Congratulations go to SCYO who, on Friday night, performed a fantastic concert to a near-full audience at St Helen’s Church in Alveston. It’s a fantastic venue, both in terms of its flexibility and also its acoustic, which SCYO used to the full.

The concert opened with the haunting ‘Unanswered Question’ by Charles Ives. I’m sure the audience were surprised to find SCYO’s talented trumpeter Jack performing from the bell tower behind the audience! The work has long sustained chords in the strings, whilst the wind play increasingly complex answers to the trumpeter’s questions. Eventually all three groups are playing in different time signatures and bars – it was great to hear a youth group tackling something so innovative – Ives was years ahead of his time.

The orchestra then played Beethoven’s ‘Name Day’ Overture, the inspiration to Beethoven’s use of ‘Ode to Joy’ in his ninth symphony, before performing Haydn’s Symphony No.82 in full. Both audience and tutors alike commented on the orchestra’s flexibility in terms of tempos, and their careful phrasing, particularly in the slow movement.

It’s a fantastic start to the year. It also gave us an opportunity to publicly launch the 2014 SCYO Young Composer’s competition, as well as say more about the exciting Britten Project we are taking part in during the coming months! Watch this space!