Review: Voxcetera

Voxcetera St Peter-in-Chains Church, Crouch End British Choral Music in Crouch End


St Peter-in-Chains Church, Crouch End

British Choral Music in Crouch End

The curiously named St Peter-in-Chains is one of Crouch End’s less well known churches, nestling off a main road and at the top of a very steep hill. As the scene of Voxcetera’s delightful concert it staked its claim to have one of the best acoustics of any north London building.

The sixteen voices that make up Voxcetera have only been together since autumn 2009 but their programme, delivered to an appreciative audience of 300 souls on a wintry Tuesday evening, showed a maturity and enthusiasm that must demand more outings in the new year.

The evening divided into two sections: more and less well know classical pieces and then a whistle-stop tour round the folk music of the UK.

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Zadok the Priest, I Was Glad, The Hallelujah Chorus and others filled the vault of this lovely building. Tallis’s O Nata Lux was two short minutes of absolute beauty with its whispered, delicate passages that left the audience breathless.

There was excellent accompaniment on a simple upright piano and occasional organ from Magnus Gilljam. But the relationship between the choir and conductor Jane Hopkins was astonishing. Sixteen pairs of eyes only occasionally glanced at their music, reserving their intense concentration for her ambulatory direction.

It was great to see so many young people in the church, no doubt attracted by the �5 ticket price. Unlike some of their big brothers in the world of North London Choirs, Voxcetera are able to travel light, with a stripped down single sheet A4 programme, and keep prices low. Long may it continue and continue to generate new audiences.

Personally I’m not really keen on what is called “folk music” unless it has been dredged out of Rambling Syd Rumpo’s gander bag. But, like the rest of the audience, I was entranced by Voxcetera’s ability to engage with the audience as they delivered so many standards.

The entire, but rather short, evening, put a spring in my step and made me scuttle off home to dust off my Woggler’s Moulie!

More about Voxcetera and their future concerts at