Saturday 25th September 2021
St Andrew's Church
Cheadle Hulme

We are delighted to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, Councillor Adrian Nottingham and Mrs Diane Nottingham, to our concert this evening.​​​​​​​
Piano: Haley Myles | Conductor: Alex Robinson

Proceeds to support
SVP Stockport Children's Camp


Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Serenade for Strings

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Concerto for Piano & Orchestra No. 2 
(arr. piano and string orchestra)


Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Andante Festivo

John Ireland (1879-1962)
Concertino Pastorale
Haley Myles Piano
Haley Myles is a bright and budding musical talent. As a Young Steinway Artist, Haley’s appearances have included recitals in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as radio appearances on programmes in Europe and North America. She is a laureate of seven international competitions. Haley holds certifications from distinguished institutions including the Mozarteum (Austria), Imola Piano Academy (Italy), and Freiburg International Piano Academy (Germany). Remarkably, she has already performed the complete two- and three-part inventions by Bach. In 2021, she started the Chopin Nocturne Project, which involves releasing a new nocturne each Friday. 
She achieved a Bachelor in Piano Performance at the University of Arkansas in 2016 where she was a deserving recipient of the Stella Boyle Smith scholarship. Haley also holds a Master in Piano Performance (with first-class honours) from the London College of Music, where she received the Mona Blackman scholarship. In 2019, Haley received a postgraduate diploma from Trinity Laban Conservatoire as a Cross Funds Scholar. She maintains a healthy schedule of performances as a collaborative pianist and as an orchestral pianist, accompanying diverse and distinguished instrumentalists and vocalists. Haley conducted the Woman’s Chorus at a public performance at the Walton Arts Center (USA) in 2015. 
She is most proud of her extra-curricular activities, involving continued work with individuals on the autism spectrum. Having authored a United Nations honoured book dedicated to helping children with autism, the cause remains a constant passion visible in her everyday life. 
Haley also holds a Fellowship Diploma of the London College of Music – the highest level diploma one can receive in performance. She is an artist with Talent Unlimited, an organisation that offers support to young musicians. She was named a Young Steinway Artist in 2018.
Alex Robinson graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Music (MusB) in 2016 and the Royal Northern College of Music with an MMus in Performance (Conducting) at Distinction level in 2018.
He studied under the student conductor program at Manchester University with Mark Heron & Justin Doyle (RIAS Kammerchor) and later with Clark Rundell at the RNCM. He has also taken part in masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder, Johannes Schlaefli & James Lowe.
Alex has recently worked with the BBC Philharmonic, North West Contemporary Music Ensemble ‘Psappha’, Haffner Orchestra, Allegra Festival Orchestra (featuring members of the Sofia Philharmonic), Sheffield Philharmonic, Rotherham Symphony Orchestra, Stockport Symphony Orchestra, Mayson Orchestra and members of the Manchester Camerata. He is the principal conductor of the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra and works regularly with Nottingham Youth Orchestra.
He has been assistant conductor to Sir Mark Elder (Hallé Orchestra), Sir Andrew Davies (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic), Nicholas Collon & Juanjo Mena (BBC Philharmonic). Alex was also the Assistant conductor for Heritage Opera and the BBC Philharmonic’s premiere of Alan William’s ‘The Arsonists’.
He has worked intimately with renowned composer Harrison Birtwistle for the NewMusicNorthWest Festival in 2016, performing his ‘Silbury Air’ at the University of Manchester. Alex was Assistant conductor for Heritage Opera & the BBC Philharmonic’s premiere of Alan Williams’ ‘The Arsonists’ in 2017. In the same year he worked with Samson Young on his five part radio drama series ‘One of Two Stories or Both’ for Manchester International Festival (MIF2017) which was broadcast live on Unity Radio 22.1fm and subsequently appeared on BBC iPlayer.
Alex Robinson Conductor
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Serenade for Strings (written in 1892)
Allegro piacevole
Allegretto—come prima

In the spring of 1892, when he was working on his Serenade for Strings, 34-year old Elgar was known primarily as a violinist and conductor. The orchestral and choral works that would bring him fame beyond his native Worcestershire toward the end of the 1890s were still some way in the future, and the London distributor Novello rejected the Serenade for publication, noting that while they commended the work, “we find however that this class of music is practically unsaleable, & we therefore regret to say that we do not see our way to make you an offer for it.” Thankfully, the German publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel subsequently published the work, which has remained a staple of the string repertoire ever since. 

Elgar himself often referred to it as his favourite work, and, along with his Elegy for Strings it was the last work that the 76-year old conducted, in an August 1933 recording session. Elgar was an accomplished violinist and later described the work as ‘really stringy in effect’, with delightful use of pizzicato and hushed, muted strings in the beautiful second movement. The violas provide the distinctive lilting 6/8 pulse that sets in motion the opening Allegro piacevole (a ‘playful’ Allegro), which oscillates between playfulness and melancholy, with a radiant central section in E Major. The second movement, Larghetto, gives us a taste of the serene, sweeping phrasing that we encounter in the famous Nimrod theme of his Enigma Variations, with the first violins introducing a yearning motif that is echoed by the seconds.  The final movement, a flowing Allegretto in 6/8 time, gives us the impression of evening sunlight on a pastoral scene, with its gentle reminiscences of the first movement before the warm glow of its E major finish. 

Madeleine Reeves
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Concerto for Piano & Orchestra No. 2 
(arr. piano and string orchestra), written in 1829
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, was composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1829. Chopin composed the piece before he had finished his formal education, at around 20 years of age. It was first performed on 17 March 1830, in Warsaw, Poland, with the composer as soloist. It was the second of his piano concertos to be published (after the Piano Concerto No. 1), and so was designated as "No. 2", even though it was written first.
This concerto is presented in tonight's concert with reduced forces, for strings and piano only. Although this is a modern arrangement, it was very common in salon settings for Chopin to play his piano concerto with chamber forces.
The work begins with an extensive opening movement; the piano taking prominence throughout. The main themes of the exposition are characterised by lightly bouncing dotted rhythms before we transition into a dream-like development section. We then return to a truncated recapitulation featuring increasingly elaborate chromatic decoration in the piano. 
The Second movement is often regarded as the jewel of this magnificent work and is quite a rare example of arch form (A-B-C-B-A). The mysterious unison opening statement, presented like a responsorial psalm, is alternated with floating string solos. The piano then provides the opening theme - a delicate, pearl like tune, dancing delicately above the accompanying chords. The middle section transports us to the world of dramatic opera. A recitative like vocal line is taken by the piano as the lower strings comment with pizzicati over a bed of tremolando. Before long, the opening theme re-emerges ever more elaborately, before we hear the opening psalm once again.
A brisk rondo brings the work to a close. Listen out for the different effects Chopin employs in the second theme. We are treated to the strings playing col legno (with the back of the bow), which produces a percussive wooden sound, and the delightfully rustic imitation of peasant music. This final movement is a tour de force for the piano and a treat for the listener!

Alex Robinson
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Andante Festivo, written in 1922
Sibelius is Finland’s most famous composer and one of its most celebrated and revered citizens!
He was born into a Swedish-speaking family, in a Russian garrison town, Hameenlinna, in southern Finland. He began to identify with Finnish nationalism while attending the first Finnish-speaking grammar school, where he got to know the famous 19th century epic story Kalevala. This poetic compilation of Finnish myths and folklore, along with his beloved Nordic landscape of trees, rivers, lakes and mountains, inspired much of his composing which was a natural gift, honed, along with violin-playing, at Helsinki Music Institute.
He is probably best known for his seven symphonies, which he considered to be out of step with some of the rather dissonant experimental compositions of the 20th century, describing his 6th symphony as “offering pure spring water”. He was just as prolific in tone poems, theatre music, songs and piano solo, and by the time he was sixty, and world-famous, he was able to stop composing and do very little, possibly focussing on consumption of alcohol, for thirty years!

Andante Festivo was commissioned in 1922 for the 25th anniversary of a saw-mill. Originally for string quartet, Sibelius reworked it for string orchestra for the New York World Fair in 1938, and for a Helsinki radio broadcast (also filmed and now available on YouTube), conducted by himself, on New Year’s Day 1939. Today this uplifting piece heralds our return to live performance!

Mary Dainton
John Ireland (1879-1962)
Concertino Pastorale, written in 1939

I Eclogue: sostenuto – allegretto moderato
II Threnody: lento espressivo
III Toccata: allegro molto ma non troppo presto

John Ireland was born in Bowdon on 13 August 1879 and became one of the foremost English composers of the early 20th century. Having entered the Royal College of Music when only 14, he studied composition under Sir Charles Stanford, himself a fine composer and the teacher of Vaughan Williams, Holst and Frank Bridge among others.
Ireland’s style is essentially impressionistic, with echoes of Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky rather than composers who embraced the German classical tradition.  His preference was for smaller, more intimate musical forms, of which the Concertino Pastorale is an example. The Boyd Neil Chamber Orchestra gave the first performance in Canterbury Cathedral in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II.
If the title of the work suggests a gentle pastoral idyll, the clouds of war undoubtedly darken the skies. In literary terms an eclogue is a short poem on a pastoral subject. In musical terms the first movement is characterised by an angular melody based on rising and falling sevenths, a discordant interval which lends a brooding quality to much of the movement. The second movement is a lament, highly expressive and deeply moving. One wonders if Ireland had in mind the horrors that lay ahead. If he did, light shines again in the final Toccata, a moto perpetuo displaying rhythmic vitality rather than melodic invention. Whilst exhilarating for the audience, it undoubtedly tests the players.

John Phillips

SVP Stockport Children's Camp
Our “Vinnie Camp” was formed in 1934 in the dark days of the world depression by two men from Edgeley. Since then, thousands of Stockport children have been “to camp”. Apart from the war years and the last two years due to COVID restrictions, a “camp” has been organised virtually every year since 1934. Now, the camp is situated at a wonderful facility in Snowdonia managed by another council.
Away from the children’s challenging circumstances, being at camp gives them the opportunity to learn new skills such as kayaking and abseiling, which in turn aid their confidence, long term development and social skills. 
Our “Vinnie Camp” is one of seven annual camps for up to 2,000 children from challenging  circumstances.
The “Vinnie” actually refers to the Society of St Vincent de Paul, a worldwide charity, working in 141 countries to help: the housebound, the handicapped and those in poverty.
It costs £15,000 to take 40 Stockport children on the annual camp. It is impossible to raise this amount without help from outside the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
For this reason, the volunteers running the “Vinnie Camp” for Stockport children are  very grateful to the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra for its support this evening.

Adrienne, Sinead Hayes (former Principal Conductor) & Brigid Hemingway

Brigid Hemingway
Brigid Hemingway (Leader) is also founder and Leader of The Athenean Ensemble. She enjoys playing string quartets with her Athenean String Quartet with fellow Amaretti players. She is passionate about acting, having come to it rather late in life. She will be appearing in the play Mr Wonderful by James Robson with The Brookdale Theatre in Bramhall from 4th to 9th October. She taught mathematics at Cheadle Hulme School for many years and is now a private maths tutor.
Tickets for 'Mr Wonderful' are available from the Box Office on 0161 302 2302 or visit

Adrienne Spilsbury
Adrienne Spilsbury studied musicology at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was a regular member of the college symphony and opera orchestras. She performs as a violinist and violist with several orchestras and chamber groups in the north-west, giving performances at venues including the Buxton Fringe Festival, and the Spring Bank Arts Centre in New Mills. Adrienne is also a composer. With a style that is firmly rooted in the British string music tradition, her works are approachable and rewarding for players and audiences alike. Her first String Quartet 'Bodnant' received its premiere in 2013 by the Deconet String Quartet at the Didsbury Arts and Buxton Festival Fringes. In 2019, her song cycle for tenor and strings 'True Plain Hearts' was premiered by the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra in Manchester. 'Eyebright', for 12 solo strings, will be performed in April 2022 by the Northern Chamber Orchestra, and her second String Quartet 'day, turning' awaits a performance opportunity!​​​​​​​
The Orchestra
Violin 1
Brigid Hemingway (Leader)
Adrienne Spilsbury (Leader)
John Phillips
Angelika Wieck​​​​​​​
John Wilson
Gloria Bakhshayesh

Violin 2
Pat Quirk
Sare Crouch
Simone Evans
Karen Stanhope
Julia Martin
David Martin
Kay Thomas
Martin Stuart
Madeleine Reeves
Barbara Faulkner
Chris Newbould​​​​​​​

Mary Dainton
Rosy Hickman
Paul Hickman
Jo Beesley

Double Bass
Karen Gedd
Linda Pyatt

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