Music in the Afternoon

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How refreshing it was to hear some quality music performed by a group of young musicians at Christ Church on the 13th May. This was the second concert in the ‘Music in the Afternoon’ series, covering a wide span of musical styles ranging from Mozart to Miserables, with many stops on the way.

These musicians – all from the Preston area – were brought together by Carol Rose who has worked with them individually over recent years.

David Rose demonstrated his versatility in playing the drums and the cello (not at the same time). His ‘Swing Time’ got the proceedings off to a really rousing start. The playing of a sonata by Breval was both sensitive and had rich tonal quality. Later in the programme he performed two short cello pieces by Mary Cohen – one of which was completely pizzicato, the other full of humour. David concluded his performance with an exciting and skilful ‘Slick Sticks for Six.’

Jason McMahon is a fine clarinettist. His rich tone and sound technique showed up well in two Tartini movements and in the sensitive playing of ‘Après en Rêve.’ ‘Frensham Pond’ by Wm Lloyd Webber (father of Andrew and Julian) was a lovely rendering of what might be described as typically English music.

Daniel Dwyer reflectively performed the well-known slow movement of the Mozart ‘Clarinet Concerto’ and then an ‘Allegro’ by the same composer. He changed to flute with two delightful movements of early French music by Couperin in ‘Dances for Flute.’

Megan Edmondson is a singer with a stage presence and style in abundance, and it comes as no surprise that she has just been awarded a scholarship in Music Theatre at Laine Theatre Arts in London. Here is a voice that is full of music and which captures the sensitivity of her chosen repertoire. Particular highlights for me were ‘Send in the Clowns’ – sung with much insight of the character – and ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables.

All of the performers were involved in a ‘Christian Aid Reflection – a moving combination of images, voices and instruments. It helped us to focus on the needs of the world and – whilst we were sitting and enjoying the music of the concert – it made us realise just what suffering and needs there are in this so-called modern world of ours.

Fallen’ the first performance of a piece by Jason McMahon is based on words from Isaiah and Revelations and was performed by Jason, Daniel and Carol. This is an extraordinary work – one that needs to be heard more than once to really appreciate its significance. The move from the almost painful dissonance of the instruments to that of the vocal harmony at its conclusion makes a powerful statement and the composer is to be highly congratulated.  

This was a very satisfying and enjoyable concert in front of a large and appreciative audience. Grateful thanks are due to Carol Rose for her fine accompaniments and for providing a platform for these young musicians to show off their talents and at the same time raising funds for Christian Aid.

The next ‘Music in the Afternoon’ is on Sunday 8th July, when the South Pennine Singers under the direction of Geoff Balson will present a programme of choral music ranging from Madrigal to Musical.


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