Remember that old Mamma Cass piece? OPC is certainly getting better with players challenging themselves with more and more ambitious pieces. It was very gratifying today to hear one of our regular performers say he couldn’t have passed his Grade 8 piano without the opportunities that OPC had given him to perform his pieces, and calm his nerves. That’s what we’re here for ….
Our second concert since the end of Lockdown looms ever closer: October 24th. It is not too late to sign up for a performing slot, and of course anyone is welcome to come along and listen to the music (and eat cake).
The last concert of 2019 will be on Sunday December 8th, 3pm, and will be at Ramsden Memorial Hall. If anyone feels moved to offer a piece with Christmas or Advent sentiment, all well and good, but it isn’t compulsory. Anyone who is thinking of joining the club, or who just wants to see what it is all about, is very welcome to come along and listen. Next year’s dates are: February 2nd, March 29th and May 24th. 2020 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven – perhaps we can explore his repertoire throughout the year.
Time to clamber out of the deckchair and think about the next concert: September 22nd, 3pm at Charlbury Memorial Hall. We have (unusually!) quite a woodwind-fest with a Mozart divertimento for wind instruments, two solo clarinettists making their debut with Prokofiev and Poulenc, but also two piano pieces (details to be confirmed), and a movement from a violin sonata. Still room for one or two pieces and, of course, listeners are always welcome.
The cake is likely to have an autumnal nature. I am thinking plums? …. apples? …..hazelnuts!
There’s only one way to find out what Wimbledon cake is …. come along to the concert, 3pm Charlbury Memorial Hall! Piano pieces by Brahms, Mozart, Schubert and Bach, pieces for classical guitar, Berlioz for trombone and piano and part of a little violin concerto by Rieding. No need to book – just turn up.
Last-minute cancellations (there are ALWAYS last-minute cancellations) led to a rather depleted programme, but at the eleventh hour a professional pianist asked if he might try out a piece he was working on for a concert. Why not? We had the space. So he also asked if his wife could try out one of her pieces. At the end of the concert we were treated to fantastic performances of the Chopin ballade number 4 and Scriabin’s piano sonata number 5. If we have the space in the programme, professional players will always be welcome.
Impossible to say why, but everyone felt this was the best concert so far. A wide variety of instruments (amazingly – no solo piano for once), some luscious music and everyone beginning to feel far more confident was perhaps the magic mix.
Two last-minute cancellations due to illness, accidents and goodness knows what left us with a depleted programme. So we turned the day into the classical equivalent of an open-mic night with anyone who was available turning up with their music to play. Many thanks to the two talented pianists who sight-read their way through endless pieces.
An amazing concert on Sunday 9th December to end 2018. Nineteen performers, nine of whom were making their first appearance at OPC performed a varied programme starting with a selection of songs in preparation for a grade 8 singing exam, the Sicilienne by Faure for clarinet, and a movement from Brahms clarinet sonata number 2 in E flat (opus 120). For piano there was the Schubert impromptu number 4 in A flat major, followed by three Miniatures by Frank Bridge for string trio. The second half mood lightened with Blackberry Blossom for banjo, a selection of French cafe music and two pieces for sax and piano by Hoagy Carmichael. A setting by Percy Grainger of Embraceable You (Gershwin) wrapped up the concert before the serious stuff of drinking, eating and chatting took place.
It has been a great year – so many people have had an opportunity to perform and have gained the confidence to do it again – and so many ensembles and alliances have formed as people find playing partners.
If you haven’t joined us yet, sign up! Come along to listen to a concert and see how it works. 2019 dates are January 20th, March 3rd and April 7th.