Concert - Sunday June 4th 2023

(click picture to enlarge)

A bright sunny day – one of the warmest so far this year – saw the annual Light Music Concert at the British Home in Streatham, London, given by the Mark Fitz-Gerald Orchestra.

Previously these have been held in February, but the decision was taken to re-schedule this one to June; it is understood that the revised date will continue in the future.

It certainly resulted in a good attendance, both from visitors and residents alike, who were entertained by a most enjoyable afternoon of the kind of music which – unfortunately – is all-too conspicuous by its virtual absence these days.

Mark Fitz-Gerald has a great affinity for this genre, and his orchestra – consisting of professional musicians who play ‘pro-bono’ on their day off, together with a good number of very accomplished amateur instrumentalists – seems to get better and better as the years go by !

The full programme was as follows:-

Theatreland * - Jack Strachey
Sally Tries The Ballet - Charles Williams
Romeo and Juliet-Pastorale - Edward German
Amparito Roca - Jaime Texidor
Invocation and Dance Of A Whimsical Elf [two movements from A Day In Fairyland] - Haydn Wood.
Cabana - Edward White
Little Serenade - Ernest Tomlinson
In A Persian Market - Albert Ketèlbey
Serenade To Youth - Haydn Wood
Teddy Bears’ Picnic - John Bratton
Lazy Night - Eric Coates
London Calling - Eric Coates
Westminster Waltz - Robert Farnon

*This has now become the regular signature-tune for these concerts.

Midway through the session, we were treated to an additional item – an impromptu unaccompanied solo rendition of the famous Northumberland folk song, Blow The Wind Southerly, by one of the residents called Naomi Hyamson.

Westminster Waltz was originally intended as the scheduled encore, but such was the enthusiasm of the audience that the orchestra also obliged with a repeat performance of Amparito Roca – so we had two for the price of one !

Many thanks and congratulations are due to Mark Fitz-Gerald and his splendid orchestra, to oboist Ian Finn for choosing and organising the repertoire, and to trombonist Frances Barrett, who handled all the administrative arrangements and introduced each item on the programme.

All of this was in aid of a very deserving cause, as it raised funds for the British Home, which is a Royal Charter Charity providing accommodation and support for people living with neuro-disability.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say how much we are looking-forward to next year’s concert !

© Tony Clayden

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