On Tuesday we rehearsed for the last time before the current Government Covid lockdown. Under Richard Laing's enthusiastic direction we sang through all the choruses in the Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle. Great fun was had by all!
The four socially-distanced rehearsals we have managed since restarting will stand us in good stead when we finally come to perform. However, more work is needed for us to give a creditable performance of the work and this, coupled with the challenging logistics involved in accomodating choir and audience in socially-distanced fashion in Dorchester Abbey, has forced us to postpone again the concert planned for 5th December.
It is impossible to overstate the joy we have felt in singing together again. As soon as we are allowed to re-form we will do!
Date Posted: Wed, 14 Oct 2020
Last night was our first rehearsal in the Covid era since our concert on 14th March. Some fifty four of us assembled in Dorchester Abbey in fully socially-distanced fashion - which takes up an enormous amount of space! Richard Laing led us from the pulpit in starting to get to know Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. The rehearsal culminated in a spirited 'peformance' of the Cum Sancto with most members of the choir at least starting and finishing the chorus at the same time (even if the middle was a bit avant-garde)!
To quote one of our leading sopranos: "A fabulous time was had [by all] if a little weird" Indeed! Singing together is so therapeutic particularly in these crazy times! We are all looking forward to next week already....
Many thanks to Richard and Anita for enabling this life-giving event.
Contrasting sound worlds were a double delight
Date Posted: Mon, 23 Mar 2020
We were very fortunate to be able to go ahead with our spring concert before coronavirus made such events impossible. We are so grateful to our soloists Anita D'Attellis, Stephen Gadd and Lorena Paz Nieto, our guest conductor Richard Laing, the Elgar orchestra and our choir for making this a memorable evening. You can read the review in the Henley Standard here.
'Glorious and Uplifting'
Date Posted: Sun, 15 Dec 2019
A full house at Dorchester Abbey gave an enthusiastic reception to the Benson Choral Society's rendering of three baroque masterpieces at their autumn concert. Supported by the Elgar Orchestra the concert started with a performance of a Vivaldi string concerto before the choir was joined by five superb soloists for J S Bach's Magnificat in D Major, Handel's Chandos Anthem No 9 and Vivaldi's Beatus Vir. To quote a member of the audience, 'A memorable performance'.