What a night it was !

What a night it was! Stephen Sondheim would have been pleased that his legacy lives on, and in such an enthusiastic fashion. Everyone was reminded of so many songs that are probably still going around in their head, and the delivery was all that could be asked for.

The choir demonstrated that they could deliver a wide range of material, in a new setting, and in a demanding way. They were complemented by a really talented set of soloists and it was all led by two distinguished pianists, performing at quite a pace.

The soloists – Laurie Ashworth, Sally Johnson, Nick Hurndall Smith, and Terence Ayebare – had co-operated to update some of the script and provided a commentary to lead the audience through the background to Sondheim’s success. Their singing, separately and together, was a joy, suitably adapted to the topic, and sometimes incredibly fast, and the audience were most appreciative.

As well as his usual role of Musical Director, David Murray was one half of the two pianos providing the music and he literally leapt from one role to the other as the music required to show his renowned skill as a pianist. Eileen Bown, playing the other piano, provided an almost continuous accompaniment to the whole performance – often at an amazing speed and agility – leaving her page-turner to keep up. Both contributed hugely to the memorable performance.

The Fire Station provided an audience with some new faces who perhaps would not have been to any previous concert by Bishopwearmouth Choral Society, but will now realise that the choir has much to offer to the arts and culture in Sunderland, wherever they perform.