Carl Orff's Carmina Burana - 26th March 2011
Our Concert on Saturday 26th March 2011 at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford was distinguished by a number of 'firsts' - not least of which was a standing ovation for the Choir at the end of a superb performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Another first was the presence of the Prep School Major Choir who opened the programme under the baton of their conductor, Alexandra White. This group is a non-auditioned choir from Upper II and Lower III in the Prep School and had been selected by WWF to be their 'Earth Hour' choir. They were to have performed at the Royal Albert Hall during the countdown to 'Earth Hour' at 8.30pm on Saturday 26th March. However, due to a large planned demonstration in Hyde Park, it was felt unsafe for the Prep School girls to attend, and therefore their participation in the event had to be cancelled. They were offered the opportunity to sing at the Association Choir Concert instead and gave a joyful performance of One Sun One World - a musical commissioned by WWF to celebrate its 50th anniversary year.
The next item on the programme was Aaron Copland's fiendishly difficult Concerto for Clarinet & String Orchestra. The soloist was the wonderfully accomplished Mary Tyler, an U6 Music Scholar at St Catherine's who hopes to go on to read Music at Oxford. Mary studies at the Junior Guildhall and has recently gained the ABRSM Diploma for Clarinet.
Geoffrey Field, Director of Music then took the conductor's podium for a fabulous performance of the much loved Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens. The Camerata were again superb and the piano duo were Hannah Winder, an U6 Music Scholar who has gained her ABRSM Diploma on the piano and hopes to study Medicine at University - and Emily Hooker, Hannah's piano teacher. Emily is a former scholar of the Royal College of Music and recently won the RCM Concerto Competition.
The main event of the evening was Carmina Burana. We were priviliged to have established piano duo, Simon Phillips and Stephen Ridge, to accompany the Choir together with a fantastic percussion ensemble under the direction of Ian Young.
The soloists were Fleur Bray (soprano), Peretta Anggerek (tenor) and David McKee (baritone). Fleur is well known to Association Choir audiences and is an Old Girl of St Catherine's (2002 Leaver) who graduated with a Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2009 and completed a 3 year Post Graduate Diploma in Performance under the tutorage of Sandra Dugdale.