MC Nicholas Hammond sings from the Sound of Music score with Lisa Butcher at the Afternoon at the Proms concert
MC Nicholas Hammond sings from the Sound of Music score with Lisa Butcher at the Afternoon at the Proms concert Adam Hourigan Photography

LETTER: Concert makes for 'exhilarating' Jacaranda Sunday

WHAT an exhilarating way to spend Jacaranda Sunday!

Whoever thought orchestral concerts were boring needs to watch the Clarence Valley Orchestra and Chorus strut their stuff.

Conductor Greg Butcher has brought together this group of multi-talented musicians to form a wonderfully cohesive group. They obviously enjoy making inspirational music together. The Saraton was packed to capacity and was abuzz with anticipation. We were not disappointed.

In keeping with the Saraton's 90th anniversary, every performer wore fancy dress to celebrate "Music from Stage and Screen".

Darth Vader made an appearance to lead the opening number at the Afternoon at the Proms concert
Darth Vader made an appearance to lead the opening number at the Afternoon at the Proms concert Adam Hourigan Photography

Darth Vader was guest conductor for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. Other epic movies featured were James Bond, The Godfather, Ben Hur, Gone with the Wind, Gladiator, Mission Impossible and, of course, Jaws. A slide show added that extra dimension.

In complete contrast, I was deeply moved by Lisa Butcher's haunting Gabriel's Oboe. The sonorous tones of Sarah Nicholls' violin evoked the sombre Schindler's List. The compere, Nicholas Hammond, performed The King's Speech with such sensitivity, quietly accompanied by Beethoven's Symphony No.7.

Then it was time for the singers to shine, opening with a spirited rendition of the Vivaldi Gloria, followed by a beautifully sensitive Lord is My Shepherd featuring Lisa as soloist. The medley from Sister Act was loads of fun.

Greg Butcher, Dan Fahey, Connor Willmore and Troy Castle sing as part of a barbershop quartet singing from the Music Man score at the Afternoon at the Proms concert
Greg Butcher, Dan Fahey, Connor Willmore and Troy Castle sing as part of a barbershop quartet singing from the Music Man score at the Afternoon at the Proms concert Adam Hourigan Photography

We were even treated to our very own barbershop quartet. I didn't know that Greg Butcher could sing ... as well as conduct and play trombone, not to mention compose and arrange music!

Being a Proms concert, we all had a marvellous time obeying the conductor by clapping softly or loudly in the Radetsky March. Finally, it was time for Pomp & Circumstance. We raised the roof singing Land of Hope and Glory. What a thrill!

Thank you, Clarence Valley Orchestra & Chorus for such a memorable concert. I'm still smiling.

Joan Moy, South Grafton