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Cornish conductor hopes to go out on a high with final performance

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

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A musician and musical director who has led a Cornish orchestral ensemble since it was formed 25 years ago will give his final concert performance as conductor next week.

Russell Jory, who for many years was music master at Humphry Davy Grammar School in Penzance, started The Sinfonia of St Mary's with the late Joyce Preston in 1987. Since then its members,who are drawn from all over Cornwall, have played 60 concerts.

Based at St Mary's Church in Penzance, the 50-strong group led by Jenny Rapson has raised huge sums for charity. All the members give their services free of charge.

For his final concert as conductor, pianist, organist and harpsichord player Mr Jory has chosen a programme of strong and melodic popular classics.

The evening will include an appearance by pianist Paul Comeau of Truro, who will be the soloist for Beethoven's The Emperor' Concerto. Mr Comeau appears frequently as a concerto soloist and professional accompanist in Cornwall. He has performed four of the five Beethoven concertos and is particularly interested in chamber music.

Also regularly in demand as a continuo player, Mr Comeau's music has appeared on three CDs, the most recent being A Year At York. He is a distinguished teacher and was awarded the Gorsedd Shield for outstanding services to music in Cornwall in 2009.

"Paul's performance of the massive Beethoven concerto is sure to be thrilling," said Mr Jory. "As this is to be my last concert before retiring, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the players.

"It has been a joy and privilege to have had the opportunity of working with such talented, dedicated and loyal musicians. My thanks also go to our very supportive audiences and to the ever-welcoming church authorities."

The Sinfonia's 61st concert will open with Mendelssohn's Wedding March and conclude with Elgar's Imperial March. Among other well-loved choices are Finlandia by Sibelius , the stirring Solemn Melody by Walford Davies, Nimrod by Elgar and Strauss's Emperor Waltz, together with the great operatic Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana by Mascagni.

The concert is on Saturday, January 5, at 7.30pm, with proceeds in aid of St Mary's Church restoration fund. Admission is £7 and accompanied children are free.

EVENTS THIS WEEK

BARNSTAPLE

Arlington Court NT Car park: North Devon Ramblers walk 612 408. About two hours. Nice and easy. Local paths. 11am.

BISCOVEY

St Mary's Church: Family Crib Service, 5pm. Come and discover the true meaning of Christmas. Midnight Mass at 11.15pm. Collection for St Petroc's Society for the homeless. Both taking place on Christmas Eve.

The Good Shepherd Church: Sung Mass for Christmas Day, 10am. Collection for St Petroc's Society for the homeless. Access for those in wheelchairs.

PLYMOUTH

Montpelier School: Blood donor session from Thursday 9.15-11.45 and 13.15-15.15. For details ring 0300 123 23 23.

REDRUTH

The Murdoch Room, YMCA: Cruse Bereavement Care meeting of Bude Friendship Group. Friday 5-7pm. Ring Roger if going for the first time 01209 214095.

ST BLAZEY

Church: Midnight Mass Christmas Eve at 11.30pm. Celebrant Revd Peter Hore. All welcome.

TEIGNMOUTH

Carlton Theatre: Treasure Island, the pantomime. Until January 5.

TORQUAY

The Babbacombe Theatre: Christmas Starlight. Boxing Day 12noon and 3pm, plus Friday 2.30pm.

TRURO

Cathedral: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Service not ticketed. Queue early for entry in High Cross. No reserved seating. Christmas Eve, 7pm, also Midnight Mass at 11.30pm; Christmas Day service, not ticketed. Tuesday 10am.

YELVERTON

War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane: Blood donor sessions, Boxing Day, 9.15-11.45am and 13.15-15.15. Details ring 0300 123 23 23.

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