Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Sussex Concert Orchestra at Christ Church, St Leonards, conductor Kenneth Roberts

Film music for a young audience

The Sussex Concert Orchestra will perform an interesting selection of Sibelius, Smetana ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ symphonic dances together with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.  This is an opportunity for film and musical buffs to reinforce their appreciation of the music they learned to love in the cinema and theatre, writes HOT’s Chris Cormack.

The Sibelius 5th Symphony captures the icy Finnish winter in the first movement, the tentative spring in the second and the finale is incredibly good – everyone likes the moment when, with the outburst of horns, the theme of happy contentment appears here like a sunbeam through clouds. The world has too much hate and needs to be counter-balanced by joy and understanding. This music has it, writes music reviewer, Ben Garrison.

Cecy Kemp (viola section) gets ready to play Pirates of the Caribbean at the concert

Smetana’s  Vlatava (Moldavian Homeland) was made better known from very impressionistic sequences used in Terrence Malick’s film, ‘Tree of Life‘. There will also be Symphonic Dances from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and an arrangement of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – so something for film and musical buffs. On 26 September a further opportunity can be had to listen to live music devoted to film favourites at the Composers Festival. A big screen at the De La Warr will show relevant film sequences to accompany the music.

The Sussex Concert Orchestra was formed in 1988 to provide an orchestral outlet for the many instrumental teachers, semi-professional players and other talented musicians in and around Sussex. The first concert was conducted by Philip Ledger CBE, who has since become President of the Orchestra.

Subsequent concerts were directed by other guest conductors. The orchestra is also committed to providing young players with an opportunity to play the symphonic repertoire to an advanced standard in a friendly and welcoming environment. In 1994, the orchestra invited Kenneth Roberts to become its regular musical director and since then, he has directed the majority of performances.

The orchestra has also been directed by a series of distinguished guest conductors, including Philip Ledger and Colin Metters. Guest soloists have included Crispian Steele-Perkins, Benjamin Luxon and Paul Lewis. In 1998, the orchestra gave the first performance of the four-handed version of Malcolm Arnold’s double piano concerto in the presence of the composer at the Rye Festival.

After a hiatus between 2000-2006, the orchestra was reconstituted and since then has performed a regular concert for Hastings Old Town week and, from 2009-2011, was the resident orchestra for the Hastings International Piano Competition.

The Sussex Concert Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Roberts performs Smetana – ‘Vltava’ and Sibelius – Symphony No.5 on Sunday 10 May 7.30pm at St Leonards Parish Church, 66 The Marina, St Leonards on Sea TN38 0BE


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Posted 17:03 Tuesday, May 5, 2015 In: Music & Sound

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