St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester

THERE can be few better ways of acknowledging the coming celebratory season than listening to beautiful music composed by Bach and performed by Dorchester Choral Society and the Corelli Baroque Orchestra.

From the lively beginning played by the brass section to the unusual pitch of the rare oboe d’amore, the orchestra gave a performance to remember as welcome guests from Cheltenham and beyond who brought Bach’s genius to splendid life in the appropriate setting of the town church.

Under the expert guidance of conductor Colin Howard, the singing group brought dedication to this challenging work sung entirely in German, helped in every way by the four professional soloists who gave the Oratorio the joy and emotion of Christmas to the near capacity audience.

The soloists, soprano Amy Carson, alto Andrew Stewart, tenor Ruairi Bowen and bass Edmund Saddington enriched the evening and gave a certain encouragement to the audience when they were invited to sing some of the choruses.

As the choral society continues to grow in expertise and confidence, their programme for 2020 is bound to be well supported, starting with a concert featuring Dvorak’s Stabat Mater on March 21st at the same church venue.

And for those who would love to join in the singing, there is an opportunity to do so in May when choruses from Handel and William Walton will be performed by anyone who goes along for the day, definitely an opportunity not to be missed.