A charming June concert

Haverhill Choral Society presents Music For A Summer's Evening

Sunday, June 14, 7.30pm

Haverhill Arts Centre

Review by Kantata

HAVING begun with the beguine, Haverhill Choral Society treated a large audience to an evening of vocal entertainment on Sunday.

Many would dismiss a concert on a warm June evening in a theatre but, with the cabaret-style setting and the availability of refreshment, patrons were happy to listen.

A varied and mostly lightweight programme was convincingly sung by the society under Jane Wright’s skilful direction.

The choir excelled at diction and every word of the unfortunate William Taylor was clearly audible which, along with chicken and dumplings and The Complete History Of Western Music (Abridged), formed the main course in the first half.

The remaining items were less successful, suffering unsteady rhythm and hesitant entries which was a pity as Over The Rainbow is such a strong song and beautiful in this arrangement which Edward Dodge accompanied sensitively.

Cole Porter, Elgar and John Rutter were dealt with well after the interval.

The Elgar was exceptionally sensitive, while Rutter’s It Was A Lover And His Lass fairly romped along.

Not so the arrangement of Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings.

I was not alone in feeling apprehensive as this began; good to have an audience on the edge of their seats but preferably with excitement not trepidation!

Between the choral items were performances by Chris Hart (George! Don’t Do That) and Mike King, whose Brahn Boots was redolent of another age.

Despite poor acoustics, these made easy and enjoyable listening.

Some popular songs have almost achieved classic status: Close To You and The Way We Were, which closed the evening, sent the audience away contented.

The society, which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, can be proud of some charming entertainment and a long and distinguished record in Haverhill.