Apollo5: ‘With a Song in my Heart’

What fun we had on the last day of January in St Barnabas church, despite the cold outside. The easiest musical gift to share is the voice – and it is also the most portable. Many more people use their voices to sing than might consider playing a physical, musical instrument. Thus it was no surprise to see the church well-filled, and local singers besides myself sitting, wrapt (in more ways than one) in the audience. Several spoke warmly, during the interval, of the songs we enjoyed.  For this concert LBMC moved to the acoustically-warm (if otherwise chilly) St Barnabas’ Church in Linslade. This, and a little subtle amplification, enabled Apollo5 to fill the church with melodies. The group brought their programme ‘With a Song in my Heart’ – a mix of sacred choral music, spirituals, traditional melodies, jazz standards and pop songs. Nobody except the performers was brave enough to remove a coat, I noticed. But with a generous sprinkling of toe-tapping numbers such as The Andrews Sisters’ ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and Duke Ellington’s ‘Java Jive’, we survived quite happily.

I enjoyed the Spirituals they sang, but their English folk songs were perhaps the strongest aspect of their repertoire, with ‘She Moved Through the Fair’ the standout song for me. Apollo5 are nothing if not versatile; they moved between ‘contemporary’ songs and church music, from a Monteverdi madrigal to songs from musicals. It was a particular pleasure to hear ‘The Call’ from Vaughn Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Choosing and arranging their material for their slightly unusual forces is a big part of their success.

Apollo5 is part of the charitable foundation Voces Cantabiles Music, they are also Ensemble in Residence with Surrey Arts, and have worked with Red Balloon Learner Centres.




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