A ‘thank you’ concert convened by Jacob Collins was a wonderful opportunity to hear the results of musical talent well nurtured and was enjoyed by an audience of all ages who came on a warm summer evening in July to St Mary & St Giles Church.

Jacob’s various teachers (including his current music teachers at Wells Cathedral School) and the encouragement from everyone at St Mary & St Giles Church ever since he was small has resulted in the development of an all round musician who no longer hides behind his music stand to play, and this concert was convened as a ‘thank you’ to acknowledge this support from the Parish as well as to the medical staff who prevented him going deaf a few years ago. For this concert, Jacob invited the Parish Singers and SMSG church band to perform and he played four different instruments himself during both halves of the programme (violin, viola, piano and organ). He conducted the Parish Singers and the band. Jacob’s music writing talent was also displayed when he played piano with the band as Lesley conducted the world premiere of a composition he wrote during his first year A-level music studies at Wells, called ‘Kindness of Strangers’ which included a glorious passage for violin played by his friend Eleanor.

The programme:

  • Buxtehude, Praeludiam in D Minor (organ)
  • Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata 1st movement (piano)
  • Strauss, Radetsky March (SMSG band, conducted by Lesley)
  • Eric Coats, Dambusters March (SMSG band, conducted by Lesley)
  • Zoltan Kodaly, Adagio (Violin, accompanied by Ros)
  • Jenkins, Agnus Dei – Mass for Peace (Parish Singers, conducted by Jacob, accompanied by John)
  • Lyte, Abide with me (Parish Singers, conducted by Jacob, accompanied by John)
  • Handel, Viola Concerto 1st & 2nd movements (Viola, accompanied by Ros)

Interval

  • Schubert, Sonatina 1 in D major (violin, accompanied by Ros)
  • Boellmann, Priere de Notre Dame – Suite Gothique (organ)
  • Jacob Collins, Kindness of Strangers (SMSG band) – world premiere (conducted by Lesley Salter, Jacob at the piano)
  • The Death of Queen Jane Seymour (SMSG band and Parish Singers) (conducted by Jacob)
  • Telemann, Viola Concerto 3rd & 4th movements (Viola, accompanied by Ros)
  • John Williams, Theme from Schindler’s List (Violin, accompanied by Ros)
  • Powel, How to train your Dragon (piano)
  • Karg-Elert, Nun Danket Alle Gott (organ)
  • Encore – Czardas (violin, accompanied by Ros)

This was the last concert performance on the Willis pipe organ before the Heritage Lottery supported restoration work commences on 21 July, the organ was not in tune (it was a warm evening) however Jacob did well to bring out some of the good sounds. It seemed fitting to end the official programme with a piece on the organ, however an encore was requested and Jacob obliged with an all time favourite of Czardas on his violin. He first played this piece in concert in the church a few years ago, and has occasionally revived it, which has shown many of us his progress from an enthusiastic beginner to a confident and accomplished performer.

Interval refreshments were served by Jacob’s family and announcements (almost keeping to the script) were by Kieran. The event was free, with donations welcomed for MK Hospital Ear Nose & Throat unit whose staff saved Jacob’s hearing in his early teens and towards missing pipes in the Willis organ. 28 audience, 27 performers and 3 people serving refreshments and subsequent donations managed to raise a total of £300 which was magnificent considering the small audience. I would like to thank Jacob for his enthusiastic musicianship and everyone who supported his concert.

Photos of the concert can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157645791709871/