Review of the last concert

To the excellent Festival Chorus,

My sincere congratulations on a magnificent performance of Messiah on Saturday night. Your singing, for me, was the highlight – with such attention to the text, the dynamics and articulation, the music became alive. The soloists and orchestra all commented on ‘the excellent choir’ and most assumed you were semi-pro and auditioned. To date, this was the best performance with me, and I was immensely proud to be standing in front of you!

Congratulations must also go to the excellent Sinclair Baroque Sinfonia. They were ably led by Christian Halstead, and were able to get a beautiful, consistent palette of sound in a short amount of time with some particularly outstanding playing by the natural trumpet players. Congratulations also to the splendid soloists – all showing a real understanding of the style of music as well as finding gravitas, spirit and sincerity within their performances. And a special congratulations must go to the semi-chorus, adding a bit of bounce, character and shine to Lift up your heads and Thanks be to God – well done!

You all have worked very hard for the last three months on the technical aspects of Handel articulation and breath control, giving the music and text meaning and vitality – it really showed in the performance – the feedback has been hugely complimentary. A huge thanks must go to Elspeth Wyllie who continues to play a major part in the choir’s musical development and very calmly transposed the entire score down a semi-tone, for those odd rehearsals that required piano.

Thanks must also go to Pippa, Antony and the committee who do all the concert planning, set-up (and those who put-away), running the bar, selling tickets and to Felicity for a lovely party. I hope you all have a good rest now, and I look forward to working with you next term on Faure and Saint-Saens!!

With every best wish,

Andrea Brown

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