|A packed house for the cathedral Concert – even this blogger couldn’t muscle to the front!|
The Annual Cathedral Concert is a really special event for our department, and Saturday’s concert was a real triumph.
A fitting start with the Symphony Orchestra (Leader: Arisa Ota) conducted by James Bolton-King (MMus candidate in Conducting) playing Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro (1786), led into quite an emotional performance of the first movement of Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ symphony, conducted by the orchestra’s regular conductor, Martin Outram.
The String Orchestra (also directed by Martin Outram) is always a real pleasure to hear, and they did not disappoint this time, playing Grieg’s Holberg Suite.
The first half concluded with the Symphonic Wind Orchestra (directed by Ian Crowther) playing some very entertaining pieces, my favourite of which was Shostakovich’s Festive Overture (1954). The best thing about a Symphonic Wind band is the sheer volume of the performance (both mass and loudness), supported by an enthusiastic percussion section.
Directed by the Canterbury Christ Church University Director of Music, Dr David Allinson, the second half of the concert was when the Chamber Choir and the University Chorus joined the Symphony Orchestra for some staggeringly atmospheric and uplifting music by Haydn. Insanae et vane curae sung by the Chamber Choir, and arranged for chamber choir and orchestra by MMus student, Kieran Seymour, primed the audience for the wild ride that was the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra performing the ‘Nelson Mass’. A huge sound reaching right up into the Cathedral ceiling and back again, this was a real triumph enjoyed by a very attentive audience. The soloists, Katie Bilner (BMus Year 3), Sara Wilson (BMus Year 2), Philip Simpson (BMus Year 3), Kieran Seymour (MMus), Lizzie Begley (BMus Year 3), Matt Sherwood (MMus) and Macauley Crawford (BMus Year 2) are to be particularly congratulated on an extremely successful performance of this wonderful mass, which felt right at home in Canterbury Cathedral.
For our students, particularly those on the BMus degree, the Cathedral Concert is the pinnacle of the performing year, and there were quite a few regretful looks and moments of contemplation as the third year students wrestled with the thought that it was perhaps the last time they would perform in the Cathedral as part of their degree. What a way to finish though – all of the students involved on Saturday should be very proud, because we are really really proud of them all.
|A selection of our wonderful third year students posing in the cathedral after the concert – with Martin Outram and David Allinson|