Congratulations and thanks to the young musicians of West Sussex for another outstanding concert in the cathedral on June 30. The standard just seems to get better and better every year.
The youth orchestra did not play it safe with their choice of repertoire. The complex rhythms of the Danzon No2 by Arturo Marquez in the first half were an appetiser for what was to come – a dazzling performance of Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, which was perfectly judged and served with relish.
The percussion and brass sections were outstanding. The strings and woodwinds delivered warm, rich tones in a masterful performance of Finlandia and a sensitive accompaniment to cellist Madilyn Cutler’s moving account of Kol Nidrei.
The two choirs brought contrast and variety to the evening. Central Singers (directed by Nicki Bennison) were as good as ever, with clear bell-like singing, perfect diction and a touch of humour.
Ifeld Community College Choir (conducted by Patrick Allen) held us spell-bound.
The absolute commitment and musicality of this group was truly inspirational. Their wide repertoire included some spine-tingling acapella South African songs. The addition of the young Chagossian Drummers has given this talented group a unique sound.
Many congratulations to all the music teaching staff who serve this county so well; and a special mention for their leader David Bennet, who drew such inspired perfomances from the Youth Orchestra.
Whoever arranged Mozart’s Lacrimosa for the finale was not credited. Mozart’s Requiem with djembe accompaniment sounds outrageous – and yet it worked. Amazing!