Concert Highlights

2007_Apr 07_St Gregory's Green

The orchestra gave 148 performances at St Gregory’s Arts Centre, Pottergate, including concerti, symphonies, oratorios, operas, musicals and ballet, before the church sadly became unmanageable because of licensing restrictions.

This list of highlights includes mention of collaborations with The Central School of Dancing choreographed by Charlotte Corbett, and The Oriole Singers, and solo performances from guests such as Peter Stevenson (renowned resident organist at Princes Street U.R.C., formerly the organist at Portsmouth Cathedral), talented young singer-songwriter and guitarist Rowan Perrow, and The Greenwood Singers (Lisa Cassidy, Valerie Clarke and the late Nicola Greenwood-Wyatt).

Further details are occasionally being added to this list of highlights. Please contact us if you spot any mistakes or have details or photos you would like to see added.

  • 22ND NOVEMBER 1986: Inaugural Concert of St Gregory’s Choral Society and Orchestra: First Movement of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, soloist Jeremy Bradley, and Gounod’s St Cecelia Mass.

  • 14TH DECEMBER 1986: Handel’s Messiah Part 1, with the St Gregory’s Choral Society.

  • 4TH-6TH DECEMBER 1987: Fully staged production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Yeomen of the Guard, with the St Gregory’s Choral Society.

  • 6TH NOVEMBER 1988: Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 21 with soloist Kevin Bashford, and Mozart’s/Muller’s 12th Mass, with the St Gregory’s Choral Society.

  • 28TH NOVEMBER – 2ND DECEMBER 1989: Fully staged production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, with the St Gregory’s Choral Society.

  • 1ST JUNE 1991: Mozart Year: Exsultate Jubilate with Teresa Maddison, Violin Concerto (K216) with Alison Mills.

  • DECEMBER 1991: Mozart Year: Cimarosa’s Oboe Concerto with Catherine Ross, and the Requiem.

  • MARCH 1992: Haydn’s Creation, a joint production with the Central School of Dancing.

  • JUNE 1992: Antony Hopkins CBE rehearsing Haydn’s Military Symphony.

  • SEPTEMBER 1993: Fully-staged production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, featuring Martin Wyatt as Captain Von Trapp.

  • MARCH 1994: Fauré’s Requiem with the Central School of Dancing.

  • JUNE 1994: Crusell’s Clarinet Concerto no 2 with Mandy Burvill.

  • NOVEMBER 1994: Britten’s St Nicolas with Chris Steed.

  • NOVEMBER 1995: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Catherine Champion and the Central School of Dancing.

  • 28TH JANUARY 1996: A Birthday Concert for Mozart & Schubert at the Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich: Mozart’s Symphony no 1 in Eb Major (K16) (written in 1764 when Mozart was in London; he was 8 years old) and String Quartet in G Major (K80), and Schubert’s Symphony no 1 in D Major and 3 Minuets for Wind Instruments (1811).

  • MARCH 1996: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Andrew Maggs.

  • MAY 1998: Brahms’ Requiem with Sally Bartholomew.

  • JUNE 1998: “Viennese Whirl” – the music of Strauss with the Central School of Dancing.

  • MARCH 1999: Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G with Claire Bradshaw, and Haydn’s Nelson Mass.

  • DECEMBER 1999: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio part 1 with UEA Student Chorale.

  • 18TH-20TH MAY 2000: “Land of the Midnight Sun” – music by Grieg with the Central School of Dancing.

  • 25TH JUNE 2000: Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine; Schubert’s Symphony no 3; Mozart’s Coronation Mass; with the St Gregory’s Choral Society.

  • NOVEMBER 2000: Remembrance Concert including Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto with Gemma Hitchen.

  • JUNE 2001: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast with Joshua Ellicott.

2002_SGO with Central School Ballet at St Greg's

  • MAY 2002: Ballet setting of Gounod’s St Cecelia Mass with the Central School of Dancing.

  • MARCH 2003: Final concert at St Gregory’s: excerpts from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Cherubini’s Requiem.

2007_Apr 07_St Gregory's, Pottergate   2007_Apr 07_St Gregory's

St Gregory’s Orchestra continued its activities at Princes Street United Reformed Church from 2004-12, where it presented many concerts including several performances of new music, raising funds for good causes.

  • 21ST MARCH 2004: A Benefit Concert for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children: Strauss’s Egyptian March, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Organ Concerto Op 7 no 1 and Schubert’s Symphony no 5; featuring the Princes Street U.R.C. Choir with soloist Valerie Clark, organist Peter Stevenson, soprano Nicola Greenwood and contralto Emma Barton.

  • APRIL 2004: Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Weber’s Hungarian Andante and Rondo for Bassoon with Eleanor Skeate.

  • 7TH NOVEMBER 2004: Concert in aid of Amnesty International and the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture, and dedicated to the memory of Noreen Miller (1933-2004) whose enthusiasm for the musical life at St Gregory’s was limitless (she sang in choirs, was a rehearsal tea-lady, some-time cleaner and source of constant humour and good works): Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, a masterful bassoon solo from Eleanor Skeate in the demanding Andante and Hungarian Rondo by Carl Maria von Weber, and Franz Schubert’s Symphony no 9 in C major; plus Samuel Barber’s Adagio, Op 11, arranged for organ by William Strickland and performed by Peter Stevenson, and sopranos Lisa Cassidy and Nicola Greenwood singing four verses from Hildegard von Bingen’s The Martyrdom of St Ursula, followed by the first performance of Nicola’s Kyrie Eleison, a piece inspired by Hildegard von Bingen.

  • 5TH DECEMBER 2004: Christmas Sparkles, a tribute concert to the late Colin Lawrence-Couzens (well-known Salvation Army member, local business-man and raconteur, and a friend of Martin’s since 1971; Colin enthusiastically supported the new community and musical life at St Gregory’s from the very beginning in 1973 with the performance of St Nicolas Cantata; for a while, Colin was a committee member of St Gregory’s Trust, and after the church re-opened in 1985 he suggested to Martin that he form an orchestra, which was duly inaugurated in the autumn of 1986): Fucik’s Entry of the Gladiators, Johann Strauss’s Chit-Chat Polka, Egyptian March and Tales from the Vienna Woods, Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer, Franz Berwald’s Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra with soloist Eleanor Skeate, tenor Steve Holmes singing Handel’s Silent Worship accompanied by Martin on the piano, and Bizet’s Finale: Farandole; plus Three Spanish Carols, set by Nicola Greenwood from poems by Lope de Vega and sung by Emma Barton, Lisa Cassidy and Nicola Greenwood, Peter Stevenson performing Morceau pouvant servir à une messe de mariage by Lefébure-Wély, Egyptian Dance by Catherina, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again sung by soprano Beverley McInnes, along with two carols sung by the congregation.

  • 6TH MARCH 2005: A variety concert in aid of The Asian Tsunami Appeal: the Overture from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Elgar’s Chanson de Matin, Haydn’s Symphony no 88 in G major and Jack Mason’s suite of highlights from Bernstein’s West Side Story; plus a performance of Three Spanish Songs specially composed by Nicola Greenwood and sung with Lisa Cassidy, Contemporary Egyptian Dance performed by Liz and Abeer, and a sequence of operatic songs performed by special guests, The Duncan Four.

2005_May 31_Greenwood Singers and Catherina

  • 12TH JUNE 2005: A variety concert raising funds for The House of Genesis (a small local charity whose objectives are to promote the rehabilitation of the homeless and ex-prisoners, and to live the Christian life in a way that is relevant and comprehensible); the concert was also in honour of the Reverend John Marsh, retiring after some 32 years of ministry at Princes Street: Overture from Rossini’s Semiramide, a selection of George Gershwin Melodies arranged by Henry Hall and Geo L Zalva, Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F, featuring soloist Eleanor Skeate, Mozart’s Symphony no 39 in E flat (KV543); plus Plainsong and Three Spanish Songs by Nicola Greenwood, performed by The Greenwood Singers, J S Bach’s Fantasia in G performed by organist Peter Stevenson, and William H Harris’s O What Their Joy and Their Glory Must Be sung by Princes Street U.R.C. Choir and members of the Orchestra with organ accompaniment by Peter Stevenson.

  • 4TH DECEMBER 2005: A veritable feast of music, with proceeds donated to Cruse (the charity for bereavement counselling, which is also based in Princes Street): a Suite from Tchaikovski’s ballet Swan Lake, Haydn’s Symphony no 99 in E flat major, a lively selection from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, in which members of the orchestra doubled as vocal soloists; Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra, featuring soloist Bernard Pitt, who has held the post of First Clarinet in the orchestra since its debut in 1986; Peter Stevenson performed the Toccata from Organ Symphony no 5 by Charles Marie Widor; close-harmony Spanish songs specially written for this concert by Nicola Greenwood and performed by The Greenwood Singers.

  • 19TH MARCH 2006: Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante with Alison Mills, Catherine Ross, Kate Hallam and Eleanor Skeate.

  • 4TH JUNE 2006: A ‘Mostly Mozart’ Variety Concert, in aid of The Churches Conservation Trust: Mozart’s Overture from La Clemenza di Tito (K621), Andante in F (K616) and Symphony no 25 in G Minor (K183), Joseph Horovitz’s Rumpole of the Bailey, Beethoven’s Duo no 3 in B flat, Two Settings of Spanish Poems by Nicola Greenwood performed by The Greenwood Singers, plus the first and a surprise (even to the orchestra) second performance of Lowestoft composer Mick Brown’s Tone Poem in B flat, The Journey.

  • 26TH NOVEMBER 2006: 20th Anniversary Concert, in aid of UK-based ecumenical charity CHASTE (Churches Alert to Sex Trafficking Across Europe): the first performance of Kenneth Ian Hÿtch’s Concertino for Violin and Small Orchestra, composed specifically for St Gregory’s Orchestra and soloist Rachael Turner, who besides being the composer’s next door neighbour, is a former leader of the orchestra; Sibelius’ Symphony no 2 in D major, Léon Boëllmann’s Toccata from Suite Gothique performed by Peter Stevenson, and 3 Sacred Songs performed by The Greenwood Singers.

  • 18TH MARCH 2007: Sibelius’ Symphony no 1 in E minor and Finlandia, Elgar’s Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit, Fauré’s Morceau de concours and Debussy’s Syrinx.

  • 24TH JUNE 2007: Rossini’s Overture from The Thieving Magpie, followed by Duet for Two Cats performed by Nicola “Tiddles” Greenwood and Valerie “Snagglepuss” Clarke, Carl Stamitz’s Concerto in F Major for Bassoon, Sibelius’ At the Castle Gate and Karelia Suite, and Frank Pond’s ‘cello solo Song for Slava (a tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich).

  • 25TH NOVEMBER 2007: 21st Anniversary Concert: Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with guest pianist Karen Smith, Haydn’s Drum-Roll Symphony, Delibes’ ballet suite Sylvia, Beethoven’s Adagio in F for Organ performed by Peter Stevenson, plus a Vote of Thanks from the Sheriff of Norwich, Nick Williams.

  • 13TH APRIL 2008: A Concert in aid of Medical Aid for Palestians (an organisation working with local agencies to provide relief in the occupied Palestinian territory and in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria), featuring two intense and profound orchestral works: Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major featuring soloists Alison Mills (violin), Eryl Pickworth (oboe), Eleanor Skeate (bassoon) and Kate Hallam (‘cello), with Martin Wyatt playing First Violin; then Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no 4 in F minor, exploring the theme of merciless Fate.

2008_June 29_Beverley, St Greg's

  • 29TH JUNE 2008: ‘A Sparkling Charity Concert’, an exciting, light-hearted variety concert in aid of Soroptimist International of King’s Lynn Appeal for the Willow Tree Farm Young Persons’ Project based at Hillington: the rousing Overture from The Light Cavalry by Franz von Suppé; guest soloist Peter Stevenson performed Louis James Lefébure-Wély’s tuneful Sortie on the organ; Ernest Bucalossi’s The Grasshopper’s Dance (recognisable from the TV advertisement for the Milk Marketing Board, involving a cheery milkman and some dancing bottles!); guest ‘cello soloist Frank Pond then performed Meditation for Martin, which he composed in May 2008 as a birthday present for Martin, reflecting his spiritual and playful nature; First Violinist Alison Mills amusingly donned an eye-patch throughout the Orchestra’s lively selection of arrangements of several of the best known songs from The Pirates Of Penzance by Arthur Sullivan, with refrains excellently and dramatically sung by soloists emerging from the orchestra – Martin Wyatt, Steve Holmes, Beverley McInnes, David Reeves – plus a hearty trumpet solo by Helen Couzens; the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah by Saint-Saëns; The Decibells, a guest group of handbell-ringers from Reepham, gave an outstanding and beautiful selection of their repertoire including An English Country Garden, Skater’s Waltz, A Sixteenth Century Pavane and a Newfoundland shanty called Ranting and Roaring; finally, Haydn’s Symphony no 100 (The Military) took us back to the drama and joy of 1794, featuring an extended percussion line-up which included a specially-made replica of Turkish bells.