Review of Ely Youth Choir Festival Concert in the Hayward Theatre Ely Sunday 28th April 2013.


 Ely Youth Choir Festival Concert in the Hayward Theatre Ely on Sunday 28th April 2013 was a great success. North Suffolk Youth Choir, Cantiamo Youth Choir, and Ely Youth Choir gathered together for a day’s singing in a series of workshops as part of the inaugural Festival. The culmination of the event was a most uplifting concert.

The singers were in fine voice, creating moments of excitement and beauty. The concert opened with ‘Don’t stop believin’’ with the combined choirs singing under the directorship of Andrew Parnell. It was obvious from the start that these young singers were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Vetta Wise then conducted John Rutter’s ‘ Look at the World’. This song was particularly smooth and expressive. A lively performance of a Zimbabwean chant, ‘Freedom’, followed and an interesting arrangement of ‘Your Face’ by Bob Chilcott was the first for Roger Barns to conduct. Charlie Penn led the choirs in a moving and sustained performance of ‘In Remembrance’ by Daley,   Cantiamo proved a very competent choir as they mastered an intriguing, challenging and quirky arrangement of  ‘Waltzing Matilda’ by Bob Chilcott,

Accompanied by Alison Evans, North Suffolk Choir gave a worthy performance of ‘Sure on this shining night’ by Barber arranged by Dick Averre,. Their ‘Sanctus’ from Mass for Many Nations (by Lang) was delightful, the lively clapping section faultless. Ely Youth Choir gave a charming performance of  ‘Hallelujah’ by Cohen, and a lively rendition of ‘You Can’t stop the Beat’ from Hairspray by Shaiman. The grand finale of this most enjoyable concert was ‘Fly me to the Moon’ by Howard arranged by Shaw conducted by Charlie Penn.

Juliet Abrahamson, Director of the Cambridge Music Festival gave encouraging advice to the performers at the end of the event and mentioned what a good idea having a festival for youth was, and that the Cambridge Festival may feature one in the future.

Congratulations go to the Festival Director Jonathan Rogers  and we look forward to next year’s promised Youth Choir Festival.


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