Our destination was the University of Manchester Campus and the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama in particular. Oh what fun and games. The journey was uneventful until our driver started to follow Google Map's directions through the city into the location we needed. I had our Manchester A-Z; workmen nearby gave more detailed directions but we still went round and round passing where we wanted to be with no means of entry. Many streets were not streets you could walk or drive into as they were incorporated into various 'schools' There were also roadworks. Finally, a passer-by gave us correct instructions to the multi-storey car park. later I checked with the box-office lady exactly where we were on the A-Z. The map I had found on the Internet had us across the road and I could only agree with my son-in-law that the Internet directions were wrong. We will all know next time!Time was ticking away but we met with our grandson and young lady - ate our lunch and headed into the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall for the start of a wonderful afternoon and evening. The lunchtime concert was the MUMS Vocal Showcase.
This included the Manchester University Barbershop Singers (the Amethyst Capella, a group of girls in black with dark pink/amethyst waist sashes, Mantunian Way, a group of boys in dark shirts and trousers, and Tag Line, a group of four of the students with another arrangement.). They sang a wide range of tunes in harmony. The next part of the programme was the Latin Name TBC, a group of 8 voices which 'provides a platform for student choral composition with an ethos to perform everything submitted'. Our grandson James Thompson had written one of the numbers and composed the music. This was our reason for being at the lunchtime concert. Breaking Away from Memories was heart-wrenching and I could feel the pain.
The conductors of the various parts were also singers ans they changed places. The talent though. I was blown away. It is one thing to sing in such harmony what someone has written but to actually be able to create such wonderful music and words is a real gift.
To fill the afternoon before the evening concert, I elected to slip off on my own to
wander around the University itself. It is years since I have been in the city - it was always one of our day's out when I was growing up as that is where the best shops were and the now short bus ride from Leigh was then an adventure as our mother shopped with us for new clothes. I wandered into Blackwell's bookshop (who list our print and digital titles online), strolled around the gardens surrounding the open air car park and then headed down Oxford
Street to recce out places to eat for an early dinner. I wandered into a most beautiful
church, the Church of the Holy Name, and then headed back to meet up with the rest of the family.
|Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Oxford Street. Manchester|
|Grandson James Thompson|
Manchester University Symphony Orchestra.
What a treat and what talent and energy!
The first piece was Veni,Veni,Emmanuel. This involved a soloist but not the usual kind. It was a percussion soloist and third-year student Jack Stone must be congratulated on his focus, at one point dexterity in delicately wielding two drumsticks in each hand, his timing, his speed and fleet of foot as he moved from instruments at one side of the conductor to another set at the other side of the stage and back again. This went on for about twenty-five minutes after which there was a - no doubt for the orchestra - welcome interval.
In the second part, the orchestra played 'Four Sea Interludes' from Peter Grimes and Suites from 'Romeo and Juliet'.
The journey out of the city was fairly uneventful (tongue-in-cheek) and I had a quiet nap on the way home.
P.S. I have to say that I was impressed at the high standard of personal presentation of the students, not only at the events but in the city where everyone appeared to be so 'tidy'.