Saturday December 9 in the Minster Church of St Andrew at 7.30pm
The University of Plymouth Choral Society present their annual Christmas Concert in the Minster Church of St Andrew on December 9th at 7.30pm, and this year there will be a slightly different feel, as they welcome their new Musical Director – Alice Dennis BEM.
Alice has recently moved down from Scotland after many years working with the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society near Aberdeen where her husband worked in the oil industry.
Haddo House is well known for its operatic productions and Alice, as a singing teacher with an operatic background, has been working hard with the choir to train the voices gently as they work their way through the festive programming.
Reportedly, the sound is blossoming and the concert is promising to be very special – a perfect way to start off the festive season.
The programme will feature excerpts from the Messiah in the second half, where the choir will be joined by a full professional orchestra and soloists: Corrine Cowling (soprano), American counter-tenor Patrick Terry, Richard Pinkstone (tenor) and Tim Nelson (baritone).
The soloists will be given an additional opportunity to shine in the first half, when they will present their own choice pieces, to include ‘Oh Holy Night’ and Mozart’s ‘Alleluia’. Further information on the soloists may be found here.
The audience will be encouraged to join in with a selection of well-known congregational carols, and the Choir will feature in several beautiful arrangements on their own.
These include Howard Darke’s version of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ (with soloists from the choir), Lauridsen’s atmospheric and beautiful ‘O Magnum Mysterium’, Berlioz’s ‘The Shepherd’s Farewell’ and two carols Alice has chosen to showcase the upper and lower voices – a new departure for the choir that is already reaping rewards in confidence and team building.
Alice said ‘I am so excited to be working with this marvellous, friendly and enthusiastic choir and can’t wait for concert day when I know they will give their all. The sound they make is spine-tingling!
‘The committee is so hard-working and has supported me in every way; things are going so smoothly in the run up to the concert, even though they are all adapting to life without Simon Ible, who was obviously an incredibly hard working and much-admired leader.
‘I feel that anyone who is feeling a little jaded about Christmas, who needs a lift or who is going through difficult times right now, should consider coming to the concert.
‘The choir’s singing and the beautiful and moving music in both halves, are truly inspirational. Christmas really does start here!’
Tickets (£15 / £5 students & under 18s) can be purchased from Peninsula Arts Box Office, (01752 585050) or through their website, with any tickets remaining, available on the door.
image: UPCS Soloists Composite: Top row (L-R): Corinne Cowling (soprano); Patrick Terry (counter-tenor). Bottom row (L-R): Richard Pinkstone (tenor); Tim Nelson (baritone).
Philip R Buttall
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