Monday, 25 May 2015

Ripon Cathedral Ten Pieces Concerts

Last Saturday, Ripon Cathedral welcomed hundreds of performers and audience members to two BBC Ten Pieces concerts, for which our very own Chairman, Paul Dutton acted as the host, giving a bravura performance, introducing the pieces and their performers. At one stage and despite our natural Yorkshire reticence he actually got the audience briefly singing a short, football club based riff!

The St Cecilia Orchestra and the two adult choirs (Vocalis and The St Paulinus Singers) were wonderful and filled the cathedral with sound, but the real stars of the show were the dozens of children making up the Children's' Choir and the four Children's Orchestras representing the Thirsk, Boroughbridge, Ripon and Easingwold areas. They sang and played with absolute determination and would have made their conductor, Jess Hayne, proud. The performance of the rousing final piece, the Finale of Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, saw the unusual sight of two conductors, Jess Hayne pointing down the cathedral nave conducting the children and the other, Xenophon Kelsey MBE, pointing up the nave conducting the adult players. Perfect coordination was achieved.

Towards the middle of the programme French Hornist Ian Wildsmith gave an excellent rendition of Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 4, showing the children what they might wish to aim for in the future. Hopefully many of them will choose to perform at HCFMSD in years to come.

There was a large and appreciative family audience with lots of young children. For the most part they appeared to enjoy the excellent music. An abiding memory was the performance of the first piece in the programme, Handel's Zadok The Priest in the afternoon concert. As this rousing choral work commenced, a little girl solemnly walked all on her own right down to the front of the audience where she stopped to observe the orchestras and choirs for a couple of minutes, before walking all the way back to her family. She is probably even now deciding whether to be a conductor or a chorister or a violinist when she grows up. It was that inspiring sort of concert!


PS: Don't forget the HCFMSD 2015 Annual General Meeting to be held at 10:30am on Saturday 13th June, at the Friends' Meeting House, 12A Queen Parade, Harrogate

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

BBC 10 Pieces Concert

Ripon Cathedral will be the place to be on 23rd May when it hosts the BBC 10 Pieces Concert. This will feature the St Cecilia Orchestra and choir as well as several other choirs and hundreds of children. The concert is especially for children and families and the programme is designed to be rousing! Older members of the audience who were lucky enough to see Disney’s film Fantasia may recognise Modest Mussorgsky’s Night On A Bare Mountain!

There will be two performances, at 16:30 and at 18:30. Full details can be found in the very comprehensive North Yorkshire Music & Arts Events Diary.