West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra

RICHARD PARR King's Lynn Festival: King's Lynn Corn Exchange.


It was good to see enthusiastic and talented young musicians taking to the main Festival concert stage on the second day.

It was a particularly memorable night for Joan Hooke, who was conducting the orchestra for the final time after an involvement in various roles going back 18 years.

The fledgling music makers she has nurtured gave her a farewell to remember with a programme that included works by Sibelius, Mozart, and more contemporary Philip Lane and Percy Grainger.

With Lucy Fysh as leader, the orchestra opened with Valse Triste, the flute, clarinet, horns and timpani adding to its calm.

There was a contrast in Mozart's Divertimento in D and very much an element of fun and frivolity.

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The Suite of Cotswold Folkdances by Lane was a real treat as the strings were joined by the wind section.

Before the interval the young musicians presented flowers and gifts and a giant card to Mrs Hooke, bearing the appropriate message See Ya.

Tribute was paid to her tremendous commitment in working with hundreds of WNJYO members over the years.

The Concert Band, under the baton of Richard Hall, gave us a lively contrasting programme with some particularly stylish and hard work from the percussionists.

In Lennie Nichaus' Colonnade we were treated to lively pulsating work full of colour and spirit.

Flute soloist Daniel Jenkins gave us a fast opening theme of Bulla's, Rhapsody for Flute, with a delightfully expressive finale.

In the final work, the percussion was in expansive mood again in James Curnow's Northwest Passage, with its combination of dramatic stirring melodies and exciting fanfare flourishes.

These talented youngsters are the Festival's future and deserve to be encouraged. What a pity then that there were only 275 seats taken in an auditorium with a 700-plus capacity.

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