Christ Church Summer Gala Concert – Sunday 8th July 2012

Posted on July 8, 2012


Our 150th Anniversary year has been packed with special musical events, but we still found time for our regular Summer Gala Concert, which provides the opportunity for both choir and congregation to dazzle us with their musical prowess.

This year the concert took place on Sunday 8th July just as Andy Murray went on court against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final! Thanks to Twitter, we managed to sneak in the odd match update during gaps in the programme, which offered an array of choral and chamber music and songs.

The concert opened with a reprise of our Mothering Sunday Smash Hit – Bob Chilcott’s A Little Jazz Mass sung by the Junior Choir, directed by Rianna Walcott with Harvey Brink on piano, David Hinitt on drums and Sergi Bray on bass guitar, which left the whole audience buzzing especially after the finger clicking Benedictus !

Members of the junior choir wowed us with their instrumental talents before the interval, with Lauren Somerville, Sebastian Stone, Amelia Stone and Imogen Morris performing pieces on the piano, Alexandra Rogers on the recorder, Sophie Dennis on bassoon and Jemima Carroll on the French Horn!

The first half of the concert closed on a reflective mood as the choir took to the stage to sing four of Parry’s six Songs of Farewell. The a capella work was composed late in the composer’s life at a time when his health was deteriorating, completed during the First World War when he saw many of his friends and students lose their lives in battle. Perhaps our favourite and most moving of the four pieces we sang was Parry’s sublime setting of John Gibson Lockhart’s 1841 poem There Is An Old Belief, which was performed at Parry’s funeral.

There is an old belief,
That on some solemn shore,
Beyond the sphere of grief
Dear friends shall meet once more

Kat Gourd and Gabbi Freemantle sang Laudamus Te from Vivaldi’s Gloria accompanied by David Hinitt

Highlights from the second half included Andante espressivo from Piano Trip in G major by Claude Debussy with Florence Butterfield on violin, Rhiannon Humphreys on cello and Tom Hill on piano, each of whom went on to perform other pieces in solo or as a duet, including Song for Sienna by Brian Cain, with Ming Xiu on the piano.

Vocal works included Vaughan Williams The Sky above the Roof  sung by Claire Edwards, accompanied by Liz Hill, Laudamus Te from Vivaldi’s Gloria sung by Kat Gourd and Gabbi Freemantle and accompanied by David Hinitt and Poulenc’s Ave Maria sung by Rianna Walcott, Sophie Hammer and Danielle McLennaghan.The wonderful music was not only a testament to the talent of our choir and congregation but also their dedication– with each performer putting in hours of practice in the run up to the concert.

Thank you to everyone who performed, to Harvey Brink for organising, Ming Xiu for making the wonderful concert poster and to everyone who pulled themselves away from the tennis court to attend!