'A Dream of England'
All Saints' Church, Eastbourne, June 2015
A delightful evening of music at its best from Phoenix
All Saints' Church last Saturday was packed with music lovers, dignitaries, MPs – and a wonderful programme of entirely English music from the Phoenix Choir.
Under genial, assured director Michael Fields, the choral sound was warm and expressive. Selections ranged from rich, flowing Vaughan Williams and Rutter, to cultured Noel Coward and tap-along Lennon and McCartney – and a splendid finale of Proms favourites with the audience waving flags and joining in!
Exquisite Ansy Boothroyd and lyrical baritone Nigel Richards added outstanding solos.
Sharing the evening, the Eastbourne Youth Concert Band, forty talented youngsters aged 13 to 18, showed expertise beyond their years and an infectious love of their music. Their Holst Military Band suite had lovely balance, and they accompanied the second-half “patriotic numbers” with wonderful bravado. Terrific rapport, too, with director Stuart Longley and his light, fluid baton.
English music at its best, and an evening of absolute delight.
Review by Kevin Anderson