The Chelmsford Singers recently took a brief visit to the Bavarian Highlands courtesy of Edward Elgar who set poems by his wife Alice following a holiday in the area: the songs give the choir an excellent opportunity to show their range and skill and the Singers brought them off with style and panache, accompanied very capably by their accompanist Matthew Kelley. 

Attractive partsongs by Gustav Holst, setting largely unfamiliar texts, formed part of the programme along with imaginative folk-song arrangements by John Rutter, giving opportunities for each voice part to have solo lines and the other parts accompanied effectively and sensitively.

Two rarely-heard works by Armstrong Gibbs completed the choral offering: ‘How Happy the Lover’, a setting of words by Dryden in a pastiche contemporary style was followed by the ballad ‘Keith of Ravelston’ a dramatic miniature with demanding parts for the choir despite its brief length. Poems by John Clare and Arthur Shearly Cripps, read by choir members, offered a change of texture and organ solos by Amstrong Gibbs, played by James Davy, rounded out this evening of music for spring, sending the enthusiastic audience away with a light step!

Our next concert will be on Saturday 1 July, featuring music for choir and jazz trio including works by Bob Chilcott, John Rutter, and a feast of favourite songs in arrangements for a light-hearted Summer’s evening. Tickets available soon.