REVIEW: Golden concert by Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir

The concert given by Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir in The Winding Wheel marked a high point in the celebrations of its 50th birthday,

Tuesday, 4th July 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:44 am
Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir's 50th anniversary concert in the Winding Wheel. Photo by Guy Badham.
Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir's 50th anniversary concert in the Winding Wheel. Photo by Guy Badham.

This was no ordinary concert. The room was transformed into a cabaret setting with guests sitting around gold-bedecked tables under low lights, giving rise to a relaxed and happy ambience.

Led by their conductor of 20 years, Steven Roberts, at his 100th concert directing them, and ably assisted at the piano by Tim Kennedy, the choir showed us a lighter side of their repertoire with such favourites as “Ain’t Misbehavin”, “Begin the Beguine” and “S’wonderful” drawing on that rich seam that is “The American Musical”.

The two excellent soloists of the evening, Rachel Abbott and David Heathcote gave sizzling performances of well-loved favourites “Can’t help lovin’ that Man” and “In the still of the Night” as well as more unusual contemporary numbers “Poisoning pigeons in the Park” and “The Girl in 14G”.

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Tim Kennedy proved what a superb solo player he is in wonderful performances of Sinding’s “Rustle of Spring” and the much neglected Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s “Let us cheer the weary Traveller”.

The choir, meanwhile, moved back on to more familiar territory with works by John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, finishing with a rousing arrangement of Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”. Judging by the appreciation shown by the audience at the end, this was a most successful venture to highlight a landmark year in the history of the Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir.