Choral Celebration Rocks the City Hall
The two Choral Celebration 2010 concerts on 4 and 5 August in the City Hall were a great success. The choirs of RGHS, RBHS and SACS were very well prepared by their schools before they joined in the combined rehearsals. The opening number, O Fortuna, was impressive and ably accompanied by Ms Dernier and Ms Joubert on piano. Yohan Chun and Lauren Davis played the bass drum, cymbals and gong with precision, and Mr West and Mr Mallows were the other percussionists.
Many of our students have participated in Orff groups at primary school and Orff’s music continues to provide an excellent basis for music education. Verdi’s rousing chorus Va Pensiero displayed fine contrasts in dynamics by the choir. Haydn’s The Heavens are Telling included a solo trio which featured Jenny Robertson’s beautiful clear soprano. The celestial theme was continued in two movements from Faure’s much loved Requiem, the Sanctus and In Paradisum. Here the immaculate singing and exquisite tone of the sopranos especially transported the audience to the heavenly realm.
Two choruses from Messiah concluded the first half with the audience standing during the Hallelujah Chorus as has been the custom since King George II who was so moved at the first London performance in 1743 that he rose to his feet. The first half of the concert was a real celebration of the best and most well-loved works in the choral repertoire and the choir was inspired to sing especially well by the superb direction of its conductor, Leon Starker.
The second half was entirely popular in nature beginning with Land Down Under and followed by three items by the Concert Band. Music by Michael Jackson and the Beatles was featured and the band’s performance ended with American Pageant. The performances were polished and displayed the full, rich sound of a complete concert band. The band was ably prepared and conducted by their directors, Ms Davis, Mr Scarr and Mr McDonald.
The choir, accompanied by the orchestra and a smaller concert band concluded the concert with a moving rendition of Dry Your Tears, Afrika. An Abba medley featured Cheryl Muchapondwa, Fraîche-Roseé Baloubeta and Alexa Bessinger as Dancing Queens. The whole choir’s movements were skillfully choreographed by Ms Jamey. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Concert Celebration provided a fitting climax to an evening filled
with superb, joyful music. Congratulations to Ms Gordon and Mrs Raynham who trained the orchestra, Ms Davis who trained and directed the band in the Michael Jackson number (in full regalia, complete with authentic action) and to Ms Sole and Ms
Jamey for preparing the choir so professionally. This was indeed a night to remember. A big thank you must be given to Mrs Graham of SACS who planned and organized this memorable event.
Ms R Davis
For more photographs from the evening, please see www.sionstanton.com