The following review of the concert on 25th March 2012 appeared in the West Sussex County Times:
The annual Angus Ross Memorial Concert aims to involve as many girls and boys as possible, in conjunction with professionals, in some of the great, choral classics. This year 130 sang in the Chorus and 12 joined the orchestra in the exciting and powerful Verdi Requiem, performed under the baton of the new Director of Music, Andrew Cleary. To the 80 mature voices of the Choral Society, the sopranos and contraltos of the Chapel Choir added a pleasing brilliance. The youthful tone of their tenors and basses was most evident in the sensitive singing of the quiet passages.
The soloists were well matched. Claire Seaton soprano, had the power to dominate; beautiful tone and control as in the portando in the Offertorio; soared apparently effortlessly to the high C’s in Salva me and Libera me. Sussana Spicer mezzo, appeared very comfortable within her wide range, contrasting well in colour with the soprano. Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks tenor, mellifluous in Kyrie and Hostias. Michael R. Bundy bass, especially exciting and mysterious in Dies Irae.
Excellent balance between Chorus and Orchestra. They led us from hushed intimacy, with commendable diction, and fine and delicate strings, to blazing intensity, with the brass playing magnificently at full power. A truly memorable evening.
This review was published in the west Sussex County Times shortly after our summer concert performance of “The Gondoliers” at Shipley Church.
CHORUS IN FINE VOICE FOR A FUN EVENING AND MERRY ROMP
WHAT a performance! And a record, surely? 80 singers, 15 soloists, piano and a sizeable audience packed into a tiny, tiddly, church. We were in for a fun evening and a merry romp. The chorus was in fine voice with clear diction, matched by excellent soloists.
The Duke (John Hancorn) most impressive: bold and expressive but by no means alone. Marco (Nick Pritchard) and Guiseppe (Tristan Meares) worked together superbly as did Tessa (Victoria Rowcroft) and Gianetta (Sandra Janman). Lovely to welcome back Hannah O’Reilly (Casilda) in lively top form. Three splendid surprises in a secure Duchess (Katie Callas), a lovesick Luiz (Adrian Bawtree) and a very grand Inquisitor (Graham Brown).
The duets and quartets were a joy; so well balanced. Both chorus and soloists made the most of the lilting score and sparkling, tuneful music. Nick’s `Take a pair of sparklingeyes’, Victoria’s `When a merry maiden marries’, the foursome’s `In a contemplative fashion’ and the infectious tutti `Dance a cachucha’ were certainly among the highlights.
Top marks must go to Caroline Reid for her talented accompaniment on the piano.This will be the last appearance of Adrian and Victoria, leaving for pastures new, in Canterbury.