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Bryanston Choral Society Perform Handel's Messiah

On Saturday 5 December, Bryanston Choral Society broke tradition from holding their concert at the atmospheric St Martin’s Church with candles, mince pies and carols, for the bright interior of the Elder concert hall.

Handel’s Messiah was a wonderful choice for the Choral Society’s first concert in the Elder Concert Hall. Under Duncan Emerson’s inspirational conducting, the choir gave a well-rehearsed rendition of the many familiar, and some less familiar choruses. The superb acoustics reverberated with the sound of the 100 plus voices and professional orchestra, led by Christina Scott. This meticulously planned performance included the society’s repetiteur, Graham Scott, in his central role playing the harpsichord continuo. In addition, the trumpets beautifully enhanced the singing from the gallery above the choir and later the superb bass aria, The trumpet shall sound with solo played by Elaine Close.

Sumei BS and Angelica L shared the soprano solos, giving wonderfully assured performances that captivated the audience. The musicality and clarity of diction from Cathy Bell (alto), Richard Rowntree (tenor) and William Townend (bass) made Charles Jennen’s narrative unusually easy to follow.

By the time the audience stood for the Hallelujah Chorus there could have been no member of the audience who felt they had heard Messiah too often. The final Amen chorus ended in stillness followed by enthusiastic applause.