Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Penn’

Review of Ely Consort’s In memoriam concert on Saturday 1st December in Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel

December 3, 2018

Ely Consort is a name to be reckoned with. This must be one of the best choirs in the district. It isn’t until you hear good quality music produced by an excellent choir like this that you realize what you have been missing. Director Matthew Rudd really knows how to shape and develop a beautiful, well balanced sound and how to vary the pace, rhythm and dynamics to create mesmerising effects.

Russian Orthodox Church music brings to mind deep bass voices singing in open harmony. Tonight we certainly had the gorgeous deep basses and also a well produced tone in each of voice parts. With the gorgeous sound this choir produced echoing round the Lady Chapel it was easy to imagine we were transported into the depths of Russia.

The theme of the evening: remembrance, commemoration and reconciliation was well reflected in the pieces. The programme was based around Rachmaninov’s unaccompanied ‘All Night Vigil’.  The powerful richness of the voices was apparent from the start. Singing in Russian, this choir’s attention to detail, its expressiveness and precision were exceptional.

Other works included David Bednall’s ‘To a Missing Friend and ‘The Soldier’, a delightfully refreshing ’Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep’ by David Jepson, the tumultuous ‘Ring out, Wild Bells’ by Jonathan Dove and the first performance of a commissioned work by Sarah Quartel ‘’Hope’ is the thing with feathers’.

Sarah’s work was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the evening. Her charming lyrical piano accompaniment and the way she coloured the words so adorably and effectively made this piece most effective. The sense of the lightness of a fluttering bird, rising above the storms in life was never lost.

Charlie Penn’s accompaniments were superb. He achieved amazing effects in Jonathan Dove’s ‘Ring out, wild bells’.

This was indeed an excellent concert. The next events to look forward to are concert on Saturday 15th December at All Saints’ Church in Cottenham, on Saturday 16th March in Ely Methodist Church and on Saturday 29th June in St. Mary’s Church, Burwell. For more information contact info@

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

May 11, 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.