The Funtington Music Group gala concert

FMG Bursary Winners concert: Erin Alexander
FMG Bursary Winners concert: Erin Alexander
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The Funtington Music Group was delighted to host the 2016 Robert Headley Memorial Concert at the University of Chichester.

The Group was pleased to invite back four outstanding Robert Headley Fund prize-winners and bursary holders from previous years at the University of Chichester.

Jason Stanbridge [Countertenor] opened the concert with a selection of Early English songs from Handel and Purcell, and he also included Debussy’s, Beau Soir. Although Jason said his preference was for “Early Music”, his rendition of this 20th Century song was outstanding, and he caught the atmosphere of the music perfectly. The final piece by Handel was also admirably crafted, and his voice, effortlessly clear, with lyrical warmth, was well appreciated by the audience.

Jasmine Selby [Flute] then performed Nocturne by Geraldine Green, a contemporary Irish composer. She created an atmospheric calm, with long luscious notes, that demonstrated well her musical ability. She was accompanied by Chris Coote on piano, who was a sensitive and creative accompanist throughout the concert. He had also incidentally put together on behalf of the Funtington Music Group this very special additional concert for members. Jasmine ended her performance by playing Reinecke’s Undine Sonata Opus 167. She is a talented musician and in the final movement she was able to prove her virtuosity. Her performance was much enjoyed by the audience.

After the interval Ben Socrates [Piano] played two pieces by Debussy which included three very different and contrasting Preludes. Debussy’s music is of course full of impressionistic colours, and shimmering, and elusive light, and Ben caught the atmosphere throughout with an admirable technique, and rhythmic precision and luminous and shaded playing. With a difficult and challenging Sonata by Scarlatti to finish, the audience was delighted with his performance.

To end the concert Erin Alexander [Soprano] took to the floor, and she chose as her introductory piece Gounod’s Ah, je veux vivre from Romeo and Juliette. It is a gamble to begin with such a challenging introductory piece but Erin admirably portrayed the flighty, free-spirited young girl, Juliette, and she ably demonstrated that she also has real acting ability. Her programme included songs by Clara Schumann, Johann Strauss, and Mozart. She sang in three languages and the audience very much appreciated her performance.

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01 243 378900.

Please visit our website at www.funtingtonmusicgroup.org.uk

Chris Linford

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