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Student concert report (2nd April 2011)

(April 17, 2011)
student concert April 2011. 


April 2nd 2011 saw our brave students once again taking to the stage to treat us to an evening of music on saxophones, flutes, Clarinets and indeed even on piano.

Although several students were unable to participate in the concert due to being unavailable, we still had 16 performers and for many it was their first time in front of an audience.

After a brief introduction, our first victim....(ahem, student!) Steve Smith treated us to 'Moon river' on tenor saxophone with piano accompaniment. This well loved piece set us off nicely to the programme that followed;

Rebecca Soames (aged 8) performed 'Medieval march' (with cd accompaniment) and 'Funeral march' (this piece was recently played in her grade 1 exam with good results).

Emma Soames (not a student of mine, but a sibling of Rebecca) has only recently taken up the piano, but treated us to confident renditions of 'Kumbyah' 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Old Macdonald'. A lovely beaming smile had some of the adult performers wishing they could somehow absorb some of her confidence and relaxed performance style.

Pete Newbold (alto saxophone) performed the delicious 'Summertime' (Gershwin) and his pleasing soft saxophone tone with getle additions of lip bends had us all chilling big style. Pete has also been experimenting with improvisation and it was a real treat to hear the improvised solo section. Pete's second piece was 'Stranger on the shore' (Acker Bilk, traditionally a clarinet piece) with myself on piano.

Kyle Chapman (Clarinet) played Paul Harris's 'The spy that went out in the cold' with myself accompanying on piano. He had recently played this as part of his grade 3 exam and his proud Mum and Dad watched his first concert performance. A lovely rich tone despite nerves enriched our evening.

John Wilcock (Flute) took to the stage for his premier performance. He performed 'Andante alla siciliana' (Mercadente) which was a favourite from a past grade 3 exam in which John received a distinction. John also chose to perform 'Johns new flute'; the piece I had written inspired by his new flute upgrade! He played the piece very well indeed (myself accompanying both pieces) and I was touched at his wish to perform it.

John Rushton (Tenor saxophone) was next up and a lovely ballad 'Dear heart' was prepared and performed. The tenor saxophone is capable of an almost cello like quality, and with the pleasing acoustic it made for a good performance.

Margaret Oswald (Alto saxophone) gave her new saxophone its first concert outing by playing 'Come dance with me' (P.Wedgwood) a clever piece which starts almost medieval in style (akin to Greensleeves!) then unexpectedly launches into an allegro Boogie Woogie section' which raised a few smiles! She returned later to play 'In a sentimental mood' (Ellington) with piano accompaniment.

Maddi Smith (Clarinet) aged 7 performed a confident rendition of 'Lullaby on Broadway' (myself accompanying on piano), and also 'Kangaroo tale' a short composition she had written as part of her monthly targets. I explained the 'story' but really the music told it in its entirity as she captured the fun, panic, and eventual happy outcome of the tale.

Phil Redfern (Alto saxophone) was another 'first timer' and although nerves were jangling a little, he still gave us a good first performance of 'I've never been in love before' (Loesser, arr Harris, myself on piano) and 'The Guvnor' (James Rae) a funky piece well suited to the saxophones stereotypical image!

The interval then commenced with drinks and cakes (big thanks go to Denise Newbold for providing yummy cake, Ann Bedford for help preparing , and my daughter Lauren and friend Jess for selling tickets and serving refreshments, and Sadie for being expert page turner!).

Naomi Bedford (Clarinet) eased us nicely into the second half with 'Fuerza Tranquilla' (one of my compositions meaning 'quiet strength') and then 'Honkytonk-arama!' another of my pieces but this particular one was inspired by Naomi's sparkling personality and outlook. Both pieces were well performed with feeling and sensitivity to the moods required.

Anthony Mason (Alto saxophone) had decided to play the Star wars theme (J.Williams) to backing track, and also 'The grey cat' another great piece which requires the player to execute lip bends to achieve a cat-like 'meoiw' (apologies if that's incorrectly spelled, I must admit the word's never yet come up in a concert report to date!). Everyone was highly impressed at the effectiveness and no doubt all scuttled off home to try lip bends (much to the delight of any neighbours!).

Kimberley Mason (Clarinet) bought us two contrasting pieces; 'Study in D' from the current grade 5 syllabus, very much minor and stacatto, follwed by 'The impossible dream' (from 'The Quest'). The Clarinet's chameleon qualities and liquid like tone was able to carry the moods effectively.

Sandra Rushton (Alto saxophone) then treated us to 'Dreams of you' (Dave McGarry, accompanied by myself on piano) a stunning gently lilting jazz ballad requiring soft tone but control too. Graded around grade 7+ Sandra easily made the piece sing and with such an ease she made it sound effortless. 'Fly me to the moon' (with CD backing) brought us back to earth (or should that be moon?) with a smile and again an enjoyable performance.

Lucy Sanderson (Flute) Another 'first timer' and with family watching on, performed 'Memory' (Lloyd Webber) and 'Reverie' (Debussy). Fellow students watched in admiration at Lucy's beautiful tone. I was also really pleased because Lucy had risen to the challenge to prepare the Reverie in time and it was so nicely done I know that the audience really appreciated it.

Steve Smith (tenor saxophone) brought our concert to an end with 'Those were the days' which was confidently performed with vitality and great execution.

I played one item to close; 'Saxophun' (Rudy Weidoft) on saxophone which (like Anthonys 'Grey cat') required lip bends in order to create the 'laugh' effect. The audience seemed to enjoy the shamelessly silly nature of the piece and after photographs (kindly taken by Paul Tombs of we were able to head home content in the fact that another concert had gone well and all had indeed survived!. Profit from ticket sales is to be donated to WWF (World wildlife federation).

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