The Gala Concert of this year’s Peninsula Arts Words and Music Festival was in many ways a joyful affair, full of schmaltzy melodies, lush orchestrations, conductor Simon Ible’s now-legendary successful mix of styles, and the contribution from soprano soloist, Jeni Bern.
This was the regular end-of-academic-year concert by the University of Plymouth Choral Society, but it also marked the end of an era.
Dartington Community Choir is one of those large-scale vocal ensembles that always seems to have the knack of appropriate programming for any time of the year.
With the title Mindful Visions: Metamorphosis, Daydreams and Fantasies, it was clear that the small, yet discerning audience would be in for a thought-provoking time. How much of this would appear truly engaging in the musical sense, however, would always be open to conjecture and subject to the listeners’ individual preferences.
While this year’s annual Ten Tors expedition will be taking place once more in a couple of months, the orchestra that proudly bore the same name since 1998 has now given its final concert back in the same Dartmoor town where it started.
While this was effectively the last Ten Tors Orchestra Gala Christmas Concert as such, conductor Simon Ible ensured that every member of the packed audience still went home full of seasonal cheer and goodwill.
If you asked any choir aficionado to name a large-scale oratorio by Haydn, it would be a safe bet to expect The Creation by way of a reply.