Dear Harleston Choral Society
Congratulations on a first class concert on Saturday night at St John’s!
It was terrific to have such an enthusiastic audience who were in such good voice in the audience carols and were so warm in their appreciation of your musical offerings. I thought that you did very well in all of the items, particularly so when letting your hair down in the Twelve Days of Christmas. You did well in the carols that you sang on your own – and our two soloists, Sue and John, shone in Behold that Star. Perhaps we need to add an S to the title??
The First Nowell was always going to be a challenge as there were not that many numbers where you had any substantial singing and the bits that you did have were interspersed with instrumental or solo items, or items just for upper or lower voices. I thought that the men did a great job in the lower voices only passages, but I was full of admiration for how well the sopranos and altos did in the four-verse item with the soprano soloist – the parts were tricky but the sopranos and altos brought the whole thing off very well indeed. Well done!
Our two soloists for the evening, Jo Westaway and Gary Griffiths, brought a lot of stylish singing to the Vaughan Williams, which I felt helped to bind the performance. I hope that finally hearing the whole thing in the concert helped to make sense of it from the choir’s point of view.
I know that the soloists and the instrumentalists felt that they had been treated like royalty during the concert tea – so many thanks to Julia and her team for making and serving that. Thanks also to John Awty’s team of stage assemblers and dismantlers – as always, the operation was so efficient that it appeared effortless, which is no mean feat with all of the items that need to be transported in and out of the trailer.
The concert was a lovely occasion and many of the audience came up to tell me exactly that at the end. I hope that you also received positive feedback from your own audience members.
Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you for putting so much effort into learning the pieces both outside and in rehearsals, and for being such a rewarding group of people to work with. Since January 2018 we have embarked upon an amazing musical journey together and I am really looking forward to starting the summer concert repertoire with you in January 2020.
With all good wishes to you and your families for Christmas and the New Year.