Conductor - Jonathan Willcocks
Orchestra - Canzona
James Oxley tenor, Evangelist
Marcus Farnsworth bass, Christus
Milly Forrest soprano
Marvic Monreal contralto
Richard Walshe bass Judas, Peter, Pilate,High Priest
As I hope was evident on the night, I was really delighted with the performance that you all gave of the Passion at Dorking Halls on Sunday. So many of the things that we had worked towards, choral energy and focus, unity of ensemble, control of tuning and - most importantly of all - strong communication of the drama of this great work to our audience, were really very satisfyingly fulfilled. The response of the audience at the end of the performance said it all, and I hope that you all feel the same pride and sense of achievement that I do. We were so well served by our orchestra Canzona and soloists - so compellingly led by James Oxley as Evangelist - but the heart of any performance of Bach's Passions is the chorus and you were truly splendid.
I am so grateful to my colleagues Ben Costello as Chorus-Master and Jean Douglas Tutt as accompanist, who both fulfilled their vital roles with such distinction. Also to Charles Thompson for his work in preparing the young singers of the Ripieno Chorus - hopefully they may have been inspired to continue to a lifetime's enjoyment of choral singing.
Thank you all for enabling me to launch my tenure as Festival Conductor in such a manner - I look forward to working with you all again, soon for many in the Festival concerts in early April and to others perhaps for Messiah in March next year.
With very best wishes - Jonathan
This is just a short note to thank you so much for your commitment and efforts
during the past few weeks' rehearsals which enabled us to mount a wonderful
concert last Sunday. You responded so well to Jonathan's inspiring direction,
the soloists, and Canzona's vibrant playing, and gave a performance that will be
happily remembered. I look forward to seeing you again at some of the
forthcoming April divisions, and at January's rehearsals.