Clarence Valley Independent

Wonderful Jacaranda Proms concert


Talk about an inspirational afternoon. Just had to write to thank Greg Butcher and the Clarence Valley Orchestra & Chorus for their musical worldwide travelogue. Each member was dressed in traditional costume, making for a colourful spectacle.

Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana opened the concert with the stage lit only by candles and the cast singing a cappella. With the gong heralding the full force of this piece, we just knew we were in for a fabulous concert. We weren’t disappointed.

The programme included an eclectic mix of music from countries as diverse as Romania, the UK and the Mediterranean, not to mention Africa, the US and, naturally, Australia.

The multi-talented Adam Wills wowed us with his expertise on the marimba. Greg Butcher’s rather quirky sense of humour was apparent with his incredibly difficult Bariton Lechner solo and intriguing choice of costumes.

Speaking of humour, MC for this concert was Mark Mitchell, perhaps better known as ‘Con the Fruiterer’. Con’s anecdotes and futile attempts at pronunciation brought forth many a chuckle from the audience.

We enjoyed the Aboriginal, Zulu, Japanese and Balinese chants. But it was the Mediterranean Medley that really got our toes tapping, with such favourites as Hava Nagila and, of course, Zorba!

My personal favourite was the medley from West Side Story, especially when the strings soared in Maria.

Lisa Butcher gave a moving rendition of Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose as well as the incredibly stirring My Country by Dorothea Mackellar. There were quite a few sniffles around me at the words ‘of droughts and flooding rains’.

It’s so wonderful that we are treated to a Proms concert every Jacaranda. Thank you, one and all, for yet another memorable concert. I’ll certainly be back in 2020.

Joan Moy, South Grafton

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