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Saturday 13th July 2019:

English Classics


St Botolph's Church, Colchester


Walton: Crown Imperial

Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto

Soloist: Rob Rogers

Arnold: English Dances Op 27 & Op 33

Elgar: Enigma Variations

The emergence of a family during the latter stages of the ‘African adventure’ prompted a more secure trajectory and Rob has been Head of Music at various schools in Essex and Suffolk. He has been Director of Music at Framlingham College Prep School for the last few years. Rob is also an ABRSM examiner and has adjudicated at music festivals.

His ‘Band of Oboes released a jazz oboe CD called ‘First Impression’. This group plays Rob’s jazz and funky pieces with four oboes (!), a bassoon, piano, guitar, bass and drums. Rob plays very frequently in quite a number of East Anglian orchestras and ensembles and is as happy doing classical, jazz or rockic but tending to the ‘classical of late as the concerts usually finish at a more civil hour than the others! He lives in a 14th Century listed cottage in Suffolk which he and Debbie (his flute playing wife) rstored from a derelict state… and are still working on it. He brews his own beer and rides a very fast motorcycle (but only when the weather is pleasant).

Vaughan Williams composed his Oboe Concerto during 1944 for the virtuoso Leon Goossensit is considered one of the finest concertos for the oboe. However it presents some formidable difficulties for the soloist! Vaughan Williams’ music derives its character from English folk song and the English choral tradition. The Oboe Concerto has a pastoral tone and makes for easy listening.

Elgar is often thought of as the creator of the ultimate English sound. However he nearly abandoned his career as a composer through lack of success until his wife, Alice, encouraged him to write a set of pieces based on a theme of his own with the variations describing his friends. The Enigma Variations were an immediate success and within a couple of years Elgar was made Master of the Kings Music and knighted. Currently his Enigma Variations are third in the Classic FM Hall of Fame. Listen out for Dan the bulldog in variation 11 – he can be heard falling into the river at the start of the variation, paddling upstream and then landing on the bank with a bark!

Waltons Crown Imperial was written for the coronation of King George VI in 1937. The organisers of the coronation asked Walton to compose a new royal piece, similar in tone and grandeur to works written for the royal family by Elgar, who had died in 1934. Walton was so successful that Crown mperial has been referred to as Pomp and Circumstance March no 6!

Arnold’s English Dances, written in the style of English country folk tunes and dances, are among his most popular works. In the best tradition of English light music the Dances are full of memorable tunes. Sir Malcolm Arnold composed them in response to a suggestion by his publisher that he write some British works along the line of Dvoraks popular Slavonic Dances. Later, Arnold incorporated the English Dances into a ballet, Solitaire.

Our soloist, Rob Rogers, is our Principal Oboe in the Orchestra. Rob studied oboe at the Royal Academy of Music and has a degree in music from Durham University and a Masters in composition.

He has travelled the world playing in various South American orchestras and then had a seven year stint in South Africa where he started off as an orchestral musician and ventured into the world of jazz but on keyboards playing with various originals’ bands.

 Tickets are £15, £13 (concessions). Under 25s free.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by either ‘phoning 01206 271128 or emailing

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