Tuesday Musical celebrates everything English

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Tuesday Musical Club April program was devoted to music by English composers. An English Tea followed the program presented by, from left: Jan Randall, Cindy Mack, Mary Giese, Colette Benge, Suzanne Brown and Judy Erion.

Tuesday Musical Club members enjoyed their April meeting at an English Tea held at the home of Judy Erion. They listened to a program called “An Afternoon Across the Pond.” Music by English composers from 1659 to the present was performed by the ensemble chaired by Cindy Mack. Mack said the idea of the program came from seeing Erion’s teapot collection last year.

Greeting members at the door was the butler in his top hat, Larry Erion, and the maid, Bridget. Everyone sang “God Save The Queen” written in 1745 with Jan Randall playing the majestic chords on piano. Noted was Queen Elizabeth II 91st birthday is April 21.

“Come Sing a Joyful Song” by Henry Purcell (1659-1695) was performed by the ensemble of Erion and Colette Benge on flutes, vocalists Mack and Mary Giese, and Randall on piano.

Mack sang the Italian words of “Bel Piacere” by George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) with Randall accompanying. Continuing in the Baroque style of music, five dances from “The Playford Dances” were played by a recorder trio of Benge, Suzanne Brown and Erion. The recorder, a woodwind musical instrument, was first played in the Middle Ages and continued wide popularity during the renaissance and baroque periods in England and France. It was revived in the 20th century as a popular amateur and educational instrument. Today, musicians have mastered the recorder for professional performances. The recorder trio also played four English dances from “The Dancing Master” and “Book of Ayres” later in the program.

Mack introduced a vocal solo piece called “Linden Lea” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958.) She explained that Williams was one of the English composers who collected many folksongs and used them to write in various musical genres. Mack sang the lovely piece accompanied by Randall on piano.

Continuing to the contemporary English composers, Mack and Giese sang a duet of “For the Beauty of the Earth” by John Rutter (1945-Present). Mack explained that the melody varies from the familiar hymn, because “Rutter takes hymns and gives new meaning and music to them.”

An Irish traditional tune, “A Londonderry Air,” found its way into the program with the Recorder Trio charming the audience with its melody and harmony.

The Ensemble concluded the program with an audience participation “round” called “The Duchess at Tea.”

Hostess Erion and tea committee of Benge and Mack served English tea with English delicacies of scones, tea cookies, strawberries and lemon curd.