West Norfolk Jubilee Youth Orchestra

RICHARD PARR King's Lynn Corn Exchange

RICHARD PARR

It's always a pleasure to see these young musicians taking their place on the platform of the main festival venue.

It was equally pleasant to see such a large audience there to show their appreciation of these youngsters' efforts, some of whom have been combining exam revision with rehearsals.

The concert opened with the popular Light Cavalry Overture by Suppe which, with its famous dancing 'calvalry' theme, set the tone for an entertaining evening, the orchestra under the baton of Joanna Kemp.

There were traces of folk song in the first movement of Beethoven's Symphony No 6 in F major with the lovely passage in which strings and wind respond to each other.

The next piece, English Folk Song, Suite was a treat. The three-movement suite, composed in 1923, was treated with skilful and sensitive playing.

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In sharp contrast was the orchestra's final piece, The Empire Strikes Back – a medley by John Williams. This again was a well-performed piece and the involvement from the hard-working percussionists created sweeping swirls of rousing sounds.

We said farewell to the strings after the interval when the concert band, conducted by Richard Hall, played a varied selection of lighter pieces.

These ranged from Swing When You're Winning arrangements, the ever-popular Abba numbers from the musical Mamma Mia! and the dramatic Highlights from Moulin Rouge.

The music makers gave a fine-turned performance. It was such a shame they were surrounded by stark terracotta-coloured walls with not so much as a floral pedestal to add a splash of colour.

This was a festival, after all.

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