Past Performances - Chatteris Music Society

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Past Performances

Chatteris Music Society is proud of its record,  bringing a wide range of first class performers to Chatteris and enjoying excursions to concerts and other musical events throughout Cambridgeshire and the Home Counties. In the recent past these have  included the following -


May 20th, 2017 Hatstand Opera Company

On Saturday May 20th we were once again entertained by the wonderful and ever fresh Hatstand Opera Company. On a really awful rainy Saturday  Hatstand, returning to Chatteris for the 4th time, delivered a fast moving quality performance. We were treated to a delightful evening of entertainment.... delivering their unique, mixed bag of musical gems, providing their special blend of humour, pathos and nostalgia. The audience loved every minute. The evening was a huge success.






March 11th, 2017 The Falcon Ensemble

On Saturday March 11th the Falcon Ensemble came to Chatteris
and delivered a wonderful evening's entertainment. Under conductor
Alan Bowman, and with solo pianist Naomi Woo, the Ensemble gave 
the large audience an evening to remember. Among the many notes of appreciation we have received Frances Sell writes -
 
The Falcon Ensemble, playing to a “full-house” in the lovely Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Chatteris, gave enormous pleasure to us all.  There is always some little point or story to learn and Saturday’s concert was no exception. Particularly appreciated was conductor and founder Alan Bowman’s lively and informative introduction to Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni and to Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, which certainly enhanced our appreciation of a very talented ensemble. 
 
Pianist Naomi Woo charmed everybody! We will remember for a long time her brilliant and exciting performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto.  She had the full attention of us all as Beethoven’s music filled the Church and we listened with, perhaps, in mind the tragedy of Beethoven’s increasing deafness and the knowledge that it would be the last of his of concertos he performed in public.
 
Some of us at the back of the Church couldn’t actually see the piano!  We were taken by surprise by the deep sonorous sound that rose above us as Naomi Woo began a thrilling and intriguing encore.  For an instant, in my mind’s eye I could see a mountainous scene reminiscent of an ancient Japanese print, the echo of a large bronze gong reverberating through a lonely valley. It was an exciting and fascinating encore.  Later, with a little help from the Internet and a search for information on Canadian composer Alexia Louie, I discovered that if you enter “Scenes from a Jade Terrace” into your search engine you can listen to “Memories in an Ancient Garden” again!



October 8th, 2016 - Budapest Cafe Orchestra

On Saturday October 8th we hosted the Budapest Cafe Orchestra, 4 extremely talented musicians who excel in delivering excitement.
A near capacity audience were enthralled by this group. Rosemary Westwell writes -

There is a very good reason why Chatteris Music Society is becoming more and more successful: it is providing fantastic concerts. The Budapest Café Orchestra that performed on Saturday was amazing. It is like no other group I have ever heard. Imagine trying to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto with a violin, a guitar, a piano accordion and a double bass – impossible, you would imagine. However, armed with these interesting instruments, these highly talented musicians managed it with phenomenal flair, albeit performing their own unique arrangement. Their virtuosic skill, hilarious sense of humour and undoubted sensitivity and rhythmic genius kept the packed audience spellbound.
The ‘orchestra’ consists of Chris Garrick (playing violin and doumbek: a type of drum), Kelly Cantlon (double bass), Adrian Zolotuhin (saz, guitar and balalaika) and Eddie Hession (button accordion).
The leader, Chris Garrick, inspired this group of eccentric UK dwellers parading as mysterious Hungarian- come-Russian characters to play with tremendous agility, feeling and expert timing, infusing their arrangements with mischievousness that had the audience laughing out loud. While wondering if strains of Brahm’s Hungarian pieces were being infiltrated into their vivacious arrangements of known folk music, we would be suddenly met with oh-so-familiar themes from the likes of James Bond, the Archers, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, The Onedin Line, Captain Pugwash, Born Free, Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’, ‘Poldark’ or ‘Apache’. Nothing was sacrosanct. Only performers of such astounding ability as these musicians can get away with such outrageous fun so successfully.       

This was an amazing evening: a fitting tribute to Roger Heading a previous chairman of Chatteris Music Society.



The Hatstand Opera (Toni and Kirsty)
Alan Bowman
Naomi Woo
Budapest Cafe Orchestra - 1
Budapest Cafe Orchestra - 2
May 14th, 2016 - Pasadena Roof Orchestra

On Saturday May 14th the Society brought the world famous Pasadena Roof Orchestra to Chatteris for the very first time. Their reputation preceeding them, we hoped this would be a very special evening for our audience. We were not disappointed.

This was a wonderful evening's entertainment. The audience - our biggest ever - was captivated by the swinging sounds of the twenties and thirties, and the vocalist Duncan Galloway was superb. The atmosphere in the Church was exciting and was enhanced by the newly installed lighting effects, and the show was full of fun, rhythm and laughter.

Messages received since that evening include -

I just want to say how enjoyable the concert was last night. The band was amazing. The atmosphere was friendly and so vibrant. The lighting in the Church highlights the lovely architecture of the building. A perfect venue.  M

Just wanted to say what a joyous evening we had last night. I am not surprised that the Pasadena Roof Orchestra are world famous - they were positively very entertaining and very talented. Two of us fell in love with the singer Duncan Galloway. In the early fifties I remember listening to lots of these songs and music which were still being played on the radio so I was able to sing along (quietly of course).  J

As Chairman Katherine Childs writes -

It was a sheer joy to see so many members of the audience leaving at the end of the evening with glowing, happy faces, all looking and I am sure feeling ten years younger. So much for the magic of music which I keep telling people can change lives.

'What a swell party it was!'

Pasadena photographs curtesy of Terry Kane
Pasadena Roof Orchestra - Duncan Galloway
Pasadena Roof Orchestra - Players


March 18th, 2016 - Chamber Philharmonic Europe.

On Friday March 18th 2016 an enthralled audience was delighted at the wonderful performance delivered by this so very talented international group of musicians. Even by their own high standards this concert must rank as one of their very best. Dr Rosemary Westwell writes -

Chatteris Music Society presented an excellent concert by the Chamber Philharmonic Europe Orchestra at the Church of St. Peter & St. Paul in Chatteris last Friday. This orchestra was led by a phenomenal violinist and person Pawel  Zuzanski. Under Pawel’s guidance, this orchestra thrived. Reverting to the traditional way of leading, Pawel was one of the instrumentalists performing while he was also ‘conducting’. This produced the expected cohesive, intuitive effect.
The renowned trumpet soloist, Kirill Gusarov, also featured in this splendid concert.
 A fine string octet by Glière opened the concert and these players played with assurance, their secure technique and clear understanding of the construction of the piece giving the music momentum. 
The trumpet soloist for Hummel’s ‘Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E flat major’ made his instrument sing like no other trumpet I have heard. His notes were secure, resonant and beautiful without any of the brassiness we associate with the instrument.  Even in the rapid tongued passages this performer demonstrated real precision and beauty of sound.
After the interval came Schubert’s ‘Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in A major D438’ featuring the leader as solo violin player and together with the orchestra he brought out the joyfulness of Schubert’s melodies and created real depth in the differences of light and shade in the work.
With continental flair, the orchestra then played the well-known ‘Adagio in G minor for Strings’ by Albinoni and the final work of the programme was by the Danish composer Nielsen, featuring his ‘Little Suite for Strings op.1’ which was a delight, all its varied elements combined into one effective little group.  The middle waltz was particularly impressive.
The concert ended with two well-deserved encores: ‘Romanza’ by Mendez and a joyfully uninhibited, jazzy piece: ‘Musical Souvenir’ by Poltoratsky.

Chamber Philharmonic photographs curtesy of Margaret Banks
Chamber Philharmonic Europe - 1
Chamber Philharmonic Europe - 2


November 28th, 2015 - Theatre Royal, Norwich.

On Saturday Nov 28 a packed coach took Music Society members, friends and family to the Theatre Royal Norwich to see Northern Ballet perform The Nutcracker. This was a thoroughly enjoyable outing, our reviewer writes -

This production by the  Northern  Ballet Company was strikingly beautiful. The choreography, the costumes, the sets were exquisite. Each one of us travelled  with Clara on this magical journey and shared her dream, her fantasy, through the hypnotic combination of art, music and dance performed to the highest standard. It was a stunning interpretation. The dancers came from all over the World and members of the audience ranged from about 4 years of age to 94.
Thank you to Joan Deller for making the arrangements and ensuring the whole day ran smoothly and was a happy day for us all.
The Nutcracker
September 12th, 2015 - Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra.

This concert, our last of the 2015 season, was an absolute delight for the very appreciative audience. The solo pianist - Tom Poster - is internationally recognised as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility, and he was outstanding at this concert, as was the whole orchestra who were brilliantly conducted by James Murray. Our patron Andrew Parnell writes -

I was particularly looking forward to hearing Tom Poster in the Mozart concerto and some music which was new to me.  For my taste, the Karlowicz Serenade for strings was a bit light and long to be a concert overture, but the Bernard Wind Divertissement certainly brought to my ears some music I'd like to hear again.  The sections of the orchestra came together in the Mozart Concerto, and there was obviously a fruitful rapport between them and Tom Poster, particularly in the more tender passages of the middle movement.  But it was in Beethoven's 2nd Symphony when the orchestra really came into their own and, in conductor James Murray's direction, gave the performance of the evening.
I congratulate both the orchestra and the Chatteris Music Society on their long association, which I hope will continue for more years to come, to allow audiences to hear quality performances of such a variety of orchestral music.


July 11th, 2015 - Paula Jackman's Jazzmen.


Chatteris Music Society president Ray Dordery writes -

Chatteris Music Society’s  presentation on Saturday 11th July featured Paula Jackman’s Jazzmen. This six piece Dixieland Jazz band with its traditional instrumentation of trumpet (or cornet), clarinet, trombone, piano, string bass, banjo, and drums is hugely entertaining, and their programme was greatly enjoyed by a large and appreciative audience. 
Led by Paula Jackman, clarinet, they opened with a lively rendering of ‘At the Jazz Band Ball’. This was followed by ‘Rosetta’, ‘I wish I could shimmy like my sister Kate’. Paula’s interpretive rendition of the evocative ‘Summertime’ followed, and ‘I wish I knew what it would be like to be free’ by Roger Limb on piano.
Other familiar offerings included ‘I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter’, ‘Riverboat Shuffle’, ‘Some of these Days’ , ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ , and the ever popular ‘When the Saints go marching in’.
 
Interval refreshments with wine fuelled lively conversation and put the seal on a thoroughly enjoyable evening.     
Paula Jackman and her Jazzmen

Apr 24th, 2015 - The King's Men.

On Friday April 24th we welcomed back to Chatteris this most talented group of singers from the King's College Cambridge. To a  virtually full house they gave another memorable performance which the audience loved.

Rosemary Westwell the music critic writes -

Acknowledged by many as the most renowned singers world-wide, the Choral Scholars of the Choir of King’s College Cambridge have formed themselves into a delightfully entertaining ensemble. Besides its members’ commitment to singing daily services in King’s College Chapel, this group, the King’s Men, is in huge demand. At their concert in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul  in Chatteris last Friday, the singers not only entertained us with their exquisitely pure, sonorous voices, but they shared delightful wit and humour that only youthful talented people such as these can engender. The audience was thrilled.
Music of all kinds filled the programme: the nostalgic ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, religious works by Byrd, di Lassus, Pitoni and Durufle, spirituals: ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’, ‘Deep River’ and ‘Steal Away’, traditional songs:  ‘Greensleeves’, ‘O Waly waly’, ‘Sally Gardens’  and ‘Dashing  away with a smoothing iron’ and popular items: ‘I want you back’ from the Jackson 5, ‘Everything’ of Michael Buble fame, ‘Summer Nights’ from ‘Grease’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Mood Indigo’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘Get Around’.  
What made the evening was not only the packed and varied programme, but the sheer beauty and skill of the singers’ voices as rich, full harmonies, pulsating rhythms, and amazingly intricate turns within sophisticated arrangements held the listeners spellbound.
‘Tame’ organist Richard Gowler provided very pleasant interludes, ably abetted by ‘a sterling page-turner’ and the encore was most welcome and well deserved. 
The King's Men - 1
The King's Men - 2
 


March 7th, 2015 - The Band of The Queen's Division.

On Saturday March 7th the Chatteris Music Society hosted this leading and extremely talented band who delivered a wonderful performance to an appreciative and full capacity audience. Music critic Rosemary Westwell writes - 

The Church at Chatteris positively buzzed with excitement as dazzling members of The Band of the Queen’s Division took their places to begin their concert. The packed audience was not disappointed. It was magnificent.  
 
The band was led by two conductors who had local connections with Netherhall School . They were Captain Jon Milne and Warrant Officer Class 1 Ben Mason. They took it in turn to rouse these highly talented musicians into presenting a wonderfully varied programme played with phenomenal skill.  

We stood for the National Anthem and then seated ourselves for a real treat. Normally, you would expect the programme would be filled with traditional march music, but this was not the case. These instrumentalists showed that they can let rip as much as any other jazz or rock band. Luxurious, full jazz harmonies, rippling cascades , rhythmic accuracy and breath-taking agility were the order of the day while tremendous toe-tapping moments emanated from ‘Anything Goes’, ‘Irving Berlin Showstoppers’ and ‘Sousa’.

A lighter, more expressive touch stirred the heart strings with ‘On Golden Pond’,  ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘Smile’, ‘What a Wonderful World’, ‘Bring him Home’,  and ‘On my Own’, many of which featured in house- singers.
Only a band such as this could produce the wild excitement and terror of the darkest moments of ‘Phantom of the Opera’, while the amazingly intricate rhythms and catchy tunes of ‘Cole Porter Spectacular’ captivated us all.
Musician Brendan Gudgeon’ s solo on vibraphone in ‘Tribute to Lionel’ was magical and the final pieces, ‘Miss Saigon’ and their traditional marches: The  Corps of Army Music and The Queen’s Division rounded this fantastic evening off perfectly.

It was no wonder people had to be turned away for this event, so book early for Chatteris Music Society’s next event on Friday 24th April, featuring The King’s Men.

Proceeds from the evening supported SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen’s Families Association) and CAMUS (Corps of Army Music).

An extensive gallery of the photographer Mark Swanson's photographs from the evening may be seen by clicking this link.
Capt. Jon Milne and W.O. Class 1 Ben Mason
Band of Queen's Division - 1
Band of Queen's Division - 2

November 15th, 2014 - Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra

On this chilly November evening the CUJO came to Chatteris and thrilled the near sell-out audience with a selection of old classics and newer jazz offerings. This very talented group of young musicians - some hailing from distant parts of the world - gave a thoroughly professional performance which included a mixture of classic instrumentals interspersed with cleverly delivered vocals.

This performance was of a very high standard and left the audience wanting more. We hope the CUJO will return to Chatteris again in the not too distant future.  
CUJO Rhythm

September 4th, 2014 - Trip to see Top Hat.


On September 4th a coach loaded with Chatteris Music Society members made the trip to Milton Keynes to see Top Hat the Musical which was being shown at the excellent Milton Keynes Theatre. The music and lyrics were penned by Irving Berlin for the 1935 film of the same name, and were performed by a wonderful cast headed by Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch.

The dance numbers were delivered with excellent timing by the ensemble and with songs such as Isn't This a Lovely Day, Top Hat - White Tie and Tails, Cheek to Cheek, Let's Face the Music and Dance, and Putting on the Ritz the show was a great success enjoyed by all who were there.  

An early email we have received from a member who saw this performance says -


Dear Joan, we just wanted to add our sincere thanks for the wonderful day yesterday. No only was the show a great joy but the organisation of the whole excursion was superbly done. 
Top Hat performers


July 26th, 2014 - Natalia Williams-Wandoch
 


For the Society's first lunchtime concert Natalia Williams-Wandoch played for us on Saturday July 26th 2014. Natalia thrilled the large audience, and the music critic Rosemary Westwell sent the following review -

Chatteris Music Society organized a highly successful piano recital in St. Peter's and St. Paul’s Church on Saturday. The concert featured Polish/British pianist Natalia Williams-Wandoch, who played a programme packed with works by two very different composers: Brahms and Gershwin. She also performed ‘Combination Rag’ by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin and three items from Debussy’s ‘Estampes’.
Natalia has a phenomenal technique and in this concert she caught the idiosyncrasies of the composers perfectly. The powerful full chords of Brahms, the exquisite underlying tension of Gershwin’s off-beat rhythms and Debussy’s fluid harmonies and charismatic melodies were captured beautifully by her in the cool interior of this enchanting church. In ‘Combination Rag’ Natalia showed she fully understood the workings of the composition as she kept its catchy melody constantly in our minds in her thoughtful performance.  

Following this highly successful concert Natalia sent the following message to the Society -

It was such a pleasure playing for you all in Chatteris. I feel delighted that the Society's first ever lunchtime recital attracted so many people. Thank you for making me feel so welcome: I greatly enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and how the concert was organised and how helpful everyone has been. I wish the Society continuous growth! I shall look forward to performing for you again in the future.
Natalia

June 21st, 2014 - Hatstand Opera Company.

On June 21st 2014 Hatstand came to Chatteris, and gave the large audience a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening with a varied selection of Golden Moments from Opera. The following is an extract from a review by Rosemary Westwell and describes the performance so well -

Hatstand Opera presented some golden moments from opera on Saturday in Chatteris for the Music Society at the Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul, Chatteris. This was one of the many high profile events the Society has organized and it was, indeed, a series of ‘golden’ moments. 
Opera favourites were mixed with lesser known delights in this varied programme and the evening ended with some highly entertaining re-workings of more, familiar tunes. The whole evening was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, because not only was the singing first-rate but joy and humour regularly infused the programme, leaving us mesmerised. 
Toni Nunn (soprano), Kirsty Young (mezzo), and Jochem van Ast (baritone) were in fine voice and very ably accompanied by pianist Sue Graham Smith. Songs were sung mostly in English but we were entertained with some delightful numbers in their original language. The French sounds of ‘The Flower Duet’ helped to make this one of the most memorable items. Toni and Kirstys’ voices were perfectly matched in this piece as were all voices in ‘Soave sia el vento’ from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart. 
This was a highly entertaining evening well worthy of its enthusiastic support.


The audience was similarly impressed, see following comment - 
Let me say how much Uda and I enjoyed last night's concert. The church was packed, the atmosphere was vibrant and the Hatstand Opera performance was most enjoyable. They were both funny AND excellent singers.  It was a real joy.
Thank you again for all the good work. 
Uda and Uri Shamir 
Toni and Kirsty
Kirsty, Jochem, Toni, and Sue
 
 
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