Sunday and Doncaster Minster saw the final Hoorah! for John Pearson’s time with the Phil. He gave us a concert to remember, with Charlotte Pinder wowing the audience as her Ascending Lark trilled into the stratosphere, Pyotr Ilyich blowing away the cobwebs and Delius walking us through a thoroughly enjoyable summer evening. I am persuaded that many people didn’t realise just how much they were going to miss John’s gentle good humour, faithfulness, knowedge and charm until his departure sneaked up on them. We wish him every joy in his retirement and hope that he doesn’t succumb too quickly to the lure of Emmerdale on Tuesday evenings.
Straight off the bounce from two thumping concerts at the weekend, we say Welcome! to Ewa. With five, now four rehersals to the Botanical Gardens Concert on 14th July, we’re in for a workout if Wednesday’s run-through was anything to go by. At the end of two hours reading Tchaikowsky, Borodin, Smetana et al, I felt like I was the one who had been run through. It’s going to be a challenge, this next concert, particularly with a tough program, amplification, an audience potentially in the thousands and the great outdoors to contend with. Having a new pair of hands on the tiller will no doubt shake us up and keep us on our mettle, but every member with whom I have spoken is excited (if not a little scared) and fully up for it.