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On Friday night, King’s College, Taunton opened its doors to an appreciative audience to watch the talented choirs of King’s College and King’s Hall School along with the professional Bristol Brass Consort in the school Chapel. This concert was indeed one of the highlights of the music calendar this year and the quality of the music was phenomenal; an intensely emotional and moving evening of glorious music.

The concert opened with a powerful and dramatic rendition of Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary.  Regarded as the foremost brass ensemble in the South West, the Bristol Brass Consort then performed Londoner in New York by Jim Parker and Three Brass Cats by Chris Hazell.  The brass players of King’s College were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of performing alongside the professionals for this second piece and looked completely at home in such august company.

The choirs’ centrepiece performance was a powerful work by British composer, Chris Williams. Tsunami Requiem is a moving and intense work telling the story of the devastating tsunami which struck South-East Asia on Boxing Day in 2004.  The choirs also performed John Rutter’s three-movement Gloria.  It was a touching and thrilling rendition, alternating soaring vocal lines with contemporary harmonies, catchy rhythms, and the power of the Bristol Brass Consort.

The King’s College chamber choir also sang Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars by Jonathan Dove.  Dove writes: ‘the theme of light, and starlight in particular, is an endless source of inspiration for composers’.  School organist, Jim Campbell, created a musical image of the night sky with its twinkling stars which Dove says ‘sets the choir wondering who made them’.

It was an evening of breathtaking music and a wonderful showcase for the depth and breadth of the extraordinary musical talent at the two King’s schools.

Photographer: Martin Hill