2007 and before



Review of Concert at Appleby Public Hall, November 24th 2007


To open their 60th Anniversary Season, The Westmorland Youth Orchestra gave us a concert to remember. A colourful and varied progremme of dance music began with Susato's "Dances from Danserye" in which WYO effortlessly evoked images of Tudor Royal courts and handled the contrast between rhythmic driving energy and quieter gentle moments extremely well. The rousing finale “La Battaille”, was impressive by any standards and prepared us for what was to follow. 


Music from William Byrd and French Baroque composer Rameau gave strings and woodwind their chance to show off, as did Bach’s famous Air and Gavottes from Suite 3 in D Major; the Gavottes bringing the brass section back to our attention. The first closed with Strauss’s Blue Danube, and the full orchestra reached a magnificent climax which was quite simply wonderful and gave me goose pimples! 


In the second half WYO led us superbly through the light and dark of Prokofiev’s “Montagues and Capulets” before taking us on a tour of Eastern European music by Kodaly, Dvorak and Bartok heavily influenced by the folk music of the region.


Britten’s Courtly Dances from “Gloriana”, written for the coronation of Elizabeth II rounded off the evening with a bold and dramatic climax, a fitting and exciting start to this 60th Anniversary season.



A Parent’s Review of November 2006 Concert at Dallam


The concert at Dallam opened with welcome music by Folklore, Dallam School’s very own folk group. They played the audience to their seats and provided a really enjoyable hors d’ouvres in contrast to the main course of mostly film and theatre music. A nearly packed house welcomed Noel Bertram and his talented Youth Orchestra who opened with Symphonic Poem “Les Preludes” by Franz Liszt; the only piece with no apparent connection to the overall theme other than to compliment it. The more famous and well known pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, (including the delightful and amusing Celeste solo, guaranteed to entice even the youngest of diners at this musical feast), the Mazurka from Swan Lake and the Waltz from Sleeping Beauty introduced us to the theatrical theme while Prokofiev’s Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet provided a rousing and powerful finale to this first half.


The second half brought Howard Shore’s familiar and haunting Lord of the Rings to life with a really splendid solo by Soprano Jenny Lamb. By way of desert, the suite from Schonberg’s acclaimed Les Miserables was the final icing on the cake. I love the music from this play and thoroughly enjoyed the WYO’s rendition. When all was over I went away thoroughly satisfied!



Audience comments from previous concerts:


"Mussourgsky was wow!" 


"Excellent. Very talented youngsters."


"Excellent. Brass a bit too brassy at times. Delightful programme." 


"A fabulous evening's entertainment by a very talented bunch of young people." 


"The boys looked very smart. The girls' outfits were rather plain - is it possible to add some colour? I thoroughly enjoyed the event - well done."


"Excellent programme and enjoyed accordion!" 


"Very good, nice to see so many talented young musicians. Excellent." 


"I liked Gnomus! Very Good! All very professional. On the Russian theme, how about some Shostakovich or Prokofiev next? And more English music please - Tippet? Britten?" 


"Mussourgsky v. stirring! Really enjoyed it!" 


"Very enjoyable programme, played with enthusiasm - very good! Thank you." 


"Good choice of music - well played. Shame the hall was so cold."


"Very ambitious, good try."


"An excellent concert. Great young musicians, hopefully the orchestral players of tomorrow. So glad I came."


 "First half - a very confident and tuneful performance. Second half - a splendid display of talents."


"Fabulous. All power to the youngsters."


"Great concert which started really well with Box & Bass. Well done everybody."


"A truly awesome concert. I loved the contrast between both halves - you should all be really proud - a great night"