The first concert of Tickhill Music Society’s 40th Anniversary Season was held in the airy spaciousness of St. Mary’s Parish Church and was given by the splendid chamber choir calling itself ‘Bel Canto’, a manner of singing which cultivates beauty of tone. The 16 women and 10 men were a disciplined and well-drilled team under the excellent direction of Robert Webb, their conductor. Their programme began with the stirring ‘I Was Glad’ by Hubert Parry, with organ accompaniment by the accomplished keyboard player Jonathan Gooing. The richly lyrical ‘Love Divine’ by Howard Goodall had support from the harpsichord, also used for a melodious Canticle by Fauré. After an extended organ introduction the choir revelled in the rousing ‘Zadok the Priest by Handel. The choir was again in fine voice for Verdi’s Chorus of Hebrew Slaves and Mascagni’s ever popular Easter Hymn. to finish the first half.
A medley of popular tunes from Bernstein’s West Side Story opened the second half, followed in sharp contrast by two unaccompanied part songs by Sullivan – The Long Day Closes and The Lost Chord. After a rare piece by Elgar the choir swung enthusiastically into the Gershwin classic I got Rhythm, followed by Ain’t misbehaving, once a favourite of Fats Waller. The concert ended in fine style with a Cole Porter Medley of four songs arranged by the conductor Robert Webb.
Altogether this was a varied and nicely balanced programme delivered by singers with clear intonation and crisp diction, and was much enjoyed by a large and appreciative audience.