Alresford Community Choir
Alresford Community Choir

Messiah

Alresford Community Choir Excels 

Sunday April 2nd 2017 - St Swithun's Scool Performing Arts centre

Alresford Community Choir (ACC) performed Handel’s Messiah at the St. Swithun’s School Harvey Hall Performing Arts Centre, with recitative solos and arias performed by professionals Erica Eloff (Soprano), Amy Williams (Mezzo-soprano), William Wallace (Tenor) and Ed Hawkins (Bass), and accompanied by the renowned Hanover Band. The concert was in support of The Murray Parish Trust #2MillionSteps appeal.

 

2017 marks the fifth anniversary of ACC, during which time the choir has grown from around 60 members to over 130 and from ‘just another community’ choir to one that has reached a highly professional level of performance, under the directorship of Keith Clark. The choir excelled on Sunday evening with its performance of Messiah. On cue and clear with every entry and ending, singing with rhythmic accuracy and wonderful tone, phrasing, and dynamics, the choir’s delivery was of the highest standard. In this work, always considered to be a popular but nevertheless still a challenging choice for choirs, ACC proved that it could meet that challenge and in so doing surpass any performance it has given within its five-year existence. All sections of the choir delivered with the same precision and clarity, their harmonies and expression matched by the orchestra’s stunning accompaniment, interspersed so well with the professional solo arias and recitatives beautifully performed by all four professionals.

 

The oratorio was, on this occasion, taken from the Bärenreiter Urtext edition of Messiah, encompassing the three parts from the prophecy of His coming to the redemption of mankind. From the first few opening bars by the Hanover Band, led by Theresa Caudle, it was evident we were in for a wonderful evening.  Erica Eloff’s soprano recitatives and arias were performed with such vocal strength and clarity, yet with control and sensitivity responding to the mood and context of the text, while the interpretation of “He was despised …” by mezzo-soprano Amy Williamson was sensitively dramatic and heartfelt. William Wallace’s commanding presence in every recitative and aria showed why he was the 2016 winner of the prestigious London Handel Prize - truly wonderful. The amazing timbre of Ed Hawkins’ wonderful voice gave great expressive dramatic quality to the bass arias and recitatives, in “The trumpet shall sound …” we were further entranced as Ed was accompanied by the superb playing of Robert Farley, probably the world’s greatest exponent of natural trumpet.

 

The performance of Alresford Community Choir matched that of the professional soloists and orchestra in all respects. This was a fresh and vital performance of which every member of the choir, and its director, should all be proud. The audience of 400 showed its appreciation with a well-deserved five-minute standing ovation.

 

Geoff Buss

The Hanover Band was formed in London by Caroline Brown in March 1980. The orchestra has an international reputation for the excellence of its performances and recordings of 18th and 19th century music, its players are some of the best in their field. It performs, records and undertakes education work regularly in the UK and has toured throughout Europe, USA (East and West) Canada and Mexico, appearing in prestigious festivals and venues such as the Haydnfest, Eisenstadt Austria, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam, Berlin Philharmoniesaal, Cadogan Hall, Royal Albert Hall, London (BBC Proms), Usher Hall, Edinburgh and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center New York, Harvard, Princeton Universities and UCLA Los Angeles, USA.

Erica Eloff

Over the last few years, soprano Erica Eloff has steadily built her career on the concert platform to become a sought after soloist and recitalist. Praised in the media for her vocal authority and technical control, and a voice that is bright and well-produced across its range with great power at the top, she is a passionate and deeply musical performer.

 

Amy Williamson

English Mezzo-Soprano, Amy Williamson, graduated from the Royal College of Music where she was the Midori Nishiura Scholar, having studied under Janis Kelly and Christopher Glynn. Whilst there she received awards from the Josephine Baker Trust, the MBF, and won the Joyce Budd Prize at the Junior Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the Rosemary Haines Award, the Alice Templeton Award, and the Alfred Alexander Prize.

 

William Wallace

William Wallace, winner of the 2016 London Handel Singing Competition (Regina Etz Prize), graduated from the National Opera Studio as a 2015/16 Young Artist and the Royal College of Music (M.Perf., 2015) where he studied with Tim Evans Jones.

 

Ed Hawkins

Born in London in 1980, Ed studied trumpet and piano as a child, going on to read music at King’s College, London, studying trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music with Iaan Wilson.   After graduating in 2001, Ed began working as a freelance musician with various orchestras and small ensembles, and in recording studios across the UK.

 

Number of visits to this site:

 

 

2012-2017​

STOP PRESS!

Our next rehearsals will be held on:

 

 

Friday

8th December 2017

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Full Choir

 

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Saturday

9th December 2017

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Mandatory

Full Choir

Arrive 7:10 pm JP Hall

 

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Monday

11th December 2017

7:30 - 9:30 pm

End of Term Social

 

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TBC

Monday

18th December 2017

Carol Singing in Alresford

8:00 - 9:30pm

 

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Spring Term

Monday 

8th January 2018

7:30 - 9:30pm

Full Choir

 

 

 

 

Future Concert Dates

 

A Carol for Everyone

Saturday 9th December 2017

St John's Church

7.30pm

 

 

 

 

 

All Monday evening rehearsals are held in 

St John's Church 

New Alresford

Our Address:

Alresford Community Choir

7 Spring Way

Alresford

Hampshire

SO24 9LN

Tel: 01962 734858

Join Us!

We have now enjoyed many concerts, since our first practice session in January 2012. We have been incredibly busy and have maintained a very healthy membership of more than 120 singers.

At the beginning of each term is the best time to join the choir...but do not hesitate to come along at any time and let us know that you are interested. Or you can contact us via this link below:

 

join@alresfordchoir.com

 

and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

However, it is never too late to join and just let us know if you would like to come along.

Email us at:

join@alresfordchoir.com

and we will give you more details. We will be delighted to meet you and will give you a very warm welcome!

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