The evening started with the String Orchestra, shoe-horned into our "intimate" space, then progressed through the Recorder Ensemble (some of them very young!), the Phoenix String Quartet, an excellently played piano duet of Saint-Saens' Aquarium, more recorders, the Zwickau Quintet in a movement from Schubert, the Flute and Wind Ensembles, a duet for violin and cello (playing an arrangement of a Vivaldi recorder sonata), and finally the Brass Dectet. A special mention for the two solo acts, Kim Bowker on recorder and Nick Morgan playing a Bach prelude on bass guitar (pictured above) - and that isn't a combination you hear every day!
CMA is all about the children, of course. But it's also a massive tribute to the huge energy and dedication that the teachers pour into it, and our special thanks go to Margot Rusmanis, Alex King, Guy Button and Jeremy Foster who appeared on stage, Jackey Birch and George Bent and others who did not but who had coached the groups, and most of all to Sally Stafford who made the whole evening possible. Play, Passion and Performance!
I can claim to be something of a veteran of school concerts, music centre events, Albert Hall galas, the lot!
But it's still always a great delight to hear some of the hard-working and talented young people that we have coming up to be the next generation of musicians - whether their future is as stars of the professional scene or just in keeping up the fine tradition of amateur music-making in this country. And this concert by some of the smaller ensembles from CMA was a real pleasure.
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