A packed St Paul's Church enjoyed a musical welcome to summer at the Choral Society's recent 'Summertime' concert under the baton of Delia Meehan, the choir's Musical Director.
The programme opened with Elgar's 'From the Bavarian Highlands' which was inspired by a holiday he enjoyed there with his wife. Caroline Alice, a verse and prose fiction author, captured the spirit of the mountains in words which Elgar set to this evocative music. The choir finished the first half with a rousing rendition of three spirituals.
Chilcott's 'A Little Jazz Mass' opened the second half, a work which brings together two very diverse traditions - the Latin mass and the jazz idiom - in an expressive and lyrical way. The choir clearly enjoyed this unusual piece and accomplished the tricky rhythms very sensitively. The concert finished with a very enthusiastic performance of a medley from Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' featuring many well-known tunes and, of course, the song 'Summertime'.
The choir pieces were interspersed with solo items from Michael Dewis, an award-winning baritone, who sings regularly at the Royal Opera House and English National Opera. The audience was spellbound by his performance of some of the great songs from American musicals.
At this concert, choir and soloist were, as ever, accompanied exquisitely by Rosemary Venner, the choir's pianist since 1994. The audience also appreciated the added support from two very accomplished instrumentalists – Steve Ross on bass and Sebastiaan de Krom on drums.
The choir's next performance will be the ever-popular Christmas concerts on Saturday 12 December.