Coming-of-age concert for university

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Carmina Burana

Kings Theatre, Southsea

This was the occasion the University of Portsmouth came of age as a concert-giving organisation. Its wind band, big band, choir and orchestra all took to the Kings stage

They attracted an audience so big the start of the concert had to be delayed by 20 minutes.

But this was no mere numbers game. More importantly, the occasion oozed quality throughout the performance.

The two bands’ styles, with vocalists joining the players with equal panache, had the greater popular appeal.

But the benchmark performance was of Carl Orff’s choral extravaganza, Carmina Burana.

Its demands on all the participants are huge but the choir clearly relished the challenge, performing with exuberant feeling but also delicacy when required, and all with accuracy in the motoric rhythms set by the conductor George Burrows, the University of Portsmouth’s inspirational senior lecturer in music.

Guest professional soloists Rosanna Havel, Edward Hughes and Maciek O’Shea sang with admirable character.

If the orchestra was sometimes erratic in intonation, the key sections lacked nothing in their character.