THE RAINBOW CHORUS
It’s some years now since I first heard The Rainbow Chorus sing and back then what struck me was a joyous sense of true community, a diverse and inclusive group of people joining together in the joy of music. Last night was a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of this choir and that joyous sense of inclusivity and community is still there and possibly more so. In fact it was definitely more so because now it is easier to express that passion for diversity, inclusivity and community because those attributes are never far from our consciousness.
That for the Rainbows is a given, but what became more apparent last night is that as a musical ensemble this choir is coming of age. There is a stronger sense than a ever of accomplishment at every level. The balance of voices is better than ever, the quality of those voices and the sense of ambition too. The Rainbows are not content with belting out a fancy set of karaoke pop, far from it, and even when they do tackle pop they do it with verve, with interesting and often complex arrangements and challenging harmonies and rhythms. All in all it makes for an excellent evening of entertainment and the packed room laps it up, not just there to cheer on their mates but genuinely impressed by what they can achieve under the guidance of MD Aneesa Chaudhry and accompanist Mojca Monte Armani who drive them forward with clarity. And a word too for long time supporter and signer Marco whose skills at interpretation would have once earned him a place in Pan’s People!
Last night’s programme was well chosen with plenty of new material, some excellent solos and delightful break out groups that allowed the choir to highlight some exceptional talents. The two pieces from Fauré’s Requiem were very impressive with very strong solo parts. Shallow from A Star Is Born was equally impressive proving the choir’s ability to handle a wide range of musical challenges and Chasing Cars was truly a memorable moment with some fantastic use of silence and really dramatic dynamics.
It’s also worth mentioning that this time around I noticed a marked change in the choirs application of phrasing, something so often a mystery to community choirs. Now the Rainbows can do it and they can do it well.
In an evening of high points it is hard and perhaps unfair to single out any one moment or person… but I feel I must give a heads up to a very new member of the chorus, Eleanor Home who simply nailed, forget the irreligious tone to that, of Everything’s Alright in an excellent selection of Lloyd Webber – wow!
Where will they go next? Let’s hope that the only way is up!
St George’s Kemp Town