The Gala Concert 2018 – Review

The Gala Concert has been an annual event and a staple in the Tees Valley Music Service calendar for over 10 years. The popular concert attracts visitors from all over the region as some of the best ensembles in the North East come together to perform a show stopping concert.

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra, Tees Valley Youth Choir and Yangchin have been joined by other premier ensmebles in the past such as Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra and Tees Valley Youth Brass Band. But this year Stockton Concert Band and Redcar & Cleveland Sinfonia took to the stage for the first time, alongside TVYO, TVYC and Yangchin. The programne for this year’s concert featured a varied repertoire which showcased the range of musical styles the bands, choirs and orchestra can perform. Highlights of the 2 hour performance included TVYC’s lively rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘ by Solomon Linda which was highly appropriate given the Youth Choir’s recent tour to Disneyland Paris where they performed on the Videopolis Stage.

They were followed by Stockton Concert Band, some of whose members have never performed in front of a large audience before. They gave a professional performance of ‘Pavne in Blue’, and ‘Fascinating Drums’ by Ted Huggins was captivating to watch. Other standout moments from the concert included Yangchin, injecting a different musical style with ‘The Water is Wide’, and Redcar & Cleveland Sinfonia eloquently performing ‘Ruminations’ by Sean O’Loughlin.

Following the interval, the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra took to the stage with conductor Nicholas Nowicki and played ‘ The William Tell Overture’ by Rossini, their first performance of the evening. It’s an especially busy time for members of the Youth Orchestra as they prepare for their Granada tour taking place this July and their 50th anniversary year in 2019 where a range of events have been planned including the tour to New York City. With the prestige of performing at world-renowned concert venues the expected standard level gets higher so TVYO continues to rehearse regularly and tackle more complex pieces in order to achieve this standard. The Gala Concert showcased this standard and amplified to those in attendance as to why Tees Valley Youth Orchestra have been offered a place in Carnegie Hall’s performance schedule.

Tees Valley Youth Choir then performed a set of 6 pieces from various composers including John Conahan and Bruckner. They were immediately followed by Locomotion & Barbershop Choir. Both choirs provide a stepping stone for young or inexperienced vocalists to learn the vocal techniques needed to perform in the Youth Choir.

TVYO then concluded the 2 hour concert by performing Bolero by Ravel and the famous ‘Pomp and Circumstance March No.1‘ by Elgar. After the show-stopping finale, the audience erupted in applause, giving a standing ovation in what was truly a unique and unforgettable occasion.