Saturday 24th September 2022
St Andrew's Church
Cheadle Hulme
Organ: Lee WardConductor: Stephen Threlfall

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Le dernier sommeil de la vierge

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Organ Concerto


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Serenade for Strings

Lee Ward 
After a rewarding career as an Organist, Educator and Director of Music at schools, churches and cathedrals in the UK and Brazil including most recently at Liverpool Cathedral, Lee now specialises in harpsichord and organ. He works at the University of Liverpool as a lecturer, collaborative pianist and harpsichordist working with student and professional singers and players.
He originally studied organ at the Royal College of Music as a Foundation Scholar, where he won all the organ prizes. He has given recitals in many cathedrals and town halls in the UK and abroad and has recorded and broadcast as soloist and accompanist including for the service of Beatification of Cardinal Newman in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.
He enjoys playing continuo on organ and harpsichord and has worked with Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal (OSM) and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) in Brazil and the Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir in Liverpool and other chamber orchestras.
He continues to play the organ and direct choirs on a freelance basis and was recently appointed Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church in Wavertree, Liverpool.
From 1995 Stephen Threlfall was Director of Music at Chetham’s School of Music, the UK’s leading music school - a happy culmination of many years’ experience in the professional music world. After 24 years he decided to relinquish this post in order to expand his conducting and creative work.
An alumnus of the Royal Northern College of Music, Stephen’s career took him first to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, where he was sub-principal cellist, before becoming Director of Music at Benenden School. 
As a conductor, Stephen has earned much acclaim for his performances, recordings and broadcasts having conducted at many major venues and festivals throughout the UK and alongside many renowned international solo artists. Apart from an array of regular guest appearances with a variety of orchestras throughout the country, engagements have also taken him to the USA, Europe and Scandinavia, with regular visits to the Urals Philharmonic and Bach Orchestras in Yekaterinburg and the Royal Oman and Amman Symphony Orchestras. His work with choirs has included St George’s Singers,Leeds Festival Chorus,Chester Bach Singers and Manchester Chamber Choir. He works extensively with a number of student and youth ensembles and music HUBs including the National Children’s Orchestra, Jersey Academy, & Berkshire Youth Orchestra.
Professional ensembles include the Northern Ballet and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Hanover Band and more frequently with both the Northern Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata with whom he recorded a CD of orchestral works by Marcus Blunt in 2019.
As well as performing with an array of outstanding classical artists, Stephen has collaborated with actors, entertainers and directors including Timothy West and Prunella Scales, Robbie Coltrane, Vanessa Redgrave, Bridget Forsyth, Samuel West, brother David Threlfall, Hinge and Bracket, Ted Robbins, Emily Watson, Celia Imrie, Russell Grant, Robert Dawes, Beverley Craven,Judie Tzuke, Julia Fordham, Keiran Hodgson, Neil Brand and Newton Faulkner.
Stephen combines a natural sense of performance with his strong creative instinct, inspiring others through his artistic direction and expertise alongside innovative programming of festivals, projects and concerts. 
He has created a number of arts and community projects involving an impressive number of guest musicians, artists and specialists, among them the award-nominated Antarctica (2001) and Brundibár (2002/3) projects; A Child of Our Time (2005) and The Spirit of Norway Festival (2007) comprising over 50 events, included many workshops and special performances. In Autumn 2008, the Leonard Bernstein Celebration included chamber and symphonic concerts, and a special concert with the composer’s daughter Nina Bernstein-Simmons. Nina returned to Manchester in Spring 2018 to work with Stephen alongside an orchestra of young musicians from across Greater Manchester to commemorate the Leonard Bernstein Centenary. 
In 2012 Stephen directed a 4-day celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of Frederick Delius, which included concerts, exhibitions, workshops and concerts with the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra and cellist Raphael Wallfisch, broadcast by Classic FM. 
Stephen devised a major project in 2013 marking the Benjamin Britten centenary, delivering performances across all of Britten’s output with performances in Manchester, Chester, London, and at the Lichfield, Cheltenham, Ryedale and Shaldon Festivals.
In 2015 Stephen conducted two performances of Mahler’s Third Symphony with Mezzo Soprano Sarah Connolly and the Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in Manchester and the Cheltenham Festival, both of which received outstanding reviews.
Having spearheaded the ambitious project to open a new state-of-the-art concert hall at Chetham’s, Stephen then devised and delivered the opening celebrations of The Stoller Hall in April 2017. The royal opening concert received a 5 star review from Richard Morrison of The Times.
Stephen conducted the complete cycle of the Beethoven Piano Concertos with an array of international soloists including Noriko Ogawa, Dmitri Alexei and Peter Frankl as part of the 2017 Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. 
He programmed a number of special performances and projects spanning 2019 to mark Chetham's 50th anniversary. The centrepiece was the highly acclaimed performance of Mahler's 8th Symphony which he conducted in July 2019 and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 
Future concerts include guest engagements nationwide incorporating the complete concertos and symphonies of Brahms, a concert with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and visits to the US, Oman, Italy, Sweden and Hong Kong. Stephen will also complete a Beethoven symphonic cycle with The Hanover Band performing the 9th Symphony at the Chichester Festival in June. 
In October 2020 Stephen became Artistic Director of the Lake District Summer Music Festival set in the UNESCO world Heritage site of the Lake District.
Stephen Threlfall 
Guest Conductor
Chelwood Foodbank Plus

We have been around since 2013 and have evolved into a holistic service, providing not just the essentials - We are a friendly and listening ear in times of need and without judgement.
We provide support to families and individuals in the Stockport Borough experiencing food/financial poverty by supplying or delivering food, toiletries, and household goods, as well as referrals to other sources of support.
We work with so many organisations who refer people to our charity. Agencies such as council, social workers, probation, housing, schools, police, mental health advisors, addiction services and churches to name a few.
We are a volunteer led charity and rely heavily on community support to keep our emergency service running. We are always in need of donations of food, toiletries, and household cleaning products, along with nappies and pet food.
We also issue donated clothing, shoes, uniforms, bedding, curtains, pots & pans, crockery & cutlery, and working small electrical items such as kettles, toasters & microwaves (all PAT Tested by our wonderful volunteer Phil).
At Christmas we give out generous hampers and gifts to families and individuals who might otherwise have gone without. If we are aware of any birthdays, we very often can assist with gifts for those too. 
If you would like to get more of a flavour of what we do, why not look up our Facebook Page and give us a cheeky little Like!! Alternatively, you can read more about us on our Charity No: 1155933.
Brigid Hemingway
Brigid Hemingway (Leader) started playing the violin aged 14. She is also Founder and Leader of The Athenean Ensemble and former Leader of The Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra. She enjoys playing string quartets with her Athenean String Quartet with fellow Amaretti players. She taught mathematics at Cheadle Hulme School for many years and is now a private maths tutor. She has two grown up children and two labradors Billy and Oscar. She is passionate about acting, having come to it rather late in life in 2015. She will be making her debut next week with Altrincham Little Theatre in Terence Frisby’s comedy Funny about Love which runs from Sunday September 25th to Saturday Oct 1st. After that she will be returning to Altrincham Garrick Theatre to play the part of the mother Kate in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons from Monday 14th November to Saturday 19th November.
John Phillips
John Phillips began studying the violin at the age of 10 and later became a member of the National Youth Orchestra. He read Classics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he was a founder member of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. The quartet subsequently became String Quartet in Residence at the University of York and, whilst there, gave the UK premiere of the Thirteenth Quartet of Shostakovich in the presence of the composer. He has had a special interest in his music ever since.
He later left the quartet to pursue a career in law, supporting his legal studies by freelance playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.
He left the law in 2016 to return to music and in 2020 completed the degree of Master of Music in Performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is a director and member of the Board of the Hallé Orchestra.
Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
Le dernier sommeil de la vierge, composed in 1880
Jules Massenet wrote this short piece to portray the virgin Mary’s last sleep before her ascent into heaven. It forms the introduction to the last scene of his musical drama La Vierge (the Virgin).
He creates an atmosphere which is both dreamy and ecstatic by writing for an unusual combination of instruments. A solo cello plays along with an orchestra of stringed instruments all of which have their sound softened by a “mute” placed on the bridge.
La Vierge wasn’t as successful as Massenet’s other works (which include more than thirty operas) but this excerpt, Last Sleep of the Virgin, became very popular as an orchestral encore. It was a particular favourite of the British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham.

Programme Note by Mary Dainton

La Vierge au lys by Bouguereau

The Black Virgin of Rocamadour

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Organ Concerto, composed between 1934-1938
Poulenc’s terrifying Organ Concerto was written between 1934 and 1938. Originally commissioned to be an easy piece for organ accompanied by a small chamber orchestra, Poulenc quickly turned the work into something much more grand, violent and challenging. Following the death of his friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Poulenc rediscovered his Christian faith after being compelled to go on a pilgrimage to see the Black Virgin of Rocamadour, a statue in the church of Notre Dame in Rocamadour. This journey inspired Poulenc to explore the great organ works of the Baroque period, notably by Bach and Buxtehude and brought about a desire in him to write more religious works. Though not explicitly religious, the organ concerto is clearly influenced by many of the themes of Baroque sacred music and was perhaps a religious response to the death of his friend Ferroud.
The work is notable for its rather unique instrumentation of strings, organ and timpani, which came about as a small orchestra was required to fit inside Princess Edmond’s Salon for the premiere. The work is in one 20 minute movement, punctuated by dramatic changes of tempi which demonstrates the vast array of sound colours the organ is capable of. The middle sections are where the emotional core of the work lies whereas the outer ends of the work are reserved to demonstrate the organ’s power. The first performance of this extremely dramatic work was conducted by Nadia Boulanger in 1938, with composer Maurice Duruflé at the organ.

Allegro giocoso
Subito andante moderato
Tempo allegro
Molto agitato
Très calme: Lent
Tempo de l'allegro initial
Tempo d'introduction: Largo

Programme Note by Alex Robinson
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Serenade for Strings, composed in 1880
Along with the other Serenades for Strings by Elgar and Dvorak, Tchaikovsky’s can likewise be held in similar high esteem. Envisioned as a love letter to the classical style, the work uses simple thematic material which on the page looks as if it were drawn straight out of a divertimento by Haydn or Mozart. Tchaikovsky skilfully moulds this material into something altogether more romantic and thoroughly honest in contrast to the rather pompous and, somewhat noisier nationalistic pieces he had been writing around the same time including the 1812 Overture. He remarked that the Serenade ‘is a heartfelt piece and so, I dare to think, is not lacking in real qualities’.
Composed in 4 brilliant movements, the work opens in a stunningly passionate way before charming us with a delightful waltz, moving us with a sombre Elegie and lifting our spirits with a jovial Russian themed finale which eventually gives way to a return of the opening theme of the passionate first movement.
The work was first performed publicly in St Petersburg in late October 1881 under the baton of Eduard Napravnik and has become a mainstay of string orchestra repertoire ever since.

I: Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo — Allegro moderato
II: Valse: Moderato — Tempo di valse
III: Élégie: Larghetto elegiaco
IV: Finale (Tema russo): Andante — Allegro con spirito

Programme Note by Alex Robinson

Tchaikovsky pictured in 1873

Violin 1
Brigid Hemingway*
John Phillips*
Wendy Rangeley
Angelika Wieck
John Wilson
Hannah Groarke-Young
Cathy Gordon​​​​​​​
Rob Shaw

Violin 2
Pat Quirk
Sare Crouch
Elaine Turnock
Simone Evans
Karen Stanhope
Julia Martin
David Martin
Gloria Bakhshayesh

Martin Stuart
Madeleine Reeve
Kay Thomas
Anna Cowham
David Graham​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Ian Pratt Hartman
Robert White

Mary Dainton
Rosy Hickman
Jo Beesley
Helen Smith

Double Bass
Linda Pyatt
John Wearden

Tom Nestor

Concert sponsored by Dr. Downing Music

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