Chester Competitive Festival of Performing Arts – 14th May 2011

The 2011 Chester Festival of Performing Arts has proved to be a memorable one for us. Having entered two classes, The Mixed Choir class and the Madrigal class, we were thrilled to be awarded top honours for both competitions.

Amici del Canto after the wins at Chester Festival of Performing Arts 2011


In our first competition we performed two very challenging pieces, The Dark Eyed Sailor, a traditional folk song arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, andThe Ballad of Green Broom, the last of Benjamin Britten’s Five Flower Songs.

David Hoult, the Adjudicator and the former Principal of Leeds College of Music, made some highly encouraging comments saying our performance in the first piece was, “well prepared and engaging”. He also praised our characterisation and control of balance and phrasing.

In the Flower Song by Benjamin Britten, he commented on the difficulty of the piece yet added that ours was, “another real performance, full of life and character and with clear diction”.

He was also highly complimentary about how well he thought the choir communicated the narritive of the pieces and how much he enjoyed the performance.


A couple of hours later we found ourselves on stage again in the Madrigal class, this time singing Phyllis, Farewell, a beautiful yet tragic madrigal by Thomas Bateson, and Fair Phyllis I Saw Sitting All Alone, a jaunty and playful madrigal by John Farmer.

Once again, David Hoult sat in the Adjudicator’s chair and for the first madrigal he commented that we portrayed, “a warm and expressive approach with clear words. The phrasing [was] most effective”, and went on to say that we gave, “a secure and confident performance”.

For the second madrigal, he had equal praise. He stated that the performance was, “neat and tidy with characterful phrasing, as ever with this choir”, and added that we had, “good variation of dynamics and admirably clear diction”.

Against very stiff opposition, we were overjoyed to be awarded the top spot and the Nicholson Rose Bowl for our efforts!


Above all we gained ourselves a fine reputation with the eminent Adjudicator for our communication, characterisation and diction. All of which gives us an excellent springboard as we move into our season of summer concerts and, ultimately, our Italian tour in July.


Alongside the choral events there were also classes for solo singers in a variety of styles and amongst the first, second and third place winners were many from our number. Our solo honours include first, second and third places in the Oratorio class and second and third places in the Opera class; arguably the two most hotly contested classes.

The full list of our solo succes is as follows:

1st Kathryn Nash Oratorio Lord, To Thee Each Night and Day
from Theodora
by Handel
2nd Kathryn Nash Opera Give Him This Orchid
from The Rape of Lucretia
by Britten
2nd Brenda Jones Light Opera Till There Was You
from The Music Man
by Willson
2nd Brenda Jones Victorian Ballad A Perfect Day
by Jocobs-Bond
2nd Barry Kiehn Oratorio Lord God of Abraham
from Elijah
by Mendelssohn
2nd Barry Kiehn Lieder Erlkonig
by Schubert
3rd Brenda Jones
Morfudd Davies
Duet Y Mae Afon
by Protheroe
3rd Shân Oliver Oratorio O Salutaris
from Petite Messe Solonnelle
by Rossini
3rd Shân Oliver Opera Dove sono
from Le Nozze di Figaro
by Mozart
3rd Shân Oiver British Song Mae Hiraeth yn y Môr
by Elwyn-Edwards
3rd Fausto Galli French Song Si Mes Vers Avaient des Ailes
by Hahn

Photographs to follow.