Perhaps it is a shade late to reflect on the Christmas concert, but in many ways it deserves reflection. The excellent program was hastily assembled, rehearsed and performed, yet it came across very well. Enormous credit must go to Juan Ortuno for this, not to mention his charm and wit when introducing the pieces; he had the audience eating out of his hand. A number of superb ‘outside’ players joined in, filling key roles. Without exception they gave their services free of charge and it seems that they really enjoyed playing. So once again thanks and cograts to Pete and Juan. Then there was the best attendance of any Christmas concert since our first, with a large proportion of children who seemed very much involved, even if they played a few games during Bolero. Martin Lightowler was an exceptional narrator in the Snowman and our treble from St John’s, Mark Brown, walked in the air with aplomb. Finally, this was our first concert to receive sponsorship in celebration of an individual: in this case, Oliver Ronca, a Sheffield Hallam graduate in art whose life was tragically cut short two years ago. His parents attended the concert which they thought was wonderful, and commented that we had ‘done him proud’. Hopefully we can attract similar sponsorship for future events.
The friends and relatives of Oliver want to thank the SPO for a memorable, fitting and joyful occasion.