The Cambridge University Pops Orchestra never fails to deliver, and 'An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics' was charming, delightful and well executed.
New conductor, Ben Glassberg, could not have asked for a better debut. Filling some admittedly big shoes left by CUPO's previous conductor, Simon Nathan, Glassberg seems well cut out for the job – if a little chattier than Nathan.
A few sound glitches aside, it was clear that CUPO's performance was incredibly well rehearsed, with soloists who earned their applause with well executed performances. Each group of instrumentalists came dressed in themed costumes relating to selections being played, ranging from "Whiskers on kittens" and "Brown paper packages wrapped up with string" from the song "My Favorite Thing". Costumes also included the von Trapp family complete with pyjamas, and cowboys who must have been from the state of Oklahoma.
West Road Concert Hall provided plenty of seating and although the concert lacked the mind blowing arrangements that CUPO orchestrated for each of their concerts last year, the level of musicianship remained impeccable. The Sound of Music was featured heavily, as was the musical Oklahoma.
As has been habit for CUPO concerts over the last few terms, the best was saved for last. The orchestra shone through the masterpiece, "The Carousel Waltz" whilst the choir almost burst from the stage during "Do Re Mi" – the encore piece. With two more concerts (Lent & Easter) to look forward to, it might be wise to purchase tickets ahead of time. You know it will be a good show, and if CUPO keeps this up, they deserve to play to a sold-out house each and every time they bring us something so delightful and new.
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