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Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Day in June - a review

from Morag Williams

David Clark's 'One Day in June,' a Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival event, promised a whole day of musical pleasure. It lived up to expectation.

At 9.30am on June 2nd the audience, assembled at Dalswinton Church, were greeted with the news that a bereavement had caused changes in the programme at short notice. Instead of the planned eight members of the Beati Singers there were only two representatives. However, the quality of the opening number, Ubi Caritas, performed in the clear crystal tones of Sophie Brett assured all that we were to have a musical treat. Supported in duets by Rhona Marshall, the performances of these two young girls was exceptional. Stepping into the void, Alex McQuiston, a very talented young cellist from Annan, and Christopher Baxter, pianist, contributed admirably to a well-rounded programme.

Alex McQuiston
Young and old moved on to Dalswinton Hall where extrovert Tony Bonning enchanted and involved one and all in his action songs and tall stories. Hearty chortles at his antics rang out from his young audience, while he subtly conveyed an underlying moral to his tales. 'Children's Choice' food goodies followed.

Tony Bonning

The 'Open Mic Cafe', an unknown quantity, proved to be special. Soup and rolls with out-of -the-ordinary fillings, strawberries and yoghourt, jubilee cake and delicious coffee, served by guest barista, Professor Chris Isles, completed a tasty menu at bargain prices.

There followed an hour of free convivial entertainment in a relaxed atmosphere. Diverse attendees, including David Clark and Fiona Graham, decided to 'have a go'. It began with 'Three little maids from school', followed by poetry, instrumental music and song and ended with a duo, delivering Neil Young songs. There was rapturous applause, none more so than for five-year-old, Ruby Darbyshire, with her mouth organ and dainty ukele.

The afternoon was devoted to contemporary jazz, provided in Kirkton Hall by The Chameleon Quintet from the north of England. It was led by ace saxophonist, Stuart Johnson, and featured legendary guitarist, 72-year-old Gary Boyle, along with players on keyboard, double bass and drums. Devotees of jazz derived great pleasure from the quality of musicianship displayed.

A barbecue on Kirkton Village Green, provided by the Community Council, filled the time leading up to the evening concert and teas were provided at the rear of the Kirkmahoe Parish Church by members of the congregation.

The Alistair Anderson Band, with Emily Ball – fiddle, viola; Sophy Ball – fiddle; Andy Watt – mandolin, guitar
The Alastair Anderson Band from Northumberland held the stage in Kirkmahoe Church for the final concert of the day. Alastair Anderson, a master of the concertina and the Northumbrian pipes, accompanied by a group of three skilled young musicians performed traditional tunes like 'The Morpeth Rant' through to many of his own compositions. The varied and exciting programme, interspersed with wit and agility, provided a fitting climax to a truly memorable day, the success of which could be gauged by the breadth of the smiles - none wider than that of David Clark himself.

P.S. Some Kirkmahoe Concert dates for your diaries: on Friday 6th July a Gentle Jazz programme of forties and fifties jazz will take place in Kirkton Hall – raising funds for Hospice Africa Uganda; and on Saturday 8th September Robin Williamson will perform in his inimitable style in Dalswinton Village Hall. 

more pictures from 'One Day in June' - here

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