On Saturday 17th May 2014 the Surrey Hills Chamber Choir came first in all the three classes it entered and also won the prestigious CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP (not the racing one!) for the best performance of the day.
In the Folk Song Class starting at 10:20 we were up against some stiff competition – 9 in all. The ‘Fair’ programme of ‘Strawberry Fair’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’ was well received and the adjudicator congratulated us on our delivery of the complex arrangements.
For the Sacred music class over lunch time we sang the Mendelssohn setting of Psalm 43 – ‘Richte mich Gott’ (sung in German – another plus). This contrasted with ‘one of the great 8 part motets’ – Crucifixus by Lotti. ‘A distinguished performance to a very high standard’. Two wonderful pieces to sing in the fine acoustic and splendid Georgian decor of the Town Hall.
The final class was a recital for mixed voices and gave a chance to try out the ‘new’ competition pieces. We preceded these with a Spiritual ‘Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel’ including a ‘most authentic’ solo by Carol Foussat. The magical ‘Waternight’ by Eric Whitacre drew the comment ‘the tightly packed yet liquid harmonic texture was beautifully layered’. Kalinda by Guillaume for 8 parts included many choral effects mixed with a joyous Latin flavour. The final adjudicator comment: “Well, the result is spellbinding”.
That final class was part of a bigger group of recital classes for Mixed, Ladies and Male Voice choirs making it a competition between 11 choirs. Surrey Hills also therefore won the Gold Cup for the best of the day.