A fitting celebration for 30 years of singing

A packed audience at Bradford Cathedral enjoyed a musical extravaganza with a choir and orchestra at the top of their game in Chordiality’s 30-year showcase concert, which took place on 8 July.

Chordiality were joined on the day by the National Festival Orchestra Strings and the two ensembles blended perfectly.

Chordiality with the National Festival Orchestra Strings in Bradford Cathedral

Chordiality gave their first ever public performance way back in 1993 with just 14 singers at the then Chapel on the Hill, known locally as Daisy Hill Chapel, in Girlington, Bradford.  Ten of those original members still sing with the choir today, although Chordiality now boasts a complement of over 40.

The choir opened with a favourite by King Henry VIII, Pastime With Good Company, accompanied musically by their own troupe of medieval minstrels comprising five singers/instrumentalists from the choir.

An appreciative audience then marvelled at the beauty, control and grandeur of a repertoire that included the subtle movement of Faure’s Cantique De Jean Racine, the rhythmic structure of Vivaldi’s Magnificat canticle and the passion and magnitude of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and the famous Lacrimosa from his Requiem Mass

In turn, the orchestra explored the contrasting subtleties of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons whilst adopting a playful artistry with Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  The first half finale resounded with an exciting performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

The second half started with a swing with jazz classics It Don’t Mean A Thing and Sing, Sing, Sing coupled with an orchestral adaption of the Libertango with its syncopated Latin-American rhythms. 

Well-known choral favourites followed winning the audience with polished performances throughout.  The selection included spiritual song Dry Bones, Eric Whitacre’s Disney composition Seal Lullaby and adaptations of traditional folk numbers Wellerman, Skye Boat Song and Bobby Shaftoe.  The singing was complemented by a vibrant performance of the popular Allegretto movement from Karl Jenkins’s Palladio.

Three final showstoppers brought the concert to an emotional conclusion.  A standing ovation followed as the singers and musicians performed Anthem from the musical Chess, Chordiality’s long-time anthem As Long As I Have Music, by Don Besig and Nancy Price, and the ever-popular American Trilogy.

A highlight of the night was the marvellous performance on the piano by Chordiality’s founder and music director Peter Sherlock, who stole the show when he joined the orchestra in the jazz standard Lullaby of Birdland.

Chordiality’s founder and music director Peter Sherlock (centre) with original choir members (l-r) Barbara Peace, Jane Clark, Christine Fozard, Josephine Kennedy, Steve Cook, Aidan Bolland, Jenny Clark, Carmel Dylak, Anne Copley and Susan Holroyd.

The concert was an undoubted success and a fitting celebration for Chordiality’s 30th anniversary.  It was also a tribute to the hard work of the man who started it and conducted both choir and orchestra on the night, Peter Sherlock. 

“I had been looking forward to this concert for such a long time,” he said.  “It was the perfect opportunity to celebrate and showcase the choir’s singing, and its ability to sing joyfully and with commitment to performing such a wide range of choral music.

“I was not disappointed.  It was such a joyous evening and I believe that the audience were with us all the way as shown by the reception they gave us.  I am so grateful to the dedication and hard work put in by the choir.  It is also very rewarding to know that we are in such a good place for the future.”