We had a delightful evening. There were many sparkling moments of beauty, tranquillity, peace, admiration, excitement and power. The four teenage musicians, all from Woking, performed their hearts out and the audience responded enthusiastically.
After six successful years as a music society, Lionel and I discussed that perhaps it would be good for us to contribute culturally to the local community. We had various ideas but decided to provide a performing platform to talented musicians of school age. Although they may be very young, all the musicians who appeared today have already gone through a number of auditions and competitions, let alone ABRSM music exams. And they will continue to do so – due to the competitive nature of the music industry, it is inevitable. We thought we’d give them an opportunity to perform without the worry of being adjudicated, examined and criticised, just for the very pure purpose of performing and for the love of music.
The first of four musicians was violinist Erika Smith-Gordon who carried great poise. With clear ideas for each piece and good technique to express them, she was able to convey her interpretation to the audience, particularly with the Bruch’s concerto.
Second, soprano Sara Hill was a stunner. Despite being still so young for a soprano, she showed huge promise by singing varied pieces of composers ranging from the 17th to 20th century. I particularly liked Vivaldi’s Domine Deus; a lovely combination of the voice and piano accompaniment.
Next, Laura MacDonald’s expressive cello playing has never failed to impress me, and this evening was no exception. She showed strong control as well, her pianissimo sounds made me shiver. She played two of my favourite cello pieces, Schumann’s Fantasiestucke and Chopin’s Polonaise Brillante, but stunningly beautiful was Prelude by Ernest John Moeran, a composer I was not familiar with at all.
Last but not least, trombonist Christopher Brewer already seemed to have the maturity of a professional performer. His playing was really assured and taught me this evening that a trombone could produce amazingly sensitive and silky sounds. However, a truly breathtaking moment came when he played a piece on the euphonium – the beauty of it was indescribable. Wow!
Today’s concert couldn't have been possible without pianist Alison Rhind, who worked with each performer attentively.
A few members described today’s concert as one of the best they had ever attended – that made me very happy, but all the credit should go to the wonderful young musicians who made it possible. They should be proud of themselves, for possessing this special gift to give treasured moments to listeners, despite their young age. All of them are developing musicians, so of course they still have lots to learn and experience. But everyone who was present this evening would agree that they are doing a great job so far.