Around 55 LCS singers, together with a group of choir supporters, travelled to Berlin in mid-April as part of Lewisham’s long-standing twinning relationship with Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Following our first joint concert with Johannischer Chor Berlin in Lewisham in 2016, we were keen to re-join them and to strengthen the musical and cultural links that we mutually share.
The weekend began with a reception on the Friday evening, during which the Buergermeister of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf welcomed LCS and spoke of the importance of our twinning relationship. Councillor Stella Jeffrey, an alto with LCS, thanked the Buergermeister on behalf of the Council and Mayor of Lewisham and emphasised how much LCS valued being able to join with our Charlottenburg partners.
The following day we had the privilege of opening the 2018 Blankenseer Musiksommer Festival to a packed audience of over 400 people. Nico de Villiers, LCS’s Deputy Director led us from the piano in a performance of Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae Curae, Rütti’s I wonder as I wander, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C-Major. Nico also played a solo piano item – Mozart’s Fantasie in C-Minor which was very well received.
Johannischer Chor performed a number of works themselves, under the direction of their conductor, Jens Lehmann. One of the undoubted highlights of the concert was William Byrd’s motet Look Down O Lord which was sung by both choirs together – reminding us of the first time we performed together in Lewisham.
The hospitality, friendship, and opportunity to share the best of music-making will remain with us for a long time and we look forward to welcoming the Johannischer Chor back to Lewisham. Our sincere thanks to them and also to Lewisham Council for sustaining their commitment to the values of international partnerships through the twinning programme.
– Brenda Scanlan, LCS Chair