By 2018 Nathaniel Hone
On Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Shirehall, Hereford, the Herefordshire Youth Music held their Spring Concerts.
On Tuesday, we heard the Brass and Concert Bands. First on were the Intermediate Concert Band with four pieces including Modest Mussorgsky's A Night on a Bare Mountain. Next was the Youth Brass Bands with eight pieces. I particularly enjoyed Mack the Knife. The Junior Concert Band gave us four pieces, arrangements of songs that we knew well and loved. Finally, The Herefordshire Youth Concert Band gave us three pieces, starting with excerpts from the Rite of Spring under the baton of Encore's very own Cliff Woollard. This is a very dissonant piece with lots of changes in tempo - difficult and played very well. After a piece from Delibes' ballet, Sylvia, we ended with a bang with music from the film, The Incredibles.
On Wednesday, it was the turn of the Strings, Beginner Ensembles and the Herefordshire Youth Choir. Tonight, many of the players were smaller than their instruments. We started with the Starter Concert Band with three pieces : Handel then Beethoven and, by way of contrast, Pirates of the Caribbean. Next were the Starter Strings with a Polka, a Calypso and a Quickstep. The future dance band in the Green Dragon on a Saturday night? The Junior Strings started with a stately Pavane, then Molly Malone's Cockles and Mussels, followed by the delightfully named Scottish Brawl. Sadly, the Scottish wife was not there to hear this tribute to her countryfolk.
The Ukulele Ensemble (21 listed in the programme so a lot of ukuleles) started with Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. Hopefully, I will be the only High Sheriff in the UK who has this word in their blog. This was followed by "I have a Dream", "500 Miles" and a Gospel trio with some of the Herefordshire Youth Choir. The rest of the Herefordshire Youth Choir then sang three pieces and the Intermediate Strings finished the concert with another three pieces.
Herefordshire is the Music County.