The University Cecilian Choir and Music Scholars came together in an evocative and dramatic lunchtime concert on the foyer-stage last week, as part of a month-long series of events across the campus to mark LGBT Month.
Conducted by your loyal correspondent, the Cecilian Choir opened the concert with several movements from Britten’s Friday Afternoons, delivered with great vigour. Following this were two of Britten’s folk-song settings; Down By The Salley Gardens (sung by soprano Kathryn Cox) and O Waly, Waly (from soprano Paris Noble). These two moving, initimate reflections on love and loss were performed with real commitment, drawing the hushed audience so close that it was as though the listeners were hunched right around the stage.
The Cecilian Choir returned to the stage, together with third-year harpist Emma Murton, to close the concert with four movements from the Ceremony of Carols, moving from the high drama of ‘This Little Babe’ to the lyrical, evergreen simplicity of ‘Spring Carol,’ through the declamatory ‘Deo Gracias’ and ending with the plainchant of ‘Hodie Christus natus est.’
An engaging concert, and a great opportunity to make a musical contribution to the month’s events. Bravo, team.
The University Cecilian Choir, fresh from its seasonal debut on the foyer-stage at Christmas, is currently in rehearsals in preparation for its concert towards the end of term, in which the Choir will present a range of contemporary pieces alongside Hassler’s Missa super Dixit Maria.
But before then, the Choir will be singing in a lunchtime concert next Wednesday, as the ‘Watch This Space’ series celebrates LGBT Month with the music of Benjamin Britten. The programme will include movements from the Ceremony of Carols including harpist Emma Murton; folk-songs sung by Kathryn Cox and Paris Noble; and will conclude with movements from Britten’s rambunctious Friday Afternoons.
Wednesday’s lunchtime concert sees the continuing #Britten100 celebrations from the award-winning Kent College Choristers, as they bring his Friday Afternoons for voices and piano to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall at 1.10pm.
Then, on Friday evening at 7.45pm, the Colyer-Fergusson Hall hosts a return visit from the Brodsky Quartet with its contribution to our tripartite centenary observance with music by Britten, Verdi and Wagner; there’s also music by Frank Bridge, Britten’s teacher, on the programme.
Finally, also on Friday evening, the University Chamber Choir will be marking the beginning of the Advent season with a sequence of carols and readings at the Church of St Damian and St Cosmus, Blean, in what seems to be becoming an annual tradition! Woven around the great Advent antiphons is a collection of carols old and new, poems and prose exploring the meaning of the Advent season.
Plenty to celebrate this week. More details on our online events diary here.
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