Concert - Sunday June 2nd 2024

(click pictures to enlarge)


It appeared that summer had arrived at last !

A clear sky and very warm sunshine beckoned us back to Streatham on Sunday June 2nd, as several London Light Music supporters joined the audience, together with some of the residents and staff, to enjoy a superb concert of some fine Light Music.

As usual, the orchestra was in the capable hands of Mark Fitz-Gerald, who – together with oboist Ian Finn – devised the programme. However, for the first time this year, the conducting duties were shared between Mark and a young newcomer, Matthew Lloyd-Wilson (right). He enjoys a number of conducting posts with various orchestras in southern England, and although his main 'stock-in-trade' veers towards the more 'serious' end of the musical spectrum, it immediately became apparent that he has an intuitive empathy for 'our kind of music'.

An innovation this year would have featured some vocal numbers, but unfortunately the soprano who was due to appear had to withdraw at the 'eleventh hour' due to losing her voice, so some last-minute re-jigging resulted in the inclusion of extra orchestral pieces, as starred below*.

The sixteen compositions were therefore as follows :-

Theatreland Jack Strachey - (The orchestra’s signature tune)
Beachcomber Clive Richardson
A Vision In Velvet Trevor Duncan
The Grasshoppers’ Dance Ernest Bucalossi
Childrens’ Dance from Miniature Suite* Eric Coates
Lullaby from Three Bavarian Dances Sir Edward Elgar
Dick’s Maggot from First Suite of English Folk Dances Ernest Tomlinson
Scene du Bal from Miniature Suite Eric Coates
Rotten Row Angela Morley
Intermezzo from Miniature Suite* Eric Coates
The Runaway Rocking Horse Edward White
Down Longford Way Catherine Parker
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic John Bratton
Venice – from Cities of Romance Haydn Wood
Entry of the Gladiators Julius Fucik
Barwick Green – From My Native Heath Arthur Wood

The ensemble largely consisted of professional musicians who gave their services gratis on their day off, complemented by some excellent amateur instrumentalists. Considering that they only had one short rehearsal just before the concert, their sparkling performance was quite remarkable.

Afterwards, I spoke to their lady leader, Gill Tarlton, who every year undertakes the considerable journey from her home in Ipswich, Suffolk. She told me that she loves playing this kind of musical fare, as do her orchestral colleagues.

Thanks are due to Mark Fitz-Gerald, Matthew Lloyd-Wilson, Ian Finn and also to trombonist Frances Barrett, who introduced each item and is responsible for all the administrative arrangements.

These annual events are held to raise funds for the British Home, which is a Royal Charter Charity, providing accommodation and care for people with neuro-disability.

I’m sure that I speak for us all when I say that we are much looking forward to the next concert, which is due to take place on Sunday June 1st 2025.

Tony Clayden June 2024

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