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Drunken trombones in Theatre Ferment

The Milton Keynes City Orchestra was joined by the talented players from the Milton Keynes Music Service for last Saturday's concert, in which there was a strong emphasis on youth. The centrepiece was James MacMillan's Into the Ferment, an amusing realisation of a Robert Burns story of a trio of friends whose whisky sampling gets out of hand. The orchestration is for a large body of young non-professional players and a smaller group of professional musicians. The three friends are represented by three trombones, played by students. Their performance was a delightful portrait of the effect of more and more alcohol on the trio, with a colourful depiction of their drunken carousing. Conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, himself part-Scottish, read the poem with a delightful Ayrshire brogue before the performance, and the audience showed their appreciation with warm applause. The remainder of the concert comprised fine performances of the English music with which Wetton is justifiably associated, with Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra continuing the youthful theme. It was a splendid concert.

Reviewer:  Roy Tipping

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