Autumn Concert Review November 2017

Seaford Choral Society celebrated Christmas in style on the 25th of November in their Autumn Concert held at St Leonards Church. Led by musical director Anna Tabor and accompanied by Colin Hughes, the choir, ably supported by the chamber choir from Seaford Primary School performed varied programme ranging from a Haydn Mass through to I don’t believe in Santa Clause any more via a jazz mass.

The programme opened with a rendition of Haydn’s Nelson Mass. One has to admire Haydn for writing his Missa in Angustiis, or Mass in time of fear. There was a moment of intense concentration from the choir during the performance but no fear.  The development of Seaford Choral Society continues, and the groundwork in tone, pitch and diction is secure. Welcome contributions came from soloists Rachel Shouksmith , Rebecca Anstey, Andrew Robinson and Nicholas Chisholm.

It is always delightful to hear children’s voices at this time of year, but how much more delightful was Seaford Primary School Chamber Choir’s contribution to the  evening’s entertainment. We listened to a haunting Christmas version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah accompanied on the guitar and the funny I don’t believe in Santa Clause anymore with long paper gift lists unrolled at the end.  It is rare, these days, to find a choir in a primary school that has its membership by audition, and Kate Steer deserves respect for doing this, and thanks for the many hours of additional time she has obviously put in to teaching and rehearsing her choir. Few people know how much work this adds to the already heavy workload of a teacher, so, from all of us, Well Done Kate!

The Chilcott  A little Jazz Mass was quite a change of style for the choral society and was wonderfully accompanied by Alex Eberard on drums and Marianne Windham on double bass. This was thoroughly enjoyed by both audience, children and choir. It is great to see Seaford Choral Society stretch themselves to different genres. Each brings its own unique challenges and delights for both choir and conductor.

The richness of Rebecca Anstey’s solo contribution to the evening was superb, singing Mariae Wiegenlied by Reger and Ave Maria by Caccini, and sent tingles down the spine.

As we have come to expect from the Seaford Choral Society, the tone, sparkling into the rafters of this beautiful building, enthralled the audience and the comments both in the interval and afterwards were universally positive.

And so we turn the page, and look forward to 2018. The Choral Society always welcomes new members, but if you want to come along as a guest, then you’ll be most welcome too. They meet on Monday evenings at St Luke’s Church on Walmer Road, and more information can be found on our website or ring Steve on 01323 301683.

Ruth Whitelaw