Hertford Choral Society's concert, 'In the spirit of Christmas' was a musical celebration enhanced by top flight guest performers.

These were the spellbinding saxophanist Catherine Evison and the award-winning young students of The Bax Choir from Heath Mount School.

Leading the Choral Society, Derek Harrison's imaginative programming gives his singers a fresh and interesting challenge each year - as bright and modern as the stylish decorations in the Church that evening. The Choir sang works ranging from the atmospheric 'My Lord has Come' by contemporary composer Will Todd, to gentle lullabies, including the lovely torch-lit 'Sing Lullaby and What Child is this' to the slavic splendour of the beautifully shaped 'Christmas Canticle'. It takes a very versatile and experienced choir to encompass all these styles so successfully.

On a different scale, Catherine Evison on saxophone, with Christopher Benham at the piano, employed the resonant acoustics of the Church to the full.  Whether the mood was mellow and poignant, elegantly jazzy or fast and frolicksome, their performance was magical.  With a scarlet HCS carnation in her hair and adding highlights to the larger choral works, Catherine stole our hearts.

The 40 strong Bax Choir impressed with their confident and tuneful performance, keenly responsve to the conducting of Musical Director Andrew O'Brien. Their three outstanding soloists, Sam Townend, David Shaw and Vinnie Avvoltoio, deserve particular mention. Matthew Woodward accompanied the choir  in their singing of works by Britten, Harold Darke and Michael Head, clearly demonstrating why they were 2012 Junior School Choir of the Year.

Good humoured compere Roger Mullis guided us through the evening and urged us to 'raise the roof' in the audience carols - we tried our very best!

Rose Pullum

Reviews of Past Concerts