The following review was posted by The West Australian on Monday 6th February 2017.
Perth Symphonic Chorus and Summer Singers
Perth Concert Hall
REVIEW NEVILLE COHN
For many choral enthusiasts in Perth, Margaret Pride is inextricably associated with memorably fine performances of the great choral masterpieces such as Handel’s Messiah and Brahms’ A German Requiem.
At the weekend, though, a very different side of Pride’s choral work was delightfully on offer at the Concert Hall. South America was the chief focus of the program provided by an expanded choir and instrumental backing: piano, trombone, guitar, drums and double bass.
And there was a fair deal of community singing with the audience invited to join in which they did, initially tentatively, then with gusto, as the words of each song flashed on to a screen positioned above the stage. In La Cucaracha, that timeless favourite, the audience’s singing radiated high spirits. It brought the house down.
Choristers wore blue T-shirts, the women sporting bright coloured, fancy headgear. And Margaret Pride’s astonishingly striking hat called instantly to mind that unforgettable South American film star Carmen Miranda who routinely wore head adornments made up of, inter alia, pineapples, bananas and tropical flowers.
Cielito Lindo was beautifully sung, initially by women’s voices, in a performance informed by buoyancy and a delightful lilt. In Modugno’s Volare, Tom Salleo was in top form on trombone. And the multi-talented Jackson Griggs at the top of his game at the piano, also sang energetically Peter Allen’s I go to Rio. Madeline Crofts was a consistently fine singer. And Amanda Nullmeyers and John Broertjes provided a number of pleasing dance interludes.
Alex Barker was splendid on drums as were Elliot Frost on guitar and Gwyneth Gardiner on double bass.