REVIEW: Kidenza concert gets Christmas off to a cracking start

Tom Stanford-Wheatley
Tom Stanford-Wheatley

The Frozen Nutcracker by Kidenza, Christ’s Hospital Theatre, Horsham

The wonderful Kidenza orchestra returned to spread festive cheer at Christ’s Hospital Theatre on Saturday, December 16.

With a beautifully selected programme, this time the musicians were accompanied by ballet dancers and singers.

These concerts are specially designed to appeal to the youngest members of the audience, to introduce children to classical music in a way that makes it fun and accessible.

But it was clear from the audience of parents and grandparents that it went down very well with all ages.

The music certainly did its job on the tiny tots, with children unable to resist the urge to wriggle free and dance in the aisles and along the front of the stage.

It was a lovely sight when conductor Steve Dummer waved the enchanted mass up onto the stage and handed the baton to a girl who eagerly took over for the duration of the song.

Pieces chosen included ‘Winter’ from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; ‘La Glace’ by Glazunov and ‘Sleigh Ride’ by Delius, setting a chilly tone.

Narrator Claire Lambert told the tale of the Nutcracker Suite, setting the scene for the orchestra to take over with Tchaicovsky’s famous pieces.

The children simply loved the beautiful ballet dancing by Jasmin Colangelo and Tom Stanford-Wheatley, especially when the pair left the stage and danced around the theatre.

And they returned for the second part of the programme, this time recast as Elsa and Hans and joined by Izzy Lambert as Ana.

The popularity of the Disney smash-hit Frozen can’t be denied, and it wasn’t just the younger audience members who joined in with movie songs ‘Do You Want to Build A Snowman?’ and ‘Let It Go’.

The orchestra finished with Leroy Anderson’s familiar tune ‘Sleigh Ride’, leaving everyone with a warm fuzzy festive feeling.

Kidenza is a non-profit-making organisation, working to enrich children’s lives with concerts throughout the year at schools and other venues.

It was great to see so many people supporting the concert at Christ’s Hospital, and I know my family will be very pleased to see them return again in future.

Visit www.kidenza.co.uk.

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