In a packed St Mary’s Church at Frensham, on a lovely if rather hot summer’s evening, The Waverley Singers, their conductor Richard Pearce and their accompanist Jakob Rothoff entertained us with songs from William Shakespeare and his contemporaries in Midsummer Shakespeare.
The gentlemen all in black and the ladies of the choir in colourful tops – 93 in total – made a magnificent sound.
Jakob’s masterful Gershwin selection of songs on the piano also greatly impressed the audience.
From 17th to 21st-century composers, including George Shearing, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton and some lesser known very modern work, he exhibited enormous variety.
The songs from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, drew rapturous applause.
The conductor – promoting the evening’s cause, The Meath Epilepsy Charity – spoke movingly of his own, now managed, epilepsy.
He also remarked that the choral programme for Midsummer Shakespeare might sound easy but it concealed a lot of work on the choristers’ part.
They began rehearsals in April and have met just once a week – though homework is expected of them, I’m told!
The Waverley Singers did their conductor proud in what was a supremely successful concert. Bravo!