09 December 2021

End meets beginnings

It was the last Wednesday lunchtime concert of the year at Wesley and the Scholars were out.  I hadn't realised how large is the group.  This concert featured 10 players of various instruments (including one voice).  They played in various combinations, Bach, Holst, Rachmaninoff and Halvorsen but also Jimmy van Heusen and even an original by one of the performers.  Pianist Ronan had written a rhythmically exploratory piece called Cogs as a study of machinery to be played by him on piano with flautist Emma.  That was impressive and quite unusual in the classical field.  As for the jazz, it was still done in a classical style, but I noticed a change of presence for that number after a Schubert-like song from vocalist Elsa.  Maybe to be expected; she was singing in English about love.  And plenty of long arpeggiated flourishes in accompaniment.  I spoke to pianist Martin after and it turns out he's a jazz student; so was trumpeter Jess.  Interesting crossovers here but no longer at all unusual.  Jess had also played some Bach cantatas with oboist Zoe.  Who had also played with... And so it went on.  They were an impressive and capable bunch.  I noticed specially on a rendition of Holst St Pauls suite mvt 1, which I am sure I've played slower.  This take was lively and rollicking and quick.  Then there's the violinist pair of Anika and Brad who displayed  wonderful communication on the Halvorsen, then joining with cellist James and violist Yona for that Holst then again Zoe and Elsa for another Bach.  And then at least one performer doubled up, violinist Brad taking to piano to accompany James.  Sound confusing?  Lots of names and lots of changes but also lots of very capable playing.  I was mightily impressed.  Not sure what their training is, or what they get from the Wesley Scholars program, but our music future is looking to be in very able hands.  At year's end we hear our future.

This year's Wesley Music Scholars performed a Wednesday lunchtime concert at the Music Centre.  The scholars were Anika Chan (violin), Brad Tham (violin), James Munro (cello), Yona Su (viola), Zoe Loxley Slump (oboe), Elsa Huber (voice), Jess Hill (trumpet), Martin Magill (piano), Emma Warburton (flute, piccolo), Ronan Apcar (piano, composition).

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