I can only say Bravo!!! This is a very lively version which had the audience clapping hands and tapping feet.
Not only did the lads sing in harmony, but they whistled in harmony too! Wow!

6) Time to Say Goodbye - as the lads sang the final song of the evening, they went out into the audience to present roses. James, bless his heart, presented
his rose to my friend Gloria, who has been battling cancer for the last 6 months, and what an emotional treat this was for her! The tears flowed freely and I know this was definitely her highlight of the evening!

7) The meet and greet - always such a pleasure to be able to meet and chat with the lads and to have our CDs, which we bought at intermission, signed. A bonus was being able to meet Vera from Germany, now living in Ontario. I was also able to chat briefly, with Matt, at intermission. Can't forget how valuable Matt is to the CTs, as he provides many valuable services. He is not just their driver, but helps with sound and lighting, looks after all sorts of details involved in the tour, and as James said jokingly, also acts as their `shrink'. :-))

I know there are many details I've missed but these are some of my favourite highlights from last night's magical concert.

Many, many thanks to James, Daryl, Matthew, Colm and Matt!!!!


Additions from Gloria (Barb's friend)

Last night's concert in Richmond Hill was the second that I attended with Barbara. The first was in St Catharines last year. And yes, James gave me a rose. Last night however was special and not just because they were in a church.Their voices especially during the 'a cappella' (which of course they always do very well) seemed to come from all around me and not just from the stage. It made me shiver.They made me cry, laugh and sing and yes folks, I got a rose ( my second) from James. I told James the first song You Lift Me Up made me cry. He of course corrected me and said " it's You Raise Me Up" but James I didn't really make a mistake it was my spirits that you raised up for me last night and after a long summer the tears had to flow. It was lovely to see the boys after the concert and have them sign the new CD. I will play it and remember that special night in the church with the Christmas decorations all around. Thanks for all the kind things that were said. I was also very glad to meet Colm and have him sign the CD as well.James, Daryl, Matthew what can I say but again you made my evening and my day. James you are one of God's angels spreading joy everywhere you go.