Who:

Rotorua District Choir, Rotorua Symphonic Band

When:

Saturday, Sunday

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Where:

Rotorua Girls' High School Performing Arts Centre

A few decades ago the choir was wondering how to extend their repertoire from a core of long-established works.

Since then, under a range of enterprising conductors, they have realized a wealth of the good choral music available, old and new, and in a variety of types and themes.

This source of riches was shown by the concert's bill, 'Last Night at the Proms', running on the lines of the traditional London event with its patriotic and entertaining music and a colourful display of British pride.

The singers had been trained carefully by their conductor Evelyn Falconer so that they sang with fitting expression and style. They dressed, too, for the occasion but the theatre's deadening sound and poor lighting detracted from the display.

Under the direction of Jorge Mezarivera the band played energetically with a wide range of instruments and accomplished soloists to make the most of hearty works like Strauss's Thus Spake Zarathustra.

With Evelyn Falconer's enthusiasm the choir to gave lively performances of those treasures of musical theatre: West Side Story and the Sound of Music.

They closed in the grand Proms tradition with four nationalistic songs like 'Rule Britannia' combining both fervour and tenderness.

- Review by Hanno Fairburn