Post concert review – December 2021 – Handel “Messiah” at All Saints, Kingston

Well, what a treat to sing again in public on Saturday 4th December!

On the night itself, we were priviledged to be the support to our wonderful soloists and ensemble players  (please refer to the previous post).  Many thanks are due to all helpers on the night, both musical and otherwise and of course, to our conductor, Joel Newsome-Hubbard.  We had a marvellous experience after a two year break in concerts as also eveidenced by this review we received from Simon de Groot, for which many thanks.

“Ember Choral gave an uplifting and joyous, but also controlled and refined performance of Handel’s much loved and somewhat seasonal Messiah, tonight in Kingston’s Parish Church.
It was an excellent choice for the re-commencement of the choir’s activities after a long covid enforced break, and the grateful and convivial atmosphere could be felt as well as heard in audience, orchestra and all present…
All the parts were delivered with smooth and well blended precision, which happily, and perhaps surprisingly, coped well with conductor Joel Newsome Hubbard’s brisk “authentic baroque” tempi…the excellent acoustic of Kingston’s nicely proportioned Parish Church aiding with a neutral but warm quality…
As often, the tenors, (why was I not there helping??) could have been a little stronger, but I confess bias: they came through, and their tone and accuracy was spot on…
A virtuoso natural trumpet, ensuring the trumpet really did “sound” and superb line up of soloists, ensured all that was needed to satisfy any Messiah crusties in the audience, as well as thrill any newcomers…
So good to see such enthusiastic restarting of local musical activity in Surrey, and we look forward to a hopefully exciting 2020 (sic) in which we will undoubtedly feel extra grateful for live musical performance! 🙏 Simon de Groot

 

Britten and Christmas carols – November 2019

Concert held at Holy Trinity Church, Claygate, looking beautiful at night

The church at night. Photo courtesy of Valerie Thompson

The first half featured Britten “St Nicolas” with some atmospheric accompaniment by string quartet, piano, organ and percussion and also featuring some young soloists as well as the tenor part ably sung by James Robinson.

The second half included carols for both choir only and choir and audience.  (Pictures below taken by Caroline Champney and published with her permission).

Brahms concert – June 2019

A great evening at The Menuhin Hall!  The programme featured “Ein Deutsches Requiem” and “Liebeslieder Waltzes” all sung in German (a challenge for some of us!) with piano accompaniment.   The soloists were Rebecca Hardwick, soprano, and James Atkinson, bass, with pianists Linda Bridges and Pam Kent.

The following pictures were all taken by John Siviter with kind permission of The Menuhin Hall.

 

 

Christmas concert- December 2018

We chose All Saints church in the heart of Kingston for our latest concert held on 1st December, 2018.  The combination of a Christmassy “vibe” in the town centre with its brightly lit selection of restaurants and shops and the popular variety of items on the programme ensured that members of the audience went away feeling that Christmas had arrived early!

The use of a brass ensemble for most of the pieces with solo flute, piano and organ accompanying others also enhanced the enjoyment of the pieces.

Once again, we were fortunate to have a former member of the Royal Choral Society, Julian Rye, in the audience. He has kindly submitted a review of the concert which can be accessed here.  Post concert comments indicated that many others in the audience enjoyed this concert.  Let’s hope a few new to our concerts feel motivated to come and join us for more – as singers next time, perhaps!

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Rachmaninov “Vespers” concert – June 2018

We were encouraged to really stretch ourselves by tackling this beautiful but challenging work.  In the end, we had a wonderful concert at St. Andrew’s church in Surbiton on Saturday, June 16th.  The unaccompanied singing was split into three sections with our Russian Guest, Irina Walters giving a small talk about the work and the composer during the two breaks.

Below are a few photos audience members kindly took at the concert (mainly before the concert actually started)

One member of the audience, Julian Rye, who has sung with the Royal Choral Society, kindly submitted a review of the concert which can be accessed here.  Post concert comments indicated that many others in the audience enjoyed this concert, especially as it was completely different to what we have sung in the past.

Many audience members, including Julian (as you can see from his review) found it difficult to hear Irina during her two talks, so in response to requests, we are reproducing the text here.

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Handel, Britten, Charpentier Concert – November 2017

We held a wonderful concert at Holy Trinity Church, Claygate on November 25th, 2017.   The works included: Handel “Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne”,  Britten “Rejoice in the Lamb”, Charpentier “Te Deum” plus some seasonal items.  The concert featured soloists: Sophie Gallagher, Soprano; Alex Chance, Alto; Guy Elliott, Tenor and Hugo Herman-Wilson, Bass and the players of Solistes de Musique Ancienne.

Joel conducting

Choir

 

Charlie on the organ

Sophie Gallagher, Soprano, Guy Elliott, Tenor and Alex Chance, Alto

Hugo Herman-Wilson, Bass

Choir and orchestra

A full gallery of pictures from the concert follows  (all photos courtesy of Raf Jezierski):

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Concert June 2017

Saturday 10 June 2017 at 7:30 pm

Our latest concert was the first one conducted by our new musical director Joel Newsome-Hubbard. The concert featured Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation”.

It was held one of our favourite venues: the beautiful grounds of The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon

 

The concert also featured soloists Christine Buras, Soprano; Joel Williams, Tenor; and Michael Ronan, Bass-baritone and we were accompanied by the young players of the Solistes de Musique Ancienne.

All pictures courtesy of Raf Jezierski with kind permission of the Yehudi Menuhin Hall.

The concert was dedicated to Edna Bowden a very long-serving member who had undertaken a number of roles in the choir over the years.  Edna had died not long before the concert.

 

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Concert December 2016

John Sutton’s last concert: Handel’s “Messiah” jointly with Ember and Hampton Choral societies.

 

 

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