Iffley Music Society

Summer Community Concert

Saturday July 19th 2014 in St. Mary's Church

Despite threats of thunderstorms, there was a good turnout for this year's Community Concert. Almost immediately after the first half began in the church the heavens opened, but the rain had cleared by the time the interval arrived, and many brave souls picnicked in the churchyard.

The first half began with a setting of the Lord's prayer in Aramaic, powerfully sung by Brian Todd and movingly danced by Dance into Worship. This was followed by a deep silence before the Tyacks and Sally Brodhurst performed Corelli's Trio Sonata in B minor for organ, violin and flute. We then moved from Baroque Italy to Ancient Greece with a performance created by the group Avid for Ovid of The Funeral of Memnon, from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', danced by Susie Crow to the musical and spoken accompaniment of Malcolm Atkins. The young singers called the Headingtones sang five a capella pieces, beginning with a beautiful song 'Now I Walk In Beauty' based on a Navajo Indian text, followed by a traditional Japanese song, some Tallis and Gilbert and Sullivan and ending with an Irish Blessing. The first half finished in laughter at the joke ending of the short organ Humoresque by Pietro Yon, played by Janet Low.

The second half got off to a rousing start with two Flanders and Swann songs from Alex Marshall; 'The Slow Train' brought sighs of nostalgia from some older members of the audience who remembered pre-Beeching British railways, and many enthusiastically joined in the mud-laden choruses of the Hippopotamus. Young Wendy Gou then played Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words no1, and was followed at the piano by Paul Page with a medley of Gershwin tunes and Scott Joplin's 'Pineapple Rag'. Brian, accompanied by Janet, brought us more Gershwin, 'Shall we dance' and 'By Strauss'. Wendy then showed us her musical versatility with two Chinese tunes played on the traditional Chinese stringed instrument known as the pipa. The international theme was continued by the last performances of the evening by the group Confluence, who play music from the many nations represented in Oxford. They began with traditional Iranian music played on the tanbur, a long-necked stringed instrument, followed by a Renaissance French song. The evening concluded with an African song consisting of only one, repeated word "suwali' – soon members of the audience were joining in. The evening was clear by the time we all set off home, having had a most entertaining evening.

Thanks to the performers and to the organisers.