Addison Singers Celebrate a New Decade with Winter Concert

Local group seeks new members especially those with tenors and bass voices

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As well as wanting to encourage local folk to come to concerts, the Addison Singers are particularly keen to welcome new members, and like many choirs, are particularly keen on hearing from tenors and basses.

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West London based Addison Singers welcomed in their next decade with Director David Wordsworth by singing to a packed and wholly appreciative audience in Chiswick last Saturday, following an exciting celebratory year of performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, and in London performing World Premieres and newly commissioned works from American and European composers.

St Michael’s and All Angels is a familiar venue to many choirs, not least to this ever evolving oratorio and chamber group; the now rich and vibrant colours of the newly decorated Norman Shaw interior provided a fitting backdrop to an evening of exhilarating music. The new concert standard staging, lighting and seating augmented the professionalism of the musicians and benefited the audience.

The Addison Singers were joined by their now regular performing partners, the Bernardi Chamber Orchestra, for an imaginative programme consisting of both the familiar and the new, including the world premiere of a new arrangement of the traditional American carol “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head” which has been especially written for and dedicated to the Choir by Bob Chilcott, the world renowned choral conductor/composer and President of the Choir.

The Choir was joined by children from St John Baptist CE Primary School in Bromley for Chiswick composer Cecilia McDowalls’s Christmas Cantata ‘Christus Natus Est’, a colourful collection of Christmas Carols newly arranged and brightly orchestrated. The children were an absolute delight to watch and hear. Their enthusiasm and excitement amply demonstrated the benefits that amateur Choirs can bring to their communities by forming such partnerships, and through encouraging voices of all abilities and ages to work together to produce such a great effect. The composer “was absolutely delighted with the Oratorio choir’s performance….it just sparkled”.

The Chamber Choir sang works from Poulenc, Skempton and Steve Martland; the clarity and individuality of the pieces were complemented by excellent diction and dynamics from all the voices and ended the first half with all the exuberance that ‘Make we joy’ deserves.

The second half of the concert culminated in some of the most popular seasonal choruses and arias from Handel’s ‘Messiah’, the Soprano Lorna Bridge providing delightful and joyous expression to her parts. The soprano choir voices were particularly luminous and their sustained bars of top notes impressive.

Maggie Wallace 2006


December 18, 2006