40th Anniversary Concert Saturday 4th November The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

This year marked our 40th Anniversary; and over the past four decades, we have been very privileged and honoured to have received wonderful support from some of the ‘giants’ associated with the world of light music.

Our 40th Anniversary programme therefore honoured those composers and personalities who played a huge part in our success story; and in our special Journey Into Melody, we chose music that reflected this unique legacy.

As usual, we paid tribute to the musical stage with a selection from what is undoubtedly Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular show – The Sound of Music. It was arranged by the doyen of all Broadway orchestrators – Robert Russell Bennett – whose masterful arrangements have been a regular feature of our programmes. And we were delighted to welcome back Carole Clarke (Mezzo-Soprano) to help us celebrate with a selection of vocal treasures that included more gems from the musical stage – songs from South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, Showboat and Guys and Dolls. Other songs included Tchaikovsky’s ‘None but the Lonely Heart’ and the ballad, I’ll Walk Beside You.

And for jazz fans, we had Duke Ellington! – a medley of his best-known tunes.

Honouring those who directly played an important part in the ELO story, our programme featured Iain Sutherland’s Edinburgh Castle – Concert March, Robert Farnon’s Manhattan Playboy, Ernest Tomlinson’s Nocturne (from the ‘Lyrical Suite’), Arthur Blake’s Romance – ‘Jean Brodie’, Angela Morley’s A Canadian in Mayfair and Clive Richardson’s Beachcomber. Now that was some line-up!

Our Leader’s solo spot paid tribute to one of our most distinguished Leaders – Miles Baster. Our present Leader, Lawrence Dunn, played the composition that launched the popular solo spot and which was Miles’ first solo with the ELO back in 1979 – Johan Svendsen’s ‘Romance in G’.

This year also saw the 60th Anniversary of STV; and to mark this occasion we performed Scotlandia – the medley of Scots songs that was heard before the start of each day’s programmes from 1957 until the advent of twenty-four hour broadcasting. It must be one of the most well-known pieces of Scottish music ever!

Also in our programme was the overture to Monckton and Talbot’s The Arcadians – which was the opening piece in our very first concert; and Intermezzo from Eric Coates’ ‘Miniature Suite’.

And last – but by no means least – our programme would not be complete without a ‘sing-along’; and this year we chose a medley of Waltzes from the Music Hall.

I’m sure you’ll agree that our 40th Anniversary Programme was something very special!

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