Towards the end of the summer the University of Plymouth Choral Society appointed a new Musical Director to take over from Simon Ible, who had just retired after some seventeen years at the helm.
The Gala Concert of this year’s Peninsula Arts Words and Music Festival was in many ways a joyful affair, full of schmaltzy melodies, lush orchestrations, conductor Simon Ible’s now-legendary successful mix of styles, and the contribution from soprano soloist, Jeni Bern.
This was the regular end-of-academic-year concert by the University of Plymouth Choral Society, but it also marked the end of an era.
With the title Mindful Visions: Metamorphosis, Daydreams and Fantasies, it was clear that the small, yet discerning audience would be in for a thought-provoking time. How much of this would appear truly engaging in the musical sense, however, would always be open to conjecture and subject to the listeners’ individual preferences.
Hopefully I wasn’t the only one present not quite sure what to expect from a Concerto for Beatboxer. But knowing that the work was co-written by Eduardo Reck Miranda, Professor in Computer Music at Plymouth University, the musical credentials should be well assured.
While this year’s annual Ten Tors expedition will be taking place once more in a couple of months, the orchestra that proudly bore the same name since 1998 has now given its final concert back in the same Dartmoor town where it started.
While this was effectively the last Ten Tors Orchestra Gala Christmas Concert as such, conductor Simon Ible ensured that every member of the packed audience still went home full of seasonal cheer and goodwill.
University of Plymouth Choral Society concerts always tend to have something special about them, and none more than the Christmas event. However, this year’s event just seemed to have some extra charisma.
Ten Tors Orchestra has just had a makeover, only to rise again under the banner of Peninsula Arts Sinfonietta, although admittedly any outward signs seem more political, than musical.
This unique happening involved three consecutive events, linked by the theme of memories – those of loved ones now no longer here with us.
There is nothing more disappointing than going to hear a large choir sing something they’ve been working really hard on, only for the guest soloists to end up having all the best bits on the night.
Peninsula Arts in conjunction with Suzanne Sparrow Language School mounted a delightful tribute to William Shakespeare, 400 years to the day after his death, as part of the current celebrations happening around the country, and at Plymouth University.
The enduring influence of William Shakespeare will be celebrated through a series of musical performances, films and talks at Plymouth University.
Most of us can remember our school concerts, whether we took part, or were just there to listen.
Unlike classical music, performances of contemporary works often happen once only.
The Ten Tors at Tavistock isn’t just mere alliteration – it’s a well-established annual event that truly marks the final countdown to Christmas, in a delightful moorland setting.
When the University of Plymouth Choral Society presents its annual Christmas Concert, you can always expect a varied programme of shorter, and often less-familiar works, excellent young soloists, and, most important, a tangible feeling of genuine enjoyment from the choir.
A light and frothy performance of Mozart’s effervescent Marriage of Figaro Overture provided the perfect opener, with especially neat articulation from upper woodwind, and strings, led with usual aplomb by Mary Eade.
Strings are generally regarded as the backbone of any orchestral ensemble, and this quite superb concert by the Ten Tors Strings under conductor Simon Ible not only attested to the skill of the players, but also confirmed why the orchestra, in full rig, can make such a fine sound, too.
The lasting influence of Georgian culture on our modern society is to be celebrated through a series of events hosted by Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University.
A biocomputer that can play the piano and an audio-visual representation of Motor Neurone Disease will be among the highlights of the 10th annual Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.