Tickhill: Concert was the perfect start to Christmas

Tickhill Music Society is used to performances by small groups and the Christmas concert was no exception, except that the two musicians played at least 10 instruments.

The virtuosi in question were James Stretton and Iain Jackson.

And while Iain confined himself most of the time to accompanying James on the keyboard, James displayed his versatility on multiple brass instruments, ranging from piccolo to bass tuba.

James is a former member of the Black Dyke Mills Band and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and this background was evident in his dexterity and also the sensitivity of his playing.

The programme was equally wide-ranging, from Bach and Handel to arrangements of Christmas carols, and two pieces specially composed for the duo.

Iain revealed his pedigree as a former trombonist in the National Youth Orchestra by switching roles with James in Santa Baby.

Meanwhile, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen called for accompaniment on the tambourine by a member of the audience (who, it must be said, showed no reluctance).

The musical fare may have been light-hearted but it was played with great accomplishment and was the perfect curtain-raiser to the festive season.

Adrian Hattrell

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