Soiree – “an evening party or gathering for conversation or music”.
Well that was what was planned and definitely delivered on Friday 6th July in the gardens and hall at Holy Ghost Church. Like the English
football squad, Holy Ghost’s hospitality team exceeded everyone’s expectations and for the 75 lucky attendees the weather was also on our side.
Tables and chairs were laid out in the garden where parishioners, friends and guests sat and sipped pimms, wine, prosecco, beer etc. and engaged in the conversation alluded to in the meaning of a soiree. It was lovely to see people moving from table to table and including others in their company.
When the time came to feed the 75 there were two stations groaning with spreads of cold buffet, meats, pates and summer salads of every description. A quietness settled interspersed with “mmm lovely” and “isn’t that couscous wonderful”.
It seems to wrong to say the highlight of the evening, as everything was a highlight, but there was then a musical interlude inside the hall where professional, concert harpist, Emma Graham treated us to a selection of harp music.
Emma had thankfully only brought one of her eleven harps but it was a full size job and an incredible piece of workmanship. She was playing as we came into the hall and you could still hear the harp drifting through the noise of conversation. As the talking stopped, everyone was spellbound on hearing such beautiful music and to be able to see what was involved in making the music happen. Thanks to technology Emma didn’t have sheet music, it was all on an Ipad and she just download Bach, folk music from around the UK and pieces written specially for the harp.
She made it all the more interesting by giving us explanations between pieces about the music and composers and a section on how the harp developed and how it’s played, pedals and all!! At the end of her performance we were invited up to examine the harp and have a go, who knows when you might be called to play a harp?
I almost forgot that during a quick break we had desserts from an amazing selection of cheesecakes, strawberries and cream and fresh fruit plus coffee to follow.
A delightful evening of good company, wonderful music and amazing food to make the annual fundraiser, match funded by Barclays Bank,
for our church another success in the exciting life of the Catholic Community of the Exmouth & Budleigh Parish.
— Ian Stewart