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Ensemble

Vibrant Harmony

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE was at Snape Proms
to hear The London Adventist Chorale
directed by Ken Burton

 

The London Adventist Chorale under the exhilarating direction of Ken Burton was formerly a winner of the then Sainbury's Choir of the Year competition. Their repertoire embraces spirituals, classical music, hymns and contemporary gospel -- much of the music has been arranged or composed by Burton himself. The group is equally at home in anything from the Vivaldi Gloria to the latest piece of gospel music. Recently the singers were featured at the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall alongside Harry Christophers' The Sixteen in a concert entitled An Unexpected Harmony, a fascinating blend of Baroque and gospel music; and with the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, in the première of Ken Burton's Let the sound of freedom in St John's chapel to mark the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

Their appearance at Snape Proms [27 August 2007, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk, UK] was enthusiastically received by a large and welcoming audience. The programme was divided up into groups of three, each group underpinned by a connecting theme: spirituals, biblical characters, songs about the day, the river Jordan, songs of encouragement, psalm texts or simply the word Alleluia, composed in diverse musical styles.

The mission of the group is to spread the gospel and this it does with the utmost integrity and passion. The singers not only spread the word they become the epitome of the living word during performance. Burton's own deeply held religious beliefs inform his music and his life. The beautiful blend of the voices combined with an innate musicality makes for a stunning performance. Under Burton's expert guidance one has the impression there is nothing these singers cannot tackle. Some of the music was accompanied by Burton at the piano, a tour de force in itself.

Gospel music came to life at the turn of the 20th century in America. It is music to lift the spirit and a rejection of spirituals as that was the music of the slave. Without a doubt everyone's spirits were raised on Monday night -- Alleluia!

Copyright © 6 September 2007 Shirley Ratcliffe, Norfolk UK

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THE LONDON ADVENTIST CHORALE

KEN BURTON

SNAPE MALTINGS

ALDEBURGH MUSIC

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FOR CHORUS - WELCOMED BY SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE ATTENDS A JOHN TAVENER PREMIERE

THE LOST CHORD - SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL

BACH AT THE OPERA WITH SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE

DAVID JAMES IN CONVERSATION WITH SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE

TONY PALMER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE

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