Wandsworth Music Blog – WCO perform at the Southbank Centre

Wandsworth Concert Orchestra perform at the Clore Ballroom

Thursday 16th March was a date in the diary for many reasons.  For most of the country, it marked a double strike day, for teachers and for the train network.  Routines and schedules were adjusted, appointments rearranged, and many would have worked from home.  But for sixty-three young people, it signified a performance at the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall.  Back in 2019, the Wandsworth Concert Orchestra performance was one of the last public events that Wandsworth Music before lockdown, and we were delighted to be invited back.  Following a very successful half term course, with expert coaching from members of the Philharmonia, we were poised and ready to put on a great concert.  A train strike wasn’t going to stop us!

The generous forty-five minute set gave the orchestra ample space to perform different styles of music through time.  The Wandsworth Concert Orchestra has developed a reputation for playing music from all corners of the classical and more contemporary worlds of music, and this concert was no exception.  We had a packed programme of 12 pieces, including four dances (apt for a ballroom), Coleridge-Taylor’s Bohemian Waltz, Faure’s Pavane, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No.5, and Shostakovich’s Waltz from Jazz Suite No.2.  There were contrasting pieces such as a piece championing three hits by Aretha Franklin called Queen of Soul, Cirque du Soleil Celebration which was a medley of circus melodies, and the famous Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas.

As well as a range of repertoire to play, the Concert Orchestra also has an abundance of musical talent within the orchestra.  We had two solo items in the programme, using musicians from the string and wind sections of the ensemble.  The first showcased two of the eight (!) clarinetists in the orchestra, Atila and Maia, presenting a wonderfully lyrical interpretation of Humperdinck’s Evening Prayer. The second featured one of our fabulous cellists, Chloe in a very poised and heartfelt rendition of Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan.  We were lucky enough to have two fellows from the Philharmonia to support the young musicians, and we are grateful for the continued partnership with such an esteemed orchestra such as the Philharmonia.

The finale of the concert was Sweet Dreams by the Eurhythmics, which proved to be a firm favourite amongst both the musicians and the audience!