I arrived at 7:29pm… too late, it transpired, for the welcoming jazz quartet!! But they sounded great from the path outside…
And just as they had played with charm, pace, zest and variety, so did all their peers throughout an enthralling and richly entertaining two hours thereafter.
A showcase is many things: a chance to demonstrate snippets, a chance to roll out grander works, a chance to hint at the future, and a chance to celebrate: St Mary’s played host to all these elements and more. The Seckford Sinfonia summed it up: a hint of Spring followed by a hitching of the metaphorical whites for cricket, football and more as lots of us played spot the theme. Impressive already, how good will these musicians become over the next few years? Judging from the Senior Brass – very good indeed! And so it continued: Just Jazz and the Junior Flutes played with a passion and poise which belied their years; the Saxophone Ensemble and the Concert Band wowed with terrifically accomplished playing parenthesising the spectral ends of law enforcement (Clouseau versus 007!).
Refreshments secured, we delighted in Cellisti (including Etiane’s elegiac world premier), Cantabile full of smiles and excitement, the soaring Senior Flutes, delightful Junior Brass, charismatic Clarinets and, by way of the grand climax, the utterly fantastic Swing Band featuring a garland of mini solos which would have graced the grandest of stages. What an end to a wonderful concert. Our thanks, as ever, to all the performers, to Mr Turner and his team of inspirational teachers and conductors, and to you in the audience for your generous and enthusiastic support.