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The choir was in excellent voice with plenty of new repertoire among old favourites. A powerful robust Let All Men Sing opened the concert and the favourite Gwahoddiad was a commanding final item.
Other choral numbers included The Impossible Dream, New York, New York, The Glendy Burk, which was a rousing folk-tune with finely shaded harmony, a laid-back delivery of the Streisand hit Evergreen, The Turtle Dove with two beautifully enunciated verses from soloist Tyler Neumann, and a new song Come In From the Firefly Darkness by Amy Bernon. One Song (Hamlisch) with its deep and meaningful text was dedicated to the people of Christchurch.
David Burchell accompannied several items from the town hall organ and also contributed three contrasting solos: a rousing delivery of Mendelssohn's War March of the Priests Saint-Saen's famous The Swan in an arrangement for organ which I found disappointing, and a most entertaining contemporary work by Lebanese-French composer and organist Naji Hakim (1955-).
Guest artist pianist Sophie Sun (year 12) chose classical repertoire by Brahms and Chopin, and Prelude Op.3. No.2 by Rachmaninoff, all displaying exceptional talent and memory in one so young. Soprano Erica Paterson (accompanied by David Burchell) sang selected songs, and Daniel Kelly conducted the Southern Consort in three a capella numbers, maintaining the flair and high standard of musicianship this group is currently achieving. The choir's accompanist was Linda Folland and the afternoon was compered by Lyn Murray.
- Elizabeth Bouman