They flew us to the moon
Chairman of the Amersham Festival of Music reviews the Jazz Concert on April 17
THERE was a packed hall for the Jazz concert given by Dr Challoner’s Grammar School Jazz Band and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s Sextet (NYJO). This followed an afternoon where the boys of the school jazz band took part in a twohour workshop led by Mark Armstrong who is NYJO’s artistic and musical director.
This was part of the support for young people’s music-making which Amersham Festival of Music provides. Mark worked with the band on pieces from their repertoire, giving them top tips on improvisation and how to achieve a sophisticated jazz style. The NYJO members played alongside the boys as fellow musicians and it was easy to see the inspiration and admiration between the two.
The evening concert was shared between performances by each group and some collaborative items. Dr Challoner’s Jazz Band was directed by Matthew Tansley, head of music at the school.
There is no doubt that Matthew has made the band one of the best school jazz bands. Their big band sound was bold and authentic across various styles from funk to swing. From ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ to ‘Night of the Mojito’ the audience were captivated by their skill and musicianship – especially from such young players. The future of jazz is safe in their hands.
NYJO sextet featuring Mark Armstrong (trumpet), David Healy (sax), Owen Dawson (trombone), Joe Dawson (bass), David Dyson (drums) and Rupert Cox (piano) were superb. Their skilful improvisations and sensitive ensemble playing made the audience catch their breath as they listened to each piece unfold. Both ensembles were well received, with repeated shouts for ‘More, More’ at the end of the evening.
APOPULAR ballet company is bringing its new anniversary show to Bucks.
Vienna Festival Ballet celebrate 35 years with its 35th Anniversary Gala, which is coming to The Elgiva, in St Mary’s Way, Chesham, on Sunday, May 10 at 3pm.
The company will present highlights from the world’s most beloved Tchaikovsky ballets which have featured in its repertoire over the past 35 years.
Highlights will include the moment when the Swan Queen meets her prince in Act 2 Swan Lake, the Dance of the Cygnets, Clara’s journey to a glittering land of snow in The Nutcracker, and the famous Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty, where Princess Aurora is introduced to four princes.
Vienna Festival Ballet’s reflection on 35 years of performing classical ballets all over the world, will take you on an unforgettable journey through the best of ballet in one magical afternoon.
Tickets cost £19 (full), £17 (conc) and £68 (family, two adults and two children).
For tickets call 01494 582 900 or visit www.elgiva.com.