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Beatles, Billy Joel and basketballs in Cantate's Stansted choral concert

By Paul Winspear

Cantate Youth Choir. (7812751)
Cantate Youth Choir. (7812751)

Bishop's Stortford-based youth choir Cantate returns to the glorious setting of St John’s Church in Stansted Mountfitchet for a concert entitled "A Choral Kaleidoscope” – featuring basketballs!

The senior choir's spring showcase features music spanning the centuries, from Purcell to The Beatles with a little Billy Joel for good measure.

The audience will also be treated to a selection of spirituals, including powerful arrangements of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Steal Away, Deep River and Roll, Jordan Roll as well as an amazing percussion piece for basketballs written by Wolfgang Reifeneder and arranged by Cantate's joint music director, Graham Instrall.

The concert will be conducted by joint music director Nicholas Shaw, accompanied by Charlie Penn on piano with Graham Instrall on percussion.

The concert on Sunday (March 24) starts at 6.30pm. St John’s Church is in St John’s Road, Stansted (CM24 8JP). Tickets cost £12 for adults (concessions £10) and £5 for under-18s, and are available on the door or via the website at www.cantate.co.uk/events.

Cantate, which was founded by Michael Kibblewhite in 1994, promotes musical excellence to students aged 6 to 18 in three choirs.

It is widely recognised as one of the outstanding open-access choirs in the UK and accepts young singers without audition and regardless of experience or ability – less than 10% of them have any formal vocal tuition outside of the choir.

It has won the Sainsbury’s Children’s Choir of the Year title, and in 2014 returned from the World Choir Games in Latvia as double gold medal winners and as the highest-placed European mixed-voice youth choir.

Cantate have performed in all the major London venues and are regularly invited to perform at festivals around the UK. On the continent, the choir has performed to packed churches in Paris, Bordeaux, Venice and Assisi.

As a charity, it relies on subscriptions, sponsorship, grants, donations and a huge team of volunteers to allow as many people as possible to experience the thrill of singing with the choir. A bursary fund ensures the choir’s open-access ethos.

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