South West Philharmonia and Chorus, Plymouth Guildhall, 16th December 2017
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the chance to come together and share music. Whether for religious purposes or an evening of entertainment, everyone enjoys a carol or two at this time of year. However this was not all there was to discover at South West Philharmonia and Chorus’ programme ‘Christmas in the City’. They had found some absolute musical gems to share with us this festive season.
SWPAC presented a delightful arrangement of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. This was the first of several traditional carols that strayed from the more widely known arrangements. Credit to the people who selected the musical programme for this event. With every piece played there was something interesting and unexpected to discover.
The audience were also treated to the amazing talents of guest harpist, Elizabeth-Jane Baldry. She introduced each of her solo pierces with little soundbites of information that helped to set the scene for the music. The audience were certainly enraptured by the sound of her harp.
‘Christmas Festival’ and ‘Christmas Fantasy’ showcased a range of festive music. The Christmas Fantasy arrangement was particularly interesting because it sounded as if it could have been a film score. It gave a chance for each section of the orchestra to demonstrate their skills.
Towards the end of the evening we were invited to join the chorus with a ‘Christmas Carol Sing Along’, a medley of chorus’ from all the best Christmas carols. The audience didn’t need much encouragement to sing out to the sounds of the orchestra which was perhaps due to the persuasive skills of conductor, Marcus Alleyne.
It is a shame this performance was for one night only as I am sure that SWPAC could have filled the Guildhall for several nights, full of people looking to enjoy some festive cheer!