FEBRUARY 2020 

AN EVENING WITH MIKE PRICE

                          Liz Armishaw                                                                                          Mike Price                    

 

Music and Mirth was the theme of Mike Price’s video presentation at the 19 February monthly meeting. He opened with  examples of the work of three conductors. Sioned James, who died at the age of 41 four years ago and was a prodigy of Islwyn Evans, who introduced her to  conducting at the age of 16, was shown conducting Cor Dydd.  The Latvian conductor Mariss Jansens, who died at the age of 77 in 2019, was frequently awarded the accolade of “the greatest living conductor” in his lifetime. He was also probably the most loved by the performers, being totally focussed on the music as opposed to the typically autocratic approach of the third famous conductor shown in the video. Mariss knew from the age of four that he would be an orchestral conductor. His mother was an opera singer and his father a conductor, and he trained at the Leningrad Conservatory. He  was guest conductor of the leading north America and European orchestras, including the BBC Welsh Orchestra. Mike’s fourth example showed the  amazing Cory Brass Band, for 10 years the World Champions, winning the 2019 British Open at Birmingham. It was, without doubt, a superb performance. The next clip was of Mike’s, – and many others, –- favourite male voice choir, Cor Godre’r Aran singing under the directorship of Eirian Owen, conducting and playing the piano

After a break for refreshments and the opportunity for a “scwrs”, Mike continued with the theme of Mirth, with the comedian Mike Doyle’s hilarious sketches featuring regional accents from the four corners of Wales. Finally, a celebration of the multi-talented Ryan Davies. Ryan was indeed gifted: a composer, instrumentalist, singer, actor, and dancer extraordinaire. Mike had chosen two much loved examples of his work: Kalinka, with the Gentlemen Songsters, who were clearly immensely amused/bemused since the concert version was quite different from the rehearsal; and the famous and hilarious sketch, The Chemist, where he plays the part of a little boy  trying to buy an article usually purchased by a female from a bemused Mrs Evans! How sad that such a talent died young, at the age of 40 in 1977, but how wonderful that his work continues to be enjoyed today. Mike was congratulated on providing such enjoyable entertainment by Arthur Williams, the Vice-president.

Liz Armishaw, the President, announced the sad news that Father Rowland Webb, an active member for many years before moving away, had died.    

 

Jim Armishaw.