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His dark materials

a review by Julia Meredith When Tom Hicks conceived of putting together a programme of Nocturnes, it was during the sombre days of the Covid lockdown… particularly anxious times for a performer. In this very special concert, Tom seems to have taken the confinement and introspection of that grim period, to transform his seclusion into something extraordinarily…

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Possessed by the music

a review by Julia Meredith When I picked up Trio Gaspard’s flier a couple of weeks ago, I felt baffled. Why would performers who are so acclaimed wherever they appear, from Wigmore Hall to a host of prestigious European venues, choose to cover their faces… effectively to make themselves anonymous? After their recent concert at St James,…

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Gael force

A review by Julia Meredith The Maxwell Quartet deserves its Celt following Other than their suits (not black, though!) the four musicians of the Maxwell could have sidelined as extras on Braveheart. A certain loose-limbed swing as they walked onstage and sat down suggested that kilts would not have been unfamiliar to them. Spontaneity had been on the…

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SOUND at St James update

As we approach Sound Guernsey’s 10th Anniversary and St James 40th, we are very happy to complete the first stage of Sounds expansion since finding its full time home at St James. With help from John Ramplin Charitable Trust, Guernsey Building Supplies, Bright Electrical and Paul Le Lacheur, the Sound Community Studio is finished and…

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A cracker of a performance

a review by Julia Meredith Alexandra Dariescu is a woman on a mission. Whatever she embraces – gender equality in her programming, showcasing lesser-known works, enthusing an audience on a chilly March evening – she does with 100% enthusiasm, which is utterly infectious. She has earned the right to be excited. Her remarkable talent as a…

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Bringing joy into January

Baroque masterpieces from the Bach Choir - a review by Julia Meredith As Storm Isha was gathering force in the wings, inside St James all was warmth, light and anticipation.  The Bach Choir, conducted by Alan Gough, had moved their usual pre-Christmas concert into January; and in the bleakest month of the year, nothing could have…

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GCOS Christmas Concerts Review

a review by Caroline Barker Over the years the character of GCOS Christmas celebrations at St James has changed, as its musical directors have come and gone. Uniquely, however, and very specially, the spirit has remained and still remains true and generous to performers and audience alike. Just as pantomime dames break fourth walls in the…

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Enthralled with the Marmen

Bear with me for an apparent diversion. During interval, after listening to a sublime Mozart, and the boldly contrasting Takemitsu, my son made an intriguing observation. The four musicians of the Marmen Quartet, he said, made him think of a fungus he’d read about, which is irresistible to ants – but once eaten, takes over…

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Precision and Pizzazz!

Voces8 take choral singing stratospheric a review by Julia Meredith Before this evening, I had only ever listened to Voces 8; even their album covers are tasteful designs drawn from Nature. And judging by their perfectionism, the result of phenomenal musical talents allied to relentless practice, I must admit to expecting a company of rarified academic musicians,…

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St James Newsletter – September 2023

Our New Diary Welcome to our Autumn St James Newsletter that supplements the Fourth Quarter 2023 Diary, which will be delivered to every household in the week commencing 11th September.  If you did not receive your diary or would like another one, further copies are available from St James and at many locations around the island.…

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