Canterbury Orchestra Music in Kent

Review of Concert 21 March 2009

A Concert of 20th Century American Music

Shirley Hall, Kings School, Canterbury

soloist: Peter Foggitt (Piano)

Andrew Lowen conducted The Canterbury Orchestra in a thrilling concert of American music at the Shirley Hall.

The brass and woodwind sections gave us a rousing start with Sousa's Liberty Bell March, followed by the whole orchestra in John Henry by Aaron Copland. This powerful piece is based on a folksong and portrays a railroad-building slave who competes against a mechanical steam hammer doing the same work. The hero wins the day, only to die later from his exertions!

The orchestra's Leader, Chris Brown, then took up the baton to conduct Barber's haunting Adagio for Strings, played with romantic fervour and controlled passion. The guest soloist of the evening, Scottish pianist, Peter Foggitt then produced a wonderful account of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. His playing had a classically-trained discipline and he was ably supported by the orchestra who brought off the jazzy effects as to the manor born. It is interesting to note that the original jazz band parts were arranged by Ferde Grofé and labelled by the first names of the players rather than the instruments.

After the interval came a bubbly account of Bernstein's Candide Overture, Appalachian Spring by Copland and Gershwin's Porgy & Bess Suite, with its popular tunes.

Altogether a magnificent concert presented with great enthusiasm by these dedicated players.

David Ruddock     (Kentish Gazatte)

Next Concert

Saturday May 17th 2014 at 7.30 pm

Colyer-Fergusson Hall, University of Kent

The Spring Concert celebrates the Orchestra's 60th Anniversary and the choice of music acknowledges the Centenary of World War I, drawing on British music of the period and featuring the hugely popular work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins based on the renaissance tune The Armed Man.  The piece is subtitled A Mass for Peace and is a bold denunciation of war incorporating extracts from the Ordinary of the Mass and words from other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible (e.g. the Psalms and Revelation), and the Mahabharata. Writers whose words appear in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived the Hiroshima bombing. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Sittingbourne Orpheus to perform this fine work.  
Also on the programme will be Holst's stirring Mars, The Bringer of War and gentler offerings by Butterworth, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. The concert will take place on May 17th at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall, the University of Kent's wonderful music venue. Tickets are £12 for adults and £5 for students and children of school age.  They will be available on the door and from the Gulbenkian Box Office (01227 769075 or



More Information

Canterbury Arts CouncilDetails of forthcoming concerts are also listed in the Events Diary of the Canterbury Arts Council website.