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Compere Tony Binns made up for the lack of programme notes.
The sound produced by the choir is certainly more vocally agile and more harmonically attuned than in the past.
The items chosen for the performance also asked for more technical and emotional import from the choir than in previous years.
The choir is also to be commended for its choice of guest soloists and for the familial context it maintains via awards and personal anecdotes for its performers and audience.
Boy soprano Grayson Westgate is already a seasoned performer. Mike Batt's song Bright Eyes highlighted the strength of Westgate's clear voice across a wide range and that he can attain nigh perfect diction.
The Christchurch Liedertafel Male Voice Choir showed the strength of individual voices in Irving Berlin's Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning and their capacity for comedy.
Pianist Emmanuel Wong's performance of four numbers by Rachmaninoff and Kaputsin presented a taste of his superb talent. His delivery and phrasing were exceptionally good. We wish him well for his future.
Graeme Downie, from the Leidertafel choir, made a good fist of None but the Lonely Heart.
Special highlights also included the numbers given by the combined choirs. The harmonies in Malotte's The Lord's Prayer were well achieved.
The final chorus of the Battle Cry of the Republic was truly rousing. Members of the Kaikorai Brass Band were also a welcome addition to the choirs' sound. The encore What Would I do Without My Music was widely appreciated.
-By Marian Poole