Clever and fun choral concert

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The 2015 Spring Concert from Carnoustie Choir was yet another evening of enchanting choral music with a little something for everyone.

On Tuesday night in St Anne’s Church, Carnoustie, the choir, led by musical director Stewart Fyffe and accompanied by Sheena Guthrie on piano assisted by Kirsty McRobbie.

Fresh from their double success at the recent Arbroath and District Musical Festival the choir were also joined once more by young brass players Con Fuoco who had also tasted success at the festival.

Their format has changed since last year’s concert, their number increasing to six and the register lowering to a pleasing overall rumbling mellow bass. Their arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Russian Dance’ was a stand out piece with the ‘Dam Busters’ and Beatles selection also thoroughly enjoyable. Led by Jordan Robertson, trombone; Chris Flynn and Finlay McGhee on euphonium; Jacqueline Stark, trombone; Aileen Goss, tenor horn; and Aidan Robertson, tuba.

The audience were treated to a thoroughly varied and inventive programme of music, from Wagner to Haydn, with some ‘Frozen’ thrown in and a delightfully engaging music hall selection.

Haydn’s ‘Gloria (Paukenmass)’ was an excellent showcase piece for the first half, a powerful and almost shocking introduction which flowed into a series of complex movements which highlights the choir’s technical vocal skills in the rapid ascending scales and subtle use of sudden crescendo and diminuendo.

The Men of Carnoustie Choir’s prize-winning version of ‘Bully In My Locker’ was most entertaining, a lyrical story with a few surprise kazoo instrumental cameos!

Rounding off the first half was Snyder’s arrangement of ‘The History Of Western Music’ a musical journey from Gregorian chants to the abstract tonality of Schaunberg. A total of 17 different pieces by 13 composers were skilfully melded into a few fun minutes.

Wagner’s ‘Bridal March’ opened the second half and the contrast between that and their ‘Frozen’ medley further served to demonstrate the choir’s talent and ability to sing emotively. Special mention must go to Fiona Joss’s comic turn as ‘Olaf’.

Not advertised on the programme, the Men dedicated to Sheena Guthrie the amusing parody ‘Anthem Of The Ancient Britons’ set to the tune of ‘Men of Harlech’ which they carried out with aplomb.

‘Ashokan Farewell’, with a lovely solo violin by Andy Joss was a plaintive and heartfelt tune, yet another example of how ‘human’ Carnoustie Choir are.

The Music Hall selection was most entertaining, especially the singalong choruses, even the diabolically difficult ‘Sister Susie’.

Carnoustie Choir should be congratulated on another entertaining and different programme, and hopefully the yearly increase in audiences will demonstrate that. Well done.