Concert: ‘Saints & Sinners’ Saturday 29th June

The title of ‘Saints & Sinners’ could possibly have put people off coming to a joint concert with three local choirs on Saturday 29th June, but the full church was probably the best place to be given that it was the hottest day of the year!

The Vivaldi Gloria sung by the ladies of Cantatrice started off with a bright energised mood and then we went on to sin where Jonah man Jazz  (all choirs) and Satan (Kaleidoscope Singers) showed their true colours. A reading from Macbeth, brilliant characterised by Tim Kent kept the audience enthralled.

Under the title we chose sub-titles : Good and Bad were among them and Cantatrice sang a most beautiful acapella piece called ‘Be Still, and know I am with you’ with soloists Joan Lennon and Jill Allen. The men of Vocal Fusion were joined by the men of the Kaleidoscope Singers for the stirring song ‘O love, that will not let me go’. The reading next by Joy Ramsey was heartfelt and presented with such poise and calm.

Probably the highlight of the evening (judging by the audience reaction!) was a hilarious organ solo played superbly by local organist Brian Sawyer which seemed to encompass the style of ABBA alongside ‘The Pink Panther’! It was so entertaining and the clapping (& even cheering) went on for ages.

‘Bad’ came in the form of Joshua Fit de battle of Jericho – a tricky yet effective arrangement by Stacy Gibbs and sung by Vocal Fusion. ‘Heaven’ was depicted in the imaginative arrangement by K Shaw of Tears in Heaven – simple but so effective from this classy small choir Kaleidoscope.

After much needed liquid refreshments we settled down to a journey with ‘Irish Blessing’ sung by Cantatrice and ‘Deep River’ sung by Vocal Fusion.

Darkness could have taken many forms but Vocal Fusion decided to do ‘Superstition’ – shown in Stevie Wonders iconic song of the same name. So then we come on to ‘Light’ and the obvious choice for all choirs was ‘This little light of mine’ – great fun for both audience and choir alike.

Prior to this Kaleidoscope took themselves to the back of the church for a mesmerising performance of Eric Whitacre’s ‘Lux Aurumque’. Finally on to ‘Saints’ where Kaleidoscope sang ‘O quam gloriosum’ by Victoria and ‘Ave Maris Stella’ by Grieg this piece going into 8 parts – quite a challenge for only 15 singers!

Dare I say that Cantatrice lowered the tone – well yes’ in a way but what a brilliant way to do it by singing ‘Hail Holy Queen’ from Sister Act complete with moves and accompanied by the excellent Gary Prior.

Finally the ninety performers under the direction of Zoe Peate with Brian Sawyer on organ sang a jazzy arrangement by John Rutter of ‘O when the Saints’.

Timing was perfect – the pews didn’t get too uncomfortable and we left feeling uplifted and very VERY happy.

Cantatrice Voices, Vocal Fusion Acapella, Kaleidoscope Singers - all these choirs rehearse in Steyning so do look them up – maybe you’d like to try them?
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