First concert of the year brought a varied group of artists to the forefront, from Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s (amusing) Guide to the Orchestra,” written and narrated by Kevin Kling and Peter Maxwell Davies, “An Orkney Wedding With Sunrise,” in which the transition from solemnity to carousing to peaceful dawn is carefully evident. The Guide highlighted the talent and musical abilities of individual members and instrumental sections of the orchestra.
The afternoon concert began with a bright bang and up-tempo rendition of Elgar’s Military March from “Pomp and Circumstance.” Visiting UK solo virtuoso Jessie Gillam convincingly demonstrated the possible range of her alto saxophone, offering Closing In from “Escapades” by John Williams, and Darius Milhaud’s “Scaramouche Suite.” Her bright musical selections ranged from thoughtful classical themes to clear jazz idioms.
Osmo Vanska concluded the concert with a rousing “Rule Britannia” from Thomas Arne. The small but enthusiastic audience responded in kind.