Young Musicians' Concert

September 16, 2023

The 2023/2024 season of the Shipston Music Society began on September 15th with a celebration of younger performers who all live, or attend school in the area. The evening began with Julian Halota. He chose three pieces: “Rondo a la Turca” by Mozart, “Opening Night Jazz” by Martha Meir” and “Rumba Toccata” by Paul Harvey. Julian is a confident pianist who can happily switch from the classical era of Mozart to the jazz idioms of the late 19th and early 20th century. His playing showed a developing maturity and understanding of the necessary elements required for performance.

Molly Sharma was next on the piano stool with two pieces. “Ivan is very busy” from “The Adventures of Ivan” by Khachaturian, a Russian/Armenian composer (1903 – 1978) and “Prayer of the Matador” by N. Dello Joio, another American composer. The first, as the name suggests is a piece of perpetual motion which Molly was able to execute with ease, but then in contrast we heard a haunting melody (the matador’s thoughts?)  captured by Molly’s lovely legato playing.

Next, a change of instrument as Aaron Notley Jones came forward with his classical guitar. For his first piece he chose “Old Mountain Thyme” (a traditional Scottish folksong) which highlighted the use of the Scottish “snap”.  In contrast he chose “Mazurka Choro” by Villa Lobos. This was exactly what one would expect of a piece based on South American folk music. It was apparent that Aaron enjoyed playing it and the audience liked it too.

Philip Mitroi was due to play several duets with his sister but unfortunately she was unable to be with us. However Philip offered to play “Juin” from “The Seasons” by Tchaikovsky. This lovely piece is in the style of a barcarole with a serene melody played over gentle chords providing the harmony. This was a performance that demonstrated his ability to make the melody “sing”.

Freddie Charles was also prevented from performing for us this evening so Julian had offered to play two extra pieces. Unfortunately I mislaid the programme on which I had noted the titles. My apologies. However the enthusiastic applause also prompted the offer of another piece each from Aaron and Molly so our thanks to them.

Our final performer was Cameron Spruce who began with “La Cathedrale Engloutie” by Claude Debussy. This piece conjures up a submerged cathedral as in the old Breton legend of the town of Ys, once engulfed but now revealing, at low tide, the foundations… Cameron had no difficulty in creating the dark and forbidding atmosphere of the scene with the tolling of the cathedral bell. It was very atmospheric. In complete contrast “The Golliwog’s Cakewalk” transported the audience to a comic scene of golliwogs having fun. After the applause Cameron immediately put on his jazz hat with a rollicking performance of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”. The perfect finale for a super concert by our young, local talent. My congratulations to Julian, Molly, Aaron, Philip and Cameron for a most enjoyable evening. THANK YOU.

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