“A packed village hall on Friday 2nd July witnessed the final concert before its
demolition and the building of a new hall for 2011. With her energy and enthusiasm,
no one has done more for Freeland music than Wendy Marks, so it was appropriate that
in this last concert she conducted music played by two of her 'creations', The West
Oxfordshire Winds (WOW) and The Freeland Orchestra.
The first half was a varied combination of pieces for WOW, from Henry Mancini's Pink
Panther theme to Bernstein's The Great Escape. The members, twenty-eight strong
and all ages from seven to seventy, also played rousing renditions of four famous
Sousa marches and a slinky version of the famous James Bond theme. Best of all though
was a relaxed and swinging version of Tin Roof Blues.
After the interval, the twenty-seven members of Freeland Orchestra took centre stage,
starting with Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and two pieces from "Children's
Games" by Bizet. Tom Hadland on the oboe was particularly fine in first the Bach
piece and then "Gabriel's Oboe" from the film The Mission, while the orchestra -
getting into its stride - combined very well in two demanding Hungarian Dances by
Brahms. Finally, accompanied by ready audience participation, the orchestra ended
the concert with The Radetzky March by Strauss. The famous march, so often heard
coming from Vienna, this time came from an Oxfordshire village and very good it sounded.
So a successful and enjoyable concert to mark the end of one era for the hall but
the start of a new era for the two orchestras under Wendy Marks.” Alastair Lack