Review: Horncastle Choral Society spring concert success

On 18th May, the Horncastle and District Choral Society offered a wide-ranging choice of music.

The first half was devoted to ‘Anthems through the Ages’; a theme that provided a very useful guide to the characteristics of the periods of musical history, through an unusual but appropriate choice of material.

The choir, after a slightly diffident opening, gave a glowing performance of great dynamic control and careful phrasing, which reflected the progress that Caroline Boden, the conductor, has brought about during her period in charge. Caroline herself offered a moving tribute in memory of Andy Kisby, who had been a long–serving member of the choir.

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In the second half, the singers showed their considerable versatility in the very different world of Gilbert and Sullivan. The selection of items was a sensitive mixture of well-known favourites and less familiar pieces.

The outstanding feature was that no less than ten individuals from the choir itself took on solo roles and performed very effectively, often adding lovely touches of acting skills to bring the music to full life. It might perhaps seem invidious to select individuals from the list, but I cannot resist the temptation to speak of Peter Tayles, who, generously hatted in a policeman’s helmet, gave a performance that elicited a hugely enthusiastic ovation from a generally reticent audience.

The whole evening was a tribute in itself to Caroline, giving here her final performance with the choir.

During her tenure, there can be no doubt that she has developed the musical skills of the choir, in ways already mentioned, working with skill, determination and a sense of humour.

She will be greatly missed.

As always, the totally essential Chris Hinkins, encased today in a waistcoat of exotic hue, delivered a performance of both beauty and sensitivity. Stephen Holdaway, the new Chairman, gave a fitting tribute to Gerard Berry, the retiring Chairman.

Don Ford

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