from the Wokingham Times, December 2007
Wokingham Choral Society's Christmas concert was led by their new
conductor, Alexander Chaplin.
He was meticulous in his attention to detail and expected his singers to be precise.
As a result he brought out every shade in each piece that was performed.
Even those of us who were in the audience, on the occasions when we were invited to join in, found ourselves following the lead of his white-gloved
hand very carefully!
It was interesting to compare the mystical atmosphere of of the Father's Heart Begotten with the nimble, jazzy John Rutter Shepherd's Pipe Carol. The contrast could not have been greater and it showed how flexible this choir is.
The choir navigated the many changes of mood in Vaughan
Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols with well-controlled rises
and falls. The baritone Christopher Hodges' singing was agreeably smooth.
The young solo cellist, Olivia Russell,gave a beautiful performance here,bringing out the rich tone of her instrument, which showed great promisefor a future career.
The organ chorale La Nativite was performed by Edward Batting. It is a lovely piece - quiet and gently lilting.
The children who attended the concert were rewarded with a special talk by the conductor and with a delightful reading of The Night Before Christmas by John Acton.
It was all very enjoyable and we brought the house down with Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.