Student concert showcases local talent

Playing a cello concerto with Orpheus Strings is an experience 12-year-old Jeremy Spikmans just can't get enough of - so he's back to do it again at the orchestra's annual student concert in Katoomba.

Cellist: 12-year-old Jeremy Spikmans will play with Orpheus Strings at Katoomba Public School on September 15.

Cellist: 12-year-old Jeremy Spikmans will play with Orpheus Strings at Katoomba Public School on September 15.

Having been inspired by the cellists at an Orpheus Strings concert when he was only three years old, Jeremy's subsequent years of study and practice paid off when he made his debut as a concerto soloist with the same orchestra two years ago.

Orpheus Strings devotes one of its concerts each year to showcasing talented local music students, an opportunity that Jeremy has keenly pursued and thoroughly enjoyed. After his debut in 2017, he was joined by his younger brother in 2018 for a performance of Vivaldi's double cello concerto.

This year with Orpheus, Jeremy will present the first movement of Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major. While it was long known that Haydn had written this first cello concerto quite early in his career, the score disappeared and was not found again until 1961. Its re-discovery was a real boon for cellists and audiences, as it is delightfully pure Haydn and a joyful tour of musical facets of the cello, from big chords to rippling fast and high passages, lyrical melodies and conversation between the soloist and the orchestra.

A very different character will be drawn from the cello by Year 12 student Hannah Kolos, as she performs the first movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor. This piece is a key work of the cello concert hall repertoire, and is a marked departure from Elgar's more well-known style of hearty, confident music (perhaps best captured by his famous pomp and circumstance marches). Elgar wrote this cello concerto in 1919, in the aftermath of the First World War, and the music reflects the resultant sorrows, with mournful, elegiac themes.

As it does each year, this student concert presents a colourful variety of musical styles and talents. Rounding out the program will be Leila Harris, a Year 12 student who will be lending her fine classical voice to Mozart's Exsultate Jubilante" This work is a short sacred composition for voice that in this case carries the impact of a concert aria. It is a delightfully exuberant work (the title meaning "rejoice, be glad") that a teenage Mozart wrote specifically for the admired soprano voice of a gifted high castrato singer of his time.

Finally, Year 11 student Sel Hardaker will perform a Danse Espagnol (Spanish dance) by Manuel de Falla.

Orpheus Strings' annual student concert will be performed at 3pm on Sunday, September 15, at Katoomba Public School. Tickets at the door, $15/10, free for children with a paying adult.