Created and Performed by The University of Northampton School of The Arts and The Popular Music Department.
Holy Sepulchre Church 04th July 2015
A warm evening in Northampton in a medieval church, turned out to be a hot night of classical music with deep dark secret!
Described in the programme as an evening of canonical music with a dark, postmodern twist, I can honestly say I had no clue what lay in store as I took my seat but let me say right now, I was not disappointed. Having spent so much time watching the University’s BA Actors display their incredible talents, I was sure I was in for an entertaining evening. As I said, I was not disappointed.
The evening started with three solos and one duet. All were performed to perfection but for me the stand out performer of the first half was the Soprano, Rebecca Woodhead who sang “Un Bel Di Vedromo” by Puccini. Barely a dry eye in the house as Ms Woodhead hit every note and shook the old church with her power and delivery. What a way to end the first half!
After a 20 minute break to dry our eyes, the second half started and this is when the church almost moved off its foundations. This time we had the full choir in place backed by the Choir Band; Connor Durose on guitar, Scott Brindley on bass, Brandon Balou on drums and doing things I don’t understand but loved, James Robinson on Imac/Launchpad. I know Saint-Saens’ Requiem Op.54 quite well but it never sounded like this. The choir was astounding; a classical sound delivered with a rock ferocity and add this to Mr Durose’s axe you have the making of a truly awesome sound.
Last but not least, we were beaten about the ears by Grieg’s Hall of The Mountain King. I swear as I write this review 2 hours later, I can still feel the sounds reverberating through my body. How on earth the choir managed to sing that loud yet perfectly in tune, and compete with the band I will never know but they did. If I had any socks on at that point they would have been blown off. It was one of the greatest musical moments I have ever had the privilege to witness. I would have paid the money just to hear that piece alone.
This was a fantastic evening of great music, great performers and great musicians but I know one thing for certain that they were brought together by their musical director and conductor Jasmine Shadrack. I know nothing of Ms Shadrack but it was evident to me that her performers adored her, trusted her and gave their all for her, just as she gave her all for them. True leadership as I have come to expect from this University.
Thank you all for a great evening. It my pleasure to be there.