Spirit strong in choir’s performance

Music in some form or other is a huge part of everyone’s life.

We all hear music daily often without realising — it’s everywhere.

Singing in a choir is so beneficial for the soul, and the gentlemen of Dunedin’s RSA Choir, directed by Karen Knudsen, showed their love of choral participation and the camaraderie it brings at their annual Anzac Day concert in St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday evening.

Their opening number Gwahoddiad was enhanced with organ accompaniment by David Burchell and well-executed trumpet obbligato from Ralph Miller.

These two professional musicians added highlights to most of the choral numbers, and also variety to the evening with solos.

There were two contrasting organ solos — Hymne du Soleil (Verne), a calmer more lyrical piece Elegy (Ball) — and a lovely lilting trumpet version of Someone to Watch Over Me, accompanied by Mark Wigglesworth.

Percussion (Robert Craigie) and strong organ accompaniment for Sanctus by Karl Jenkins, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Anthem from the musical Chess really added to the success of these popular big chorus numbers.

Tenor Scott Bezett sang with some of the choir items and presented two arias accompanied by Wigglesworth — the aria Total Eclipse from Handel’s opera Samson and Non t’ano piu by Francesco Tosti.

Both were delivered with strong operatic timbre and emotion.

The much shorter than usual programme was compered by Phil Godfrey and included a Ceremony of Remembrance, with Ode, Last Post and Reveille.

The choir’s contribution of The Lord’s Prayer and Deep Peace achieved commendable harmony.

It was good to be part of the reasonably sized masked audience and feel a strong spirit of Anzac through the RSA Choir’s performance.

Its practices and preparation under Covid restrictions have not been easy, but Dunedin’s Anzac Day would have been incomplete without its annual musical contributions.

Dunedin RSA Choir
RSA Anzac Revue

St Paul’s Cathedral
Monday, April 25

REVIEW BY ELIZABETH BOUMAN

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