It was a genuine delight for the Chamber Choir to travel to London for the first time in two years to perform in the Brandenburg Choral Festival. Their concert on Thursday 3 February in St Stephen Walbrook Church in Bank was strongly supported by a home audience of parents and staff, who were joined by many OOs from different generations as well as members of the public.
The choir always loves the experience of singing in the generous acoustic of this beautiful Christopher Wren church, but despite the choir only having 24 voices, their excellent and committed singing filled the building gloriously. They also rose to the occasion in a wide range of challenging music.
In a concert of four quarters, the choir opened with a sequence of French music, beginning with an arrangement of a Renaissance dance (Tourdion), swiftly followed by the luxuriant harmonies of music by Saint-Saëns and Fauré. Their next work – Benjamin Britten’s colourful cantata, Rejoice in the Lamb – allowed four solo voices (Lucy, Pien, Sid & Owen) to shine in characterful short movements alongside the dramatic choral writing and exciting organ part.
The third quarter of the concert offered a sequence of Contemporary Contrasts, embracing beautiful singing in a cappella works by Alec Roth and Ola Gjeilo, alongside a vigorous spiritual arrangement by Richard Allain which featured a strong solo contribution from Eliza. The choir concluded their one hour concert with three works by anniversary composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams. The extraordinary harmonies of his Silence and Music, written in honour of the Queen’s coronation, led to two concluding choral settings of the poetry of George Herbert, taken from the composer’s Five Mystical Songs.
All of the singers are to be congratulated for presenting such an outstanding concert in Central London, flying the flag for the excellence of Oakham’s music in the capital with the support of Mr Jacques on the organ and Director of Music, Mr Davis, conducting.
Click here to listen to our audio recording.