It was a very warm day – it was the Council Elections – the Orchestra had never performed in this beautiful setting, nevertheless – the orchestra performed brilliantly – “St Mark’s” welcomed us with “opened arms” – the air con’ was on and vigorously wafted across the stage – the Council elections were not problematic – it was a “full house” and everyone had abundant praise for the orchestral players at the conclusion of the proceedings!!!
The programme began with the celebrated – Thieving Magpie Overture by Rossini, this was played with an excited, yet precise and controlled style by the enthusiastic members of the orchestra.
The poignant Adagio in G minor for strings and organ by Albinoni and Vivaldi’s vivacious Double Oboe Concerto in D minor followed.
Alex Pattri (newly appointed leader) played the obligato violin solo for the Adagio with excellent clarity, beauty of sound and musicianship.
Vis-à-vis the Vivaldi – this latter piece featured Elizabeth Dawson & Sue Hunkin in a beautiful precise rendition of the Baroque style, both pieces were superbly and sympathetically accompanied by the string section of the orchestra.
The Bernstein – An American in Paris Suite – in which the Brass section of the orchestra contributed with flamboyance and brilliance – concluded the first half of the concert.
Afternoon Tea was a veritable feast and when all had finished, it was the drawing of the raffle by the indomitable President Warren Blee.
Bernstein again opened the second half of the afternoon’s entertainment with his Westside Story Suite, the orchestra shone in this interpretation, giving the music life, vitality and virtuosity.
The audience participated with panache in Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours. Berlin’s medley of toe tapping tunes was very much appreciated by the punters and orchestra alike and the interplay between Ian, (clarinet) Tess, (trumpet) Gordon (trombone) and John (tuba) in Alexanders Ragtime Band was superb.
Sibelius and his popular Alla Marcia from the Karelia Suite suitably finished off the programme with outstanding playing from the tutti orchestra. The piece was a fitting finale to what was a brilliantly executed programme of afternoon’s entertainment of popular classical music.
I do thank most sincerely all the players for their time and talent, the front of house staff, the stage crew, the committee for their support and hard work in organising this first concert of the season and lastly The Venerable Jeremy Greaves, Annie Mears and the churchwardens of St Mark’s for the loan of the beautiful church and grounds.
It was a brilliant concert and very rewarding in which to conduct and participate.
Thank you one and all!