One of the aims for the quartet this year was to do more concert performances, and particularly to host some of our own concerts. Earlier in the year we had done this with our evening at the Cambridge Tennis Club, and we were keen to do more of these.
Back at the end of 2013 we first started talking to Barton Church about the possibility of coming to do a concert for them. They have only recently started organising musical evenings in the church and were using these to raise money for their organ restoration appeal. They have chosen to have a series of short (only an hour or so) concerts on Friday evenings. The concerts have no interval, but refreshments are served afterwards. There’s no charge to get in to the concert, but there is a collection for the church on the way out.
Since the quartet rehearse just a couple of minutes up the road from Barton this seemed like a really good opportunity for both us and the church, so we set up the concert for a Friday in May (giving the weather enough time to warm up a bit!).
Since we only had an hour we wanted to try to cover a wide variety of the sax quartet repertoire so we pulled together a pretty eclectic programme of music to try to show the breadth of material which is now available for sax quartets. We covered some of the older material, with arrangements of swing and ragtime music from 1930s and 40s but also included newer material from modern composers who are producing challenging pieces to keep us on our toes.
We were very pleased to get a good turn out for the event and the church was pretty much full as the concert kicked off. Barton church has a lovely acoustic for small instrumental ensembles – it’s supportive but doesn’t have a very long echo so that even fast moving pieces come over clearly. The audience were very enthusiastic, and they got tea and biscuits afterwards – what more could you want?
We were very pleased to hear that the donations received after the concert came to £537 so that the restoration of the church organ can come one step closer. We really enjoyed playing in Barton and hopefully we can find an excuse to go back and play there again in the future.