SOUTHERN Voices chamber choir presented Music for a Summer’s Evening at St Peter’s Church in the quintessentially picturesque village of Stockbridge.

The programme was comprised entirely of English language songs, some sung unaccompanied with others accompanied by the accomplished pianist, Nick Salwey and double bassist, Alastair Hume.

The music created an idyllic atmosphere for a summer evening with Madrigals and Part songs. The choir displayed their wide range of technical skills on polyphonic harmonies which they blended and balanced both skilfully and beautifully. The most intriguing part of the programme was two different sets of Madrigals: one that was originally written in the C15th-16th while the other one entitled Little Jazz Madrigals was written in 2022 by Bob Chilcott. The latter enabled the choir to demonstrate a jazzy rhythmic groove and syncopation that was extremely captivating.

The programme was thus a medley of both old and new music that was somehow connected, bringing to the large audience a warm feeling and smiles.

In addition, there were informative introductions about each piece given by the conductor, Jamal Sutton, while Alastair told some engaging anecdotal stories about the composers. This all added to the wonderfully friendly atmosphere of the evening's performances.

I would strongly recommend attending the next Southern Voices concerts. The first of these, called Music for Remembrancetide will be on Saturday, November 11 at St Paul’s Church, Winchester, while the second, entitled Christmas with Southern Voices will take place on Saturday, December 16 at the Chapel of St Cross, Winchester.

Review by Nao Dickson