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A Peal of Marmalade

St Andrew's Church, Penrith
13 February 2010

On Saturday St Andrew’s Church buzzed with an eager audience of parents and friends for a musical recipe for marmalade.

Children from Stainton C of E Primary School, the Wordsworth Singers and musicians of the 'Marmalade Philharmonic', all under the inspiring guidance of James Grossmith, a former director of the Wordsworth Singers, joined in an imaginative and colourful programme celebrating the Marmalade Festival at Dalemain.

Two songs by the Wordsworth Singers warmly conjured the atmosphere of a scented orange grove full of promise of the marmalade to come. Then recipes for the marmalade, words by Gervais Markham and Elizabeth Rainbow, were set to music by Liz Sharma.

Oranges and Lemons were added in a new, chunky arrangement by Daryl Runswick, especially written for the Wordsworth Singers and this concert. The boiling and bubbling were reflected in Fruit Machine by Bryan Kelly, where the fruit is spinning fast and thick, stirred by a magic arm.

The Marmalade Suite, composed by Liz Sharma, was interspersed with readings by Michael Pilling about the history of the preserve and evocative interludes from the nicely balanced orchestra.

The children from Stainton School, admirably well-trained by Mrs Helen Dunham, praised the zesty taste, which they preferred to caviar at the Ritz.

Finally, The Wordsworth Singers reminded us of A Magical Place where all the ingredients were gathered in golden jars, and brought the concert to a satisfying close.

Sheila Fletcher