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Sunday, 20 March 2016


SHORT REVIEW ( A larger review will be published in London Live Review April Edition out on Friday)

Saturday 19 March : St Michael and All Angels Church Mill Hill NW7

HANDEL The Ways of Zion do Mourn

HANDEL Dead March from Saul


NINA VINTHER Mezzo Soprano

ORCHESTRA NOVA leader John Mills

The PRO ARTE CHOIR followed up their sell out Mozart Requiem in November with another sell out success at St Michael's on Flower Lane last night.

The Concert was the debut of New Musical Director Tom Winpenny - the World famous Organist and the Assistant Organist and Choir Director of St Albans Abbey Girls Choir.  Click on the labels at the bottom for more.

Even before 7p.m there were regular arrivals at the Church from concert goers keen to get the best seats and by 7.20p.m the Church was full.

The choir - and Orchestra Nova - took to the stage followed by Tom Winpenny for the first part of the concert. Photographers took photographs and it was quite clear from the first bars of the evening that a the popular  Pro Arte Choir concerts were moving to a whole new level.

The first act comprised of some of HANDEL's Queen Caroline funeral anthems.  The items contained very difficult and complex group singing and changes of pace. Yet under Tom Winpenny's direction both the Orchestra and Choir showed exceptional concentration to detail and tone.

After a very long interval which saw the large audience have refreshments and socialise (certainly the place to be for anyone who is anyone in Mill Hill !) the choir returned and the two young soloists with Tom Winpenny for the main part of the evening - the wonderful VIVALDI - GLORIA.

The Orchestra Nova showed great attack and fluency with this piece - obviously enjoying it greatly.  The choir rose to the occasion and created a wonderful full sound.  However, the real stars of the evening were the two young soloists who came with glowing CVs and still in their late teens brought a freshness to the piece which is probably as authentic as it gets - because Vivaldi was writing for a Girls School in Venice !  In Laudamus Te, their voices soared and echoed around St Michael's in a way that I have never heard before and Emma and Nina also excelled in their solo arias.  The audience erupted at the end of the piece forcing three curtain calls and cheering all involved and particularly the soloists to the rafters. A wonderful and beautiful performance.

Tom Winpenny has only been in charge for a few months and so based on this performance it is clear that  the choir will be really special under his direction. His choice of solo singers was inspired and I do hope that this continues in the future for these concerts because seeing new young singers with exceptional talent is very exciting for the audience.

The next concert is on JUNE 18th.  Tickets will go on sale soon..  It will be THE social event of the Summer in the area and we urge everyone to get an advance ticket as soon as they go on sale.  We will publish details here with links as soon as that happens.


 I believe that the Pro Arte Choir are looking to gain some more MALE voices in their TENOR and BASS sections.  So if you know anyone who is trying to pursue a professional singing career or is trained then please let them know they should  join Pro Arte where the infrastructure and chance of working with a team of top professionals would certainly be attractive and enjoyable - as well as performing to sell out audiences and European Tours. Spread the word - I am sure there are many in the area who are not aware of this Choir and the opportunities that it affords to a young singer's CV.   The WEBSITE CONTACT DETAILS are  HERE

TOM WINPENNY on BBC 1 Next Sunday - Easter Day

You can hear Tom Winpenny play the Organ for the EASTER DAY Service on BBC 1 next Sunday morning from St Alban's Cathedral - or on i PLAYER.

St Michael's and Hartley Hall Flower Lane off Broadway


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