Monday, May 3, 2010

A concert review

I am conductor and musical director of the Hamilton Chorale as I have mentioned before and we did our first 2010 concert series this last weekend.

Virgina Gallagher was invited to review the concert, by the editor of the Raglan website and this is her review:


Hamilton Chorale at Raglan Union Church, Saturday 1st May 2010

A small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Union Church on
Saturday 1st May for a concert by the Hamilton Chorale. Entitled
Celtic Weavings, the programme consisted of music with a Celtic theme.
The music was an interesting mix from Ireland, Scotland and Wales,
some of it well known, and other pieces new to the audience.

The opening bracket, under the heading ‘Call to Celebrate’ was bright
introductory music, John Peel and Comin’ Thro’ the Rye were
particularly memorable. In the next bracket ‘In Quiet Moments’ the
tempo was more relaxed and highlighted the choir’s versatility. Then
the audience was invited to participate, and soon all were joining in
with Loch Lomond and Annie Laurie.

The next bracket ‘Lassies and Laddies’ gave the different sections of
the choir a chance to come to the fore. In several numbers for ladies
voices only, the careful blending of three parts was a joy to listen
to. The men particularly enjoyed their solo numbers; in ‘The Star of
the County Down’ they kept up a cracking pace, much to the enjoyment
of the audience. More sing-along with slower numbers My Love is Like
a Red Red Rose and Danny Boy. Once again the audience sang with
gusto, although some of the higher notes were beyond some audience

The final bracket ‘The Old Country Calling’ reminded us that many in
the church that day have Celtic roots, and could relate to the
beautiful music that has become so well known in New Zealand. The
masterful arrangement of ‘I Know Where I’m Going’ was particularly
memorable, and the rousing ‘Molly Malone’ brought the most enjoyable
concert to an end.

Ably assisted by accompanist Elisabeth Murray, the conductor Julie
Jackson-Gough should be very pleased with this concert. She succeeded
in blending the 30 strong choir into a group that was a pleasure to
listen to. The imaginative addition of the ladies’ coloured scarves,
representing Scotland, Ireland and Wales, enhanced the Celtic theme.
It is a pity that more people did not come out in the chilly autumn
weather to hear this capable group of singers. Hopefully, they will
come to Raglan again to perform.

Virginia Gallagher