Choral epics in a perfect setting for Advent reflection

NAPOLEONIC EFFORT: South Holland Singers, conducted by Robin Carter, in concert at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding.
NAPOLEONIC EFFORT: South Holland Singers, conducted by Robin Carter, in concert at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding.
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South Holland Singers’ Annual Christmas Concert at St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding

There is only one word to describe the crescendo of voices that embraced the nave and aisles of St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding, on Saturday night.

South Holland Singers are joined by soloists (from left) Edmund Danon (bass), Joshua Baxter (tenor), Kamilla Dunstan (contralto) and Carrie-Ann Williams (soprano).

South Holland Singers are joined by soloists (from left) Edmund Danon (bass), Joshua Baxter (tenor), Kamilla Dunstan (contralto) and Carrie-Ann Williams (soprano).

TRIUMPHANT!

South Holland Singers, joined by Cheshire-born soprano Carrie-Ann Williams, contralto Kamilla Dunstan of Yorkshire, Aberdeen University-educated tenor Joshua Baxter and bass/baritone, ex-chorister Edmund Danon, excelled themselves with two of the grandest compositions known to man.

The first half of the choir’s annual Christmas concert was devoted to Joeseph Haydn’s Imperial “Nelson” Mass, composed in 1798 and described by the Austrian composer’s chief biographer as “arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition”.

No Christmas concert would be complete without a festive helping of George Frederick Handel and the South Holland Singers duly obliged with Dettingen Te Deum (Dettingen Anthem), hailed by one review as a piece of “martial exuberence”.

It was totally new music for the singers to learn but it was a lovely experience to work with young musicians who are enthusiastic about their work

Robin Carter, conductor, South Holland Singers

The culmination of three months’ worth of rehearsals radiated throughout the Grade I listed, 13th century church on a night when thoughts of diplomatic instability and economic uncertainty were swept to one side.

After the concert, conductor Robin Carter said: “We’ve been rehearsing for three months since the beginning of September, every Thursday and one Saturday, so we’ve put a lot of work in.

“They are quite popular choral works and I have sung them in the past, but I don’t think many of the choir have sung them before and for most of them, it was totally new music for the singers to learn.

“We had a very, very good relationship with the soloists who know each other but don’t sing all that often together.

“It was a lovely experience to work with young musicians who are enthusiastic about their work and it was a great pleasure.”

Review by Winston Brown

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