Review of Ely Youth Choir Festival Concert in the Hayward Theatre on Sunday 19th April 2015

The crème de la crème of local choirs met on Sunday for the second Ely Youth Choir Festival. Young singers rehearsed all day and performed a concert to a large appreciative audience at the end of the day.
This year’s event was an undoubted success. Ely Youth Choir (conducted by Andrew Parnell), Saffron Walden County High School Chamber Choir (conducted by Janet Wheeler), and Cantiamo (conducted by Roger Bond) gave a splendid performance, separately and as a whole choir in a varied and interesting programme.
Songs included a number of spirituals including ‘All my Trials’, ‘Steal Away’, ‘Everytime I feel the Spirit’ and ‘Deep River’, while also featured were Bob Chilcott and Duke Ellington items along with a variety of popular pieces like ‘The Skye Boat Song’, Freddie Mercury’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Memory‘ and ‘Over the Rainbow’ mixed with lively challenging and entertaining works like Eastymology and a more serious but familiar Locus Iste. These all helped to make the concert most enjoyable for performers and listeners.
The event was supported by Richard Hayward and well-known local musician and ABRSM examiner Vivien Laird closed the events with comments that reminded us of what a splendid day it had been. Her description of beautiful, crisp, well-balanced, well-shaped singing gave the singers credit where it was undoubtedly due. Rebecca Duckworth conducted two final pieces that exemplified the skills the singers had acquired in a sonorous, well phrased performance of ‘Steal Away’ and a lively performance of ‘Chattenooga Choo Choo’ that was indicative of the whole event – pure ‘fun.’
It is no surprise to learn that a future repeat of this event is being planned and if you are a young singer you might persuade your choir leader that you should come!
contact: www.

Janet Wheeler and Rebecca Duckworth

Janet Wheeler and Rebecca Duckworth

Jonathan Rogers

Jonathan Rogers

Roger Bond and Andrew Parnell

Roger Bond and Andrew Parnell
Rosemary Westwell


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