Tuesday, February 19

Golden Gate Men’s Chorus & Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus

- July 1, 2018

In the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Pavilion music room we were treated to one of the most accomplished choirs I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Forget that they are from San Francisco’s LGBT community, although that is important, this was a musical experience of pure delight, of precision in every sense, the  expert melting together of voices in perfect accord. Led by Joseph Piazza, the GGMC gave us a programme of challenging works from Saint-Saëns to Sibelius via some of the most exciting contemporary choral music I have heard. Soaringly beautiful tenors and counter tenors, rich baritones and mellifluous basses coming together in a wave of sound that was as hauntingly powerful in the quieter moments as it was in the thunderous forte passages. This was accomplished stuff, academic even, but not without heart and the whole was exciting, moving and up-lifting. So much so that I went into the interval with two words haunting me – “Follow That!”. I am great fan of the BGMC but the GGMC had certainly set the bar high.

I need not have worried, under the leadership of Marc Yarrow they proved that they too are capable of delivering a set of great quality as well as charm and humour. And although there was a distinct contrast in styles, their set was thoroughly entertaining, from their new arrangement of Fight Song to their old favourites, like It’s Raining Men and Shut Up & Dance. There is undeniably a sense of joy in what they do and for me, ditching their usual “sketches” allowed that joy and, dare I say it, at times silly campery in their performance, to really shine.

Coming together at the finale to sing Yarrow’s Together We Stand was a fitting end to an evening of delightful harmony – in every sense of the word.

30 June

Royal Pavilion Music Room

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★

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