News Archives

 

 

Our Club CD should now arrived with all members.  Your copy is completely free, but if you require further copies, these can be obtained from Brian at PO Box 213, Baldock, Hertfordshire.  SG7 6ZP at a cost of £ 5.00 including postage and packing.  Please remember, anyone can purchase the CD whether they are members or not. 

 

 

Doug French

It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent death of Doug French from a heart attack whilst on holiday in Portugal   As visits secretary he arranged some wonderful outings for members.  The one I will always remember was the visit he organized to Lords Cricket Ground last year.  I spoke with Doug just before his holiday and he advised me he was sending the article below for the website.  Doug was a gentleman whose contribution to the Club over the years has been great.  He will be sadly missed. 

 

 

From The Visits Secretary's Desk

The recent back stage visit to the London Palladium was a highly successful visit extending well over the allotted time and to the whole building, with the theatre guide being most informative but also very humorous. A full report is to appear in the forthcoming autumn issue of "Soirees Musicales". Worth reading. A further visit to the Palladium is planned for 2014 following the visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Those member interested in this repeat visit should contact chairman Brian.

Doug French

 

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

The much talked about visit to this 500 year old foundry is scheduled for March 22nd 2014, Saturday 1pm, tickets at £12.50 are available from chairman Brian. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry's long history spans the reigns of 27 English monarchs; the foundry buildings date from 1670, four years after the great fire of London: should prove an interesting visit.

 

 

Doug French has a couple of ideas for visits.  One is the bell foundry at Whitechapel and the other is a behind the scenes look at the London Palladium.  Doug was wondering what interest these visits would attract and if anyone has ideas for other visits they would like organized.  Let me know.

May I say that I went on the Lords Cricket Ground visit last September and it was a day I will never forget.  A wonderfully instructive visit around all parts of the pavilion and grounds.

 

 

From The Visits/Tours Secretary’s Desk

Throughout the year the Concert Orchestra Club Committee arrange visits/tours for members to well known institutions/establishments generally in the London area. Notice of such planned visits is given in the club magazine ‘Soirees Musicales’.

Currently two visits are planned for the near future :

Palladium Theatre, Argyll Street, London (week day PM visit) £12.00

500 year old working Bell Foundry, Whitechapel, London (Sat PM only) £12.00

Members interested in attending should contact the club chairman by telephone.

 

In Spring 2014 edition of Soirées Musicales, Andrew Connelly informed us that the orchestra would be appearing at Henley on Thames on 12th July, 2014.  Sadly this has now been cancelled.

 

Roderick Elms performs with the Aurora Ensemble on a new CD "Moody Moods", which I'm sure will interest many of you.  Roderick tells me it is not officially released until the end of March, but copies are available from the shop on his website at www.masterkeyboards.co.uk at the discounted price of £ 11.50 including postage.

And check out the following........

 

 

 

 

 

CALLING ALL LIGHT MUSIC FANS
            CLASSIC FM HALL OF FAME 2013.


LET'S TRY TO GET A CLASSIC LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSITION INTO THIS YEAR'S 
CLASSIC FM HALL OF FAME 2013:ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS VOTE! AND GET ALL
YOUR
FRIENDS,FAMILY,CO-WORKERS AND DISTANT RELATIONS TO VOTE TOO!!


GO TO classicfm.com AND CLICK ON THE "VOTE NOW"BUTTON AND FOLLOW THE
SIMPLE STEPS.   www.classicfm.com


YOU HAVE THREE ENTRIES,FIRST,SECOND AND THIRD CHOICE.I SUGGEST WE ALL
VOTE THE SAME FOR FIRST CHOICE THEN CHOOSE FROM OUR OTHER PERSONAL FAVOURITES
FOR SECOND AND THIRD CHOICES.THIS WILL GIVE US THE BEST CHANCE TO GET
AT LEAST ONE PIECE INCLUDED.


FROM MY RESEARCH INTO THE CLASSIC FM PLAYLIST OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS
THE MOST PLAYED LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSITION IS ERIC COATES' "THE MERRYMAKERS", I THEREFORE SUGGEST WE MAKE THIS OUR NUMBER ONE CHOICE.


I OFFER SOME OTHER POPULAR PIECES FROM THE PLAYLIST FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
FOR YOUR SECOND AND THIRD CHOICES.


"ELIZABETHAN SERENADE"(RONALD BINGE):
"KNIGHTSBRIDGE MARCH" (ERIC COATES)
"WESTMINSTER WALTZ" (ROBERT FARNON)
"DICK'S MAGGOT" (ERNEST TOMLINSON)
"DUSK" (ARMSRONG GIBBS)
"THE WATERMILL" (RONALD BINGE)


GOOD LUCK AND GOOD LISTENING.

 

 

Happy Memories

Long serving Club members will remember with pleasure the many appearances of Marilyn Hill Smith in Friday Night is Music Night.

Marilyn does, in fact, hold the record for the number of appearances by a singer in Friday Night is Music Night - no less than just over one hundred, would you believe!

Just a few weeks ago, we saw an advert stating that Marilyn would be appearing in a 'Music Hall Variety Show' so, of course, we had to go and were certainly not disappointed.

The show consisted of a comedian/compère a baritone, a juggler, an instrumental duet and, of course, top of the bill Marilyn Hill Smith.

Singing as well as ever, Marilyn enchanted the audience with a varied selection of popular items, including some of her beloved Ivor Novello favourites.

Just the sort of thing Friday Nighters are crying out for - so here's hoping!

 

Brian Crouch

 

Many of you will remember that Marilyn sang exclusively for club members last year and we're hoping to do something similar in the not too distant future......

 

 

Finchley Concert Saturday 9th July, 2011

CLUB NIGHT AT FINCHLEY ON 9th JULY 2011

On a pleasant summer Saturday evening many, many members came to The Methodist Church to enjoy the privilege of hearing 14 members of the orchestra along with two "helpers". All had given up their time to entertain us.

David McCallum conducted the group and was rather reluctant to say too much in the presence of Richard Baker, our President.

They played many pieces for us, chosen for the instruments on offer. The highlight was Appalachian Spring in it’s original form.

We have been blessed with members of the orchestra playing for us, but never with so many fine players.

Jenny had to wear many hats, playing hostess and organizing the evening as

Brian was still in hospital. We wish him a speedy recovery following his lengthy stay (nowadays), in hospital. In fact he had to stay one more day so that Jenny could oversee the concert for our enjoyment.

Thank you to all who helped and played. It was delightful and very much appreciated.

David & Monica Gardner

BBC Concert Orchestra addicts

 

 

Sports Day, Wednesday 25th May, 2011

I'm told by those who attended, the Orchestra's sports day was a great success and a lot of fun.  Here is the evidence..............

 

 

Daniel is wheeling Matthew Elston

 

Matthew is leading the egg & spoon race

1) Tom Rumsby   (2) Stephen Whibley.  (3) Alex Walden (4) Anna Ritchie  (5) Sarah Freestone 
(6) Matthew Lee  (7) Rustom Pomeroy (8) Caroline Bishop (9) Claire Barnes

Claire Barnes just walloped the ball in rounders

 

 

Day Out, Monday 14th March, 2011

A fine Spring day was most welcome for the first afternoon out of 2011.  In excess of 40 people gathered at the Broadway Hotel, Letchworth for an excellent lunch before making their way to the Benslow Music Trust at Hitchin - something of a challenge this time because road works necessitated a change to the usual route.  Happily, everyone stayed in convoy and no one was lost en route!

The entertainment for the day consisted of a programme of music played by the Sirocco Saxophone Quartet, a group of very talented musicians who played a varied programme from Bach to Gershwin and Iturralde.  I have listed the programme below, but suffice to say whilst many of the audience who had not previously heard the unusual combination of Bach's music and the saxophone, they were nevertheless in for a pleasant surprise.  The highlight of the afternoon was the Pequeña Czarda by Iturralde.  It was a favourite of the performers and their exuberance clearly showed through in their playing.(Click here for more information about them).

Full program was

J.S. Bach (1685-1750) - Italian Concerto BWV 971 arr. K. Tochio, Movement 1

Gyögy Ligeti (1932-2006) - Six Bagatelles from 'Musica Ricercata' arr. Fabian Oehrli

Jean Rivier (1896-1987) - Grave et Presto

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) - Oblivion arr. N Sullivan and Libertango arr. B. Picqueur

George Gershwin (1898-1937) - I Got Rhythm arr. A. Marshall

Pedro Iturralde (b.1929) - Pequeña Czarda

An excellent afternoon out.

The Sirocco Saxophone Quartet

 

 

News From New Zealand..........

We have heard from Brian Kay that his son and family and also Vernon and Anna Midgley are all safe and well following the recent earthquakes in Christchurch where they all live.

I'm sure we are all very relieved by this news.

 

 

Saturday Spectacular

Just over 140 members congregated at Finchley Methodist Church on 22nd January, 2011 for a Saturday Spectacular.  They were not disappointed.

After Brian had welcomed everyone, Nigel Blomiley told us the concert would be mainly opera and operetta based on how 'Friday Night Is Music Night' used to be.  This was received with cheering and clapping.  Sadly, Richard Baker was unable to attend due to a migraine.  Robin Stapleton did a sterling job accompanying everyone on the piano all evening.

Marilyn Hill-Smith told us that it was quite a long time since she sang on 'Friday Night Is Music Night' (don't we know it).  She started with a favourite song, a couple of arias from Viennese operetta and then 'O My Beloved Father'.  Robin gave us his recollection of Gianni Schicchi.

Nigel then played some 'cello pieces accompanied by Robin.  Marilyn sang 'Softly Awakes My Heart' which was followed by another 'cello piece.

David Cropper gave us a talk on the origins of the French Horn, illustrated by 12 ft of hosepipe wound round with a funnel on the end.  He got some notes from it too!!  David played along with a record of Mozart's 2nd horn concerto.  This was followed by Marilyn singing 'One Fine Day'.  Next came an intermezzo with 'cello and piano.

Marilyn then told us she was currently on tour with Connie Fisher in 'The Sound Of Music', playing the Mother Abbess and loving every minute.  So, the first half finished with 'My Favourite Things', then Marilyn's own version for oldies followed by 'Climb Every Mountain'.

A Welcome cup of tea or coffee and biscuits was served very efficiently, then back to our pews.

The second half was dominated by Novello, whose music Marilyn is very fond of. 'I'll see you again' from 'Bitter Sweet' and three songs from The Dancing Years.  Between the songs, David played the 4th concerto for horn and Nigel played 3 Fritz Kreisler pieces for 'cello.  The finale was from 'La Traviata' when all the soloists joined in, Robin even managing to sing from the piano stool.

A brilliant night's entertainment.

Thank you to all who helped to organize the event.

Reg and Pat Scott

 

 

Thank you too for writing this account.  The evening was, indeed superb entertainment.  Our thanks to all.  Here are some photos of the evening, together with Ronald Stein's sketch.  More can be found in the Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a photo from Nigel Blomiley's evening with Kenneth Alwyn - another great success for the club.

 

 

 

Conductors

Check out the BBC Website for news of the new conductors who have been appointed recently.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/orchestras/concertorchestra/about/conductors/

 

 

Bob Cooper

As many of you will know, Bob Cooper of the 1st Violins has recently retired.  I'm sure I speak for all when I say that we will miss him, but wish him a long and happy retirement.  Thank you Bob for entertaining us so wonderfully over the years.

 

 

Important

As I'm sure you all know, the club's allocation of tickets has, in recent times, been substantially cut.  In order to ensure that all seats at Friday Night Is Music Night concerts are taken, the BBC issue many more tickets than there are seats available. As entry is on a first come, first serve basis, it is very important that ticket holders arrive at venues early.  There have been a number of instances recently where Club members have been turned away simply because they were too far back in the queue, as a result their tickets were unused.  If this happens too often our request for tickets may not be looked at in a favourable light.

 

 

Roderick Elms has informed us of some new CDs which will be released, see the covers below:

If you want the CDs now, click here to visit Rod's website.

                       

 

 

 

 

Afternoon out - Monday 10th May, 2010

The weather was again fine for the Club's outing on 10th May.  After lunch at the Broadway Hotel, Letchworth, we made our way in convoy to the Benslow Music Trust in Hitchin and spent one of the most enjoyable afternoons many of us have known in the Peter Morrison recital room where Robin Ward entertained us with his triple strung harp.

I must confess, I knew little about a triple strung harp.  Robin explained that it had three rows of strings which encompassed all the tones and semitones in the chromatic scale and by his own admission is a difficult instrument to play.  What was even more impressive was that the harp he was playing was built by Robin himself.

If you would like to hear Robin's harp click here

To visit Robin's website click here

Robin Ward and his Triple Strung Harp

 

 

News from the BBC........

It has come to our notice that the BBC Trust have said Radio 2 must broaden it's appeal and do more for the over 65s and 75s in music.  I'm sure many of you have ideas on this subject.  The full report can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8516370.stm

Contact details for the BBC Trust:

BBC Trust Unit
180 Great Portland Street
London
W1W 5QZ

Email

trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk

Telephone

Call the information line on 03700 103 100 or textphone on 03700 100 212.

Lines are open from Monday to Friday, between 9.30am and 5.30pm.

 

 

Barnet Symphony Orchestra, 28th March, 2010

Barnet Symphony Orchestra's concert at Friern on 28th March 2010 was a sell out with members taking advantage of the Club discount. 

Martin Loveday conducted the orchestra, led by Philip Gibson, in a programme which included Mussorgsky's night on a bare mountain, Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto Op 125 (soloist Nathalie Clein) and Tchaikowsky's Swan Lake Suite in a very enjoyable night's music.  Martin Loveday, Philip Gibson, Michael Jeans (oboe) and Clive Hobday (violin) are former BBC Concert Orchestra members.

More information about Nathalie Clein (soloist) can be found on her website www.natalieclein.com.

Look out for Barnet Symphony Orchestra's next concert on 27th June, 2010.

 

 

Annual General Meeting of the Club - 27th March, 2010

The Club AGM this year was held at Finchley Methodist Church.  81 attendees braved the unpredictable English weather and apologies from 23 plus those offered on the night.  After the general business of the meeting Roderick Dunk answered questions from members and music was provided by trio Marcus Broome (violin), Nigel Goodwin (viola) and Nigel Pinkett (cello).

Chairman Brian Crouch was absent from the meeting for the first time in 25 years owing to illness.  Happily Brian is on the mend and we look forward to seeing him again very soon.

Click here to hear a recording of the 2010 Annual General Meeting (Please wait for the file to load, this could take several minutes depending on your connection speed).

Please click here to read the minutes of the AGM

Please click here to hear Rod Dunk's question and answer session (Again, please be patient).

Stephen

 

 

Rod Dunk Heartily Recommends This Unique Album!

 

 

Dear Friends,

I would like to take the opportunity to recommend this new Carol Jarvis CD to you. This CD has been made with the specific intention of raising both funds and awareness (particularly in young people) of the work Macmillan Cancer Care do for sufferers and their families and friends. Carol Jarvis is an extremely versatile Trombone player, who works across all styles of music from symphonic to rock. In 2004 aged 26, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer. Throughout six years of gruelling treatments she has continued her fight and her tenacity and spirit in continuing her busy career and refusing to give into the disease has been an inspiration to all who know her.

All of the musicians who took part in the CD, including myself and Carol, did so for no fees, in an effort to maximise the benefit from sales to Macmillan. Rolf Harris kindly embraced the project and produced a wonderful portrait of Carol to be used as the CD cover you see here. This was his gift to the project. The music is very much an easy “Jazz standard” style, with rhythm section and strings, horns and woodwinds, focusing on the Great American Songbook, with a few original compositions thrown in. I assure you, it is a really good listen. Many names you know well from the CO past and present and FNIMN appear on the recording!

Please order a copy and help the cause! If you buy direct from Divine Art Records (www.divine-art.co.uk or Tel: 01609 882062) we maximise the money that goes to Macmillan, around £7 per unit as opposed to as little as £1.50 per unit if you buy from a record shop in the high street, who will take a huge cut first! Thank you for your support and please tell all your friends!

Best wishes to you all,

Rod

 

 

Barnet Symphony Orchestra, Sunday 6th December, 2009

St. John's Church, Friern was the venue for the latest concert given by the Barnet Sumphony Orchestra, conducted by Martin Loveday (former CO Leader) and led by Philip Gibson (former CO violinist). 

It was an ambitious programme for a predominantly amateur orchestra.  Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmilla was followed by Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate K165 with Dublin born soprano Sarah Power, a rising star on the opera circuit who recently graduated from The National Opera Studio, London.

After the interval, we were treated to Anton Bruckner's symphony No.4 in E flat 'Romantic'.  The orchestra's skills were challenged and they passed with flying colours.

Their next concert on Sunday 28th March, 2010 promises to be another excellent evening out.  See our Concert page for more details.

Jenny Thomas

Sarah Power with the Barnet Symphony Orchestra

 

 

Visit to Globe Theatre, 19th November 2009
 
The sun shone on our group of twenty members visiting the Globe this month and we were fortunate to have Colin as our as guide.  A former teacher, his extensive knowledge of history and literature enabled him to transport us back to Shakespeare's London, as well as giving an interesting account of the rebirth of the Globe and present day operations.  Most English visitors are familiar with Sam Wanamaker's devotion to this project and have high regard for his daughter Zoe Wanamaker, who continues her father's work by leading the trust.  However, Colin frequently accompanies groups from overseas and Zoe's name sometimes gets a blank response ...until he reveals that she is Madame Hooch in Harry Potter films ...and normal communication is restored amidst bursts of laughter!
 
Apart from a special show at Christmas, there are no productions during the winter months and, there being no professional actors present who might object, we were invited and encouraged to take pictures.  Colin welcomed and responded to our questions.  It was interesting to note that a second (indoor) theatre is well on the way to completion next to the main theatre.  The trust has many projects in hand, including a library and archive.
 
Parties of schoolchildren are able to spend a "Shakespeare Day" at the Globe and it was fun to stand in the Penny Stinkers' area and watch 7 - 11 year olds striking a Shakespeare pose, strutting on the stage and shouting lines in big Shakespearean voices!  They will remember this when back in the classroom and getting to grips with The Bard.
 
We had been meaning to do the tour for ages, so many thanks to the group for arranging this.  Well done.

Jeff Klepper and Brian Austin

The Globe

 

 

A Very Merry Christmas Music Hall with Marilyn Hill Smith - Welwyn Garden City 18th November, 2009

An Excellent show, but a poor turnout only 60 in theatre which holds 400.

Other artistes were Adam Day, an excellent comic, mediocre ventriloquist and perfect impersonator, especially Max Wall!   Baritone Tony Leyton, Fiddler on Roof "rich man", musical duo Andante (she played wooden irish recorders, he accompanied on many instruments). very different.  Andy Eastwood was brilliant, with his banjo ukelele, and violin and had George Formby off pat and managed a very impressive rendition of Monti's Czardas, and the finale of William Tell overture at a gallop!

Marilyn did the 12 days of Christmas as well as her beloved Novello, and they all ended up singing carols.

Marilyn has auditioned and been accepted to play Mother Superior in Sound of Music on tour for 6/12 starting February, 2010 in Belfast. She is very happy with this.

Jenny Thomas

Marilyn Hill Smith

 

 

Symphonia Academica Saturday 14th November, 2009 - St. Luke's Church, Luton LU4 9JY at 7.30 pm

Symphonia Academica, leader Peter Bussereau, conductor David Beaman performed Vivaldi's 4 Seasons in the candle lit church of St Luke at Leagrave, starting with "spring."
 
The next item was Mendelssohn's Spring song " spring is sprung"  performed by members of Moorlands School under the direction of Richard Sisson, pianist of Kit and the Widow fame.

Kate Moore gave  an interesting talk on the workings of the trumpet before playing Neruda's Concerto for trumpet.

Other pieces were:
Vivaldi's Summer
Kids Gershwins "Summertime"
Vivaldi's Autumn
Handel Music for The Royal Fireworks
Kids Diwalii Night
Vivaldi's Winter
Waldteufel Skaters Waltz
Everybody singing "Let it Snow"

A Very enjoyable evening.

Symphonia Academica at St. Luke's, Luton 

 

 

Afternoon Out - Monday 9th November, 2009

More than 30 members attended the last afternoon out of 2009, despite grey skies and an autumnal nip in the air.  Lunch was up to the usual standard  after which we all made our way to Benslow in convoy.

Guest musician was Iain Farrington who treated us to one of the best recitals many of us have heard in the Peter Morrison Recital Room.  Iain is an accomplished pianist and his programme included works by Percy Grainger and George Gershwin, but the centrepiece was entitled 'Animal Parade', composed by Iain himself.  For anyone unfamiliar with this work, it consists of a number of short pieces, in the vein of Saint Saens, which includes animals such as Giraffes, Whales and Critics!

Iain has his own website at http://www.iainfarrington.com.

We look forward to more afternoons out in 2010.

Iain Farrington

 

 

 

 

Florin Ensemble 24th October, 2009

The Associate Leader of the Orchestra, Charles Mutter, has many strings to his bow and one of them includes the formation of “FLORIN” a chamber group who gave an exhilarating performance at Hampstead’s 17th Century Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel on Saturday 24th October.

Charles set the scene with an informative pre-show talk, and then the attentive audience were treated to a Dohnànyi Serenade for String Trio in C Major, a Ravel Duo for violin & cello, and Schuberts “Trout” Quintet.

A really melodic two hours and there’s more to come at the same venue on Thursday 17th December at 7 pm when the programme will include music by Britten, Mozart & Beethoven.

Email info@florinensemble.co.uk or ring 0945 052 7557 for details. Or just turn up on the night – you will be most welcome.

Nearest tube Hampstead on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, or bus 268 & 46.  The chapel is situated between Willoughby Road & Pilgrims Lane.

Brian Crouch

                                                                                                                               

Florin Ensemble

 

Visit to Globe Theatre, 12th October, 2009

On 12th October, together with 18 other Supporters' Club members, we met outside the Globe Theatre for a tour.  Once inside our Guide gave us a brief history of London in the fifteen hundreds and why the original Globe and Rose Theatres were built South of the Thames. She then took us into the Theatre itself.  As we wandered around the auditorium it seemed much larger than we had imagined.  Our Guide explained the meaning of decoration on the stage canopy which was supported by two oak trees.

Theatre in the fifteen and sixteen hundreds was a noisy smelly affair, so music and special effects played a large part in the performance.  The upper classes sat in the galleries which we visited by climbing lots of wooden stairs.  The tour lasted about 45 minutes after which we proceeded downstairs to a dressing demonstration.  A slim young woman was chosen as a model.  Sitting next to her American husband we ascertained that they were on a week's holiday, so many photographs were taken.  After seeing the many layers of clothes that were worn we were grateful not to be living in the 16th century.

It was the dream of Sam Wanamaker to recreate the Globe as a lasting memorial to Shakespeare but sadly he died before the Theatre was completed.  But his family supported his project and their names, together with many other famous people, are carved in the paving stones beyond the special metal gates.

A great afternoon.

Reg and Pat Scott

 

 

Fibonacci Sequence Kings Place, Sunday 4th October, 2009

Benjamin Hughes mentioned this to us at a Friday Night. It was another splendid concert by this group, which on this occasion included Charles Mutter as well as Benjamin from the Orchestra, with Julian Farrell (clarinet) Stephen Stirling (horn) Yuko Inoue (viola) and Kathron Sturrock at the piano.

The programme was Haydn: Sonata for violin & viola, Brahms: Clarinet trio, Graham Fitkin: “Sinew For Sextet” (London première), Dvorák: Four Romantic Pieces for Violin & Piano, ( a brilliant performance by Charles) and Ernö Dohnányi: Sextet in C major.

Fibonacci Sequence is part of the London Chamber Music Society at Kings Place. Check out their website www.kingsplace.co.uk for details of weekly concerts on Sundays at 6.30.

The Fibonacci Sequence

 

 

The BBC Concert Orchestra's Supporters Club 25th Anniversary CD

The recording of our CD took place at Watford Colosseum on Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th September. The recording was split into four 3 hour sessions spread over the two days. Each session was a rehearsal and recording of each piece, with a brief break in between items.

Brian & I had been invited to attend, and of course we were delighted to accept. We arrived in good time – terrible area for parking – and were welcomed by Neil Varley, who was producing, and conductor Roderick Dunk.

The Colosseum was unrecognisable! Not a chair in sight and the carpet had been rolled back, this for added resonance. The stage curtains were partly drawn and there were miles of cables and dozens of microphones. The Orchestra’s chairs were in the middle in the traditional fan shape, but much more spread out.

We mingled with the Orchestra in the restaurant before making our way up to the balcony, choosing our seats with care, testing them for squeaks and groans, as silence is essential during recording.  We were joined by Andrew Connelly for a while.

We had been warned that the first session is normally a bit slow whilst microphones and balance are sorted out, but we felt that this would add to the interest. Twenty five past 2 the Orchestra made their way to their chairs and promptly at 2.30 launched into the first number with enthusiasm. It has often been said that after a first rehearsal it sounds like they have been playing it all week, but it was hard to believe that there had been no earlier rehearsing, this was the first! Just one quick run through and then the recording. Amazing!

This did take a little longer, with minor adjustments to the stage curtains (for echo), microphone & instrument positioning etc. followed by the dialogue between Neil & Rod. (Anyone who attended a “Discovering Music” recording will know about this!) A few minor passages were repeated – we wondered how the splicing was done - then “ok, break!” Three items had been rehearsed and recorded between 2.30 and 5.30. Another two followed between 6.30 and 9.30.

Wednesday Morning and a 10.30 start. We were extra careful choosing our seats, as the Orchestra said they had heard us yesterday! No two recording sessions are the same, and there were fewer adjustments necessary. One of the pieces is Brian’s favourite and he got to hear it 3 times which made his day! The session ended 10 minutes early. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the afternoon session due to commitments, so missed the recording of the final 3 items.

Brian was asked to submit a selection of music for inclusion on the CD, many of which were accepted, whilst other pieces were selected by Neil & Rod. We won’t tell you what they are, wait and see! But it is a delightful selection of popular light music of the traditional “Friday Night” flavour which we are sure everyone will enjoy. The CD should be available for distribution to members in early November

Our thanks are extended to Neil, Rod and Michael Dutton We were privileged to attend the recording, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The performance by the Orchestra was outstanding, and it seemed they were enjoying doing it too. We were surprised how relaxed the atmosphere was, casually chatting one minute and a faultless performance the next. True professionals.

Jenny & Brian.    

Recording The Club CD

Recording the Club CD

 

 

Saturday Special at Finchley 26th September, 2009

Nearly 100 members attended on 26th September, 2009 at Finchley Methodist Church for an evening of contrasting entertainment given exclusively for Club members.

The first half of the evening was given over to a tribute to June Bronhill who was, of course, a very popular singing star in the second half of the 20th century.  This consisted of a miscellany of slides, vocal recordings and personal reminiscences which threw up many familiar names and happy memories for Club members. 

Seventy five minutes flew past, due in no little way to the excellent presentation by Club members Geoff Bowden and David Reed.  If anyone would like further details of this presentation, then phone Geoff on 0208 886 8013.

After an interval with refreshments, we were then treated to a string quartet with a difference!  Marcus Broome (violin) brought along some of his colleagues from the orchestra - namely Nigel Pinkett ('cello), Nigel Goodwin (viola) and David Beaman (violin).  They proceeded to give us a light hearted 45 minutes including music by Bach, Strauss and Scott Joplin and then surprised everyone with an encore of 'I do like to be beside the seaside'.  Just a normal string quartet encore, of course!  This sent club members home in a happy frame of mind determined to come again to our next 'Saturday Special'.  Watch this space.

Brian Crouch

Left to right: Marcus Broome, David Beaman, Nigel Goodwin and Nigel Pinkett

 

 

Afternoon Out - Monday 14th September, 2009

The Ariella Chamber Ensemble

Anyone who has been on one of our afternoons out knows what fun they can be.  After lunch at the Broadway Hotel in Letchworth, we all make our way in convoy to Hitchin and head for the Benslow Music Trust.  Lest someone loses their way en route, Jenny ensures that all cars have a balloon waving from their roofs, adding colour to the occasion!

At Benslow, we gather in the Peter Morrison Recital Room and are treated to recitals of a high quality.  This time, guest performers were the Ariella Chamber Ensemble who treated us to a very enjoyable program of Mozart.  After the concert, we all sat down to homemade tea and cakes. 

If you're a member and would like to join an afternoon out, let us know.

 

The Ariella Chamber Ensemble