Concert Archive 2017

November 2017

George Butterworth The Banks of Green Willow
Edward Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor Opus 85
Soloist: Gregor Cuff
Fredrick Delius La Calinda dance from the opera Koanga
Hilary Burgoyne Song for Lesley
Ted Kirk Tunepiece
Ralph Vaughan Williams Bucolic Suite


An audience numbering in excess of 300 recently enjoyed a concert presented by the Southport Orchestra in the superb surroundings of Emmanuel Church in Cambridge Road. Under the leadership of Jeff Rimmer, the orchestra’s resident conductor, the magnificent acoustics of the church made the most of the excellent standard of playing. 

The highlight of the first half of the programme was Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto played by guest soloist Gregor Cuff, currently principal cellist of Crosby Symphony Orchestra and vicar of Christ Church and St. John, Waterloo. Gregor gave true meaning to this famous composition said to be the last created by Elgar before his death in 1934.

The major piece for the second half of the programme was the little-known Bucolic Suite written by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Premiered in 1902 the work “disappeared” for many years only to be rediscovered recently. The music depicts a range of countryside scenes and it clearly delighted the audience.

The concert opened with The Banks Of Green Willows (George Butterworth) and  interspersed with the two major works  were La Calinda from the Opera Koanga (Frederick Delius); Song For Lesley, a tribute to the late Lesley Mycock, long-time leader of Southport Orchestra and written by her close friend Hilary Burgoyne; and Tunepiece by Ted Kirk.

Members of Southport Orchestra are already looking forward to their next concert to take place on Saturday, 24th March 2018 in St. John’s Church, St. John’s Road, Birkdale, commencing at 7-30 pm.      

Also some quotes from emails we’ve had –

“We really enjoyed the concert on Saturday . It was a good combination of the well-loved and the new and really well played – very impressed with the cello soloist.”

“Just to say that last night’s concert was very enjoyable, a lovely sound from Gregor Cuff. My friend who had not heard Southport Orchestra play for 15 years emailed me today to say that she enjoyed the concert so much that she has already put the date of the next concert in her diary.”

“Thank you very much indeed for inviting us to last night’s highly enjoyable concert by Southport Orchestra. The evening was lovely indeed and the quality of the music played was excellent. We enjoyed it enormously. It felt like a real start to the festive season. Please pass on our congratulations to your musical colleagues.”  

Sunday 16th July

Venue: Floral Hall Southport
SO SPECTACULARTchaikovsky Capriccio Italien Op.45Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 – 2nd movement* Doppler Fantasy Pastorale Hongroise Op.26**Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No.3 Op.50 ‘Youth’ 1st movement*Walton Facade – Polka and SongChopin Piano Concerto No. 1 Op.11 – 2nd movement*Sibelius Karelia Suite Op.11- 1st movementAddinsell Warsaw Concerto*Kander Chicago SelectionRachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 Op.18 – 2nd movement*K & R Lopez Themes from FrozenShostakovich Unforgettable Year – Assault on Beautiful Gorky*Norman arr. Barry Themes from James Bond
Márquez  Danzón No.2
* Soloist – Tom Kimmance ** Soloist – Jane Pembleton-Smyth


A spectacular Grand Summer Pops Concert before a capacity audience in Southport’s premier concert venue, the Floral Hall, was given by the Southport Orchestra on Sunday 16th July. The concert was in aid of Brainwave which supports children with various types of disabilities.

During the concert Sally Preston and her daughter Natalie gave a very moving presentation about the work of Brainwave. The Orchestra performed without charge and, thanks to the generosity of sponsors and audience, several thousand pounds was raised.

The Orchestra, leader Mel Foster, under the direction of Jeff Rimmer, performed a wide selection of concert classics interspersed with popular selections from the world of film and shows.

Jane Pembleton-Smyth, principal flute with the Southport Orchestra, enchanted the audience as soloist in an amazingly difficult piece for solo flute and orchestra by Franz Doppler.   The Southport players were also delighted to welcome back local pianist Tom Kimmance who thrilled everyone by his interpretation of movements from piano concertos by Beethoven, Chopin, Kabalevsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov.   His performance in the Warsaw Concerto was breathtaking.   He remained to accompany the Orchestra in the lighter pieces after the interval. The orchestra played superbly, with verve and feeling, being as comfortable with Beethoven as with swinging Chicago or the excitement of Danzon 2. This orchestra just gets better and better.

At the conclusion of the concert Jeff Rimmer paid tribute to the work of Brainwave and also thanked the many sponsors for their valuable contributions towards the production of the concert, ending with appreciation for the support by the audience.

Messages of appreciation
“What can I say? Everyone was completely blown away by the fantastic  concert yesterday! It was just wonderful and so relaxing. I know that we will be attending future concerts.”

And an accomplished musician said – “I was impressed by the Orchestra’s tuning, it was spot on right from the beginning. The Orchestra as a whole has never sounded better.”

“I hadn’t seen Jeff for 37 years! He is now conductor of the marvellous Southport Orchestra. A far cry from when he used to be in music club at school. he has done a great job with what is an amateur orchestra and last Sunday’s concert was extremely enjoyable. Bravo to all involved.”Saturday 18th March
Venue: St John’s Church, Birkdale 


Beethoven Egmont Overture Op. 84

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor Op. 64

Soloist: Andrew Winter

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3 in D Major Op. 29

St John’s Church, Birkdale, housed a capacity audience on Saturday 18 March, witnesses to a spectacular concert presented by the Southport Orchestra, leader Mel Foster and conducted by its resident director of music, Jeff Rimmer.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a piece dripping with tragic drama, opened the concert, and the Orchestra responded with a magnificent interpretation. Felix Mendelssohn’s wonderful violin concerto in E minor, in which the Orchestra was delighted once again to welcome as soloist, Andrew Winter who gave a bravura performance of this very popular concerto.  His interpretation of the work was outstanding and his exciting construction of the faster passages was breathtaking.

After the interval, the conductor, Jeff introduced the final work to be performed, the Symphony No 3 in D minor, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.   He pointed out to the audience that this was a beautifully composed work containing many outstanding features. This performance as a whole demonstrated that the Southport Orchestra was now well and truly on the musical map.

Some messages of appreciation from members of the audience – 

Firstly, from someone who emailed a letter to The Champion newspaper –

Music was perfection

A recent Saturday night saw a magnificent musical performance by  Southport Orchestra.

The music was perfection (Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky).

St. John’s church in Birkdale provided an ideal venue for what I thought was the performance of a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone involved in organising such a wonderful evening.

 Emails to our website

– We have been attending SO concerts for three or four years, and always enjoyed them.The quality of last night’s performance was way above what we had come to expect. The strings, particularly, were sharp and focused.The difference was much akin to the difference in the RLPO pre- and post- Petrenko.Congratulations SO. Keep it going!!

– I just wanted to say what a splendid concert the orchestra put on last Saturday at St. Johns.  The Orchestra was in fine form and the soloist magnificent.  I Hope you’ve won many more supporters.

– Thanks to all for a wonderful concert on Saturday. I think the orchestra sounded fabulous as did Andrew, the soloist.  Well done to Jeff and Melanie for such a tour de force. Please also thank the producer of the programme notes which are such a help in keeping track of what you are listening to.