Five star review for Whitburn

Friday 23 August 2019

Whitburn Band’s performance at the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival has attracted a five-star review in one of Scotland’s major newspapers.

The band were joined by the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCOS), string group Quatuor Mona and tenor singer Gwilym Bowen to perform Sir James MacMillan’s stunning All the Hills and Vales Along.

Under the baton of Christopher Bell, the concert was held at the iconic Greyfriars Kirk in front of a sold out audience with the composer also in attendance.

And the performance earned a five-star rating from Susan Nickalls, who was reviewing for The Scotsman newspaper.

She wrote: "Not only a showcase for international talent, the festival is a reminder of the vast amount of home-grown talent on our door-step and this year's focus across the range of James MacMillan's superlative output for large forces has yielded exceptional treasure."

BBC Scotland’s Arts Correspondent Pauline McLean, who was also at the concert, took to Twitter to say: "Extraordinary concert. So glad to have been there!"

All the Hills and Vales Along is MacMillan’s poignant oratorio based on poems by Charles Hamilton Sorley, who was killed at the Battle of Loos in the First World War in 1915.

The event was a celebration of MacMillan's music, as NYCOS also performed The Culham Motets.

Whitburn has now performed at the Edinburgh International Festival for two consecutive years, having played with Lau in 2018.

You can read The Scotsman's review here -


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