Friday, 29 April 2016

Clyst Valley Choral Society Vivaldi Gloria & Jazz Classics Saint Margaret's Church Topsham Saturday 16 April & Holy Trinity Church Exmouth Sunday 17 April 2016

Soprano: Myriam Prual     Mezzo Soprano: Carolyn Harries
Soprano: Janet Macdonald    Tenor: Jason Bomford

Paul Stock
Conductor & Accompanist
On Saturday and Sunday (16 & 17 April), audiences enjoyed an extraordinary juxtaposition of musical styles. At St Margaret's Church in Topsham, and Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth, Paul Stock led the Clyst Valley Choral Society in a concert of twentieth century jazz classics arranged for choir and orchestra and/or piano, followed by beautiful baroque music - culminating in the unforgettable "Gloria" by Antonio Vivaldi.

Janet Macdonald
During the first half, the choir and orchestra set the scene with five popular classics - "Ain't Misbehaving", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "Over the Rainbow", "Summertime" and "You Raise Me Up" - interspersed with timeless solo numbers for voices and instruments.

Soprano Janet Macdonald introduced and sang a very engaging musical number, "It Never Was You" accompanied by Paul Stock on piano. The choir's recent acquisition, tenor Jason Bomford, responded with "I've Got You Under My Skin", and mezzo soprano Carolyn Harries completed the triptych with Peggy Lee's 1957 classic "The Folks Who Live on the Hill".

Clyst Valley Choral Society
& Orchestra
Following the delightful Judy Garland number "Over the Rainbow", during which the last rays of the setting sun shone through the clerestory and created a very timely rainbow of yellow and green, Jason Bomford sang a beautiful vocal version of Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe" with words ("Nella Fantasia" - In My Dreams) added by Chiara Ferraù. Janet Macdonald then sang Gershwin's "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess" with full orchestra, piano, and the choir providing basso continuo.

Matthew Jackson & Philip Bonser
Oboe/Cor Anglais & Clarinet
That was the perfect cue for two virtuoso woodwind solos by clarinettist Phil Bonser and oboist Matthew Jackson. Phil delighted us all again with "I Got Rhythm", and Matthew, experimenting with a new instrument, amazed us all with a version of "Someone to Watch Over Me" - on cor anglais!

"Follow that!" challenged Jason Bomford, and the choir and orchestra, with Paul Stock playing piano, took things to a new level singing a gently lilting and uplifting version of "You Raise Me Up" with Jason singing the solo.

Carolyn Harries
Mezzo Soprano
After a refreshing cup of tea in the church mezzanine, Janet Macdonald and Carolyn Harries introduced the baroque theme with a very familiar sounding Handel duet. (Handel was well known for re-using his own tunes.) "Quel Fior Che AllAlba Ride" (The Bloom which Laughs at Dawn) opened with a theme from Handel's "Messiah" composed in the same year, and gently segued into other familiar themes from the Messiah and other works by Handel.

Orchestra Leader Sally Bull, and 'Cellist Sue Stock, delighted us with another baroque duet, this time by Antonio Vivaldi - his Sonata in G minor. How lovely it was to hear these two musicians playing in stark relief in the majestic environs of Holy Trinity.

Paul Stock
conducts Clyst Valley Choral Society
Vivaldi's music was, of course, the main component of the evening's performance. With Sally and Sue rejoining the main orchestra, the choir sang the magnificent "Gloria". Those opening chords (with violinist Chris Gould switching to trumpet), and inspirational words, transported us magically to the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice and the musical wonders of the eighteenth century.

Sadly Mark Perry was unable to play the organ on both nights, and so conceded the task to the very capable hands of second violinist, and Head of Music at the Maynard School, Angela Blackwell, whose contribution added yet another layer of baroque grandeur.

Janet Macdonald & Myriam Prual
Soprano Duet
Interspersed in an hour of glorious harmony were more opportunities to hear the delightful voices of the soloists. Soprano Myriam Prual, who had sung only with the choir in the first half, joined Janet Macdonald in delightful duet for the "Laudamus Te" (We Praise You) introduced and punctuated by the wonderful oboe playing of Matthew Jackson.

Posies all round
Carolyn Harries, Janet Macdonald
& Myriam Prual
Janet also sang the "Domine Deus, Rex Coelestis" (O Lord God, Heavenly King), and Carolyn Harries sang the "Agnus Dei" (Lamb of God) and "Qui Sedes ad Dexteram Patris" (Who Sits at The Father's Right Hand).

The overall effect was mesmerising and moving in equal measure. The orchestra played splendidly, and the choir were in fine expressive voice. Paul Stock's interpretation was masterful and an absolute pleasure to the ear from start to finish. Janet Macdonald, Myriam Prual and Carolyn Harries completed the production in masterful style.

Sally Bull
Orchestra Leader
Mandy Fishleigh
We were very lucky indeed to hear Carolyn Harries' operatic contralto voice one last time, before she returns once again to Opera Holland Park for Pietro Mascagni's "Iris" (which opens on Tuesday 7 June). Meanwhile our magnificent oboe and cor anglais player, Matthew Jackson, returns to his A Level studies, and hopes to begin his undergraduate music studies at Oxford this autumn.

and a bottle of "bulles" for . . .
For two nights only it was possible to hear these wonderful musicians in an evening of baroque beauty, tempered by the more worldly pleasure of contemporary jazz. A brilliant idea, brilliantly managed and successfully staged by Clyst Valley Choral Society Musical Director, Paul Stock.

Paul Stock
Musical Director


Choir -

"Ain't Misbehavin" 1929: Music - Thomas (Fats) Waller & Harry Brooks Words - Andy Razaf
(Arranged by Peter Gritton)

Soprano Solo (Janet Macdonald) -

"It Never Was You" (Knickerbocker Holiday) 1938: Music - Kurt Weill Words - Maxwell Anderson

Tenor Solo (Jason Bomford) -

"I've Got You Under My Skin" 1936: Cole Porter

Choir -

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (Roberta) 1933: Music - Jerome Kern Words - Otto Harbach
(Arranged by David Blackwell)

Mezzo Soprano Solo (Carolyn Harries) -

"The Folks Who Live on the Hill" 1937: Music - Jerome Kern Words - Oscar Hammerstein II
(Peggy Lee - The Man I Love 1957)

Choir -

"Over The Rainbow" (The Wizard of Oz) 1939: Music - Harold Arlen Words - Edgar Yip Harburg
(Arranged by Guy Walker)

Tenor Solo (Jason Bomford) -

"Nella Fantasia" (In My Fantasy) 1998 (based on "Gabriel's Oboe" (The Mission) 1986)
Music - Ennio Morricone Words - Chiara Ferraù

Choir -

"Summertime" (Porgy & Bess) 1935: Music - George Gershwin Words - DuBose Heyward
(Arranged by Roderick Williams)

Clarinet Solo (Philip Bonser) -

"I Got Rhythm" 1930: George Gershwin (words - Ira Gershwin)

Cor Anglais Solo (Matthew Jackson) -

"Someone to Watch over Me" (Oh, Kay!) 1926: George Gershwin (words - Ira Gershwin)

Choir -

"You Raise Me Up" (Secret Garden) 2002: Music - Rolf Løvland Words - Brendan Graham

Soprano & Mezzo Soprano Duet (Janet Macdonald & Carolyn Harries) -

"Quel Fior Che AllAlba Ride" (The Flower That Laughs at Daybreak) 1741:
George Frideric Handel HWV 192 (compare "His Yoke is Easy" Messiah 1741 HWV 56)

Violin & 'Cello Duet (Sally Bull & Sue Stock) -
Largo & Allegro (Violin Sonata in G minor) 1709: Antonio Vivaldi

Choir, Orchestra, Soloists & Organ

"Gloria" 1715:  Antonio Vivaldi

Philip Bonser

Exeter Bach Society Music in May Mary Harris Memorial Chapel Exeter Uni Streatham Campus Saturday 7 May 2016 Press Release from Exeter Bach Society Chairman Juliet Meadowcroft

John Pearce
Deputy Musical Director
Exeter Bach Society

Magical Music for a Summer’s Evening

Music in May, the final concert of Exeter Bach Society’s 2015-6 season, is different from the choir’s usual concerts in that, apart from the Finnish songs and Bach chorales, the programme is all English and chosen by the choir’s Deputy Musical Director, John Pearce. He is also the conductor for this performance of anthems, motets, madrigals and part-songs – some even unpublished - in Exeter University Chapel at 7 pm on Saturday, 7 May.

The theme is of this year’s anniversaries celebrating whole or half centenaries, ranging from pieces by John Sheppard (born 1516) to J S Bach (Cantata 7, written in 1716), and from Sir William Sterndale Bennett (born April 1816) to Bernard Rose (born 9 May, 1916). The 50-year anniversaries include Francis Pilkington (born 1565) and Charles Wood (born 1866).

In addition to the anniversary theme, there is a common location for some of the music too – Magdalen College, Oxford, where both John Sheppard and Bernard Rose were to be found, but with nearly 500 years between them. Sheppard was a singer in the 1540s and Bernard Rose was the Choir Master when John Pearce was a choral scholar there. John has obtained special permission from his composer/musician son Gregory to perform Bernard’s unpublished hidden gem, Slow Slow Fresh Fount. Another connection with this famous college is that Bob Chilcott’s unpublished Now the Green Blade Riseth was first performed in 2014 by the Magdalen choir. Its second performance will be at this concert on 7 May, thanks to the composer and to the OUP for giving John the licence to perform it before publication.

There are also lovely pieces by Gerald Finzi, Sir Edward Elgar, John Dowland and Thomas Campion, as well as music by the talented young harpist, Niamh Flynn, and a trio of wind players called "The Diminished 7".

Tickets (£10 in advance or £12 at the door; half-price for full-time students) are available from Exeter Tickets, Tourist Information Centre, Dix’s Field, EX1 1GF Tel: 01392 665885 or online from

Exeter Bach Society
Exeter Bach Society
Mary Harris Memorial Chapel
Streatham Campus Exeter University
Saturday 7 May 7pm

Musical Director: John Pearce
Orchestra Leader: Anna Cockroft

Tickets: £12 (advance £10 U16/student £6/5)
Exeter Visitor Information: 01392 665700

Saturday, 23 April 2016

EMG Symphony Orchestra Britten War Requiem Conductors Marion Wood Tony Hindley Rachel Smith Soloists Catherine Hamilton Stefan Sbonnik Julian Rippon Exeter Cathedral Saturday 23 April 2016

Tony Hindley
conducts the chamber orchestra

Marion Wood
conducts the main orchestra

Principal 'Cello: Yvonne Ashby
Two orchestras, three choirs and three soloists, performing the latin mass for the dead interspersed by the war poetry of Wilfred Owen. In Marion Wood's last engagement to conduct the EMG Symphony Orchestra, she will be joined by Tony Hindley and Rachel Smith in conducting Benjamin Britten's mighty 'War Requiem'.

As the new Cathedral at Coventry rose from ruins of the destroyed city in 1962, Britten was given free rein to express the shared grief of the war-torn city in a mass for the consecration of the new building. The resulting work is very complex, with poetry and dialogue in tenor and baritone voice punctuating, or being punctuated by, a solomn recital of the mass by a double choir with full orchestra and organ, and the focal force of a soprano soloist.

The male soloists have an orchestra of their own. A small chamber orchestra to gently augment the words of Wilfred Owen, who tragically lost his life in a military action just one week before the armistice brought peace to the Western Front at the end of the Great War.

Tonight the soloist for the mass is soprano Catherine Hamilton, while Owen's Poetry is performed by tenor Stefan Sbonnik and baritone Julian Rippon. Catherine and Julian have performed together many times, memorably in Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Sea Symphony" on 5 April 2014. Stefan joins the orchestra from Marion Wood's new home of Münster in Germany, where he sings with her in the University Choir.

Rachel Smith
conducts Schola Exe &
Devon County Junior Choir
"Requiem Aeternam"
The chamber choir which accompanies Owen's poetry will be conducted by EMG principal trumpet, Tony Hindley, who conducted the War Requiem in the 1970's as a student of music at Huddersfield University.

Particular poignancy is brought to the mass by the voices of a children's choir drawn from the Devon County Junior Choir and the alumni of Exeter Cathedral Choir, Schola Exe. Their singing is conducted in the side aisle by their regular tutor and director, Rachel Smith.

Add a huge choir of several hundred Exeter singers, organ, piano, and the full force of the EMG Symphony Orchestra's many talented musicians, all under the skilled guidance of their regular conductor, Marion Wood, and tonight's performance of the Requiem will fulfill, if not exceed, Benjamin Britten's original vision.

Clare Smith
leads the main orchestra
Jackie Baldwin
leads the chamber choir
Stefan Sbonnik
"Anthem for Doomed Youth"
Dennis Frere-Smith
(depping for Brian Moore)
"Bugles Sang"
Julian Rippon
"but I was looking at the permanent stars"
Catherine Hamilton
sings the Latin Mass
accompanied by the main orchestra & choir
Alfie Pugh
principal percussionist
Charlotte Hindley, Alfie Pugh
Zoë Fitzsimmons

main orchestra: percussion
Ali Board
Charlotte Hindley
Tubular Bells
Zoë Fitzsimmons
Fionniula Somerville
chamber orchestra: harp
Main Choir
Rob O'Byrne
main orchestra: tuba
John Welton
main orchestra: clarinet
Mike Ogonovsky & Hannah Rice
main orchestra: horns
Tony Hindley & Marion Wood
conduct the chamber and main orchestra
Rachel Smith
directs the children's choir
Susan Mitchell, Anna Matthews
Catherine Clements
main orchestra: piccolo & flutes
Timothy Noon
organ & piano
Julian Rippon
sings Benjamin Britten's setting of  Wilfred Owen's poetry
accompanied by Tony Hindley's chamber orchestra
David Lotinga
main orchestra: cor anglais
Kate Osbourne
main orchestra: oboe
Ben Edmonds
chamber orchestra: oboe
Women's Choir
Tony Hindley
chamber orchestra conductor
Catherine Hamilton
in the Cathedral pulpit
Catherine Hamilton
in the main choir
Tony Hindley

Saturday, 16 April 2016

EMG Symphony Orchestra Marion Wood's Final Concert, with Tony Hindley Benjamin Britten "War Requiem" Exeter Cathedral Saturday 23 April 2016 Press Release from Ellen Stratton

EMG Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Marion Wood
(Photography: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)

EMG Symphony Orchestra
Saturday 23 April 7:30pm
Exeter Cathedral

On Saturday 23 April, EMG Symphony Orchestra & Singers return to Exeter Cathedral for a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.  This epic work brings together a symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra (conducted by EMG’s Associate Conductor, Tony Hindley), three soloists, an adult choir and children’s chorus.  EMG Symphony Orchestra is delighted to be joined by EMG Singers, a group of over 130 adult singers drawn mainly from the Southwest, (many of whom have sung with EMG before) as well as the combined forces of Devon County Junior Choir and Schola Exe [directed by Rachel Smith]; and to welcome soloists Catherine Hamilton, Stefan Sbonnik and Julian Rippon – this spectacular performance is not to be missed!

Marion Wood
As regular EMG supporters will be aware, this concert is also Marion Wood’s final performance as Musical Director of EMG Symphony Orchestra.  Marion moved to Germany in September 2013, but has continued working with EMG Symphony Orchestra, supported by Associate Conductor Tony Hindley.

EMG Symphony Orchestra’s chair, Rachel Wieck says "Marion has taken EMG Symphony Orchestra and its audiences on a remarkable musical journey over the last 8 seasons.  It has been a delight to work with Marion, and she has enabled this orchestra to tackle successfully some particularly challenging repertoire. Marion's enthusiasm, leadership and commitment to EMG has been outstanding, and this performance of the War Requiem is a fitting tribute to her ability as a Musical Director.  On behalf the orchestra and singers, I wish Marion every success in the future". 

Leader Clare Smith says “It has been such a privilege to have led the orchestra throughout the time that Marion has been our Musical Director. She is so easy to work with, always calm, respectful and incredibly knowledgeable. Every rehearsal is a Masterclass in musical understanding, and it has been a delight to see how this has inspired us all. Thank you Marion and I wish you all the very best”.

This concert is in aid of the Royal British Legion and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).  The concert is part of the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum.

Tickets for this concert cost £16, £13, £11 and £9
(£6, £5 and £4 for students and under-16s)
from Exeter Tourist Information, Dix’s Field, Exeter, 01392 665885
(9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday – Saturday)
and Devon Strings Workshop, 1 Bartholomew Street West, Exeter
(10am – 6pm, Wednesday – Saturday, cash or cheque only)
or online from TicketSource.

For more information about EMG Symphony Orchestra
please visit the EMG Website,
find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

EMG Symphony Orchestra
Exeter Cathedral
Tony Hindley &  Marion Wood
Saturday 23 April 7.30pm
Conductors: Marion Wood & Tony Hindley
Benjamin Britten: "War Requiem" Op 66 1962
for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral
combining the Latin Mass for the Dead with
nine war poems by Wilfred Owen
Ensemble 1: Soprano, Choir & Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble 2: Tenor, Baritone & Chamber Orchestra
Ensemble 3: Boys' Choir & Organ
Tickets: Rear Aisle £9 Front Aisle £11
Rear Nave £11 Middle Nave £13 Front Nave £16
Exeter TIC, Dix's Field: 01392 665885
Devon Strings Workshop: (10-6 Wed-Sat)
Online BookingTicketSource
Full DetailsEMG Symphony Orchestra Website