To the uninitiated, the combination of the words "Taplow" and "Choir" might not mean a lot. But anyone who has heard of the great work done at Taplow by Gillian Dibden MBE over the last ten years, building up a whole series of choirs for children and young people, will know the way she inspires them to achieve a quite remarkable standard of singing. In the past we have hosted the Taplow Youth Choir, which might be described as the "senior" ensemble, and on this occasion we were delighted to welcome the Girls' Choir. And when I say "we" - the church was packed!
The concert included a mix of full-choir works, smaller ensembles and solos. When it comes to solos, no girl of this age (9 to 15 years) is going to have a fully-developed voice and there were inevitably a few nerves and shaky phrases. But to be able to perform in this way in public is an achievement in itself, and some of the voices showed huge promise for the future. While singling any out seems unfair on the others, I particularly liked Josephine's alto voice in Wishing you were somehow here again and Amelia's Under the Greenwood Tree projected real depth and emotion.
It was the full choir pieces that gave the girls and their Director the best opportunity to shine, and shine they did, in a variety of styles. Purcell's Sound the Trumpet may be a standard but how it soared! By way of complete contrast, Irving Berlin's How deep is the Ocean was delightful, with an excellent flute obligato by Becky. Among the other modern works, Douglas Coombes' The Song Makers was sheer pleasure, Bob Chilcott's arrangement of poems Like a singing bird was very lovely indeed, while Don Besig's Chariot's comin' would have brought any house down.
So, thanks to Gillian and her assistant Clare Yeats, , thanks to Neil Matthews for his accompaniments, thanks especially to all the girls, and we're delighted that the concert raised no less than £750 for the work of Christian Aid. WELL DONE!
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