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.
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.
Hopefully I wasn’t the only one present not quite sure what to expect from a Concerto for Beatboxer. But knowing that the work was co-written by Eduardo Reck Miranda, Professor in Computer Music at Plymouth University, the musical credentials should be well assured.
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.
University of Plymouth Choral Society concerts always tend to have something special about them, and none more than the Christmas event. However, this year’s event just seemed to have some extra charisma.