The elegance of Keighley’s famous Cliffe Castle Museum resounded to a magnificent performance by the Chordiality singers.
A full house, with standing room only, greeted the choir in the grandeur of the Museum’s acoustically-beautiful art gallery, the Bracewell Smith Hall.
The singers returned the compliment with a tremendous display that was only surpassed by the comments from audience members.
“More than one said that it was our best concert ever,” said Music Director Peter Sherlock. “Others commented on how ‘excellent’ the choir sounded. It was just a terrific performance and the standing ovation at the end was well deserved.”
Following the afternoon concert, Chordiality invited its current adopted charity, the Bradford Baby Bank, to make a closing collection and over £400 was raised on the day.
The choir were joined at the concert by guest artists, wind and saxophone quartet Notability. The singers and musicians have worked together in a number of recent concerts and combined to thrill their audience with a superb rendition of Duke Ellington’s jazz standard It Don’t Mean A Thing and a dramatic closing medley from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera, which brought the house to their feet.
Standout favourites with the audience were the Hallelujah Chorus, from Handel’s Messiah, the spiritual (Dem) Dry Bones, arranged by Mark Hayes, and the traditional New Zealand sea shanty Wellerman, arranged by Craig McLeish.
Control and precision
The singers explored new heights in their performance of a programme that they knew well. Particular highlights for Peter Sherlock were the choir’s performance of Ola Gjeilo’s The Ground, taken from the composer’s Sunrise Mass, and Gabriel Fauré’s sublime Cantique De Jean Racine. Both challenging pieces that demand a high level of vocal dexterity and finesse from the performers.
Said Peter: “The overall quality of our singing has improved so much in recent years and this really showed in these two pieces, probably the best we’ve delivered them. We explored a real deftness of control, particular in the quiet sections, such that the pieces rose to a whole new level.
“I was really impressed with the venue, which offered a rich, warm acoustic and really enhanced the sound. A standing ovation was a truly fitting reward for a fabulous performance by both singers and musicians.”