On Sunday 6th May, Framlingham College put on a tremendous concert in its mock-Gothic chapel where the new Allen Chapel series organ was really put through its paces, supported by a terrific brass group as more than backing for the College’s choral society. The concert had a patriotic and bombastic theme, an early celebration of the royal jubilee, and if Albert’s ghost lives in his statue in front of the College, he would have had a thoroughly entertaining evening.
The concert opened with Parry’s ‘I was glad’ with full vivats, and the later performance of ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’ did full justice to Milton’s voice and verse. The string orchestra dashed off the Capriol Suite, a brass group played 2 short pieces from Julius Caesar by Handel, and the full orchestra raised the roof in the last movement of Saint-Saens’ organ symphony with Mr Hutchings impressing us all with his considerable keyboard skills.
The concert ended with Rutter’s Gloria, with the full choir giving its all and the brass having a field day. Order was well kept by the College’s new Director of Music, Tim Rhodes, conducting amateurs and professionals with skill through these challenging works. The audience wisely was kept away from the front pews, in case unbalanced volume should prove too much, but they were clearly glad to be there to experience the organ’s sweetest diapason and the trumpets sounding on the other side!