Sibelius’s Finlandia was the opening piece, a magnificent start to what promised to be a very varied concert, bringing together Jacob Collins and friends. The contrast between the portentous atmosphere at the beginning and the more lyrical Finlandia Hymn section allowed Jacob to demonstrate his versatility with mood and tempo. The audience showed their appreciation and then Jamie Halligan performed Telemann’s Oboe Concerto on the saxophone, a very skillful rendition of this haunting and memorable piece. A stately tempo began the concerto, followed by a sprightlier interlude. Jacob’s piano accompaniment provided the perfect background to highlight the saxophone’s range. The final movement captured the energy of Telemann’s intent. What a talented player Jamie Halligan is.
Ros Whatmore played the piano to accompany Jacob on the violin as he performed Hess’s ‘Ladies in Lavender’, a charming and fluent duet, technically challenging and played with real passion and clarity. Next, JAR – Jamie Milburn, Archie Batty and Rowan Dymott – played three wonderful pieces. First came Jamie’s arrangement of ‘Let all mortal flesh keep silence’ which began with a sense of foreboding then morphed into a folk- rock version of this hymn. Jamie’s charismatic voice was perfectly partnered by Rowan’s violin and Archie’s saxophone – three very accomplished players. Next came, ‘I Said’, a piece composed by Jamie, which revealed his obvious talents as a singer and guitarist. JAR’s award winning, anti bullying song, ‘Hey Pal’, followed, showcasing this trio’s ability to captivate an audience.
The theme tune from ‘Schindler’s List’ was next, with Jacob and Ros duetting again. Jacob’s obvious love of this piece shone through, the plaintive melody reminding us of suffering, sacrifice and human dignity. Thank you for sharing this favourite piece with us, Jacob.
Archie and Amy Dolphin performed three pieces on the saxophone; from calypso style to ragtime, this duo showed their versatility, range and impeccable timing. Musicians to watch out for in the future.
Jacob’s final piece was the Christmas Dance by Vaughan Williams – magnificent, mellifluous and merry – followed by an encore, Jamie Milburn joining Ros and Jacob, to give us a Bon Jovi classic – what a great finale!
As always, thanks go to the tea servers (Fiona, Jean and Gill), the Collins family for the delicious food and to Lesley Salter for arranging this knockout concert!
Comments from audience as they left the church included:
"Really enjoyed that"
"They are good aren't they"
"Lovely young people"
This concert raised £120.10 of which £15 was gift aided for Organ Fund. There were 6 performers and 60 people in the audience (including 10 children).
Words by Andrea Hearne, photos by Richard Hearne