Farnham Youth Choir’s first concert of the new season was held at the lovely church of St Alban’s in Hindhead on Sat 15th Oct in front of a full and appreciative audience! This was a new venue for the choir which performs more frequently in Farnham.
The evening began with choir members coming out to the audience members and greeting them, before starting a "Festive Alleluia" in an almost flash-mob style. Once regular choir positions had been resumed, we were treated to sacred music from 16th century up to 20th century, as well as pieces involving choir actions such as clapping in a Spanish style for "Yo Le Canto" and looking fearsome and warlike for "De Bello Gallico".
The choir was performing for the first time under the direction of Joanna Tomlinson who began regular rehearsals with them only 7 weeks ago. It also welcomed a new pianist, Matthew Rickard, who was given particular opportunities to shine in his accompaniments for Holst’s piece “To Agni” and the Spiritual, “Joshua”.
Many of the pieces performed during the evening were familiar works sung in previous years, but the audience were also treated to new pieces learned only in the past few weeks. The 14 new members who joined the choir in September performed confidently, having learned and memorised their parts in such a short period of time.
Another new feature of the concert was the inclusion of some more contemporary songs, including “Make You Feel My Love” by the recently announced Nobel Laureate for literature, Bob Dylan. The audience were sent on their way home with a lively rendition of the song “Happy”- appropriate for conveying the feelings of choir and audience alike, after this first outing of the season!
Laura Brown, director of The Octavian Singers.