17th March Concert Review


Youth Orchestra paints a Picture


The Westmorland Youth Orchestra's spring concert "Linking Music and Art"  fizzed with innovation and inventiveness on March 17 as new Musical Director Fredrik Holm's revolution rolled on.


Images to illustrate the music were projected onto a large screen behind the 50 players, who wore bright-coloured tops; musicians stepped up to introduce each piece in their own words, while two of them took turns with the conductor's baton.


The programme ranged effortlessly over almost four centuries, from 17th century France to Japanese computer game music, via British rock and American Jazz-inspired Gershwin.


One of the highlights was Holm's own Premiere Rhapsody accompanied by a rolling projection of art from Cartmel, Milnthorpe and Moorside primary schools; pupils had listened to the work and painted what it suggested to them stars, pollarded trees or just abstract shapes.


Coldplay's Viva la Vida was accompanied by Frida Kahlo's eponymous painting and sung confidently by percussionist Zamira Young-Andrade.


The 170-strong sellout audience, who braved a late winter blizzard to reach Kirkby Lonsdale's Queen Elizabeth School, also loved Laura Braithwaite's assured performance of a movement of a Mozart flute concerto.


Holm's first concert last year was in the form of a quiz; his next, on June 30, will be inspired by folk music from around the world. Whatever else it is, it certainly won't be dull.


Oliver Wates