Isca Ensemble opens new season of concerts with performance in Sidmouth

Trombonist Raddon Stephenson. Picture: Supplied by artist

Trombonist Raddon Stephenson. Picture: Supplied by artist - Credit: Archant

The popular Isca Ensemble with musical director Roger Hendy returns to Sidmouth Parish Church on Saturday, November 23, to open its new season of concerts with a blockbuster.

This very specially devised concert will feature the magnificent Organ Symphony by Camille Saint-Saëns with Robert Millington (organist at Sidmouth Parish Church) and Alex Wilson (piano) as soloists, and marks another first for the church.

This popular grandiose work was composed in 1886 at what was probably the artistic peak of Saint-Saëns's career. Of composing the work, he said "I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again."

Aaron Copland's brilliant Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo also feature in the programme. Copland laces his virile Buckaroo Holiday with lots of vicious syncopations and whiplash percussion, reflecting a rodeo's violent thrills and spills. The delectable Corral Nocturne and delicious Saturday Night Waltz are followed by the famous, foot-stompin' Wild West Hoe-Down.

Another young up-and-coming artist and extremely gifted trombonist has been booked. Raddon Stephenson is a graduate of the University of Manchester where earlier this year he was presented with the Dean's Award for Achievement for his First-class degree in music.

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He has studied with Simon Powell in Manchester, as well as taking masterclasses with Lars Karlin and Jonas Bylund at the Aurora Music Festival in Stockholm.

He has played in the trombone sections of the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra and Aurora Symphony Orchestra. He was a Britten-Pears Young Artist on the Composition and Performance Course (2019) and is currently on a year-long contemporary music performance programme at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

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On Saturday, November 23 he will perform the delightful Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra by Ferdinand David.

Tickets are available in advance at and at or from Paragon Books, 38 High Street, Sidmouth (01395 514516).

Doors open at 6.30 p.m.

This concert by this excellent regional orchestra should not be missed.


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