Musical Medley: Concerts and what's on in the Doncaster music scene this December

Despite the frosty weather December still has many events on offer with a look back at some of the events people have already enjoyed.
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Doncaster Arts and Museum Society

Lunchtime Recitals

This month’s recitals are:

There are a feast of festive musical treats to look forward to in Doncaster this Christmas.There are a feast of festive musical treats to look forward to in Doncaster this Christmas.
There are a feast of festive musical treats to look forward to in Doncaster this Christmas.

6 December: Benjamin Frith and Heidi Rolfe – Piano duets

13 December: Highcliffe Brass – brass quintet

1pm Doncaster Baptist Church, Chequer Road, DN1 2AL

Entry £5 on the door

Doncaster Choral Society

Christmas Voices and Brass


Prince Bishops Brass Emsemble

Conductor – Matt Beckingham

Organ – Simon Corner

Doncaster Choral Society is set to sparkle once again along with fantastic guest musicians. Prince Bishops Brass Ensemble was formed by a group of brass playing friends who met each other whilst playing at various locations around the North of England.

During the countless bars rest they encountered whilst playing for choral societies, operatic companies, symphony orchestras, brass bands, function bands and big bands they decided to get together as a brass quintet to eliminate the need to count quite as much.

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Prince Bishops Brass Ensemble are a brass quintet based in County Durham in the north east of England.

The five members, playing trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba bring a wealth of musical experience to their performances from a broad range of genres, from Baroque and Renaissance to upbeat jazz and swing. All are experienced musicians who bring a great sense of enjoyment to their performances.

So, why not come along and enjoy and evening of wonderful of seasonal music and song?

Saturday 16 December, 7.30pm

St. Jude’s Church, Hexthorpe, DN4 0ED

Entry £14 paid in advance, £16 on the door

Students £5, school pupils FREE

Please contact: Ticket Sales - 01302 840728

All enquiries email: [email protected]

Sprotbrough Music Society

A Christmas Evening

A concert additional to the main series but still an annual event giving everyone a chance to enjoy an evening of music appropriate for this most magical of seasons. The concert will be given by well known guests:

Clare Wheat – soprano

Jonathan Gooing – piano

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In addition to the performance there will be a glass of wine and mince pies available!

Thursday 7 December, 7pm

St. Mary’s Church Hall, Sprotbrough, DN5 7RH

Tickets available on the door - £10

For its first foray into the world of “cool jazz” Sprotbrough Music Society, 16 November, could have done no better than to engage the outstanding Tim Kliphui Trio. Consisting of Tim Kliphuis (violin), generally accepted as “the natural successor to Stephane Grappelli” but also a superb classical musician, Nigel Clarke – one of the UK’s top acoustic guitarists and Roy Percy on Bass, one of the finest players on the British jazz scene.

Best described as “Classic Jazz” their programme featured music associated with the great guitarist Django Reinhart and the one and only Stephane Grappelli who together played in the famous “Hot Club of France” in the 1930’s – that distinctive sound so well captured by this trio.

Numbers in this style included the works of Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael and Grappelli himself – his Valse du Passe.

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In classical music it is usually the Baroque period of Bach or Vivaldi which lends itself to jazz treatment (think of the Jacques Loussier Trio from France) but the Kliphuis Trio also manage to successfully pull off their versions of music not only of these but also the likes of Grieg and Mussorgsky!

Their interpretation of two extracts from Grieg’s Pictures at an Exhibition, namely The Hut on Fowls’ Legs and particularly The Old Castle at Night were totally convincing and wonderfully played. The Society’s venture into generally unfamiliar territory, for them, was rewarded by an enthusiastic and appreciative capacity audience – the biggest of the season!

This concert was the 1 st in the Trio’s 2023 UK tour and more than lived up to anticipated expectations. A wonderful event!

Remembrance Day music from Doncaster Choral Society

Doncaster Choral Society’s first concert of the season 2023-24 took place at St. Jude’s Church, Hexthorpe on 11 November and unsurprisingly was inspired by Remembrance Day.

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The concert began with Gorecki’s Totus Tuus, which showed the Society’s ability in unaccompanied music and proved to be an ‘exciting and dramatic opening piece’(one audience member stated).

The most memorable compositions, however, came from the English composer Howard Goodall: Love Divine and, occupying the whole of the second half, Eternal Light a requiem in nine sections, which was most impressive under the conductor Matt Beckingham.

Eternal Light featured setting of some of the traditional requiem words and for the Dies Irae section the poem In Flanders Fields. Good choral singing with solo sections which were provided by soprano \olivia Rose Tringham and baritone John Dunford.

The first half of the programme was filled out with appropriate solos by Vaughan Williams, (the song Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, declared confidently by Mr. Dunford), Purcell’s beautiful Evening Hymn, again given its due by Mr. Dunford, Michael Neame’s Water of Tyne and Elgar’s Where Corals Lie sung by Miss Tringham with harp accompaniment by Angelina Egerton.

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The programme included an instrumental item, Perry’s Prelude to Eventide, intended as an organ solo but, due to the church’s organ going out of commission, was performed by Alan Horsey on solo piano.

A varied programme, well executed, satisfyingly constructed and unhackneyed in content was enhanced by the building’s excellent acoustic. A truly enjoyable concert.

Doncaster Arts and Museum Society Lunchtime Concerts

November had a variety of performances in the series at Chequer Road Baptist Church. 1 November featured the Scunthorpe pianist Jonathan Gooing with an attractive programme which included some unusual fare.

He began with a crisp rendition of a Haydn sonata, in B flat (Hob. 41). This dated from 1784, one of three dedicated as a wedding present. It comprised just two movements, both quick and typical of Haydn.

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Another Classical sonata ended the recital, Schubert’s Sonata in A minor, D.537, one of at least three in that key.

The middle movement was based on a Schubert song, very agreeably played. In complete contrast was the middle work by Yorkshireman William Baines who sadly died at the age of twenty three. His composition the Seven Preludes showed the influences of several composers among them Scriabin and Brahms.

Mr. Gooing has made a special study of Baines and it was good to have him represented in this recital.

The Preludes show much variety on tempo and showed much stimulating variety; one hopes that Baines will be revived in the future by other pianists in recitals.

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Harmonix, and upper voice a cappella choir gave a recital on 8 November.

On the afternoon Harmonix’ programme content was attractively varied – excerpts from musicals e.g. from Carousel and The Sound of Music, other popular songs such as American Amy Bernon’s Firefly Darkness, and a few Christmas numbers. They also performed two songs one from Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Lift Thjine Eyes) and Franck’s Panis Angelicus. The recital ended with Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen which has become Harmonix’ signiture tune, more or less.

Harmonix was conducted by founder Sue Wells and many of the pieces are her own arrangements too. A very enjoyable programme.

The concert 15 November was originally billed as Musicians of Bootham School, York but, unfortunately was unable to go ahead. Instead Matthew Palmer brought a onetime contemporary of his at York University, Aaron Moorehouse, who has a gift for improvising jazz movements of which he offered three.

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These sat well with Mr. Palmer’s composition The Last Dream and two compositions from Martha Mier’s Jazz Rags for piano duet which was a good finish to the concert.

The other, perhaps main, duet item was the Spanish Dances by Moszkowski. The principal classical music stars, played by Mr. Palmer, were the two Schubert Impromptus opus 90 No.s 3 and 4. This was an unusually varied programme which was generally well received by the audience.

Pianist Garry O’Shea has been a frequent and welcome visitor to the lunchtime concerts. His most recent visit 22 November was an attractive mixture, starting with Prokofiev’s 4 th Sonata, notable for its changes of mood and rhythmic variety. The concert ended with Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata opus 53, arguably one of his best, particularly in Mr. O’Shea’s interpretation and certainly one of his most memorable, especially in the final rondo movement. The two sonatas were linked by Schumann’s Arabesque Opus 18, an early work butgentle in its contrasts. A worthwhile concert, stimulating in its variety and wellplayed.

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