5th November 2016 in The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Following our adopted ‘signature-tune’ – Robert Farnon’s Journey Into Melody, we began our Concert in traditional style with Fred Hartley’s wonderful ‘foot-tapping’ arrangement of The Flowers o’ Edinburgh. Gems from the musical stage included selections from Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; and our guest soloist Carole Clarke, chose songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals – Oklahoma and Flower Drum Song. Also included in Carole’s selection from the musical stage was ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard and Sail Away by Noël Coward.

From the world of British Light Music, we featured Eric Coates’ Symphonic Rhapsody No 2 which comprised orchestral treatments of two of his most popular songs – ‘Bird Songs at Eventide’ and ‘I heard you singing’. Other ‘gems’ from British Light Music included Robert Farnon’s The Peanut Polka and Vivian Ellis’ Coronation Scot – which was used as the signature tune for the BBC Radio series, ‘Paul Temple’.

Our Leader’s solo spot featured a lively arrangement for violin and orchestra of Leroy Anderson’s Fiddle-Faddle; and music from the cinema focussed on themes from the first film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series – ‘The Curse of The Black Pearl’.

Once again we had our highly popular annual ‘sing-along’ – this time, a medley of well-known Music Hall songs.

As 2016 marked the 400th Anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, we thought it would be appropriate to feature music that was written for one of his plays; and for this, we turned to Edward German and to his Three Dances from the Incidental Music to ‘Henry VIII’ which were composed for Sir Henry Irving’s 1892 production of the play at London’s Lyceum Theatre.

Also included in our winter programme were some light-classical favourites in the form of Edvard Grieg’s Norwegian Dance No 1 and the main theme from Luigini’s Ballet Egyptien – the latter often used by the grotesque dance trio, Wilson, Keppell and Betty in their highly popular and legendary variety theatre performances.

In addition to hits from the musical stage, Carole Clarke’s selection of songs also featured the traditional Scots’ song Rowan Tree and the ballad, Smilin’ Through.

With the emphasis on ‘easy-listening’, our attractive, varied and tuneful programme was enjoyed by a large audience. As one lady remarked afterwards: ‘My friends and I thoroughly loved last night’s performance. This is the first time we have attended a Concert by The Edinburgh Light Orchestra and we’d like to come annually from now on. A fun evening for us all! Wonderful music!’

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