In October we had our annual Young Musician’s Concert and this year we were delighted to welcome Jessica Madden from Stratford upon Avon. She is currently a student at the Stratford Grammar School for Girls and has been studying piano with Lynn Arnold, herself a regular performer for the Society.
From the outset we knew we would be enjoying a very varied programme of music. The Holberg Suite by Grieg is well known as a piece for string orchestra but, as Jessica explained, it was originally written for the piano. Jessica’s confident performance of it certainly gave members a clear idea of the piece as Grieg originally envisaged it. From Grieg we went to Haydn’s Sonata in C major a work in three movements and Jessica’s performance reflected an assured distinction between the different moods of legato and brio.
From Haydn we went to Scarlatti and Jessica played two Sonatas K259 and 260 (out of the 500 Sonatas that the composer actually wrote!) Next was a piece less well known to members, the Lark by Russian composer, Mily Balakirev. This was a piece was a transcription of a piece written by Glinka, The Farewell to St Petersburg, and reflected the sounds of Russia. Jessica’s right hand sang out during this piece and her enjoyment of the music was clear. The programme ended with a fast and exciting performance of I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin.
Jessica is clearly a taleted musician and has already achieved much, passing her Grade 8 with distinction and taking part in a number of events including the Young Musicians’ Platform at Bromsgrove and the Leamington Music Festival. In addition she has played at Butlers Marston and at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. Her assurance and confidence at the keyboard were very evident and the audience had to agree that she (like Gershwin) had certainly “got rhythm”.
We hope very much that Jessica will return to us to play again in the future, and in the meantime wish her every success in her studies both in music and elsewhere.