I Got Rhythm Concert
Tuesday 4th July 2017, Kendal Town Hall
Levens Choir with the Queen Elizabeth School Jazz Band
Conductors: Ian Jones, Gareth Leather
It is greatly to Levens Choir’s credit that they rose to the challenge of the unfamiliar demands of jazz rhythms, accents and syncopations, to deliver, along with the QES Jazz Band, a memorable evening’s entertainment. It took the choir a number or two to get ‘in the mood’, but, perhaps showed the way by the Band, by the time we had ‘Skimbleshanks’ and ‘Swing Low’, there was even some swinging in the ranks! The tenor line in the former was delightfully articulated. The unaccompanied presentation of ‘Over the rainbow’ was characterised by a warm tonal colour and sumptuous blending of voices; Levens Choir on top form. Other highlights were ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ and ‘S’Wonderful’, splendidly accompanied by Ken Forster, and ‘Summertime’ with a pleasing soprano solo from Faye Bowness.
We are all indebted to QES, Kirkby Lonsdale, for the musical opportunities provided there. Levens Choir are strengthened by many young voices from the school. A performance by six of them, with accompanist Olivia Smith, of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and ‘Super Trooper’ was lovely. And the school Jazz Band was a revelation. Filled with players confidently delivering solo passages on trumpet, saxophone and trombone, they really had got rhythm. They were driven along by their Director Gareth Leather on bass guitar and a brilliant percussion section who didn’t look old enough to be at high school. One wonders where their jazz instincts came from? Perhaps their mothers had visited New Orleans when they were still in the womb? The audience insisted the band gave an encore. We rocked out into the evening air to the sounds of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ all over again. Thanks and congratulations to all involved.