Percussion players join Phoenix Choir for lively and witty evening in Crawley

Phoenix Choir of Crawley
Phoenix Choir of Crawley

Phoenix Choir of Crawley will host a choral night of bacchanalia, revelry and jazz syncopation at Holy Trinity Secondary School, Crawley, on Saturday, June 30 (7.30pm).

Spokeswoman Denise Oswald said: “Phoenix Choir will be joined by five percussion players, playing a vast array of instruments, and two pianists – one of whom is Crawley-born Andrew Saunders. Andy was a pupil at Hazelwick school before doing A levels at Christ’s Hospital where he met Adrian Bawtree, our other pianist.

“After studying at The Royal College of Music followed by The Royal Academy of Music, Andy has taught piano in several local schools including Christ’s Hospital. Adrian has had a varied musical career so far and is now one of the organists at Canterbury Cathedral. Arrangements for two pianos are a feature throughout this concert, including a composition by Phoenix Choir music director Samuel Hayes. One exception is the unusual addition to the programme of a piece for percussion alone.

“Nothing is sacred in Carmina Burana; Orff’s cantata is based on satirical poems by medieval monastic students, who clearly knew a thing or two about drinking, feasting and other ribald pleasures. Starting and ending with the thumping O Fortuna chorus, which some will have heard heralding ‘The X factor’ judges, or in the memorable Old Spice aftershave ad of the ’70s, Orff’s masterpiece is a bold, colourful ride through the turns of Life’s Wheel of Fortune, with three professional soloists to delight us along the way.

“As a contrast to Orff, Constant Lambert’s Rio Grande is a delirious trip to the Jazz Age of the 1920s. Sacheverell Sitwell’s poem of the same name is set to a breezy cocktail of sultry rhythms with an added dash of wit and brio that reflected Lambert’s personality.”

Tickets £14 (£13 in advance, £7 for students, free for under-16s). Call 01293 515287, buy them from choir members or from The Music Company on Northgate Parade.

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