“…a real feast of delights…”

This was the verdict of the recent review of our June 2016 concert.

“Settle Orchestra can always be relied upon to produce a real feast of delights and this was no exception. The programme opened with Verdi’s overture from “La Forza del Destino” (The Force of Destiny), a rousing piece which provided plenty of opportunity for the brass section of the orchestra to make their presence felt in this dramatic retelling of a tragic story.  Verdi himself was regarded as a particularly talented child, and it was therefore fitting that his work should open open what was to be a night celebrating the younger members of the orchestra both past and present. The first of these was Patrick Martin, now studying Jazz at Leeds College of Music, who performed a movement from Launy Grondahl’s Trombone concerto.  I am sure that I was not the only member of the audience to be taken aback by the amazing versatility of the instrument and the complexity of this most unusual piece.  The second of the soloists was Ellen Buller. Only 14, she is already a student at Chetham’s School of Music and performed the first movement of Johann Joachim Quantz’s Flute Concerto.  A baroque piece arranged for flute and strings, this was a magnificent feat of memory by any standards and a dazzling performance. Though clearly anxious beforehand, Ellen lost all trace of nerves as she became totally absorbed in her playing and produced a focussed and professional performance of a very beautiful and joyous piece.  There was then a very swift change of mood as well as time and space, switching from 1700′s to 1980′s  Brazil for two movements from Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra.  The marimba is a percussion instrument consisting of bars of rosewood of differing lengths with tubular bell resonators underneath, it is rarely heard as a solo instrument which made this performance all the more unusual and fascinating. Played by 17 year old Max Heaton, the first movement “Dance” was incredibly vibrant and rhythmic and for the most part performed using two beaters in each hand – a skill demanding great dexterity. The second movement, “Despedida” was fast and furious with almost sinister overtones in parts and was incredible both to hear and watch. Sadly the orchestra will soon be deprived of Max’s talents as he has been awarded a scholarship to study percussion at the Royal College of Music in London from September.  The programme concluded with the full orchestra performing  Dvorak’s Symphony No 6.  This again was a change in mood with striking performances from woodwind section, flute and piccolo soloists and the brass section. The restful interludes were in great contrast to the dynamic theatricality of the majestic ending and were a brilliant example of the orchestra working together. This was particularly noteworthy as, continuing the theme for the evening, many sections of the orchestra were being led by younger members. This policy of supporting young musicians is one which enriches the experience of the audience and also ensures a lively set of challenges for the orchestra members as a whole, as  could be seen by the way in which they dealt so magnificently with accompanying such a diverse range of soloists.”