The Festival opened in early June with our regular Art Exhibition which was very well supported and boasted an even higher standard of work than ever. This was accompanied by a spectacular Battle of the Organs in which the regular Trinity instruments were joined by Makin Organs, Copeman Hart and Johannus.
These were played to stunning effect by five eminent organists, Daniel Bishop, Associate Organist, Liverpool Cathedral, David Houlder, Sub-Organist, Leeds Minster, Simon Lindley Organist & Master of the Music, Leeds Minster, Ian Tracey, Organist Titulaire, Liverpool Cathedral and our own Ian Wells, Director of Music, Holy Trinity, Southport.
As you might expect there was some very exciting forte moments and also some really beautiful piano ones too. The evening closed with a stirring rendition of Parry's Jerusalem.
It has become our practice to hold six Lunchtime Recitals during the Festival and the very varied types of music were again greeted with large and appreciative audiences.
The following weekend saw a concert by the Southport Bach Choir on a jazz theme; this included Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with treble soloist, Trinity's own Josh Quinlan. An exciting night.
This year also saw the return of the Houghton Weavers who entertained us with their mixture of song and humour. We were struck again with their excellent musicianship and of course they kept us laughing all night long.
The Festival closed, as ever, with a Festal Evensong in which the Church and Chapel Choirs of Holy Trinity were directed by Ian Wells and accompanied Professor Ian Tracey. A large congregation experienced a moving service with some lovely music closing with the Final from the 1st Symphony by Vierne. It was a vintage year!
Once again this year the Leyland Band thrilled us with their outstanding playing; from the touching sweetness of their pianissimos to the sheer visceral power of their fortissimos they were a joy to listen to. Their programme included brass arrangements of a remarkably wide range of composers’ music; from Bach to Lennon & McCartney and Ron Goodwin to Richard Strauss. There were a number of fine solos but I would pick out that of sixteen year old Romana Halstead, a pupil at Chethams, on Flugel Horn - quite remarkable. It was lovely to see so many young people included in the ranks of a top class band - we were told they are officially number six in the world. Although the brass was the centre of our attention, there was some very fine playing in the percussion section too. Of course we finished the concert with the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ three-some of Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Parry’s Jerusalem and Pomp & Circumstance No 1 by Elgar during which we all enjoyed a good sing. However, for many of us the absolute highlight of the concert was the finale to the first half when the band played their arrangement of Procession to the Minster from Wagner’s Lohengrin. I’ve heard some big sounds in Trinity over the years but nothing to top that - it was awesome! Richard can’t have had many better celebrations of his 200th birthday than this.
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