Alton College Perform at ‘Music in St. Johns, Alresford’

On Saturday 29th January, the Alton College Music department presented the final concert of Ewart Woolridge’s 15 years running the series ‘Music in St. Johns, Alresford’. Ewart said he was delighted that Alton College was the last group to present music in his tenure as his daughter had attended Alton College; and Alton College had brought well over 60 musicians to play an eclectic mix of music.
 
The concert kicked off with the largest ensemble of the evening, a mixture of the Chamber Orchestra, with many additional wind, brass and percussion. Directed by Phil Singleton they performed the Apotheose from Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale by Hector Berlioz. What a stirring start to the evening it was – the floor shook.
 
The evening’s programme was a mixture of old with music from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, performed by the Chamber Choir with two solos of note by Anne Whitehead. Music by Mozart, the Magic Flute Overture played by the Wind Quintet, a Divertimento for clarinet trio and the final movement of the Hafner Symphony played by the Chamber Orchestra. The two further choral works were Rossini’s over the top Kyrie Eleison from his Petite Messe Solennelle (anything but small and anything but solemn!) and Bruckner’s beautiful Locus Iste, both well sung by the Choral Society.
 
There was also a good dose of new music: two pieces by Shostakovich including the excellent first movement of the 8th String Quartet and two Serenades, one by Mathias and one by Rodney Bennett performed by the Chamber Orchestra. But perhaps the most exciting music was two pieces by current students of the college performed by the Alton College Composers Ensemble. Presented as a four movement work with two small movements by Darius Milhaud first we heard Alex Ling’s March, followed by Hannah Dilke’s setting of Ning, Nang, Nong which included a reciter in the ensemble, but also had members of the ensemble speaking as well.
 
As well as the old & new, at the end of each half there was also a little bit of blue – The Jazz Factory presenting four jazz classics from their repertoire.
 
The next Jazz Factory performance will be at the Hen and Chicken in Froyle on the 28th February