22 November 2017
The annual Joint Choral Society concert took place in the Amey Theatre on Sunday evening. Choral forces comprised a healthy number of boys and girls from Abingdon and St Helen’s and adults from the local community. The conductor, Jason Preece, chose two contrasting works: Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Rutter’s Gloria.
The concert opened with the Mozart which featured stunning solos from Bethan Kelly, Reuben Havelock, Brooklyn Han and, in particular, Abigail Brindley who gave a warm, confident account of the soprano solo at the opening of the Agnus Dei. The chorus sang confidently, with good intonation and good diction, supported well by the orchestra.
Rutter’s vibrant Gloria closed the concert. This work really tested the mettle of both band and chorus alike who deftly handled the many changes of pace. The vocal solos in the second movement were beautifully handled by Emily Bates, Caroline Conder, and Jess Ferguson. This piece really puts the brass centre stage, but our Abingdon and St Helen’s students rose to the challenge with some assistance from VMT’s Matthew Cooke (horn), Andy Townsend (trumpet) and Ross Law (father of Joseph Law, OA 2017). This was another pleasing performance, with the band and chorus really coming together for the final exclamation at the close of the third movement.
Although, there was a significantly lower level of adult participation this year, it was a good debut from the conductor and all performers can feel justly proud of their achievements in this concert.