There was a buzz of excitement in St Mary and Giles Church on Saturday night - we had been anticipating the Milton Keynes Sinfonia Concert for many months and as the audience began to arrive it seemed they were excited too!
Fitting in 63 musicians was quite a task, not to mention 212 in the audience (and with the gallery not available). But as the last people were seated there was a stillness before David Knight, the Sinfonia conductor, took his place on the podium. This was the first time a large orchestra had played in our church and it was a most magnificent sight and sound.
We were treated to Frank Schubert's Symphony No.8 in B minor D759: The Unfinished and Symphony No. 7 Opus 105 by Jean Sibelius in the first half. Both symphonies, although short, were full of darkness and light, sombreness and exuberance.
Refreshments were enjoyed during the interval and our volunteer team ensured that everyone was served as quickly as possible.
In the second half the Sinfonia performed Antonin Dvoràk's 'Cello Concerto in B minor Op. 104. The 'cello soloist was Corinne Morris. The balance of the orchestra with the soloist was impressive and the combined sounds lifted the spirits and touched the hearts of the audience. Words cannot fully describe this evening of beautiful music, performed by excellent musicians.
We look forward very much to welcoming Milton Keynes Sinfonia again on 2nd July, 2016 when they will play with the newly restored Willis pipe organ in the inaugural organ and orchestra concert!
Words by Lesley Salter, photos by Kieran Salter (using an ipad)
More photos can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/albums/72157659252879383