Reviewer – Toni S (Choir member)
My view of this year’s summer concert was not the usual one. Instead of sitting precariously at the front edge of Toll Gavel’s tiny stage with all the other edgy and excited choir members, each of us hoping to do our best and not put our foot in it – either by singing the wrong notes in the wrong order, having a coughing fit, or falling overboard, I was in the audience with nothing to do but enjoy the privilege of listening.
Well what a treat! First there was the charm and raw talent of East Riding Suzuki Violin group to enjoy yet again, and then the star turn. Naturally, I’d thought the choir couldn’t possibly be their best without me, but oh no, they managed perfectly well, and at times the sound was sublime and profoundly moving. I needed 3 tissues to get over the effects of Dobru Noc, sung with the kind of purity and sweetness of tone one might attribute to a choir of boy sopranos. As always, Tebe Poem did it’s magic, along with The Parting Glass – not quite perfect, but with a bit more of Sue’s skill in fine tuning, it promises to be stunning. The upbeat numbers were very strong, especially Big Society, which really packed a punch, and Barbara Ann, which got plenty of feet tapping. Honorary infant member, Max who was sitting close by with his mum, Laura, was appreciative and enthusiastic throughout, his arms and legs going like the clappers through the whole of the first half! In the end though, my vote for the most perfectly performed song goes to the silky-smooth rendition of Another Train, in which all elements were superbly balanced and travelled as comfortably as a first-class trip on the Orient Express.
The audience in general seemed just as enthusiastic about the evening as Max and myself. I heard plenty of favourable comments, both in the interval and at the end. What amazed me about the experience was, not only realising what a beautiful sound the choir produced, but seeing how relaxed and confident everyone appeared. I think Sue has to take credit for this: she makes sure we are rarely under-rehearsed (which I know was a real struggle this year), and her relaxed attitude during performances rubs off on us. On this occasion, she showed her worth both as choir leader and as a very professional master of ceremonies. So well done Sue, and well done all of you, from one member’s very humble and inferior position of ‘fly on the wall’.