A Special Concert

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by TIMBONE, Sep 27, 2005.


    TIMBONE Active Member


    Besides the National Finals in Harrogate, 24th September saw another musical event take place in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, a small seaside town in South West England. An evening of musical entertainment was given as a tribute to my Mother, Doreen Paton, who passed away in Weston in September 2004. The concert featured Weston-super-Mare Brass and the Landsker Singers, a choir from Pembrokeshire, in South West Wales.

    The concert was introduced by Sally Alford, a former HTV West presenter, who also announced various items throughout the evening. Weston Brass, under the baton of their Musical Director, Peter Nutt, began the concert with a rousing performance of “Farandole” by Bizet, followed by another well rehearsed performance of Verdi’s “Nabucodonosor“. They then performed two of my own arrangements, both of which had a connection with the theme of the concert. First was “A Rachmaninoff Prelude”. I first heard the G Minor Prelude at the age of ten, when my brother, Dr Rod Paton, was playing it on the piano. Second was “Meditation”, based on “God So Loved The World” by John Stainer, a hymn of praise which I first heard at the Salvation Army in Weston-super-Mare.

    The Landsker Singers, (one of the sopranos being my sister Deb), under the excellent direction of Shirley Williams, went on to perform a selection of songs, a mixture of traditional, meditative and light-hearted music. This thirty piece mixed choir draws it’s name from the imaginary Landsker Line in mid-Pembrokeshire, which divides the Welsh speaking North from the English speaking South. Their first three items included “The Ash Grove”.

    We were then introduced to The Little Landskers, a delightful ensemble of 8 to 15 year olds. Their performance included the “Prayer of St Francis”, (Make me a channel of your peace).

    The second half of the concert began with presentations. The reason for the two towns coming together for this event, is that Doreen Paton sang and taught in the town where she was born and grew up, Haverforwest in Pembrokeshire, and also in Weston, where she spent many years of her life. Bob Cook, Chairman of the North Somerset Council, presented the choir with a book giving the history of Weston-super-Mare, and the choir presented a plate bearing the name of Haverfordwest Town Council. The choir also presented Weston Brass with an engraved piece of Pembrokeshire Slate. The band returned a gift of a print of the old Rozel Music Gardens in Weston. Sally then went on to call Bill Paton to the front to thank him for his tireless work in helping to organise this special concert.

    Weston Brass continued the musical entertainment with the “Grand March from Aida” by Verdi. The mood was lightened then by a beautiful performance of “Moon River” by Henry Mancini. I am a great believer in providing music for the audience, and Harold Walters’ novelty item, “Instant Concert” was a great choice for a mixed audience, as was their next item. “American Trilogy” arranged by Goff Richards.

    The Little Landskers returned, followed by the ladies of the Landsker Singers, who sang the well known Welsh Lullaby, “Suo Gan“..

    Weston Brass and both choirs joined forces for the last two items of the evening, My Little Welsh Home by W S Gwynne Williams, and Finlandia by Sibelius. The Gwynne Williams song, My Little Weslh Home, was fairly well known at one time, made famous by the Welsh singer, Ifor Emmanuel. It has recently been recorded again by the singer Bryn Terfel. Gwynn Williams was in the USA when he wrote this song, fondly remembering his childhood. Here is the last verse:

    I can see the quiet churchyard down below,
    Where the mountain breezes wander to and fro;
    And when God my soul will keep,
    It is there I want to sleep,
    With those dear old folks that loved me long ago.

    During the last several months of her life, my Mother often referred to this song, which is what prompted me to arrange it for brass band with optional vocal solo or unison choir. My Mother’s ashes were taken back to her own little Welsh home, and laid to rest in the grounds of the Church where she was Christened, Confirmed and Married.

    The concert ended with “Finlandia” by Sibelius, with the choirs singing “Be still my soul”, followed by “Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” (Land of my Fathers) and “God save the Queen”.

    Proceeds from this concert will go to the MacMillan Nurses.

    Tim Paton
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2005

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