Preparing for a Feast

So how does a 200+ strong orchestra and choir prepare to perform Belshazzar’s Feast at Snape Maltings in September?

We began rehearsing for our September concert at Snape Maltings three weeks ago.  However, the planning and organisation for it began a long time beforehand!

A piece on the scale of Belshazzar’s Feast requires a full orchestra, two brass bands, two choruses, a semi-chorus, a solo Baritone and an entire shopping-list of percussion.  Not to mention an organ.  It’s a challenging piece with changing time signatures throughout and a stereo effect, which is produced by the arrangement of the instruments and voices.

It’s sufficiently tricky that Walton himself claimed that people probably didn’t like performing his music very much as he never considered the performers when composing a work!

We have some wonderful brass players joining us and we are also delighted to be joined by the Anglia Singers and other local choirs and individuals, which gives us the resources we need to perform such a piece.

A crack team has been put to work to organise the rehearsals as the increased number of instruments involved, the different layout and the augmented choirs mean that everyone needs to know where to sit so that we can get the most out of our rehearsals.

The choir has their secret weapon though – the wonderful Roy Everett!  Pictured here talking with conductor, Chris Green, Roy can effortlessly produce the sounds of the entire orchestra (well maybe not quite) to assist the choir during rehearsals.  Completely unfazed by the complexity of the piece, Roy enables us to go over the tricky sections of Belshazzar’s Feast so that when we rehearse with the orchestra, we will have some idea of what to expect.  Though we are reliably informed that the brass section is likely to blow us off the stage!

Come and see us perform this magnificent work in “A Feast of Choruses and Variations” at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on Saturday 17 September at 7.30pm and you can also enjoy Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Dvorak’s glorious Te Deum.

The full programme is here

Book your tickets by calling the Trianon Ticket Line on 01394 283170 or
07876 787029