Sunday, May 31

The Rainbow Chorus

- December 10, 2017

Nothing marks the start of the Christmas season proper as clearly as a festive concert, and the Rainbow Chorus certainly declared the season well and truly open on Saturday night. In a programme that was perhaps a little less challenging than their summer concert, they more than made up for it by delivering a set of uplifting songs that created a real sense of joy.

Community choirs vary greatly in both ambition and achievement but for some time now the Rainbows have been achieving high upon high and choirmaster Aneesa Chaudhry pushes them at every opportunity, and usually with great success. This Christmas offering however seemed more focused on pure enjoyment than challenge and as a result it was a real delight. The capacity audience, they will need to find a bigger venue if they continue in this way, loved every moment and for once, when asked to join in, they sang with gusto and heart.

There was a balance of Christmas songs and Christmas’s carols along with some non-festive offerings. A medley of Simon and Garfunkel hits was excellent, although The Sound Of Silence was take a touch too fast to really highlight the excellence of the arrangement and its delivery.

Carl Jenkins’ work featured twice, the very moving Benedictus using a bass flute to replace the usual cello solo was inspired and haunting and Adiemus showed the choir at their very best. Jenkins might not be to the taste of serious musos but his work is ideally suited to a choir of this size and one cannot help feeling that the serious music fans are merely dismissive because he has penned some delightful and popular tunes.

The choir got into their full stride with a complex and hilarious arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas and took the entire evening to new heights with a roof raising rendition of Queen’s Somebody To Love in which soloists Hannah and Chic nailed the lead vocals.

The evening was a great success marred only by a group of women in the gallery who talked audibly throughout the whole of the first half, disrespectful of both performers and audience alike. Given their drinking they should have stayed in the pub!

The Rainbow Chorus

St George’s Kemp Town

9 December

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★☆

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