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West Oxfordshire Winds

 

WOW's programme

 

Augusta - Pusceddu

 

Crooner's Serenade  - Michael Bublé (arr. Williams)

 

Italian Polka - Rachmaninov (arr. Lucas)

 

Hello Dolly - Herman (arr. Terrett)

 

Flyaway Blues - Johnson

 

Concerto d'Amore - Jacob de Haan

 

Unsquare Dance - Dave Brubeck

 

Mamma Mia Medley - ABBA (arr. Kenny)

March 2022

Summer Concert - Freeland Orchestra & WOW

The audience was treated to a brisk start with Pusceddu's Augusta, a lively march, rhythmic and cheerful. The precise and spirited playing of WOW was reminiscent of this year's parades celebrating the platinum jubilee.  The Crooner's Serenade began with authoritative drums, then the brass section took command, and we soon found the audience tapping their toes to the smooth swinging rhythms. Wendy brought out lovely lyrical playing from the flutes and warm tone from the band, and the piece ended with a triumphant flourish.  Another toe-tapping piece followed in the form of an Italian Polka by Rachmaninov (originally composed for piano), punctuated beautifully and conjuring scenes of a fairground. The melody swept smoothly from one section to another: a joyful piece putting a smile on our faces.  We were then transported to the dance floor with a swinging and precise rendition of Hello Dolly with Wendy in complete control.  Unsurprisingly, Flyaway Blues (composed by Johnson, who was himself a brass player) gave the brass section an opportunity to shine, supported by a warm rounded sound from the whole band as the melody swayed round the hall.

The majestic opening of the Concerto d'Amore led into a jazzy conversation between sections and a harmonious coming together, with controlled playing of the lyrical passages (clarinets in particular) and lovely tone from the lower instruments, interrupted by a bright staccato section followed by more musical conversation. Wendy drew plenty of colour from the musicians, who seemed to be enjoying their conversation, and we enjoyed listening to it.  Audience participation was requested for the next item, Brubeck's Unsquare Dance. After a short practice, the audience's rhythmic clapping was swelled by sections of the band joining in one after another, and the joint effort, brilliantly in time, led to a crisp and happy ending.  The concert drew to a close with a treat for the audience in the form of the familiar themes of ABBA's Mamma Mia Medley with precision and beautiful colour from WOW, depicting much loved images including Dancing Queen and the sound of Money, Money, Money, before taking us to their final destination for the evening, Waterloo.  

(Annette Lord)