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Friends of St Clement Danes Annual Concert

Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment
Conductor: Flt Lt Tom Rodda
Featuring: The Choir of the Central Church of the Royal Air Force
Conductor: Simon Over
St Clement Danes Church
Thursday 28th November


The Band of the RAF Regiment was joined by the Choir of the Central Church of the Royal Air Force for this annual concert

The ‘National Anthem' opened proceedings before the band moved straight into 'Aurora Borealis' (Rossano Galante); its driving rhythms somewhat cinematic in style, but showing off the tone colours of the ensemble to good effect.

They continued with an excellent performance of 'Send in the Clowns' by oboist Cpl Hannah Read.

The ten members of the choir took centre stage to open with 'Ataturk Memorial', a reminder of those who have suffered and lost their lives on all sides in conflict. 

The first half closed with 'Pridelands Suite', arranged by Cpl James Lawrence from Elton John's score for 'The Lion King'. This incorporated an effective piano part as well as employing a bass guitar.

Impressed

The choir impressed with the clarity of its diction and the balanced sound, with the four female and six male singers blending well together. This continued in two spirituals drawn from Tippett's 'Child of our Time' and Stanford's vigorous double choir setting of 'Coelos Ascendit Hodie'.

Moving up into the gallery they were joined by the band in 'Cantique de Jean Racine' (Faure) before providing the wordless chorus for 'Hymn to the Fallen'.

The first half closed with 'Pridelands Suite', arranged by Cpl James Lawrence from Elton John's score for 'The Lion King'. This incorporated an effective piano part as well as employing a bass guitar.

Joy

The second half opened with the colourfully inventive 'Christmas Overture'  by Nigel Hess, cramming in many familiar tunes with brief references to several more, culminating in a fugal treatment of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'  featuring bassoon, flute, sax and clarinet.

Nina Bennett was the soprano soloist in Jan Van der Roost's 'I Colori della Gioia' for voice and wind band, conveying the joy of the work very effectively. Some of the brass and percussion then joined choir and organ in John Rutter's 'Gloria!' sounding very effective in the resonant acoustic.

After the 'RAF March Past' and thanks to those who had made the evening such a success, the audience had the opportunity to join in singing 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'.

Peter Bale 

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