Monday, September 8, 2014


A full house of enthusiastic Classic Music Lovers

What could be more enjoyable than the company of friends amid sumptuous surrounds, a diverse repertoire of orchestral and choral music by a prodigious Concert Orchestra and an extraordinarily accomplished Choir?  Nothing...that's what!!  And anybody who was not at the Somerset Civic Centre on the night of the ESK COMMUNITY CHOIR's 'Cocktails and Classics' featuring the Davonski Concert Orchestra  will have robbed themselves of an occasion that surely would have enriched their lives. 

The Davonski Orchestra 

Maestro Delwyn Day

An unexpectedly balmy evening was welcomed by Concert goers who, in keeping with the night's theme, arrived in their filigree and finery and when music, fashion of any style and a magnificent venue come together, energy is created that heightens the senses and brings an evening to life.  From the overture of welcoming cocktails followed by the stirring collaboration of Choir and Orchestra performing Mozart's 'Don Giovanni Menuet', 'Student Drinking Song' by Offenbach and the lively 'Let's Have a Party' from 'Don Giovanni', the audience, seated around sumptuous supper tables,  knew they were in for a very special treat.

Under the masterful baton of Maestro Delwyn Day, the Davonski Concert Orchestra, in a capsule of their life's work, describes itself as 'a tight knit musical family, calling on the musical experience, enthusiasm and commitment of each musician to present a satisfying musical journey in every performance'.  However, 'satisfying' possibly understates the wealth of the emotions felt,  at least by this audience and Choir, for unless one has been a part of such an experience or a  party  to it, some words will never come close to describing the feelings..   From the opening potpourri of ageless classics by Strauss and Mozart to the enduring mélange from The Muppets, the audience had begun swaying to the rhythms of the music.  By the Orchestra's  second bracket of classical Waltz tunes by Lehar and Schammel, the evergreen Glen Miller's  'Moonlight Serenade', a hand clapping medley of Duke Ellington favourites and the pulsating sounds of music from 'Fiddler on the Roof' it was sheer restraint only which prevented the audience from turning the lavish décor of the Auditorium into a dance floor.

Susan Walker and John Caffin
performing 'Parigi O Cara' from 'La Traviata'.
Following these, and interspersed with the presentation of raffle prizes, the entertainment and hospitality flowed.  Susan Walker and John Caffin gave passionate duet performance of 'Parigi O Cara',  from the Opera,  'La Traviata',  the superlative Choir Ensemble's heady rendition of 'Chorus of Huntsmen',  with the Choir Ladies,  Kathleen Watts's divine solo lead in the beautiful  'Nun's Chorus' from Casanova and the Choir Men's truly inspired rendition of 'The King's Prayer' featuring the superlative solo voice of Bob Hardy were all testament to the extraordinary musical talents and diversity of the Esk Community Choir .   

The Men's Choir performing ' The King's Prayer' featuring Bob Hardy. 

The Esk Community Choir

For over 36 years,  the incomparable Alexis FitzGerald O.A.M. has been refining the musical skills of her Choir and, more recently supported by the undeniable talents of accompanist, Margaret Philp, has honed the Choir's abilities to a point where it has  become a Choir in demand and one which continues to inspire audiences with music in its many forms. While many in the audience on this occasion may not have previously been regular enthusiasts of the 'Classical' Music scene, by the last strains of the climactic Orchestral accompanied finalé of 'Waltz Scene' from 'Eugene Onegin' many had become converts to the joys of Classical Music.  The  Davonski Concert Orchestra's final rousing performance of  'Radetsky March',  spotlighting the highly acclaimed talents of Maestro Delwyn Day on solo violin, had concert goers in  standing ovation and  everyone who came, simply craving for more. 

by: Sue Walker 

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