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The March Concerts

Every March, the Music Department hosts two superb evenings of musical entertainment. This year’s Orchestral Evening took place on Wednesday 7 March, in the Gibson Auditorium. The evening featured a most varied and tremendously ambitious programme, demonstrating what a wide range of repertoire Dollar’s young instrumentalists are being exposed to. The evening offered a mixture of large ensemble, chamber and solo performances.

The Second Orchestra began with three pieces, played with real energy, skill and musical ability. The ‘Pomposo’ from Handel’s Water Music was first, followed by ‘Bydlo’ from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, followed by the always-rousing Finlandia, by Sibelius. Gaia Ghazaryan then offered a beautiful and polished performance of the Largo and Allegro from Telemann’s Sonata in G for violin. DAJO 2, under the baton of Mr Christie, were next, delivering ‘The Muppet Show Theme’ and ‘Big Spender’, which featured Chloe Burbury as the solo saxophonist. It was easy to see why she had been named Young Musician of the Year at the 2018 Fife Festival of Music. Hannah Middleton was next to take the stage, confidently playing ‘Watching the Wheat’ on solo harp. The Form I and II String Ensemble played ‘Groovy Strings’, before being joined by the Senior Strings for ‘5 Alive’. The Senior ensemble then played ‘Game of Thrones’ theme song and ‘I Giorni’ by Einaudi. Archie Mackechnie was the next soloist, offering some delightful accordion playing: ‘Farewell to the Heb and Laura Lynn Cunningham’, ‘The Little Chef’ and ‘Sonically Justified’ proved Archie’s skill and versatility on the instrument, in case anyone needed further proof. The Wind Band, conducted by Mr Morley, took the stage next, playing two well-known rousing film theme songs from The Godfather and Mission Impossible.

The March Concerts

The First Orchestra took to the stage next. A small, baroque orchestral group first, supporting soloist Emma Macrae (Form VI) in her playing of the Allegro Molto movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor F. VIII No. 7 on the bassoon. Another Baroque classic followed when soloists Martina Sillence (violin), Aoife Fitzpatrick (flute) and Runa Jarjour (harpsichord) played the Allegro from JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

A special thank you must be offered to Taylor Watson-Fargie (FP) for the loan of his beautiful harpsichord for use in both evenings’ concerts. The full orchestra then came on and performed a very lively and very famous Allegro con brio from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. A medley from Pirates of the Caribbean ended the First Orchestra’s performance before DAJO 1 played Sir Duke (featuring soloist Conor Philip) and Skyfall (with soloist Zara Kennedy).          

Orchestras, choirs and soloists performedIt was a tremendous evening of music, and that was only the first half of the March concert series. On Thursday 8 March, the Choral Concert took place, also in the Gibson Auditorium, and the assembled audience were treated to another night of music. The Chamber Choir sang ‘A Scottish Blessing’ with a flute solo by Anna Brabcova, before singing ‘Kalla, kalla’ from Five Hebrew Love Songs (violin solo by Martina Sillence). ‘I Got Rhythm’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ followed featuring the talents of Gabby Greenwood, Arthur Morris and Matthew McGarva (on guitar). A Wind Quartet (Aidan Humphrey, Aoife Fitzpatrick, Sophie Ferguson and Emma Macrae) played ‘I Oriental Fanfare, V Nightmarish Episode, VI Comic Relief’ before the Male Voice Choir sang ‘The Night’ from Les Misérables (a taster ahead of the summer musical to come) and a Baroque Quartet (with Aidan Humphrey, Hannah Middleton and Alex Mair) offered Vivaldi’s ‘Domine Deus from Gloria’, featuring soprano soloist Georgia Robertson. The Forms I and II Choir sang ‘Joyful, Joyful’ (with acknowledgements to Beethoven) and ‘Electricity’ from Billy Elliott, featuring soloist Molly Emslie. The eight- strong Vocal Ensemble sang Sting’s beautiful ‘Fields of Gold’ before the Violin Quartet (Gaia Ghazaryan, Rebecca Sillence, Rebecca Middleton and Nikita Safonov) offered Telemann’s Concerto No.1 for 4 Violins. The final soloist of the evening was again Aidan Humphrey, playing piano this time: Vallier’s Toccatina. The Mixed Voice Choir ended the night with three varied offerings: Psalm 23, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’; ‘Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone’ and ‘Seasons of Love’ from the musical Rent.

A special thank you to Taylor Watson-Fargie (FP) for the loan of his beautiful harpsichord for this evening’s concert.