Reviews

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where it was, and what it was like. St. Peter’s is in the Square in Petersfield which, on a sunny May lunchtime like...
  • May 12, 2022
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Last night I dreamt I went to Chichester again. And then today I did. It’s been 11 weeks and that seems a long time. The last time David Alexander played Chichester it was by video link only so the usual...
  • May 10, 2022
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As well as promoting first-class concerts and lecture-recitals, CMS is proud of its tradition of supporting the musical careers of students at the University. Since 2004 over £90,000 has been awarded in prizes, instruments, and bursaries.  The University Music faculty...
  • May 2, 2022
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Concert at St. Mary’s Portsea, 2 April All happy composers are alike; each unhappy composer is unhappy in their own way. Earlier in the week, the wireless had Mendelssohn’s Quartet in F minor, Op 80 as the second half of...
  • April 13, 2022
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Petersfield Musical Festival paid a handsome tribute to Ukraine last week, proving the power of music to express support for its beleaguered people. Chairman Philip Young introduced the Petersfield Orchestra’s flagship concert last Thursday by announcing it would commence with...
  • April 12, 2022
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The Festival ended on a high note on Saturday 26th March with another concert celebrating the power of music. The concert featured two major choral works: Felix Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise and In Praise of Singing by Jonathan Willcocks, the...
  • April 11, 2022
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Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, accompanied by a string quartet and continuo, was interspersed with several Marian Motets by Parsons, Victoria, Guerrero and Palestrina. Last night’s concert was excellent on several fronts. I thought the choice of music which punctuated the Stabat...
  • April 7, 2022
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Visit the concert page. Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. C20th composers could hardly be expected to write music as confident as that of the Age of Enlightenment. Bach and Handel don’t bring...
  • March 28, 2022
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“Lunchtime Live!” 17 March 2022 It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a musician in search of a career, must be in want of a composer to play. It seems like only yesterday, but it is 18 months ago, when...
  • March 18, 2022
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St. Faith’s is an attractive little church that wouldn’t look out of place nestling in the English countryside rather than Havant’s workmanlike town centre. Today (16 February) it hosted Matteo Bisbano Memmo’s first UK recital to a good-sized audience and...
  • February 21, 2022
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Did any other age spend so much time with the music of so long ago? In the C18th, audiences turned up in numbers to hear C18th music – Handel, Mozart and Haydn. David Hepworth has written about how quickly rock...
  • February 9, 2022
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David Price, Portsmouth Cathedral’s own organist, provided a diverse programme of English music in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession at lunchtime today. Some might say Purcell is England’s greatest composer and I’d be one of them...
  • February 4, 2022
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La muse oubliée is Antonio Oyarzabal’s project highlighting female composers. One day, it is to be hoped, no such theme might be necessary but there are centuries of concert programming to make up for in which it was almost unthinkable...
  • February 3, 2022
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I’m sure this was originally listed as being Haydn and Beethoven when I first booked it. It’s not a problem at all that last night it had turned into Schubert but it means the world will have to wait for...
  • January 19, 2022
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Peter Gould treated us to a superb recital today: one that certainly set the bar very high for recitals at Holy Trinity in 2022! His music programme was diverse and included music he has never played before, because he likes...
  • January 18, 2022
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The end of our 2021 Season ended not with a bang but with a truly enjoyable evening to the sounds of beautiful music and followed by the sounds of convivial talk amongst members and their friends over a glass of...
  • December 22, 2021
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Bach is big. One might contrast him with Pergolesi, composer of the luminous Stabat Mater by which he is almost only known with the unfortunate corollary that he died aged 26. The Stabat Mater is less than a quarter of...
  • December 12, 2021
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Ensemble C are made up of four parts, as was their programme at St Mary’s. As a string quartet without violins they could be compared to Abba without Agnetha or The Stylistics without Russell Johns Jnr but in fact it...
  • December 7, 2021
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At their recent Lunchtime Live! recital at Portsmouth Cathedral, Solent Baroque had unforeseen problems with their harpsichord which was a shame for those in search of ‘authenticity but the show must go on and I can’t say it caused any...
  • December 6, 2021
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Simone Tavoni’s piano recital today might be seen as two halves, one ‘classical’ and the other ‘romantic’. Four pieces from Clementi’s Mon Ferrina, op. 39 were, he explained, by way of preparation for a competition. The first was light, the...
  • December 3, 2021
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A large audience welcomed the Petersfield Orchestra back for their first full-scale concert since before Covid struck in 2020. It has been a tricky time for performing musicians with few rehearsal opportunities until September and this, combined with the lively...
  • December 2, 2021
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Today was a musical mystery tour. I didn’t know what Myles Tyrrell was going to be playing but it was a chance worth taking. I can’t remember the last time a lunchtime concert in Chichester, Portsmouth or Havant was a...
  • December 1, 2021
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Havant has joined the local lunchtime concert circuit, wisely doing Wednesdays, and is most welcome. We are especially lucky to have Thomas Luke, the piano section winner from this year’s delayed Young Musician of the Year, in the area and...
  • November 26, 2021
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Performers in Chichester Cathedral at present have an imposing Moon to play under, Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, which the likes of Pink Floyd might have envied. One might have thought it fitting to gaze at such a thing...
  • November 22, 2021
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The Chichester Music Society welcomed back Marino Tirimo and Atsuko Kawakami to the 10 November Concert at the University of Chichester. The two pianists had come last in lockdown a year ago and had played to an empty hall, apart...
  • November 21, 2021
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Mozart somehow found himself in the unaccustomed role of support act last time I was in Chichester. That wasn’t likely to happen twice. The Chichester Symphony Orchestra gave great value for whatever money one chooses to donate by comparing and...
  • November 11, 2021
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Marcia Fielden loved the day’s singing, after an eighteen-month wait. At last! Not only was the Autumn Workshop allowed to go ahead, despite dire predictions, it was a wonderful success. Throughout this second Plague Year, and especially when the Delta...
  • November 10, 2021
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Portsmouth Choral Union and David Gostick were so pleased to be back performing live that they began by applauding the audience. They deservedly got that back with interest at the end. They had packed a lot into an hour, beginning...
  • November 7, 2021
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The Chichester Music Society was delighted to welcome the Sacconi Quartet with Emma Abbate on piano on 13 October 2021. Their intriguing programme included two of the world’s most celebrated twentieth-century piano quintets, and their performance did not disappoint. The...
  • November 2, 2021
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The conductor, Peter Gambie, dedicated this concert to those who had been damaged by the pandemic. It was the first event by the choir since the lockdown and was well-attended. The lavishly illustrated programme detailed Italian Renaissance Masters’ work, both...
  • October 24, 2021
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Lunchtime Live! is underway again in Portsmouth which is some of the best news we’ve had for some time. A shrewd move to put the concert space up in the more intimate St. Thomas Chapel made for a warm, full...
  • October 9, 2021
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Finally! Live music and the Solent Symphony Orchestra (SSO) are back! After nearly 19 months of silence, it was marvellous to see again so many musicians in one place, at Portsmouth Cathedral plus a good size audience, despite the weather!...
  • October 6, 2021
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The Champagne Quartet was welcomed by the Chichester Music Society on 15 September 2021 at the University of Chichester as their opening autumn concert. The Quartet is an operatic vocal quartet established in 2016, made up of graduates of the...
  • September 23, 2021
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Today’s concert can only be described as ‘a triumph’ for Music and the Arts at Holy Trinity! Catherine Bilton, soprano, brought us great joy this afternoon: to listen to her remarkable voice is a joy in itself and we were...
  • September 8, 2021
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We thoroughly enjoyed Anthony’s ‘All-Organic Musical Menu’ yesterday and feasted on his choice of music: the ‘Main Course’ by ‘the greatest composer of all time’, Bach, in particular, was complex and challenging, and the Henri Mulet was clearly a favourite...
  • August 19, 2021
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Today’s concert was billed as our Annual Organ Celebration and, thanks to Charles Francis, that is precisely what it was! We loved his music programme – after 18 months of silence I for one could feel my brain coming alive...
  • August 3, 2021
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Regular music-making returns to Holy Trinity, Gosport! We welcomed Fumi Otsuki (violin) accompanied by Sarah Kershaw (piano). What a ‘come back’ concert we had!  It was a superb programme: just right for the time of year and beautiful setting.  We...
  • July 19, 2021
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The Stradivarius Piano Trio of Andrew Bernardi Jonathan Few and Maria Marchant performed a brilliant evening of music in Chichester as part of the celebrations. With a carefully constructed programme including pieces by some female composers, Joanna Gill, Rebecca Clarke...
  • July 11, 2021
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The first weekend of July this year saw Ports Fest return to the city in the form of a three-day festival, comprising mainly of outdoor and free events to suit the current climate. Highlights included the face of the 2021...
  • July 10, 2021
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A wonderful concert from Mid Sussex’s Ensemble Reza underlined the importance of live music tonight to a delighted audience at the Festival of Chichester. Their Russian Dreams programme in the Assembly Room in the Council House in North Street was...
  • July 3, 2021
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See associated Noticeboard item. The Chichester Music Society had their first 2021 Concert that finally had a live audience, and as usual the Society met at the University of Chichester, where 30 members and guests attended on 9 June. The...
  • June 19, 2021
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For much of the past year Portsmouth Choral Union has been holding weekly Zoom rehearsals, with a few live practices just before Christmas. For their final session before the Easter Break, a lively and informative ‘Covid Island Discs’ interview was...
  • April 10, 2021
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AChoired Taste / Hampshire Guitar Orchestra The Rio Grande and Carmina Burana Mark Dancer Family Concert Festival of Young Composers 2015-16 saw the fourth biennial Festival of Young Composers, run in conjunction with the Festival’s Michael Hurd Memorial Fund. Composers...
  • March 20, 2021
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Chichester Music Society was pleased to welcome David Owen Norris on 9 December at the University of Chichester when he gave his lecture-recital entitled “Beethoven at the Piano – a Path of his own Discovery.” This concert was live-streamed courtesy...
  • December 23, 2020
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Chichester Music Society [CMS] was able to continue holding concerts in this second lockdown thanks to Chichester University’s willingness to live stream the concert from the University’s Chapel on 11 November. Martino Tirimo was originally going to be part of...
  • November 25, 2020
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Like almost every other festival this year, Petworth’s annual summer music festival, which normally takes place in July, fell victim to the restrictions imposed in response the coronavirus pandemic, but rather than cancel this year’s festival altogether, its organisers sensibly...
  • October 20, 2020
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Chichester Music Group welcomed back Erin Alexander [soprano] and Nick Miller [piano] on 29 September to the Society’s first “socially distanced” concert at the University of Chichester, which was also live-streamed. This was a new experience for both the performers...
  • October 7, 2020
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Encore Chichester Community Orchestra has managed to come together musically – while keeping its distance – to produce its very own lockdown song: Ku’u Pua I Paokalani. Appropriately, the piece was written by the Queen of Hawaii from the time...
  • April 9, 2020
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From the dramatic opening of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture and the rising scale of the full orchestra, the warmth of the string playing was immediately evident with the solo flute cutting through the orchestra beautifully. The pace then changed, introducing the...
  • March 12, 2020
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Nathan James’ On Windover Hill: Music of the Sussex Landscape was recently given its première at Boxgrove Priory as part of a programme of music, poetry and dance to a full house. The concert celebrated the South Downs as a...
  • March 9, 2020
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Yesterday’s concert was a remarkable reminder of just how fortunate we are at the Holy Trinity Church Tea-Time Concerts and Recitals. Nigel Willoughby and Teresa Foster played sublimely and the programme was equally inspiring: we thanked them for including the...
  • March 3, 2020
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The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s latest Guildhall concert was full of some of the best-known tunes in the classical repertoire. In an age of iPads and iPests, live classical music is a real treat and the BSO is showing the way...
  • February 28, 2020
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The Funtington Music Group were thrilled with the performance that the London Bridge Trio gave on 12 February at the University of Chichester. This was the first visit of the Trio and it certainly won’t be its last! The Chairman...
  • February 28, 2020
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Matthew Coleridge’s Requiem is a recent composition from a young British composer. He says that that he didn’t set out to write a Requiem, but gradually pieced one together from various musical ideas that kept appearing in his head. It’s...
  • February 14, 2020
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Following the resounding success of his opera, The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart was commissioned to write Don Giovanni, the overture from which a slow and dramatic introduction contrasts vividly with lively and spirited music to follow. Indeed, this very opening...
  • February 12, 2020
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The best-known feature of the Guildhall, the Pompey crest, hung skew-whiff at the end of an astonishing concert given by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. This was a dazzling show, more exciting than a trapeze act and louder than a ten-gun...
  • January 17, 2020
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Portsmouth Choral Union gave us a delightful start to the business end of the Christmas season in their concert on Saturday, mixing traditional items with less familiar offerings. This was a ‘game’ of two halves, with well-known carols in the...
  • December 16, 2019
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The Renaissance Choir and Portsmouth Cathedral Choir performed a programme full of splendid music to a full house on Saturday 7 December, raising £3,697 for the Rowans Hospice Silver Jubilee Appeal – an ambitious capital appeal to raise funds to...
  • December 13, 2019
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Before a note of this imaginative ‘Parisian’ programme had been played, we knew from those soulful open strings as Daniel Rowland tuned up that we had on stage a violin that loved to be played and a player that loved...
  • December 9, 2019
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Portsmouth Philharmonic raised more than £800 for Cystic Fibrosis after its latest charity concert in the city featuring music by Rossini, Humperdinck and Beethoven. More than 80 people attended a concert at the Church of the Resurrection in Drayton on...
  • December 4, 2019
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Two choral works, one well known and the other something of a rarity, delighted Portsmouth Choral Union’s enthusiastic audience in their ‘Salzburg Splendour’ concert at St. Mary’s Church Portsea on Saturday. The well known – Mozart’s Solemn Vespers – opened...
  • November 17, 2019
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The main work of the Chichester Singers’ November Concert was Michael Tippett’s secular oratorio A Child of our Time, which was first performed 75 years ago. The Singers’ choice of date for the performance was appropriate, because the work was...
  • November 16, 2019
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A cast of hundreds marked Remembrance Sunday last weekend with a beautifully moving concert in Portsmouth Cathedral. Working with conductor and composer, Jonathan Willcocks, PGS musicians along with the London Mozart Players and singers from Castle Primary performed a programme...
  • November 15, 2019
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‘Vespers’ at St Peter’s, Petersfield on Saturday 26th October, was a concert of two distinct halves, two celebrated composers, and two distinguished performances. In the first half, conductor Peter Gambie presented Mozart’s Vesperae Solonnes de Confessore, said to have been...
  • October 29, 2019
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When Tchaikovsky wrote his ‘Souvenir de Florence’ for string sextet in 1890 he took as his inspiration the sights and sounds of Italy – a country he loved to visit – and in particular the city of Florence. However, much...
  • October 26, 2019
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The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra brought some dazzling sunshine to Portsmouth Guildhall with their Latin Fiesta concert. Conductor Carlos Prieto shimmied on his podium as he coaxed smiles and foot-tapping from a delighted audience. The BSO, who can be pretty serious...
  • October 18, 2019
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Echoing the activities of professional orchestras like the Bournemouth Symphony, Ed McDermott, Musical Director of Portsmouth Light Orchestra masterminded a very successful concert at an entirely new venue. Innovative Ed cast the orchestra’s net more widely with a crowd-pleasing repertoire...
  • October 13, 2019
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Review of the Solent Symphony Orchestra on Saturday September 28 at Portsmouth Cathedral The Solent Symphony Orchestra never fails to delight with its exuberance and flair and the opening bars of the Berlioz overture, “Le Corsaire”, left the audience in...
  • October 2, 2019
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A small but discerning audience escaped the heavy showers outside to be greeted with musical sunshine inside with this fabulously enjoyable concert. The well-established Anemos Trio: pianist Karen Kingsley, clarinetist Rob Blanken and bassoonist, Richard Moore are regulars at St....
  • September 25, 2019
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Aptly billed as Music for a Summer’s Evening, the programme opened with the unassuming, yet pleasantly melodious Rondino for Wind Octet. The acoustic of the church lent itself perfectly to hearing and appreciating the individual contributions of each instrument in...
  • July 25, 2019
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“A wonderful evening; a snapshot of romantic music at its finest, arousing an array of emotions and full of vitality”. In a glorious Saturday afternoon in St Paul’s Church, we were served a delicious evening of orchestral works from that...
  • July 19, 2019
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A month-long programme of over two hundred Festival of Chichester events came to a triumphant conclusion on the final Sunday in an inspiring open-air concert in the wonderful grounds of Halnaker Park. Despite rival attractions of the Cricket World Cup...
  • July 17, 2019
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The Havant Symphony Orchestra brought their season to its conclusion with an ambitious and challenging programme of masterpieces, which were performed with great commitment and skill. The orchestra was joined by the soloist Joo Yeon Sir in Prokofiev’s First Violin...
  • July 17, 2019
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Entitled ‘Night and Day’, Saturday’s concert by The Renaissance Choir was described by conductor Peter Gambie as a programme of contrasts – and it certainly was. There were the obvious contrasts of mood, genre and musical period, but there was...
  • July 14, 2019
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It is one of the many benefits of being a concert reviewer that occasionally one is offered a programme so redolent with nostalgia, I was immediately carried back to my own days as a chorister. On Saturday evening, the St...
  • July 9, 2019
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If you perform music from the Baroque period, your Mount Everest is Bach’s B minor mass. The Portsmouth Baroque Choir (PBC) decided to attempt to scale its lofty heights and a large audience came to St Paul’s, Chichester to see...
  • July 8, 2019
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On a suitably sultry evening, The New Theatre Royal, with twinkling stars behind the singers, was host to American music of both church and theatre genres. The Portsmouth Choral Union was challenged by their Musical Director, David Gostick in an...
  • July 7, 2019
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The June drizzle may have been a far cry from African sunshine, but it did nothing to dampen the spirits at Privett Church on Saturday, when Froxfield Choir, together with pupils from Froxfield and Steep primary schools, performed Zimbe!, Alexander...
  • July 4, 2019
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A recent charity concert by the Portsmouth Philharmonic, featuring some of the country’s best loved music, has raised more than £1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. The orchestra was invited to the Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour on the Beaulieu River to...
  • June 28, 2019
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As their part of the Festival of Chichester, the Chichester Singers produced a rather special concert in the Cathedral. To an extent, it was a celebration, both of Jonathan Willcocks’ 40 years as the Singers’ conductor and also of the...
  • June 25, 2019
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