Concert of the highest standard

King Edward VI High School music students made their annual visit to St George's United Reformed Church in the latest lunchtime concert.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 10:46
King Edward VI School Chamber Choir performing at St George's United Reformed Church.

Like previous concerts, they provided music of the very highest standard, both vocal and instrumental.

There were no fewer than three sopranos in the performance.

Rose McKean and Lydia Wheller combined in Stabat Mater Pergolesi, and provided an excellent blend and balance, with careful attention to phrasing, so essential in a slow moving compositions. Long, sustained passages were sung with confidence and good tonal quality.

Equally impressive was Aggi Yates in her performance of Du Bist Die Ruh by Schubert. This was a sweet and gentle rendering, well sustained and with effective control.

The lone male soloist, tenor Joseph Dale, sang the popular Is Life a Boon from the Yeoman of the Guard by Sullivan. This was a confident performance, with good tone and fine lyrics and phrasing. Joseph has a very mature voice for a 16-year-old.

Two pianists contributed to the high standards of the concert.

Lyria Christensen played the Andante from the Sonate Clavecin on flute by Alkan. The sweet and gentle melody was played with great feeling, with complete empathy to the music in an assured and confident performance.

Amy Locks performed with conviction and skill in Kevatyo by Palmgren. This is a beautiful piece, with a haunting melody, and chord works very much in the style of Debussy. Amy’s playing was very assured.

No concert by this school ensemble would be complete without a sizable contribution form its chamber choir, and it did not disappoint.

Once again the choir treated the audience to some superb choral work in three widely contrasting competitions.

The first, Hail Smiling Morn by Spofforth, illustrated the total ‘togetherness’ of the choir in fast moving and tricky passages, and use of light and shade was outstanding.

The long sustained chords of Locus Iste by Bruckner showed the fine tonal quality of the choir, with its perfect balance between the four parts.

A final delightful Abba selection showed the versatility of the young singers, with all sections taking their full part.

Aggi Yates provided a competent accompaniment and the choir was conducted by Heather Harrison.

The finale provided a total contrast to the previous proceedings, with a folk melody played by Elliott Cansfield on whistle, with Robin Forber on piano, and Stuart Turner playing guitar.

Elliot was a revelation, playing with great verve and lots of skill. His notation was clear and distinct, every note, even in the vibrant fast moving passages, could be heard.

This was a brilliant end to what had been a concert of the highest standard.

Robin and Heather continue to find hugely talented students, but much of the success is down to their professional training.