Essex Folk Concert

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The first ever Essex Folk Concert at the Colchester Art Centre a great success.

The Art Centre in Colchester was almost full for the Essex Folk Concert last Saturday.

The ethos: "participation, creativity and engagement" of Sinfonia Viva, as well as the mission of Orchestras Live (a national music charity), to "inspire, motivate and empower the widest range of people", was displayed with vigour.

The audience was caught up in a warm, humorous sharing in the birth of new folk songs. Forty seven singers-and-composers from Cheviot, Well House, Sea Breeze and Scarletts care homes, with numerous staff and friends around them, enjoyed the results of two months of exciting preparation.

The atmosphere owed much to the relationship built up between the musicians, with their talented and friendly leader, Sam Glazer, and the old folk.It was all delightful. The programme, which interspersed the new songs with orchestral pieces linking themes of folk songs from around the world, was nicely balanced. Dominic Wheeler ably conducted the thirteen-strong orchestra whose members seemed to be enjoying the experience as much as were the participating audience!

The financial support of the Lottery, the Arts Council England, Orchestras Live and Essex County Council has made possible, not only the supplying of professional arts activities to care home residents, improving their quality of life and wellbeing, but, as a sort of by-product, the deepening relationship among everyone involved, achieving a vibrant sense of community.

No one was in a hurry to leave when the concert ended.People chatted animatedly in small groups, circulated, congratulated the care home residents and the various gratified musicians.

It is hoped that this will not be the last collaborative event!

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