The Ionian Clarinet Choir (ICC) celebrated its 45th anniversary in great style on Saturday 7th November 2015, by putting on a special concert at St James church, New Barnet – with proceeds to Cherry Lodge Cancer Care. This really was a musical evening to remember.
The ICC is a very proficient and enthusiastic group of local musicians, based in Whetstone, who between them play every type of orchestral clarinet, from the tiny E flat to the enormous contrabass. During the evening, the audience learned to recognise not only what the different clarinets sound like but also what they look like – each instrument having been held up in turn to be identified by conductor and master of ceremonies, Ian Merryweather. The most common B flat clarinet is a wonderfully versatile instrument – but a mixed choir of clarinets is even better.
The programme was rich and varied, cleverly chosen to entertain and delight as well as showing off the prowess of the musicians and the musical range of their instruments. The concert opened with ‘Blaze Away’, a lively military march. This was followed by the first classical piece, a transcription for clarinets of Elgar’s ‘Serenade for Strings’. Later, we heard a beautiful performance of Weber’s ‘Clarinet Concertino’, with Adele Gordon as soloist. Touches of humour were provided by ‘Bubble and Squeak for E flat and contrabass’, with soloists Adele Gordon and Craig Simons, and ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, with Robert Wills on contra alto. Three of the pieces we heard had been arranged by the ICC’s founder, Roy Upton-Holder – ‘Little Rock Getaway’, ‘Gymkhana’ and the last number on the programme, Glen Miller’s ‘Moonlight Serenade’. As an encore we were treated to a very rousing version of Johann Strauss’s ‘Radetsky March’, with a clapping accompaniment from the audience.
Anyone suffering from withdrawal symptoms after this fabulous concert, or who was unfortunate enough to miss it, is invited to click here to hear and see the ICC playing their opening number, ‘Blaze Away’.
Thank you very much indeed to the Ionian Clarinet Choir for putting on this concert for Cherry Lodge Cancer Care. We really appreciate your support.
Thank you also to the team from Cherry Lodge who helped in various ways, including selling and checking tickets, organising the raffle, and providing and serving refreshments (including delicious cakes baked by Pam).
Click on the small images below to see larger, complete photographs.