Kendal Choral Society’s concert in Kendal Parish Church on Sunday evening was a triumph: a triumph over adversity. In spite of Storm Desmond’s devastations, which included the destruction of the church’s boilers, with the plethora of difficulties that that created, the fine choir of over 60 voices, under their new Director, Duncan Lloyd, with soloists Emily Robinson, Anastasia Mickelthwaite, Ian Jones, and Keir McGregor, gave a spirited performance of Handel’s Messiah, part one, to a large and (in spite of being seriously cold!) appreciative audience.
It was a welcome introduction to the Christmas season; the chorus ‘For unto us a child is born’ was particularly successful, and there were moments of playing from the orchestra, led by Julian Cann, when their lightness, agility and clarity would have caused George Frideric Handel himself to smile with pleasure.
After the interval, rather more accessible music produced some really excellent singing from the choir: committed, expressive and well balanced. The song Letter to Santa, written by the choir’s new Director in 2014 with lyrics dedicated to his daughter, was particularly memorable; being followed by a visit from Santa himself, distributing Christmas gifts to the Musical Director and members of the orchestra.
Although we left the concert wondering whether we would ever be warm again, we were grateful that Storm Desmond hadn’t been allowed to scupper the event.
Review by Robin Orr
Following the previous Saturday’s flood disaster, the Choir decided to donate all of the money from evening ticket sales at the door to the Cumbria Community Foundation Appeal. Furthermore, anyone whose home was flooded was welcome to come to the concert without any charge.
We were delighted that the on the door bucket collection for the Cumbria Flood Appeal raised £1026. A further £344.90 was raised for The Motor Neurone Disease Association by holding a raffle.