Review: Summer, Song and Silver concert at Bakewell’s Lady Manners School

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The Choral Society and the Silver Band, two of Bakewell’s principal musical organisations, joined forces to present a programme which they called Summer, Song and Silver and magically the clouds rolled back to give a proper summer evening for the event at the town’s Lady Manners School!

The band, under its musical director and conductor Roland Spencer played, in the first half, a programme of short pieces by composers and arrangers from the band world culminating in an arrangement of Wagner’s Procession to the Cathedral. Well chosen and contrasted pieces to show off the ensemble of the band and providing an opportunity for a very beautiful solo from Julie Plant on the tenor horn.

On either side the choir, under their conductor Alan Eost, offered a series of traditional songs in some very fresh and attractive arrangements by recognised choral writers like John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, and including some spirituals. Part one ended with a splendid rendition of I do like to be beside the seaside.

The second part began with another group of songs, mainly spirituals this time, but including Frederick Bridge’s The Gosling, a salutary tale. The band then played a selection of popular melodies, this time including a euphonium solo played by Martin Squires and a piece for the cornet section.

Finally the forces joined together for Rule Britannia and Jerusalem before we all went out into the late evening light.

It was good for the audience to hear the capabilities of each group and to be introduced, I suspect, to new repertoire, and it was a happy occasion for the forces to join together and celebrate the solstice. The band played confidently and with real enthusiasm and the choir was in good form.

This kind of programme demands rapid changes of mood and style which the choral society now take in their stride: they were in a particularly robust mood this evening, thus ending a very successful year of music making.

Amanda Kornas, the regular rehearsal pianist was on this occasion the accompanist and Alan Eost conducted the choir, apart from the final joint effort which was led by Roland Spencer. Both leaders introduced the programme, which lent a very nice light touch to the evening.

There were strawberries and cream for good measure to celebrate the occasion as well as the usual refreshments - an appropriate touch.