Concert Report – October 2021


 The Solent Concert Orchestra gave a concert last Saturday evening at the Cornerstone Church, Hythe in aid of church and orchestral funds and the HASAG Asbestos Disease Support charity. The concert was dedicated to the memory of the orchestra’s long-serving trumpeter David Parsons who sadly died last year.

Notwithstanding the current Covid restrictions there was a capacity audience all of whom were masked, as were the string players of the orchestra, in compliance with the latest safety recommendations. 

Under the baton of musical director Simon Wilkins and leader Ken Thomas, the programme commenced with ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ (Copeland) as a tribute to David Parsons. This was followed by an impressive performance of Beethoven’s ‘Coriolan Overture’ by the full orchestra. Next, by way of a contrast, came Leroy Anderson’s jaunty ‘Jazz Pizzicato’ and Gustav Holst’s ‘St. Paul’s Suite’ both featuring the orchestra’s string sections. Next it was the turn of the wind and brass sections with Bartok’s ‘Romanian Folk Dances’. The first half concluded with a lively rendition of ‘Lymington Quay’ written by Tony Kitcherside , a former musical director and conductor of the orchestra.

The second half got off to a flying start with the ever-popular opening to Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ followed by the lazy, drifting melodies of ‘Trade Winds’ by Ronald Binge. Next came the well-known ‘Waltz No.2 from the Jazz Suite No.2’ by Shostakovich and an expressive ‘Tango in D’ by Albeniz.

The evening concluded with a musical flip from Paris to London by means of Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris’ and Eric Coates’s ‘Knightsbridge’ march. The orchestra cleverly contrasted musically images of chaotic Parisian thoroughfares with the bustle of London streets.

This was the orchestra’s second concert under the ‘new normal’ regime and if the reaction of the audience was anything to go by it was a resounding success.

Once again, the orchestra’s loyal patron, Dr. Julian Lewis MP, was in attendance.