Any concert that begins with the Grand March from Aida and ends with the Hallelujah chorus is destined to inscribe itself in Channing history. And so it was that this iconic opening literally (and metaphorically) heralded the start of a truly memorable and magnificent evening that thrilled a packed St Joseph’s Church. Alongside the Verdi, the Symphony Orchestra treated us to the fantasy of Scheherazade, giving section leaders the chance to shine with some impressive solos, and the Senior Strings sparkled with Dvorak’s delightful Serenade for Strings. An eclectic mix of instruments including Harp and Oboe intrigued us with a playful, yet beautifully crafted chamber work by Ropartz Prelude, Marine et Chansons.
However, it was Messiah that really stole the show. A selection of Handel’s greatest hits showed Channing at its best; a community choir of parents and staff, the Chamber Choir, Cantemus Chorus and Conabor Choir, stunning home grown soloists (Hannah Fernando, Ellen McDonald, Maddie Damberg-Ott, Sarah Woodburn, Juliette Taylor, Eloise Cartwright, Poppy Oliver, Kate Pennington, Bridie Milsom and Emily Poncia) oozing poise and accomplishment, accompanied by our orchestra and all directed by Mr Boxall displaying the integrity, verve and enthusiasm that we have come to expect, and accept as the norm. As I said, start with Aida and end with the Hallelujah chorus ringing in your ears. Who could ask for a finer evening? ‘Praise the Lord’ indeed for our Director of Music! – Music Department