King Edward VI School Chelmsford
Britten's St Nicolas, written for Lancing College, makes excellent use of varied forces – the spirit of the piece was successfully captured at the Grammar School, in a moving performance of impeccable musicality.
The large school choir, augmented by some Old Chelmsfordians, produced a stirring sound; the tenors and basses made impressive mariners in the Journey to Palestine.
Adding their voices to the sound pictures were Owen Woodroff as the child Nicolas, a splendid gallery choir behind us, three pickled boys, the whole audience for the hymn tunes, and tenor Tom Robson, a powerful, commanding Bishop of Myra.
The instrumental ensemble – strings, led by Philippa Barton, percussion, the legendary piano duo of Tim Carey and Martin Sanders-Hewett, with Alex Potts at the organ – brought Britten's inspired scoring to life.
KEGS' own Senior Orchestra, led by Brian Chan, gave us an entertaining Haydn symphony, as well as Reinecke's Ballade, with Sarah Woollatt's pleasingly astringent flute over the broad Romantic sweep of the strings.
All three works were conducted by Tim Worrall, KEGS Director of Music.