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Dartford Township Choir - Sing Through the Ages

with Paul Ayres

We welcomed a brand new (to us) musical director, Paul Ayres, to run a
series of workshops and a concert at Christ Church, Dartford.  He came
to DTC with very positive recommendations.  

He brought great enthusiasm and skill to this project, more than living up to
his reputation as a composer and arranger, conductor and musical director,
organist and accompanist, and musical educator.

Check out his website to learn more about Paul and his extensive experience
and his music.

The final performance was an eclectic mix that included Paul’s interpretations
of parts of Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, traditional folk music, and
songs from The Beatles, Starship and Elbow.  Much of this was complex and
challenging but Paul brought out the best in the choir, who have every reason
to feel proud of their performance.

In addition to the choral numbers we were treated to two instrumental pieces with Paul and
our pianist Jonathan Pease playing ‘four hands one keyboard’ - one was ‘Mostly Bach’s Toccata
and Fugue’ and the other a ragtime influenced ‘Intermezzo’.

Paul Ayres

We have had an exceptional response from people who took part in this series of
workshops and the concert.  Below is a small selection (names omitted):
I sang in the choir under the direction of
Paul Ayres.  I thoroughly enjoyed the
rehearsals and was really pleased with
how well the concert was received by
the audience. I think Paul is so talented
and inspirational and should definitely
be invited back! I am glad to hear he
is keen to return!

I took part in the workshops, which I very much enjoyed. It was nice to do some different pieces.  Two friends who came to watch the concert thought that it was great and they appreciated the complexity of the songs especially as they both have sung with DTC on other occasions. I would like to work with Paul again: just a couple of comments:I found learning the words/pronunciation  to In Paradesum and Sumer is Icumen

In very tricky and would have liked more time to go over them.  Also, I did find it harder than some as I can't read music and those that could I think were at a definite advantage. That's all I think.

Hi, I really enjoyed Paul Ayres. It was a varied programme and I liked the way he worked, short sessions on each song and very structured rehearsals. He was a firm teacher but had a good sense of humour.

Yes. I did enjoy the experience.  It was fun to try so many new things and types of music. I also enjoyed his vocal coaching which he wove into our sessions. I did, however, find it a bit difficult to be asked to sing a new song straight from the score without hearing it first - especially for those of us who can't read music.  On the plus side, Paul want to the trouble of recording the parts of all of the songs so we shouldn't complain!  I would definitely enrol with him again.


Just a note to say how much I enjoyed having Paul Ayres as our musical director.  His experience shone through and he got the very best out of us.  He was patient and polite when things got tough, as well as being encouraging and complimentary.  The music was interesting and varied.  All in all a brilliant experience for me. Thanks to all who had a part in arranging the workshops (and especially to Paul).

Thank you so much for giving me the privilege of working under the direction of Paul Ayres. He is such a kind, funny and modestly talented man, and I really enjoyed the variety of the songs he chose, and his way of directing us. As always the concert was over much too soon; I so enjoyed this workshop, and really hope Paul is asked back. Thank you all.

Thank you so much for putting together such a fantastic series with Paul. Yes, PLEASE PLEASE can we invite him back again next year - as we both know each other now, I think the result could be even more fantastic.