The families of the High Peak enjoyed a feast of American classical music when cellist and baritone
Matthew Sharp led an ensemble of world-class musicians at the Glossop Summer Festival Family Concert.
Taking place in the beautiful surroundings of Glossop Parish Church, the concert opened with a stunning rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (with solo clarinet from Sergio Castello-Lopez, principal clarinettist for the Hallé Orchestra) before Sharp stepped into the audience for an interactive interpretation of Copland’s Appalachian Spring, which included solos from local children who had been working on the piece during the Festival’s schools workshops.
Matthew Sharp has performed with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic, as well as performing lead roles for Opera North and the Young Vic, and his talent and skill as a performer ooze from every pore. Engaging, funny and multi-talented, Sharp encouraged the children and parents alike to listen to the rhythms of the piece and replicate them using their own bodies, as well as asking for vocal contributions and interpretative movement. He then brought his cello into the audience and sat amongst the children to perform a mesmerising Lamentatio by
Sollima which showed his astonishing cello skills and vocal range.
By the end of the concert, many of the children had moved into the central aisle of the church,
captivated by Sharp’s wit and thoroughly enjoying the experience of the music. They may not have been aware of how fortunate they were to see and hear musicians of such quality in their home town and in such intimate surroundings, but it was an experience that will no doubt stay with them for years to come.
Glossop Music Festival returns in October 2017 with an evening performance by The Coull Quartet.
By Siobhan Parker