Formed during LaunchFest 2013, Top Voices choir, led by Chris Price, gave their last concert of the year on Wednesday. Having been part of the choir since September, it was moving to see how it had progressed since the first performance – a success in itself given the week we had to prepare!

On Wednesday, the ensemble, made up of undergraduate students singing soprano and alto, performed a huge variety of pieces, from 12th Century plainsong (Hildegard von Bingen’s O Virtus Sapiente) to famous pop classics (Puttin’ on the Ritz – Irving Berlin andAfter the Goldrush – Neil Young), and everything in between. The programme was a reflection of the ensemble’s versatility, not only with regards to genre and style, but also to vocal range as, often, the girls would switch parts to rebalance to choir, or just to try something new. A highlight for me was being able to sing the principal line in When I was in my Prime, as I had done in LaunchFest 2013, it was a nice round up of the year spent with the choir. The piece is different to a lot of the other repertoire and its folk style really appeals to me.
While many of the arrangements we sang were by Chris Price, we also sang a piece composed by him, Thus I Infuse. It was one of the ensemble’s favourites due to its driving middle section (complete with a catchy ‘Batman-like’ motif!) and clashing harmony throughout. As well as shorter pieces, the choir sang Stephen Hatfield’s African Celebration: a melding of different motifs and chants to celebrate African culture, with the African anthem serving as a calming interlude. The piece served up many challenges during rehearsals and it was a massive achievement to have sung it successfully and convincingly.

The concert was a huge success, and enjoyed by the staff, students and public that attended, and I can’t wait to see what Top Voices can do next year!

– Kelly Butler (BMus, Year 3)