“Truly inspirational” and “wonderful” playing at the Sunshine Coast Symphony Orchestra’s concert on the 24th of March at Caloundra Uniting Church – the themed programme of carefully chosen items to appeal to the children as well as the adults to the “full to capacity” audience.

Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns started the afternoon’s concert with superb playing by the Pianists – Gaye Harlow and Neil Booth, exquisite performances by Clarinettist Jenni Maggs and Flautist Phillipa Wilson, majestic bass playing by Joe Gehrke, a dynamic presentation from Xylophonist Mikaela Swan, an outstanding interpretation of the Swan by Justine Lutkin and wonderful playing from the string section of the orchestra most expertly and skilfully lead by Anna Moores.

Much thought had been introduced into this interpretation of Camille’s compositional musical gem including puppets, a slide show and poems by Ogden Nash confidently and excellently narrated by George Cuffe. The whole performance held the audience – children and adults alike – spellbound with its magical ambience.

To conclude the first part of the programme a quintet of Janet Rowley (flute) Emma Secomb (oboe) Bob Badger (clarinet) Wendy Selby (Horn) and Narelle Williams (Bassoon) performed with panache, brilliance and much enjoyment to both the punters and players alike the Teddy Bears Picnic arranged by John Bratton.

After the interval a Medley of songs from “Frozen” was beautifully and magnificently sung by the orchestra’s guest soloist Kate Monroe. Kate interpreted the music with confidence, poise and brilliance. The full symphonic orchestra accompanied her with magnificent first-class playing, the whole presentation an enchanted, captivating journey.

Concluding the afternoon’s concert was the Star Wars suite by the infamous John Williams. The composition was in five contrasting movements all showing off the particular sections of the orchestra. The players had worked very hard in the aim for excellence and it certainly paid off. The brass section were spectacular in their brilliance, the woodwind played with a captivating yet thrilling elegance, the percussion were dynamically flamboyant and the strings played with flair and amazing virtuosity.

In concluding I would firstly like to thank the M.C. for the afternoon, the eloquent Phillipa Wilson, all the players for their stupendous performances – not to mention the fantastic costumes sported for Frozen and Star Wars – the committee for their support and inspirational ideas, the front of house for their commitment on the day, the lower string section for their adept and precise organisational bumping in skills and lastly I thank all those players and audience members who stayed behind so that the church could be “left” as we had found it.

Thank you everyone for a stunning and magnificent first concert of 2018.

Adrian King