Talent of the highest order

Elske Simpson, Jenni Stewart, Laura Brown and Chloe Dodd performing at the lunctime concert in St George's United Reformed Church, Morpeth.
Elske Simpson, Jenni Stewart, Laura Brown and Chloe Dodd performing at the lunctime concert in St George's United Reformed Church, Morpeth.
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THE second Lunchtime Concert of the Winter/Spring series held at St George’s United Reformed Church featured senior music students and the Chamber Choir from King Edward VI School, under the direction of Robin Forbes and Heather Harrison.

The capacity audience was treated to classical, traditional, ragtime and modern popular music, delivered with enthusiasm, skill and expertise.

Pianist Ben Peters opened with sonatas by Scarlatti and Mozart and the Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin. His playing was clear, concise and confident, with the passages well controlled. The Mozart sonata was particularly impressive, while the rag proved lively, entertaining and well measured. A fine opening.

Tristan Seldon, accompanied by Robin Forbes, continued with baritone solos Sea Fever by Ireland and The Vagabond by Vaughan Williams. They require close attention to detail, however Tristan was more than equal to the task and performed with the maturity of an older soloist. He showed excellent control, clarity and a very good tonal quality.

The Chamber Choir was next. Steal Away by Tippett showed the choir at its best, with a beautiful sound and a superb balance. The whole effect was a delight.

A Disney Melody, arranged by Mrs Harrison, gave the various sections of the choir an opportunity to show their prowess, with excellent interplay. The sound was well controlled, with excellent balance, and resulted in a most impressive musical experience. This choir must be rated as one of the best school choirs in the country.

Violinist Robyn Bartlett continued with Scene de Ballet, tempo de bolero by Beriot. Robyn, with a lovely sound, produced a fine performance with a well worked climax. The lilting melody was particularly well done.

A quartet of Laura Brown, Elske Simpson, Chloe Dodd and Jennie Stewart followed with Rumour Has It, made popular by Adele. It is rare for modern pop to be performed at these concerts, but on this evidence more would be welcomed. The girls produced a lovely rendering, taking turns to sing the melody. The balance was excellent and the result a resounding success.

Next was Rebecca Reed on flute, who played two movements from Poulenc’s Sonata for Flute and Piano. This was played with a fine, flowing rhythm, good clear intonation and excellent tonal quality. The piano accompaniment by David Gledhill complemented the flute, combining to produce a fine performance.

The concert was rounded off by a quartet of Peter Bredin-Kemp, Ben Peters, Tristan Selden and Jack Ward, who sang River Driver with skill and verve, good close harmony and balance. Ben Peters sang the solo sections.

The students took a bow to thunderous applause. Once again the school has produced a musical experience of the highest order.

The next concert on Wednesday, March 12 is by David and Jennifer Murray’s woodwind and piano pupils.