Proms concert stuns

Ed, It’s hard to believe, but Greg Butcher has raised the bar even higher! With the Proms theme this year to be ‘Opera to Jazz’ I was sceptical that opera might not be a popular choice. I needn’t have worried. The Saraton was packed. From the regal entry of our compere, Trevor Green, we just knew we were in for an afternoon of musical delights. And we were not disappointed. Three highly talented singers from Opera Queensland took centre stage, with items ranging from the deeply moving to the downright corny. I just loved Jason Barry-Smith’s hilarious performance of the Major General’s Song from Pirates of Penzance. After interval, we were enthralled by the Clarence Valley’s very own Dixieland band. It was time for the musicians to let their hair down and swing. Lisa Butcher gave a stunning performance with her rousing rendition of All That Jazz and New York, New York. I simply must make mention of the Clarence Valley Orchestra & Chorus, and the sheer professionalism of this group of seriously talented musicians. Greg Butcher has taken some 80 volunteers from widely diverse backgrounds and morphed them into a cohesive group who obviously have the time of their lives up on stage. Having played in orchestras in my earlier years, I remember just how very difficult it was to accompany a soloist. The Orchestra achieved this difficult task with ease. The Chorus, too, gave a stellar performance, especially when the singers had to tackle songs in French and German. Chorus Director, Margaret Tarrant, must take credit for a job well done. No Proms concert would be complete without the old hand-clapping, flag-waving Proms favourites. But we were treated to an extra … Rule Britannia. With the three opera singers in our midst, the audience literally lifted the roof. Thank you once again, Greg Butcher and the Clarence Valley Orchestra & Chorus. What an uplifting, inspirational Jacaranda Sunday. I’m still singing! Joan Moy, South Grafton