UEA Symphony Orchestra, Choir & Chamber Choir Concerts 2015/16 UEA Symphony Orchestra, Choir & Chamber Choir Concerts 2015/16


UEA Choir & Symphony Orchestra - An American in Norwich  

Friday 13 November 2015, 7.30pm, St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of UEA's Director of Music, Stuart Dunlop, performed Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront and George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (arranged for concert performance by Robert Russell Bennett). UEA Choir and Symphony Orchestra were joined in their performance of Porgy and Bess, by acclaimed soloists Maureen Brathwaite (soprano) and Keel Watson (baritone).


UEA Choir - Christmas Carol Concert 

Wednesday 9 December 2015, 7.30pmSt John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral, Norwich

UEA Choir, under the direction of UEA Choir Director, Tom Primrose, performed music by Matthias, Rutter, Carter, Sweelinck, Poulenc and Willcocks, as well as a host of well-loved Christmas carols for the audience to join in with. The concert also featured performances from UEA’s recently formed Chamber Choir and solos from Norwich Cathedral’s Organ Scholar, Jonathan Stamp and pianist, William Fergusson.


UEA Choir Christmas Carol Concert Review - Brett Mortram - Arts Editor Concrete

The St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral was, in more ways than one, the perfect location for this evening’s performance. Aside from the obvious link between

 Christianity and Christmas carols, the cathedral itself, embodying this religion but built between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, parallels the inspiration and composition of many of the pieces which featured in the programme. Examples included ‘Adam lay ybounden’, a fifteenth-century English text which was set to music by Peter Warlock (1894-1930), and ‘Quem pastores laudavere’, a fourteenth-century German carol in an arrangement by John Rutter (1945-).

There were a number of unusual inclusions such as these, alongside the more well-known numbers such as ‘Once in royal David’s city’, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘Kings of Orient’, ‘Hark! The herald-angels sing’ and ‘Good King Wenceslas (-las, las!)’, which required audience participation. This, enthusiastically urged by the UEA Choir’s conductor, Tom Primrose, who also entertainingly introduced the carols, giving some facts and historical background, made the experience a genuinely warm and communal one. In addition to the UEA Choir’s vocal talents, there were energetic and impressive solos by their accompanying pianist William Fergusson, and organist Jonathan Stamp, as well as a handful of carols sung by the Chamber Choir, conducted by Stuart Dunlop. ‘O magnum mysterium’, and ‘Videntes stellam’ were highlights here. In overall terms, ‘Sing lullaby!’ was also truly stunning.

As ever, the sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce onrush of human voices which constitute a choir’s force occasionally had the power to rob you of breath, and not only when you reached the end of the long and lustily sung refrain from ‘Kings of Orient’. The musical talent of UEA certainly goes unremarked. One of the best experiences of tonight was the ability not only to enjoy their music, but to often join in as well. Trust me, when those final verses and choruses kick in, and you, singing the standard melody, hear and feel the choir’s new descants unfolding their wings and lifting the music ever higher, you’re hooked.   


UEA Chamber Choir - Passiontide

Sunday 6 March 2016, 7.30pm, St George's Church, Norwich

The 25-strong chamber choir, under the Direction of UEA Director of Music, Stuart Dunlop, performed Josef Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater in G minor op. 138 and Heinrich Schütz’s St. John Passion. They were joined for their performance by organist William Falconer and actors Sophie Bray, Augustus Glassborow and Pip Williams. The concert will also feature a performance, by the Izliz String Quartet, of Joseph Haydn’s Consummatum Est, from Seven Last Words from the Cross.


UEA Symphony Orchestra & Drama - Transformations

Friday 11 March 2016, 7.30pm, St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

The 70-strong orchestra, accompanied by award-winning pianist Warren Mailley-Smith and UEA Drama, will perform Felix Mendelsohn’s magical Overture and Incidental music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well Sergei Rachmaninov’s beautiful Paganini Rhapsody and Gustav Mahler’s dramatic Totenfeier.


UEA Choir - War and Peace

Saturday 30 April, 7.30pm, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich

The 160-strong choir, joined by Norwich Cathedral organ scholar Jonathan Stamp, pianist William Fergusson, members of UEA Symphony Orchestra, acclaimed tenor Ben Johnson, mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones and baritone Jonathan McGovern, will perform Benjamin Britten’s dramatic Ballad of Heroes op. 14, Maurice Duruflé’s beautiful Requiem, op. 9 and a selection of small choral works (including Johannes Brahms' Geistliches Lied, op. 30 and Gabriel Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine, op. 11).

Find out more about our upcoming concerts