- From the very beginning when 'Help' (which hit me in the solar plexus) conveyed the desperation of the people, to the end, it was wonderful and very moving. A truly brilliant concert.
- A professional and truly outstanding performance.
- We had an excellent evening - the music was beautifully presented and the sound of three choirs mind blowing. The boys were very well behaved and the soloists just brilliant. The orchestra and organ were equally good - very impressive. Congratulations to all and especially David.
Programme (extract) from David Holroyd:
This is the thirteenth of our collaborations at 'The Phil' - I wasn’t superstitious when it came to deciding whether we should continue with our series! Some of us performed at the first in 1994 (Elgar’s moving and spiritual work, The Dream of Gerontius), some hadn't yet discovered the joys of choral singing; and many weren't even born! But it would have been wrong NOT to give this cohort of boys the chance ... A motto of the MTS Music Department is Music is Fun along with pueri continuant cantare ... roughly paraphrased as "keeping boys singing", and these days, thanks to the Cambiata (changing voice) initiatives of Professor Martin Ashley at Edge Hill University, and programmes like "The Choir", schools (and specifically boys) realise that singing while their voices are changing is not only acceptable but also desirable. And with the drama in the story of Elijah it was easy to get them engaged.
It has become a well-worn phrase used to encourage lads to take part in these concerts that it will be a "once in a lifetime experience". For many it probably will be exactly that. Proof that the memory lasts - and matters - came before the previous concert when an Old Boy of the School got in touch to recall his amazement on first hearing the “wall of sound” when we put all the choirs together. That one conversation makes the whole process worthwhile, but the enthusiasm of some of the current older boys for their FOURTH once-in-a-lifetime performance is even more pleasing.
There are those singing today in our current Year 11, who performed Belshazzar as trebles in 2013, turned into “real men” (private joke) to sing tenor in Carmina Burana in 2015, slipped in a sneaky Puccini Messa di Gloria with the 11 Merchant Taylors’ Schools’ concert here in 2016, and now finding their confident vocal feet in their fourth performance. Indeed, looking back through the programmes, a few are actually on their fifth - and, I think, three young men here tonight are on their sixth performance, having sung in Verdi’s Requiem, as Junior School pupils back in 2010. And if - as they surely will - these concerts form a significant part of the backbone of their memories of life at MTS, these will be memories which they will treasure, and will surely pass on to their children and their grandchildren.
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