"Didcot's new symphony orchestra"

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 3  Sunday 3 March 2019 at 16.00

  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE

Russian Masterpieces
We begin our third concert with the popular and exuberant overture to Glinka's opera Russlan and Ludmilla. Then comes an unjustly neglected gem by Glazunov – his tuneful Poème Lyrique, and the first half ends with Mussorgsky's epic Night on the Bare Mountain – depicting a witches' sabbath, and full of contrasts and innovation. The concert also includes one of the most popular symphonies of all time – Tchaikovsky's Fifth. Who can resist hearing the famous horn solo in the second movement?
GlinkaRusslan and Ludmilla Overture
GlazunovPoème Lyrique
MussorgskyNight on the Bare Mountain
TchaikovskySymphony no 5 in E minor
BBC Radio Oxford Events Guide:
Orchestra 51    Audience 154
I didn't think I liked classical music but I really enjoyed the music in this concert.   Audience member

Great concert yesterday – congrats on what you have achieved in setting up the new orchestra.   Audience member

It is wonderful that Didcot now has its own symphony orchestra! Its regular programmes are a very satisfying way to spend a late Sunday afternoon, and its third concert offered much to interest and delight. Conductor Geoff Bushell's introductions contextualised the pieces in such a way that unfamiliar pieces by Glinka and Glazunov were, for this layperson, accessible and engaging. Following the interval, Tchaikovsky's Symphony no 5 was a thing of power and beauty. And all a short stroll from the front door – we are fortunate indeed!   Dr Amanda Sandiford


 2  Sunday 14 October 2018 at 16.00

  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE

Following our very successful inaugural concert in February 2018, we begin our second concert with a rare gem by Croydon composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor at the suggestion of Elgar. We follow this with Elgar's immortal Cello Concerto – practically his last work, and full of mourning for a lost world after the first world war. Soloist Jacqueline Johnson then treats us to an orchestration by world-famous cellist Lynn Harrell of Victor Herbert's short piano piece "Yesterthoughts", and we end the concert with Dvorak's happy and tuneful Sixth Symphony.
Coleridge-TaylorBallade in A minor
ElgarCello Concerto (Jacqueline Johnson)
HerbertYesterthoughts (Jacqueline Johnson)
DvorakSymphony no 6 in D

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Orchestra 49    Audience 144


 1  Sunday 11 February 2018 at 16.00

  Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE

Our inaugural concert! An afternoon of classical music with Didcot's very own and brand new symphony orchestra, playing music from the late Romantic era. Ballet lovers especially will recognise Ponchielli's charming "Dance of the Hours" with its changing moods and catchy tunes depicting the times of the day. French composer César Franck's highly melodic and atmospheric symphonic poem "Psyché" offers a unique chance to hear this rarely performed but tuneful gem. The concert concludes with Brahms' incomparable and sunny Second Symphony, replete with fresh inventive melodies, colourful orchestration, and tunes you'll go home humming.
BushellA Didcot Fanfare
PonchielliDance of the Hours
FranckSymphonic Poem: Psyché
BrahmsSymphony no 2 in D

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Orchestra 46    Audience 157
Congratulations! A brilliant debut. Overall there was great ensemble, great tuning and many individual contributions. The very dry acoustics of the venue worked against the woodwind most of all, so more soloistic playing would help them project their sound. More communication between wind and strings will come as they get to know one another, and get used to playing in this challenging acoustic. The highlight for me was the string pianissimos, and the Brahms, apart from a few technical passages, was a tour de force. Geoff and Jackie have done a great job in putting together an orchestra of this quality and I'm very much looking forward to the Dvorak in October.  

The orchestra successfully combines the performance of professional players with the enthusiasm of amateurs, resulting in a very lively performance. The cello section is particularly impressive producing a great sound. I hope that the current, and planned, expansion of Didcot and its surrounding area, will offer opportunities for both new players and new audiences.   Tim Cook


Conductor & Musical Director
Geoff Bushell
Didcot, Oxfordshire
01235 818848
Geoff Bushell, Conductor and Musical Director, Didcot Concert Orchestra