Review: Ulster Youth Orchestra

We are very fortunate to have the Ulster Youth Orchestra.

On Saturday evening they gave their Summer Concert in the Ulster Hall and they played their hearts out and the audience appreciated every note.

It was a very pleasing programme with the sweeping strains of Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, reminiscent of the Rio Games and carnival, strains of samba and great rhythm, timpani to the fore.


They were busy in the second item, Saint-Saens spirited Havanaise with soloist Ioana Petcu-Colan her golden slippers and mellow violin she was compulsive listening and viewing.

Before the interval Tchaikovsky Swan Lake Suite and we finished with the Symphonic Dances by Rachmaninov.

Watching the young musicians, some who have been struggling with exam results in recent days and others still studying, it was obvious that they were well rehearsed and conductor Garry Walker teased the best from them.

The timpani section were really entertaining as they moved between their instruments and a special cheer at the end for the young man who manned the huge gong for the last notes of the Rachmaninov.

He had to run from his drums across the stage picked up the striker and made his unique noise then, to dull the last note, stuck his knee up against the surface with great aplomb. Forgive my layman’s language!

The exuberance of the orchestra was matched with the response of the audience, four ‘curtain’ calls and great whooping from their young admirers, I expect most of them musicians themselves.

We have a great musical future in Northern Ireland with musicians of this standard.

Congratulations to them and to their tutors.

Anne Hailes

Ulster Youth Orchestra
Ulster Hall
Saturday 27th August 2016

Post Author: Belfast Times

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