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Cantemus Choir’s Summer Concert

Cantemus Choir

Cantemus Choir gave their summer concert at St James’s Church, Emsworth, on Saturday June 27th. The concert was billed as “English music for a summer evening” and featured the music of English composers from the 13th to 20th centuries. Musical Director William Waine conducted, sporting a bow tie in the red cross on white design of the English flag. Christopher Pilgrim accompanied the choir on the piano, with solos by baritone Daniel Tate.

The programme was grouped in sections beginning with the end of winter, including the ancient round “Summer is a-coming in”, moving through springtime, with rounds and songs by Byrd, Hilton and Henry VIII, depicting mirth and play, to mystical midsummer, represented by Vaughan Williams’ folk song “Linden Lea” and his “Five Mystical Songs”, and ending with the calm contentment of Pilkington’s “Rest Sweet Nymphs”, Stanford’s “Heraclitus” and Sullivan’s “The Long Day Closes”.

Along the way there were Gilbert and Sullivan songs from The Grand Duke, The Yeoman of the Guard and the Pirates of Penzance, in which soprano Janet Hillman from the choir joined the baritone soloist in a duet. Many songs featured birds, such as the contrasting pieces by Stanford – “The Bluebird” (with its sublime soaring soprano line) - “The Blackbird” by the Beatles, and a setting of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”, arranged by the conductor.

The concert was considerably enhanced by the rich baritone voice of soloist Daniel Tate, whose performance in the Vaughan Williams especially showed he was equally at home in loud and soft passages.

One of the highlights of the evening was a piano duet in which conductor William Waine and accompanist Christopher Pilgrim played a rousing version of Percy Grainger’s “Country Gardens” from which the concert’s title “In an English Country Garden” was taken.

Cantemus Choir welcomes new members in all voice parts, especially tenors. For more information, contact the choir secretary: 023 9246 3531 email: website:

Posted on Tue, August 18 2015