Although Inverurie Music’s 2022-23 concert series ended with the Chopiniana of Janusz Piotrowicz in May, there was still one, final, musical event to finish a wonderful season of music making in the Garioch: the annual fundraising concert for the Inverurie Music Award Scheme. The Award Scheme has been running for four Seasons and has to date awarded nearly £7000 to young musicians in the local area, some of whom showed their gratitude for the support by performing in the concert on a balmy summer’s night in Inverurie. What resulted was a wonderful evening highlighting the breadth and diversity of music-making in the locality and the quality of musicianship from the young people that the Award Scheme has supported.
The concert began in celebratory fashion with the Inverurie Academy Brass Group, who (despite being reduced in numbers due to illness and holidays) gave a spirited mixed programme from Robbie Williams to The Proclaimers via the theme from the 1976 movie Rocky, all delivered with panache and style. This was followed by Meldrum Academy guitarist Jamie Grimmer who gave a rousing performance of Abba’s Mamma Mia and Acid Dad’s Don’t Get Taken in which he sang and played to great effect. Jamie’s performance was all the more impressive as he carried on with no noticeable detriment as his guitar strap failed and he had to balance the instrument on his raised knee for the rest of the song! One string instrument was followed by another with a fellow Oldmeldrum student, Alisa Anhel, performing a Handel Chaconne on the bandura, a Ukrainian instrument that combines elements of the zither and the lute to haunting effect. The bandura has up to 68 strings and the deep resonance of the instrument amidst the generous acoustic of St Andrew’s Church left an indelible mark on all of those in the audience. The final offerings of the first half of the concert were again from Oldmeldrum pupils, sisters Linden and Olwenn Stewart. Linden showed her talents on both piano and clarinet, moving from Haydn to Christopher Norton before finishing with an idiomatic Caprice on the clarinet. Olwenn also performed Haydn with a stylish rendition of the Austrian composer’s Variations in F Minor for piano, finishing this showcase of Award Scheme winners in sparkling fashion. Following a well-earned interval (with what many are calling the ‘greatest raffle draw ever’) the audience were treated to three works from the newly-formed string quartet, the Nova Quartet. The quartet comprises some of the finest local string players and it was a great honour to host them in Inverurie for one of their first concerts. They began by playing three arrangements of some of the most well-known impressionist piano pieces by Debussy and Ravel: Clair de lune, La fille aux cheveux de lin and Pavane pour une infante defunte. This was a bold start, taking works synonymous with the piano and all its otherworldly resonances and transporting them to the very different sounds and textures of the string quartet. However (I’m glad to report), it was a beguiling transformation with some beautiful arranging ensuring these softly focused images felt just as transportive in this new medium. The concert was rounded off with a powerful performance of Haydn’s String Quartet No.53 in D Major, also known colloquially as the ‘lark’ quartet. This beautiful and radiant quartet was the perfect end to a memorable evening, performed with charm and dedication by the Nova Quartet.
The Inverurie Music Award Scheme goes from strength to strength and continues to support young musicians from the locality. If you know anyone who might benefit from an award, please let them know about the scheme. Applications will open in September for the 2023 scheme, so keep a look out for details in the summer.
©Phillip A Cooke
Thanks to all who took part in the concert and to all who came to enjoy the music. The funds raised by your generous donations will go to the Inverurie Music Award Scheme to help young musicians develop their musical activities.
There is still time to make a donation and there are several ways you can do this. Please allow Inverurie Music to claim gift aid on your donation if you can.
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You can make a donation via Paypal by following this link or making a bank transfer (Account Name: Inverurie Music Sort Code: 80-08-41 Account number: 00842458).
Cash/card donations are always welcome at concerts and events. Cheque payments are also still welcome and should be made payable to Inverurie Music and given to a committe member or sent to Benview Cottage, Chapel of Garioch, Inverurie AB51 5HE.