9.15am and the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra were already rehearsing at the Baptist Church in Thornbury. By 10.15 when they left the stage to get ready the audience were already queuing out the door!
There was standing room only at the back of the hall when the concert started, to a capacity audience. Beginning with the Junior String and Wind Ensembles coached by Trudy and Janet (with guest percussion from Chris Sanders and cello from Fred Moore!) with a mixture of Christmas tunes and even some Shostakovich. The Junior Ensembles always take the festive dress seriously, and there were some great Christmas accessories ranging from baubles to Antlers!
After the Junior Ensembles there were three smaller chamber groups. A mixed ensemble, a string octet and a wind quartet all played expertly, with precision timing and great presentation.
Then the AMS groups made their debut performance. The Youth Orchestra opened with Walton’s rousing Crown Imperial, before the string orchestra played a captivating performance of Grieg’s Two Elegaic Melodies, and the wind performed Bizet’s Farandolle. To close the 1st half of the concert, the full forces of the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra were put to great effect in Malcolm Arnold’s Little Suite No.1 which featured dazzling performances and fireworks from every section of this talented ensemble.
After the interval, the TAMC Choir performed Gary Barlow’s Sing with great gusto, before the Senior Ensembles performed. The orchestra played a festive rendition of Strauss’ Pizzicato Polka before playing a composition by our very talented cellist Fred Moore. The debut performance of his work Last Man Standing was encored giving the audience a second chance to hear it’s effective use of the TAMC forces. The wind band played some Mozart, before the strings played an electric rendition of Copland’s Hoedown from Rodeo at great speed (excellent work violins!) and Grieg’s Holdberg Suite, before closing the concert with a medley of The Lion King by the Senior Orchestra.
An amazing start to the Thornbury Area Music Trust. With over 100 musicians attending and performing it was an amazing sight and sound. Well done to all who took part!