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Solent Concert Orchestra played to an almost full house Hangar Farm Arts Centre in Totton





The Solent Concert Orchestra recently provided a unique evening of musical entertainment to an almost full house at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre, with the theme based on rediscovering women composers under the baton of their musical director Simon Wilkins.

The concert opened with a rumbustuous overture, ‘No.2 in D Major’ by Emilie Mayer which was premiered in 1850. This was followed by Augusta Holmes’s ‘La Nuit et L’Amour’ from ‘Ludus Pro Patria’, written in support of patriotism. The orchestra’s gentle interpretation made it easy to picture young men saying goodbye to their girlfriends as they went off to fight for their country.

Alice Mary Smith was the next composer to feature, with soloist Sian Leighton playing her ‘Andante for Clarinet and Orchestra in D Major’ followed by Isabella Stocchetti performing Cecile Chaminade’s ‘Flute concerto in D Major’. Both performances were outstanding and received prolonged applause.

The Solent Concert Orchestra were at Hangar Farm Arts Centre
The Solent Concert Orchestra were at Hangar Farm Arts Centre

The second half opened with a delightful soothing melody written by Katherine Parker, entitled ‘Down Longford Way’, named after the composer’s home town in Tasmania. It was later orchestrated by Percy Grainger under whom she studied.

The next piece went back from the 20th century to the 11th century, to Hildegard von Bingen’s ‘O Vis Aeternitatis’, cleverly transcribed for modern orchestra. The music evoked images of hooded monks chanting in cold and misty monasteries in medieval times.

The Solent Concert Orchestra were at Hangar Farm Arts Centre
The Solent Concert Orchestra were at Hangar Farm Arts Centre

The evening finished with another piece by Alice Mary Smith, namely her ‘Symphony No. 1 in C Minor’. This challenging composition was particularly well played by the orchestra as they managed to achieve the contrasts convincingly between the various movements.

Once again, the concert was attended by the orchestra’s loyal patron Sir Julian Lewis MP.

The Solent Concert Orchestra will next be performing at Bramshaw Village Hall on Saturday 15th June, when the theme will be ‘Music from the Films’. More details can be found at www.solentconcertorchestra.org.uk

Howard Moore



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