LAST evening my husband and I went to St Mary-in-the-Castle to hear the Hastings Philharmonic Choir perform a concert of folk songs from the United States and Brazil. What a truly enjoyable time we had!
The first half gave us a well-chosen selection of spirituals, folk songs and American show tunes. The choir gave us its usual high standard, Susannah Appleyard sang to her customary brilliance, moving, dramatic and jaunty as the piece required.
Francis Rayner, the renowned pianist, gave a tour de force solo performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The second half was devoted to Brazilian music both in Portuguese and native Indian. This, under the tutelage of the choir’s gifted conductor, Marcio da Silva.
The choir did magnificently in an undertaking that was way out of its normal repertoire and did it brilliantly. It was absolutely exhilarating. Everyone left wreathed in smiles.
Hastings may have lost out in the competition to become the City of Culture but we could have shown them a thing or two with this event. We are so lucky to have this facility in the town. Thank you to all concerned.