REVIEW: Funtington Music Group

At the Funtington Music Group’s Christmas Concert on 16 December at the University of Chichester, the University Chamber Choir performed a varied and delightful programme of Christmas music.

The programme was created by Arthur Robson, Director of Choral Studies, and Conductor and Compere for the evening, and it was balanced and wide-ranging, and included, not only traditional carols, but also medieval and 20th Century pieces.

The Choir, almost 30 strong, included some particularly able singers, and at least six, maybe more, were impressive soloists during the evening. There were many splendid and sophisticated choral performances, as well as a brilliant Poulenc piano solo by Robert Louden.

The quiet, understated and relaxed, yet compelling, conducting style of Arthur Robson, drew the best out of the Choir, who gave a sophisticated and impressive performance. Although, understandably, tradition played its part in many of the musical choices, there were also some interesting and newer scores and creative arrangements, such as the rendition of the Shepherd’s Carol.

The audience were also asked to participate throughout the evening in the singing of a number of traditional carols, such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and in this and a number of other carols the descant sung by the Choir was particularly effective.

The general effect was certainly also enhanced by the presence of some hearty singers amongst those attending. This was particularly so, when Emma Barnes was asked to teach the audience a new carol, which she did with particular enthusiasm, skill, and enterprise.

David Tinsley, chairman of the Funtington Music Group said, “This was a concert where the sheer enjoyment of the Choir was intoxicating. The Choir’s musical accuracy, the melodic interest of the programme, and the beauty of their sound made an impressive and really enjoyable evening.”

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01243 378900.

Chris Linford

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