Deeside Orchestra is a “local musical treasure”

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The Deeside Orchestra gave a spirited performance in their autumn concert in Birse and Feughside Church on Sunday, November 18. The programme had a strong Scottish theme, with perennial favourites and some less well known items, writes Professor Robert Naylor.

The concert started with Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, often known as Fingal’s Cave, which was composed after a sea trip to the famous cave on Staffa in 1829, which rendered the composer decidedly seasick. The second piece was a new composition by Paul Lawrence of the Grampian Concert Orchestra and this was its second performance. This music had the audience nodding and smiling.

The central item was the concert overture ‘The Land of the Mountain and the Flood’ composed by the 19-year old Hamish MacCunn in 1887. The title comes from a phrase in Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel. The Deeside Orchestra provided a spirited performance with the brass and wind section to the fore with the strings providing a rhythmic support.

Coronation Scot, written by Vivian Ellis, will be familiar to many as the theme music for long-running BBC radio series, Paul Temple. The concert then finished with four Scottish dances by the prolific 20th-century composer, Malcolm Arnold.

The Deeside Orchestra gets better and better and has become a local musical treasure. The ensemble was carefully controlled by the baton of their conductor Glynn Hesketh, and the many individuals involved span a wide age range, which augers well for the orchestra’s continued activity. The Orchestra provided real enjoyment for the sell-out audience and confirmed their growing stature and reputation.