Rutter’s Requiem Comes to Crowthorne

Friday 19 November saw the GWA transformed into a full-scale concert hall, with a choir of 150, a 50-strong orchestra and an audience keen to enjoy once again the best that Wellington music can offer in the annual Crowthorne Choral Society autumn concert.

Founded in 1967 as a means of connecting the College with the local population through the medium of music, the Crowthorne Choral Society continues to thrive, and this first live concert since the start of the pandemic saw them joined by the Wellington Parent Singers and the College Chamber Choir in a glorious celebration of orchestral and choral music.

The programme opened with Malcolm Arnold’s Little Suite, before the massed choir performed two short Rutter pieces. However, this was merely the prelude to the first half’s main event, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, featuring soloist Benedict K (U6, Bn). Benedict, recently awarded an organ scholarship at Worcester College, Oxford, displayed true virtuosity in a performance that mixed technical excellence with a smouldering sassiness that evoked the jazz halls of 1920s downtown Manhattan.

The second half saw the Chorus take centre stage with a compelling rendition of Rutter’s Requiem. The piece features two haunting, yet daunting solos for cello and soprano, and Yi-Ann Y (5, A) and Alice F (U6, A) were more than a match for these parts with their exquisitely tuned and timed performances.

Many congratulations to soloists, choir and orchestra, and also to Simon Williamson, Director of Music at College, under whose leadership the Choral Society – and indeed all music at Wellington – continues to flourish.

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