The Association Concert is an annual event for various groups, including the Association Choir. This year we were joined by Camerata (the ensemble of the best string players), the Guitar Ensemble, a battery of percussionists and the soprano Fleur Bray (a St Catherine’s Old Girl). The St Catherine’s Association also uses this concert to raise money for chosen charities. This year it was the Educational Kenya International Fund, which was founded by another Old Girl, Rakhee Dodhia, and exists to sponsor Kenyan children through secondary school.
The centrepiece of the evening, the Association Choir, is composed of staff, parents, Old Girls, friends of the school and current pupils (members of Senior Chamber Choir), directed by Mr Field. Having previously sung many well-known works by composers such as Vivaldi and Rutter, this time the choir performed two more unusual works: Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla and Nuestra Navidad. Both have a very distinctive South American feel and certainly tested the choir’s rhythmic abilities, whilst also allowing for an incredibly diverse percussion section.
Camerata also entertained everyone with two pieces from the not-so-well-known composer Villa-Lobos’ Suite for Strings. These pieces are very rarely performed; so rarely in fact that the score was very hard to come by, but nevertheless they were enjoyable to listen to and certainly in keeping with the South American feel of the evening.
Fleur Bray also returned for her second performance with the Association Choir, singing Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras V for cello octet and soprano, as well as four Spanish Carols accompanied by the Guitar Ensemble. We were all very pleased to hear her sing again, and reading about (her recent musical achievements was very inspiring, particularly for those of us who want to enter the musical world.
In short, the whole evening was very enjoyable for both the performers and audience alike, and it was a good opportunity to be able to support such a worthwhile organisation as the EnKI Fund. We look forward to next year!
Report by Peggy Fooks (U6) Music Prefect