:: Menu

:: Home

:: Music

:: Reviews

:: Programme

:: Fellowship Report

:: CD Release

:: Testimonials

:: Events / Organiser

:: Charity

:: MSME Elijah Concert

:: Contact

Reviews and Testimonials

<< PREVIOUS | Reviews p2.

Canterbury FestivalCanterbury Festival Song For Fairbridge
The Crypt, Canterbury Cathedral 17th October 2012

The programme includes The Stanford Songs, Scenes from a Lost Homeland (Schumann) & Classical Jazz :- Moon River, Misty, Unforgettable and more......

Performers:- Angeline Kanagasooriam (soprano), Nicholas Todd (Baritone), Stephen Matthews (Pianist) and Evangeline Kanagasooriam (Harpist)

On a dark, stormy night at Canterbury Cathedral last week, a group of intrepid music lovers and Fairbridge supporters were treated to a performance of pure musicianship and talent, within the ancient Cathedral Crypt. The Very Reverend Sheila Watson, Arch Deacon of Canterbury welcomed us.

The tranquillity of Stanford’s Bible Songs of Peace, Hope, Trust & Wisdom, perfectly rendered by Angeline Kanagasooriam and Nicholas Todd were followed by Schumann’s poignant & picturesque “Scenes from a lost Homeland”. These beautiful pieces were cleverly chosen to reflect some of the feelings of loss, trust and hope that Fairbridge help young people to face.

We were then uplifted when Angeline’s full & joyous voice reached untold heights with an unforgettable performance of “Estrano-Sempre Libera” from Verdi’s Traviata. Superb piano accompaniment by Stephen Matthews throughout was showcased in a brilliant solo of John Ireland’s piece-“April”.

Evangeline Kanagasooriam proceeded to coax melodic sounds out of her Harp the like of which many of us has never experienced. Her charming presentation of “My Favourite Things” had notes soaring to the roof.
Mother and daughter then treated us to their very own Piano, Voice and Harp Classical Jazz selection, with Nicholas Todd serenading from behind those noble pillars, ending with that beautiful old favourite- “Moon River”.
This concert was a unique experience of the highest quality music, perfectly performed.

Fairbridge in Kent, which has now joined forces with The Prince’s Trust is hugely grateful to these top quality, highly respected musicians for so generously giving of their time.

A Song For Fairbridge was a truly memorable concert.

Julia Pender- Hon. President Fairbridge in Kent Committee.
Fairbridge Programme, The Prince’s Trust, Old Lead and Paint Mill, Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent ME4 4SX. T.01634 820890 Echathamcentre@princes-trust.org.uk

canterbury festival canterbury festival


msme concert reviewMSME concert
15th of September 2012

Local Medics & Scientists Prescribe a Dose of Song to Treat Dementia

On Saturday evening last, MSME hit town in a volume of sound. The newly created  MSME (Medics and Scientists Music Ensemble)1 were supporting the charity  Sing For Your Life at St Alpheges' Church, Whitstable.

To a delighted, and rewardingly large  audience, our local medical and scientific finest gathered their  talents together to put on a programme of music in support of a charity which works so hard on behalf of improving the health and well being of Dementia patients &, Parkinson's  sufferers.

msme concertWelcomed by Adrian  Bawtree ( Sing For Your Life's Programme Director)  and ending in a 'post - concert' bonanza of cakes and refreshment provided by a sterling band of Friends of Whitstable and Tankerton Hospital helpers,  the musical soiree was a programme as diverse as Bach to Brubeck, Ravel to Refreshment.

It included instrumental pieces artistically played on the harp (Evangeline Kanagasooriam), and the  flute ( Dr. Jacky Buchanan);  also, clarinet (Sian Rees,)   saxaphone  (Tim Pickering)  and piano (Jake Bhanji). This delightful concert crescendo'd  to its finale with excerpts from Mozart's Coronation Mass sung by the Ensemble choir,  composed of East Kent's finest medical and scientific 'brains ' and conducted by Dr. Angeline Kanagasooriam, who had herself contributed solos (voice and piano) to the preceeding entertainment; proof indeed that whilst talent should be directed, it can also be multi-tasked !  The Concert was put together with just 3 rehearsals!

The SFYL Programme Director persuaded one and all that singing, or perhaps making musical sounds, does indeed contribute to individual and collective well being.  We whooped and we hollered through choruses of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", "Que Serra," and " If You Were The Only Girl"!

msme concertWe expected a real amateur night but it was oh!  so professionally done! 

MSME Concert Chairman, Dr. David Kanagasooriam thanked all for coming to what is hoped will be the first of many such evenings and reflected upon the old, new  & retro approaches to the treatment of Dementia and Parkinson's & the recognized part played by singing & music  in our stressful modern lives.


But there was no stress on this musical night.  If Gareth Malone and the Military Wives can be so hugely influential, can MSME be far behind ?   

1 This MSME group included:- Emma Loder-Symmonds (Mathamatician),  Sian Rees  and Evangeline Kanagasooriam (both Science students), Dr.  Bastiaan Veurgelers (Dementia Specialist) , Professor Alan Colchester (Neurology), Dr. David Kanagasooriam (GP Specialist),  Jake Bhanji  and  Tim Pickering (both Forensic Science students), John Franklin (Pharmaceuticals) ,  Professor Chris Bounds (Physics), Dr. Jacky Buchanan (GP Specialist) & Dr. Angeline Kanagasooriam (Scientist).




advent concert"...our delight and enjoyment of Friday evening's concert in the Crypt. We will long remember the evocative voices transversing from the rear to the front in the Hodie Processional"
".......Angeline's musical dexterity and quality is an extraordinary talent........."
"....Evie (Evangeline) what a wondrous voice and a strong even melodious timbre she possesses. And then to beguile us with the harp and violin was almost too much........
"....Stephen Matthews' playing of  "Automne"........what an ability to vary the power and tone of the piano......"
".........loved Anna and Anita; great voices and great stage presence......."

by DA

".....so very many thanks again for the truely unique and wonderful concert for Fairbridge...........found it beautiful.......highly emotional..."

by Amanda C

".....simply magical concert.......stunning! The voices perfectly complemented each other rising and falling sublimely in that inspired setting. Evangeline's harp playing was so beautiful.......Stephen's Automne linking the carols and lullabies....audience captivated by the performance...felt priviledged to be there. A very very special evening....."


Lady Mayoress' Spring Charity Concert, The Old Synagogue, Canterbury.
April 2011

mayoress concertThis Magical evening was a perfect example of why Canterbury can justifiably claim to be the cultural capital of Kent - first class performances by artists drawn from all walks of the city's life.

The concert was the brainchild of soprano Angeline Kanagasooriam who teaches organic chemistry and law at the University of Kent and is also an accomplished recitalist.

She used her three-octave vocal range to magnificent effect in a well-balanced performance of Schumann's song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben, contrasted in the second half with some operatic favourites from Verdi and Puccini and three brooding cabaret songs by Benjamin Britten. Her lively dramatic skills also shone through in a selection of Jazz songs by George Gershwin.

The other recitalists Evangeline (Evie) a talented harpist who played exquisitely, but with great calmness and Patrick Williams (flute), who by day runs his own production kitchen in the Goods Shed next to Canterbury West station.

They were accompanied by Stephen Matthews - arguably the finest pianist in Canterbury - who moved effortlessly between the changing styles and moods of the flute, harp and voice numbers and who also played four preludes from a work he composed recently. These were exquisite miniatures in a variety of styles: an opportunity not to be missed when they appear on a future concert programme.

With Evie, Patrick Williams performed part of Mozart's popular concerto for flute and harp as well as pieces by Ilbert and Bach. He also presented a selection of French works for flute and piano. Evie a music scholar at the King's School, Canterbury, where Stephen Matthews is head of academic music, shone in Glinka's Variations on a theme of Mozart.

For the finale all four joined together for a vivacious and unusual version of Gershwin's Summertime, sending the audience home on a high note.

by WP, Kentish Gazette Thursday 19th May 2011


reviewOctober 21st 2009 Canterbury Festival concert
Song for Forgotten People
"A Perfect Setting For A Remarkable Voice"

Please click to read review (Adobe PDF)





reviewCanterbury Festival - Song for Ceylon
October 2005
Canterbury Cathedral
"Vocal fireworks ignite an audience"

Some singers think that the aim of singing is to make beautiful sounds. Angeline Kanagasooriam does not fall into this error.

Whilst she does make sounds of extraordinary beauty, her wide range of vocal colours are there to communicate and not merely to be admired.

It takes courage to open a recital with Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim – a display of fireworks more usually let off before the interval, when the voice has warmed up nicely for the vocal gymnastics involved.

The intelligence was seen at once in the middle section, sung gently in warm, dark brown voice in which you felt the cherub's plump, sunburnt flesh, a genuine contrast to the coloratura passages framing it, rather than the neutral free-wheeling so often heard.

After some more fireworks (Mozart's Alleluia) we got down to the meat of the first half: Schumann's strange song cycle Liederkreis.

Here, too, not only was the singing intelligent – the milk chocolate turned to sharp, cold steel when Kanagasooriam sang of moonlight – so, too, were the chatty explanations of the German songs.

Spencer Payne's accompanying was sensitive, with singer and pianist communicating well.

After the interval she was dramatic in three opera arias, disturbing in the four strange haunting Holst songs, accompanied by violin (also intelligently played by John Mann), and soft compelling in the three Christmas lullabies.

Finally, in two Negro spirituals, she accompanied herself on the on the piano. Jazz and popular singers often do this; classical singers almost never. But it produced a unique and powerful effect, voice and instrument being controlled by one mind.

This was not just a recital for a good cause (victims of the Tsunami). It was stylish (how else can you describe a pink sari with matching candles?) all beautfully planned and executed.

Peter Toon


astor week Astor Theatre Week
"Supreme sublime Soprano"

Among those present at the lunchtime recital on Friday there was a general feeling that was planned as an experiment for Astor Theatre Week should become a regular feature.

It was, moreover impossible not to realise that it was the quality of the music presented by Angeline Kanagasooriam and Derek Hyde that has promoted this desire.

Angeline is a soprano of immense power and sensitivity. It is not given to all soloists to establish a rapport with the audience at once but from the very beginning of Schumann's song-cycle Frauenliebe und Leben she secured rapt attention.

Her voice was true across the whole range, as moving in the pianissimo sections as when she filled the hall with full-throated tones.

Her supreme confidence with the music she was singing enabled her to explore the depths of this moving story of a woman's love in an interpretation that did full justice to Schumann's music and to Chamisso's poetry.

The role of the accompanist cannot be over-rated and on this occasion Derek Hyde displayed perfect sympathy with the soloist and gave ample evidence of his recent success as accompanist at Trinity College. Following the theme of the song-cycle he contributed himself two pieces by women composers, Clara Schumann's Andaniecom Sentimento and Dora Bright's Liebeslied.

Angeline concluded the programme with two groups of spirituals in the first of which she accompanied herself on the piano. Here again the musicianly qualities revealed in the Schumann were unfolded.

If lunchtime music is to become part of the musical scene in Deal I could not imagine a more auspicious first occasion.

Sion G.W.


World Vision - Fund Raising for Ethiopia
17th May 2008

What a treat at the supper on May 17th at Petham Village Hall in aid of Lideta, a poverty-stricken area of Ethiopia, to have such good music!

Angeline Kanagasooriam, glowing in her sari, gave us a range of songs, mostly spirituals and folksongs which conferred a distinctive air upon the occasion. We were fortunate to hear a recital by her.

She is an assured musician, covering the loss of an accompanist by accompanying herself. Her manner is relaxed and wining and she offers helpful introductions to some of her numbers, though a microphone would have made sure that her quiet speaking voice came across more audibly. Angeline's singing voice is warm, full, and expressive. Finely judged dynamics conveyed a wide range of light and shade to an appreciative audience.

Trevor Conway


fairtrade reviewFairtrade Celebrations
6th March 2006
Canterbury Cathedral

At the launch of this year's Fairtrade Fortnight celebrations, more than 1,000 people from many denominations squeezed into Canterbury Cathedral for an evening of African music, drumming and dance on Saturday. At the heart of the celebration was a performance of the Congolese Mass – the Messa Luba – by the Madridi singers and drummers, local churches & school children and, Angeline Kanagasooriam, the talented and silver voiced soloist, who sang this challenging and beautiful African mass. The festive spirit of African music filled the ancient Cathedral, as singers and dancers from 'Music for Change' engaged the audience in African rhythm and song. Speaking on behalf of Christian Aid, Holly Ellson said: “Every time you choose to buy Fairtrade, you may be adding a slight cost to your shopping basket. But because of you decision, somebody on the other side of the world has just received a fair wage for their hard work. Your purchase speaks of your refusal to exploit the poor.” She continued “The Bishop may lead us and encourage us, but he can't do our shopping for us! We all need to respond individually and, as part of this movement for justice, change the world in our own shopping baskets.”

Canterbury's Anglican Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly last May to support the campaign for Canterbury to become a fairtrade Diocese. Over 50 parishes have already pledged to use excusively Fairtrade tea and coffee. Only 35 more parishes are required to achieve Fairtrade status. “Put your faith in Fairtrade” is the key message of the campaign.

Canterbury has excellent reasons to celebrate Fairtrade fortnight. Canterbury district has just been declared as the 150th Fairtrade Town in the country and the first Fairtrade District in Kent. The University of Kent has recently attained Fairtrade University Status and Canterbury Cathedral has also been recognised as a Fairtrade Church.

Elizabeth Appleyard and Catholic Herald



Local Paper Whistable"Marvellous Angeline"
12th November 2005
Angeline Kanagasooriam

I have heard Angeline several times either as a member of the audience or as her accompanist. She has a marvellous voice, intonation and diction.

This concert revealed more of her talents – those of a pianist and accompanist. There are not many people who can accompany themselves but Angeline is one of them.

The concert was informal and the programme started with three arias from Handle's Oratorio Messiah. These were sung with intense clarity and feeling.

This was followed by three folk songs from Britten. The chord sequences in Benjamin Britten's arrangement of O Waly. Waly are not altogether straightforward but Angeline played them beautifully.

She completely changed her style in the next sequence, Lazy Days and Nights, leaving one's imagination conjuring up images of South Sea Islands.

I have not heard how Lovely are the Dwellings or The Holy City for many years. It made a difference to sit back and listen to them sung with such clarity.

Michael Cooke


Canterbury Festival - Song for Emmaus
kentish gazette review October 2004

The Canterbury Festival was well served in a recital by Angeline Kanagasooriam (soprano), Jonathan Duke (piano) and Grenville Hancox (clarinet) held in the Cathedral Crypt on Saturday 9th October 2004 in aid of the Dover branch of Emmaus, the charity for the homeless.

(Angeline) Kanagasooriam has a powerful range of lyrical and dramatic character, expressed most effectively in four Spanish Tonadillas by Enrique Granados and the Letter Scene from Tschaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The influence of the eminent Glynebourne coach Jonathan Hinden, who once unforgettably coached me briefly, was clear.

Hancox was at his best in Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano by the undeservedly rarely heard composer Richard Walthew. The virtuoso partnership (“accompanist” would underestimate his contribution) by Duke was at its most delicate and passionate in the aria Casta Diva from Bellini's Norma.

(Angeline) Kanagasooriam accompanied herself skillfully on the piano in a delightful Summertime Medley of old favourites that she herself arranged and the closing rendering of A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square convinced me that this delightful bird had also visited Canterbury. Fortunately, she can be heard again on her CD 'Peace in Our Time'.

Robert Le Fever


Canterbury Festival - Song for India
kentish gazette review 2003Kentish Gazette

October 2003
The Synagogue

"Evening of Song was One to Treasure"

One of Canterbury's hidden treasures is the Old Synagogue, secreted among the surrounding buildings in King Street. It was the venue for a performance by one of Canterbury's other treasures, Angeline Kanagasooriam.

The Old Synagogue was full to support this fund-raising event for the local charity Health for All.

Angeline was joined by her friends, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Appleyard and pianist Robert Scott and Peter Cox.

After Angeline and Elizabeth opened with Mozart's Domine Deus, Angeline gave a wonderful performance of Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben, sung in the original German.

Peter Cox ran across from the Shirley Hall and, having gathered his breath, joined the stage for Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.

The second half included performances by Bellini and Verdi and then Mozart's The Magic Flute, including the wonderfully sung performance of Pa-pa-pa-pa.

Angeline showed her wide range of talents by following with a couple of Britten cabaret songs and ended with four spirituals. For the latter she accompanied herself on the piano. It was a wonderful and intimate concert, enjoyed by everybody who packed into the Old Synagogue. Angeline's joy and enthusiasm was contagious and much appreciated.

Mark Jones


singer talent reviewDeal Festival - Astor Theatre
"Singers Talent"

Although it is sometimes suggested that singers are less popular than instrumentalists, there was no evidence that this was true at the last of the Astor Theatre's Autumn Concerts. Both the size of the audience and the manifest pleasure with which Angeline Kanagasooriam's recital was received made this evening a felicitous conclusion to a successful series.

This was not the first time that she has sung in this theatre, but since then the range of her program has expanded considerably and she now displays a rich talent capable of a first-class interpretation of songs of every genre.

After a relaxed rendering of a set of songs by Granados in which she captured the enchanting Latin rhythms, Angeline came to to the principle work in her recital Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben.

This celebrated cycle of eight songs depicts the stages in a woman's love life and makes huge demands not only on the technical ability of the singer but also upon the emotional involvement of the singer and throughout her rendering the soloist was able to communicate the inspiration of Schumann's composition.

The second half of the programme was a happy blend of the familiar – operatic arias by Mozart, Puccini and Verdi – and the less well-known in the form of songs by Holst and Bliss.

English songs are often a neglected genre in the repertoire and Bliss's five songs from seven American poems were a welcome inclusion in this programme.

The Holst songs were written for voice and violin and Ben Hancox displayed a precocious talent as he tackled a most demanding accompaniment.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the accompanist in any song recital, and this one, with its vast range of styles and moods, imposed particular demands.

Derek Hyde offered a masterly exposition of the art of accompanied, attentive always to the pacing of the sings and adding intensity to the voice. No less appreciated was his scholarly and helpful introduction to the Schumann work.

A third series of concerts is already planned for the next spring and details will be published in the near future.



Testimonials Page Click for More >>