Reviews

Compline

A beautiful service tonight, thank you!

St John the Divine, Acklington

Truly fantastic!  Wonderful to hear you all again.  Can't wait for your next concert.


It was a wonderful evening, the choir sounded amazing!

Edinburgh Festival 2019

Thank you all... it was truly sublime.

Perfection! Wonderful!

Awesome, as always!

Lovely!

Edinburgh Festival 2018

The official review by Louise Rodgers of Three Weeks complimented the Choir on embodying the spirit of the Festival:

‘This show is why the Edinburgh Fringe started: an ambitious amateur choir performing in a city centre venue at the same time as the greatest musicians in the world hold court at the Edinburgh International Festival, and sharing the same audiences. The Rachmaninov Vespers can be daunting to perform but this chamber choir, from a small Northumbrian town, tackled it with a palpable enthusiasm that communicated well to the audience. The dynamics were sensitively observed and there was plenty of light and shade; when all the voices sang together it was both bright and sonorous, an impressively joyful sound’.

 

Social media Comments:

 

“Congratulations to Alnwick’s @RockFestChoir for a wonderful performance of the Rachmaninov Vespers @edfringe yesterday. Moving and uplifting, superbly sung.”

 

 “Excellent concert tonight”

 

 “Great performance this evening at Canongate Kirk. Congratulations to you all. Well worth the journey.”

 

“Can highly recommend Rock Festival Choir’s Rachmaninov Vespers – on again tomorrow evening. Good Luck! I’m sure you’ll be just as fantastic.”

 

“You were great tonight too 💖 congratulations to you all!”

 

“Sounds fab, and a full audience too!”

 

“Sounds absolutely amazing”

 

“moving, uplifting and superbly sung”

 

“breathtaking”

Advent Concert 2016

A warmly attentive audience fell silent as Rock Festival Choir appeared in groups around the nave and a drumbeat announced Margaret Watchorn’s rhythmic arrangement of a thirteenth century hymn, which filled the church with surround sound and introduced us afresh to the members of this now well-known, dedicated and gifted choir under its director Peter Brown.  The singers gradually converged onto the altar steps, where the mood was changed entirely with Peter Hignett’s pensive, hymn-like ‘The God we seek’ and Judith Weir’s ’I love all beauteous things’, cathedral music, first performed for the Queen’s ninetieth birthday, coming across well in St Paul’s acoustic with the choir’s enormous range of tone, from the softest pp to a soaring full sound, amazing coming from just eighteen singers! 

 

The third composition by a member of the choir was Cheryl Camm’s ‘That first Christmas night’, with its narrative and varied line supported by a gentle humming motif.  The line up of composers was firmly set in the modern age but with strong mediaeval echoes.  The choir delighted our ears in the next three unaccompanied works with characteristic control and focus, and ever more luscious and varied sounds to transport us far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

 

William Mathias’s ‘Bell Carol’ led us, gently at first, into a lively joyous mood of celebration, before Alan Gidney’s organ interlude, ‘Let us rejoice’, demonstrated that the organ can sing with just as many voices as the choir!  Such a mid concert break from the singing is so much better for this particular concert than an interval, as the atmosphere is not broken but carried through.  The choir picked up the theme from the side with the syncopated rhythmic ‘Rejoice’, highlighting different groups in the choir, before returning to the steps for the absolute simplicity of the haunting  confessional carol ‘Jesus Christ the Apple Tree’, followed by choral works culminating in the well known carol ‘Ding dong merrily on high’, recognisable but reworked into a jazzy number full of life and vigour.  The organ had the last word with a lively full stop flourish.

Spring Concert 2014

 

Rock Festival Choir lived up to its growing reputation when it performed its Spring Concert in Alnwick’s St Paul’s Church on March 16, giving a feast of demanding but rewarding choral works from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

 

The choir always treats us to a full and luscious tone, fully rounded in the loud parts and exquisitely delicate when the volume reduces to just a whisper. They sing with great commitment and the solos rise out of the ensemble sure and clear with a beautiful tone.

 

A highlight of their latest concert was the two world premières of works by their director, Peter Brown, and composer, Cheryl Camm, who sings in the choir. Both works were skilfully crafted, substantial pieces which stood up well among the classical works of the programme and provided an inspiring and exciting contrast.

While by no means straightforward, these two new works were performed with great conviction, as one might expect from a choir of this calibre coached by the composers.