I first heard the Freeland Orchestra in its infancy in the summer of 2010. What a
pleasure it was to hear their progress over the last few years at their recent concert.
It is now a fully-fledged orchestra, with a full wind section (even with flute doubling
piccolo), a very respectable string section which can boast two double bass players
and five cellists. The lone viola player was magnificent in bridging the gap between
the upper and lower strings and the orchestra was very ably led by Alex Parker. We
enjoyed a well-balanced programme which began with Beethoven's Egmont Overture and
ended with Strauss’s Radetzky March with audience participation. Memorable moments
were the sensitively balanced playing from the woodwind section in the Egmont Overture
supported by the bassoon, the lovely sounds from the strings at the start of the
4th movement of the Jupiter Symphony (which was the main item in the programme).
I also enjoyed the clarity of sound in the Dance of the Cygnets from Swan Lake and
the stunning oboe solo sensitively accompanied by the strings. All solos were played
with technical reliability and musical awareness and we enjoyed plenty of dynamic
variety played with control and reliable technique under the clear direction of,
and with plenty of eye contact from, their conductor Wendy Marks.
It is heartening to see young and old making music together in such a friendly and
harmonious way. So, look out for the next Freeland Orchestra concert or, if you have
a desire to take up your instrument when it's been lying in the corner getting dusty
or are having lessons but need a new direction, look out for the start of rehearsals
in September. You will enjoy yourself!