The Chamber Choir traditionally gives the final lunchtime recital of the academic year during the Oakham Festival, and this year was no exception. The choir presented a programme contrasting French choral works with more contemporary spiritual arrangements by Ken Burton.
School organist Mr Harry Jacques conducted the first work, the extraordinary Chant du soleil by the short-lived French composer Lili Boulanger. Featuring a richly harmonic piano accompaniment and direct choral textures, it made a strong impression to open the recital. Under the direction of Mr Peter Davis (Director of Music), the choir then presented a pair of unaccompanied works by Saint-Saëns, skilfully capturing the stillness of Calme des nuits before deftly adopting a lighter style for Les fleurs et les arbres.
The choir’s final three pieces were arrangements by UK gospel choir director Ken Burton. The singers proved their adaptability, switching effortlessly from the Big Band stylings of Put on the armour of the Lord to the soulful sounds of Nobody knows, featuring soloist Grace. Their final piece, Ev’ry time I feel the spirit, was an exhilarating climax to a superb recital.