Review: of ‘O Winter Wonderland’ in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 10th December 2012.

The girls, boys and gentlemen of Ely Cathedral Choirs accompanied by 78RPM and conducted by Paul Trepte I Ely Cathedral presented and intriguing concert under the title of ‘Winter Wonderland’. Indeed the song of that title was sung by the choirs and the imagination indeed was stimulated to conjure up delightful pictures in the mind of a cold winter’s night, the ground glistening with snow, the sky filled with sparkling stars. This was all possible because of the amazingly wonderful sound these singers produce.

However, the evening was not the traditional one expected. The carols that looked like the same old favourites we can join in with every year had changed! Was there no end to the versatility of these performers.  Inspired by the band, the carols assumed a new lively, jazzy character. At first, it appeared that all tradition had been cast aside, but, of course, carols per se used to be lively dances and such alteration may not have been so drastic as one may have first thought.

Traditional carols given fresh rhythmic drive included ‘O Come all Ye Faithful’, ‘God Rest you Merry’, ‘Silent Night’, and ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. Other favourite seasonal songs included ‘Let it snow’, ‘White Christmas’,’ Drummer Boy’, ‘Mary had a Baby’, ‘Chestnuts Roasting’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Santa Baby’, ‘Shepherds in the fields abiding’, ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, ‘Joy to the World’, ’Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ and ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’. … Paul Trepte certainly gave the items momentum as he drove the singer on with vigorous momentum that matched the band. There were moments of sheer choral beauty that we are used to hearing in Ely Cathedral and these were particularly noticeable in ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’

Rosemary Westwell

(the entire review may be read on http://www.localsecrets.com)

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