Second 2017 Winter/Spring Lunchtime Concert, St George’s URC Hall, Morpeth.
Senior music students from Morpeth King Edwards VI School were the latest performers at the spring/winter series of lunchtime concerts at St George’s United Reformed Church.
Their annual visit is always a special occasion and this concert maintained and probably even surpassed previous events.
Opening the proceedings was baritone Alistair McGubbin. His contrasting choice of three solos, Seafever by John Ireland, For Behold Darkness Will Cover the Earth (Handel and Messiah) and Old Man River, by Jerome Kern, gave ample opportunity to show off a rounded tone, which was both pleasant to the ear and most impressive.
Add good use of light and shade and sound phrasing and a capable performance was assured.
Violinist Lyria Christensen followed with Remembrances from Schindler’s List by John Williams.
This haunting melody was played with intense feeling with a full rich sound. A beautiful and captivating rendering, full of nostalgia ensued.
Edgar and Oscar Ho, both 14, continued on piano and classical guitar.
Edgar gave a riveting performance of Franz Liszt’s Liebenstraum.
This piece with its broad flowing passages is a challenge but Edgar played with assurance and grace in a way which belied his age.
The classical guitar is a most difficult instrument to master but Oscar in his playing of Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Granados was superb.
This is a beautiful Spanish composition and all its beauty and grandeur was fully exhibited in a most thrilling manner.
The chordwork and moving passages were a delight to the ear.
No concert by King Edward VI is complete without the school’s chamber choir.
On this occasion, the choir sang three pieces.
The first, Monteverdi’s Canzate Domino requires good, firm disciplined singing, which is essential in medieval religious compositions.
The choir was disciplined and sang with control and clear phrasing.
All four parts were balanced and the tone of the choir outstanding.
The second piece, Mendelssohn’s Lift Thine Eyes was sung in three parts by the girls.
This was a lovely sound, totally balanced with accurate intonation.
The final piece, Freddy Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody proved to be a real show-stopper.
The singing was exciting, with excellent balance and timing but totally controlled. It was sung with confidence and illustrated the performance of this highly talented and well trained team.
This is a seriously good choir and a tribute to Mrs Harrison, their conductor and trainer.
Two senior girls, pianist Amy Locks and soprano Olivia Byron, brought the concert to an end.
The harmonious Blacksmith by Handel with its striking muddy and tricky variations was capably handled by Amy and her playing of Chopin’s Waltz in B Minor was well received.
Olivia sang Somewhere That’s Green by Menken and her gentle and sweet approach was most appropriate for this solo. She concluded with a beautiful performance of Wishing You Were Here Somehow Again by Lloyd-Webber.
These young people performed a most successful varied programme and illustrated, once again, the huge range of musical talent that this school possesses, which in turn is nurtured and developed by Heather Harrison and Robin Forbes.
Lunchtime concerts take place on a monthly basis at St George’s.