A Celebration of Youth, Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Festivities

More than 200 young singers and musicians triumphed in their Celebration of Youth festivities concert at Chichester Cathedral.

With enthusiastic confidence the young people demonstrated the high quality of music education and the tremendous talent in West Sussex.

Jean Sibelius’ tone poem Finlandia was an ambitious choice for the young musicians of the West Sussex County String Orchestra. Under the direction of David Bennet and playing with passion and fervour they gave an exemplary performance which achieved the atmosphere and mood of this wonderful music.

The young men of the of drums and percussion sections were magnificent and exploited their role to the full adding greatly to the orchestra.

Cello soloist, Marilyn Cutter’s tender and sensitive performance of Max Bruch’s playing of Kol Nidrei displayed a maturity well beyond her years.

Despite an ever changing membership, Nicki Bennison’s Central Singers always achieve the superb quality and standard which has made them such a respected young Choir. This year was no exception when they presented four very different action packed songs. The empathy between Nicki and her young pupils has to be seen to be believed.

Contributions from Ifield Community College made a huge impression of the packed audience. Their eight songs covering the whole musical range were quite exceptional. It must be to the credit of their conductor Patrick Allen that the young men in the choir exceeded the young ladies- a very rare achievement with teenage choirs.

Part of their performance was excitingly accompanied by the school’s Chagossian Drummers who originate from Mauritius.

This year’s concert easily regained the reputation of this annual event following last years disappointing show.

Graham Hewitt