King's Lynn Festival Chorus
ALISON CROOSE St Margaret's Church, King's Lynn
There was much to enjoy in this concert with its diverse music from around the world, unusual settings of familiar carols and contributions from a fine soloist and a youth choir.
The enduring feature was the quality of The Glory of Christmas which reflected the skills of music director Michael Kibblewhite who, with Julian Wilkins (organ and piano), has lifted the chorus to new heights in recent years.
He presented a programme interesting for the range of music, from its impressive opening with Russian vespers by Rachmaninov to contemporary carols by Bob Chilcott and a jazzy setting of Peter Gritton's Follow That Star.
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There was no hiding place for the chorus when they sang unaccompanied such as in three German cradle songs. Unfortunately the choir is short of male voices but Mr Kibblewhite ensured the tenors and basses made their presence felt.
Former Lynn man, Stephen Jones (baritone), impressed with carols by Peter Warlock, Charles Stanford and Adolphe Adams' Cantique de Noel.
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West Norfolk Youth Choir, directed by Pat Pressling, added to the variety with a new setting of Away in a Manger and the upbeat Christmas on the Beach at Waikiki.