AN attentive and appreciative audience at the Troon Chorus’ Winter concert at Portland Church were treated to some exciting classical favourites.

The main feature of their programme was French composer, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, a piece that airs regularly on Classic FM. The requiem was composed in 1885 shortly after the composer’s father died and was thought to be an In Memorium for his loss.

Fauré received training in piano, composition, and classical languages. Weekly choir singing was part of the curriculum for all students. His teacher in advanced piano was Camille Saint-Saëns, who encouraged him to compose. Fauré won a distinguished prize at the age of 19 for his composition of the Cantique de Jean Racine, his first significant choral piece which the choir opened the evening with.

The first half was given over entirely to Fauré as it also featured their accompanist Andrew Thom playing the hauntingly beautiful Pavane on organ, this was then followed by the requiem featuring soprano soloist, Sally Carr, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and baritone Jonathan Kennedy, a former graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Their talent and musicianship added a richness and lustre to the performance.

In the second half, Miss Carr delighted her audience with a gorgeous rendition of a piece called ‘The Tree of Many Names’ from the song cycle ‘Minterne’ by the English modern composer Jonathan Dove. Andrew Thom’s sympathetic piano accompaniment was performed with great feeling and articulacy. Baritone Jonathan Kennedy with his deep rich voice sang a powerful rendition of ‘Whither Must I Wander’, a song from Robert Louis Stevenson’s song cycle ‘Songs of Travel. Derrick Morgan, the chorus’ talented young conductor, now enjoying his fourth season with the choir directed the ensemble with confidence and brio.