Nadsa Concerts Newsletter - November 2022

By John Rockey
14 November 2022

This month our concerts move to 3.00 pm on Sunday afternoons at the Courtenay Centre, recognising that the winter evenings can be cold and wet, and that not everyone is keen to drive in the dark.

On Sunday 20th November we’ll be entertained by Classic Rhythm, a Piano, Flute and Percussion trio who have been playing to sell-out audiences since 1992.  Popular at music festivals and concert halls throughout Britain, their skilful arrangements of well-known classical favourites, set alongside an exceptionally wide variety of other pieces, have cemented the group’s appeal. The range of music, from original compositions to light and jazz arrangements, is complemented by the warm informality of the group on stage.

Helen O’Connell is a professional flautist who studied flute and recorder at the Royal Academy of Music, where she gained the Recital Diploma.  Adrian Sutcliffe plays piano and keyboards; as well as performing in West End shows and the Royal Opera House, he’s an accomplished composer and arranger.  The third member, the trio’s percussionist Chris Brannick is a founder member of Ensemblebash (who blew my socks away nearly 30 years ago!) and besides performing with several chamber groups he also acts, composes and arranges.

Audiences are always fascinated by the vast array of instruments, some familiar, some not.  From marimba to tam-tam, from piccolo to cabasa, they’ll be brilliantly woven into a sparkling afternoon’s entertainment for us in Newton Abbot where their programme will include Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba Rossini’s William Tell Overture Adrian Sutcliffe’s Folksong: The Emerald Isle and Jazz Suite Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story A veritable feast of favourite tunes for all to enjoy!  How about making this a family occasion and bringing along some of the younger folk?  (soapbox moment coming up…)  We read of the lamentable state of music education; this is a golden opportunity to expose our younger – and our not-so-young – friends to music that has memorable melodies and is visually stimulating (no; amazing!), possibly sowing the seeds of a lifetime of discovery and pleasure.  Diversion:  when the removal man was shown boxes of sheet music to be loaded into the van, he asked what it was: “Nope, never seen anything like it.”  That’s the present level of musical education.  Back to the plot!  Classic Rhythm are an absolute gift to anyone wanting an introduction to classical music or to explore the wide variety of orchestral percussion, so spread the word to anyone you think may be interested.  Percussion isn't just drums...

Read more about Classic Rhythm at  and listen to an example medley; then go to  and book your tickets because this is going to be a popular show.  Remember that there are no walk-ins now – you must pre-book.  And bring some cash with you for the CD that you’re going to want to buy; there won’t be any card facility this time.

We are grateful to one of our long-time sponsors, Buyrite Tyres for helping to bring this exciting concert to Newton Abbot.  Look at  to see what other automotive services they can help you with.

Before we look elsewhere, here’s some food for thought.  None of our concerts can take place without a dedicated team of volunteers working behind the scenes.  The committee supports our Programme Secretary in planning and engaging artists, often looking two years ahead to make sure we get top-class performers.

Nearer the time there will be posters and flyers to distribute for display.  On the day of the concert another group of volunteers swing into action.  In the hall there are chairs to set out, and often staging too; the piano may need to be moved out of its storage.  Lights usually need resetting to suit the performance and so the ladder must also be retrieved and then replaced afterwards into the store. That’s quite a bit of lifting and carrying.

Sometimes artists need transport to or from the station; they usually appreciate something to eat between their arrival and performance, and occasionally need overnight accommodation, for which we appealed last year and had a good response, thank you.

It would be very useful to have a pool of younger helpers that we could call on to assist  – not necessarily every time – and who would ‘learn the ropes’ ready for when some of the older volunteers need to step back.  Please think about whether you have any younger friends or children who might be able to help in some way, not necessarily as committee members, but just as importantly, as practical helpers (prospective employers will often look favourably on 'community service’).  Set-up is generally 30-40 minutes in the afternoon, but not all tasks are time-critical.  Think about who might be able to help, talk to them about it, and contact our secretary Sue Collman on 01626 368318.

What else is going on?  Devon Philharmonic Orchestra are at the Cathedral on 19th November with an American-influenced programme - for details.

Also at the Cathedral on 4th December the Cathedral Choir join forces with Devon Baroque for their performance of Handel’s Messiah; lists this and much more Christmas music.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Exeter events programme is at

The Torbay Singers concert ‘Winter Baroque’ is on 3rd December at St. Matthias, Babbacombe Road; see for more information.

That should be enough to see you through until Christmas, thank you for staying to the end!
John R