Civic Festival 2024 Concert Review

Elstree Mozart Players, founded in 2018 by Derek Holland in collaboration with Pat Strack and Andrew Grady, with an aim to bring the richness of classical music to the communities of Elstree and Borehamwood held its latest concert on Sunday 23rd June 2024 at ‘All Saints’ Church in Borehamwood.

The orchestra’s president Cllr John Graham wselcomed the gathered audience to the concert, which was attended by both Mayors of Elstree and Borehamwood, Cllr Alpha Collins and Hertsmere, Cllr. Richard Butler which formed the opening musical event for this year’s Civic Festival in Elstree and Borehamwood.

Cllr John Graham (left), Cllr Richrd Butler, (centre), and Cllr Alpha Collins with Andrew Grady (right)

This was another concert with something for everyone from Derek Holland and the Elstree Mozart Players.

Proceedings began with a Concert March by the orchestra’s resident composer, Peter Wilson. A charming little piece in the light classical vain, designed to get the toes tapping and hearts pumping.

Then a short Trumpet concerto by Leopold Mozart, the less talented father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It was played on an old D trumpet by orchestra member Alison Perry. Quite an instrument to play, as it is very taxing on the players lips, but Alison sailed through, with very good accompaniment from the orchestra.

Next the leader of the orchestra, Lucy Cumming and principal oboist, Barry Solomon played one of Bach’s wonderful concertos, the D minor for Oboe and Violin. It was played brilliantly by both soloists and with excellent orchestral accompaniment, it left the audience asking for more.

To follow, Peter Wilson excelled as pianist in Robert Docker’s Legend for Piano & Orchestra. It is a wonderful piece of light music that should be heard more regularly. Docker was a first-class composer of light classical music and Derek Holland and his players will never shy away from promoting these little gems.

Bringing the concert to the interval was a delightful piece by the composer Cecile Chaminade, her Concertino for Flute and Orchestra. Played flawlessly by the principal Flautist – Emma Brown. Once more the audience were wowed by the brilliant playing of soloist and orchestra.

To begin the second half, Elstree Mozart Players played a work by another local composer, Roderick Elmer – his Variations on the Hymn tune Harwich. He wrote it 10 years ago and it had not been played since. It had a demanding pattern of ever-increasing difficulty with each variation, yet the orchestra held it together for this unfamiliar piece, on just that one rehearsal. Remarkable.

To end the concert, they played Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No.31 ‘The Paris’. A big symphony and a big performance. No hesitation on the tempo for both the first movement and finale. Derek Holland always observes the composer’s tempi markings. What a rousing finish to the concert. Fantastic!

The orchestra would like to thank members of The Rotary Club of the Studios of Elstree and Borehamwood along with Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council for providing stewards for this concert.

Photos taken by Laurance Wiseman, Clive Butchins, Cllr Alpha Collins, & Andrew Grady

Review prepared by Graham Wilson

The next concert by Elstree Mozart Players is on Sunday 29th September 2024, 7.30pm at Allum Hall & Manor Elstree, featuring

  • Suppe – Morning Noon and Night in Vienna Overture
  • Elgar cello concerto – Soloist: Edwin Gatward
  • Tchaikovsky – Marche Slave (Guest Conductor Roland Marshall)
  • Philip White – Aubade (world premiere) Commissioned by Derek Holland and EMP
  • Massenet -Meditation from Thais – Soloist Lucy Cumming
  • Oscar Bohme – Trumpet Concerto – Soloist Dylan Lehner
  • Saint Saens – Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah.

Tickets £10 in advance (available from 1st September 2024)

£15.00 / £12.00 Concessions