In what was their third collaboration, a real musical finesse was achieved when The Royal Marines Association Concert Band were invited to join the Southampton Choral Society in concert for an Opera Meets Broadway Spectacular.
Under the direction of the choir’s conductor, Peter Gambie in the combined items, the band achieved a suitable balance as familiar opera choruses such as March of the Toreadors from Bizet’s Carmen and the Soldiers’ Chorus from Gounod’s Faust were introduced with a true orchestral slickness and resonance.
However, the band aptly contrasted its bold introductions with real sensitivity, enabling the combined choral voices to rightly take prominence and the soloists to break through.
However, the audience still had opportunity to experience the sustained full band sound! Major Tony Smallwood took up the baton in his ownVictory in Europe tribute march followed by the breathtaking Orpheus in the Underworld overture by Offenbach and later currently one of the band’s signature pieces; Music from Bond complete with unmissable solos from within the band.
A new feature of this concert, however and a real tribute to the flexibility of Tony and the band was the contrasting accompaniment by a smaller band ensemble featuring the band’s rhythm section and Tony himself on keyboard. In the choir’s Broadway numbers such as The Best of Duke Ellington and a medley from Les Miserables the singers could not fail to enter into the full “swing” of the music – the influence of the accompaniment playing its part in this!
The choir and band can be heard again in concert together on Saturday 19th December 2015 at Central Hall, Southampton.