Review: CUPO – Broadway at Trinity – 8th November

Callie Vandewiele 15 November 2013

By the time I walked into Trinity Chapel two minutes before An Evening On Broadway by the Cambridge Pops Orchestra began, I was shivering and starving. I was prepared to be disappointed. And then, barely two minutes in, an energetic, engaged, tap-dancing Henry Jenkinson sang the words: “Outside it’s winter… but in here? Here it’s beautiful… even the orchestra is beautiful”. And damn it, he was right.

From the first burst of the organ, to the colourful witch hats, to a bright orange boa, to the violins, violas and trumpets, it was beautiful. And that was before they’d even really got the evening going.

Ranging across decades and styles, the compositions chosen were a showcase of Broadway’s best, even if they were not all the ‘classics’ we are so used to hearing. The arrangement drew the audience in; it was both smart and fun. Bright and vivacious conductor Simon Nathan wasted no time in getting started. It was clear from the moment he walked into the room that he could have a career in music if he wanted one. His personality shone through his selections and the verve with which he handled his
orchestra and choir demonstrated his skill and confidence.

Eight soloists soared (with the help of a microphone) over the orchestra and choir. Sam Oladeinde, Bethany Partridge and Hetty Gullifer – three contrasting voices – were showstoppers, each in their own way.

The worst thing about this performance? They only did it once! Cambridge? Send them on tour. They deserve a larger audience and a bigger space with better acoustics. And Mr. Nathan? You can bet your bottom dollar I’m buying tickets ahead of time to
anything you conduct. Your orchestra truly is beautiful.