Through Europe on a musical high

Halifax Choral society
Halifax Choral society

Round Europe Summer Prom

Halifax Choral Society and Black Dyke Band

Victoria Theatre

You could go to the London Proms and not hear a better concert.

The brilliant Round Europe concept, complemented by evocative, projected images, inspired an exciting and totally transporting programme conducted and compered by John Pryce-Jones with band director Nicholas Childs, all played and sung to perfection.

After Dance a Cuchucha, crisp and bright, Nicholas Childs, the most undemonstrative of conductors, extracted the sublest of dynamics from the impeccable band in The Marriage of Figaro Overture, taken at a cracking pace.

O Nuit from Les Choristes and Brahms’ famous Lullaby were quiet, reflective pieces sung with great feeling. Rousing renditions of Borodin’s Polovtsienne Dances, Peace in Europe from Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man featuring flawless solos from the band, Sibelius’ stirring Finlandia, and Verdi’s stately Grand March and Triumphal Chorus from Aida concluded the first half.

The second half was more British based. Thrilling performances of Zadok the Priest and William Walton’s quintessentially royal Crown Imperial were followed by the nimble-footed music from Riverdance, Ye Banks an’ Braes, sweet and gentle, and Henry Woods’ British Sea Songs, each beautifully characterised.

The concert also featured the very impressive choirs of West Vale Primary School singing in Spanish and Parkinson Lane Primary School singing in Serbo Croat and Romany, and ended triumphantly with Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, sending everyone home on a high.

Julia Anderson