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Whitburn given five-star review at the Edinburgh International Festival

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

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

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

The concert, conducted by Christopher Bell, was held at the iconic Greyfriars Kirk in front of a sold out audience with the composer (pictured) also in attendance.

As well as All the Hills, NYCOS performed Macmillan’s The Culham Motets.

Susan Nickalls, reviewing for The Scotsman newspaper, was thrilled by the event.

In her five-star review, 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.

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

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