Our concert on 12th December in the Joy Abbot Hall was a real success. Great new bijou concert venue for the town, the performing space is not huge but imaginative use of the galleries above it really expands the possibilities. Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata with its multiple choirs fits very well into the space and the audience enjoyed a real treat with the superb tenor Magnus Walker. The Cantata has, to quote one of the audience, “a surprising amount of good tunes” and Britten uses the voices and the music to paint the story of St Nicholas in a very approachable way. The choral society acquitted itself really well in what is not the easiest piece to sing, but we did make our conductor John Chillingworth work very very hard on the night to bring it off. Many thanks to the three choristers from St Mary le Tower in Ipswich who were the three pickled boys. And hats off to the small but perfectly formed Kingfisher Ensemble who accompanied the choir for the Britten.
After St Nicholas we had the traditional carol concert with new carols, Alan Bullard’s “Glory to the Christ Child” being a highlight, comic readings and traditional carols with the audience joining in.
More on our tenor soloist, Magnus Walker, who sang with a beautiful full rich and confident tone and with huge attention to the underlying emotion of the songs. It was an absolute treat to hear such a quality performance in this new venue. Magnus is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and is now studying for his masters. He recently won the Joan Chissell/Rex Stephens aware for Schumann Lieder. He has sung in many of the UK’s top concert venues and takes a particular interest in Art Song performance. For more detail on Magnus, click here.
Overall, it was a lovely evening which the audience thoroughly enjoyed.