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MASONIC CONCERT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 366, 9 June 1881
This concert came off in the Masonic Hall last evening, and was in every way a thoroughly successful one. The novelty of having a Masonic concert, in which various Masons resident or otherwise in the district were to take part, made the concert, no doubt, doubly attractive. Especially was this noticeable by the fact of there being so many ladies present, whom, we feel sure, were impressed that after all the members of Masonic Lodges had some consideration for their wives and families beyond ordinary Lodge meetings, and had at last opened their hall doors, to give them perhaps some insight of Masonry and its objects. We regret that at the commencement a serious disappointment was announced in the inability of the D.D.G.M., Bro. Thomson, to deliver his address. As this was one of the chief items of the programme, the audience were, as may be expected, disappointed. Owing to his having met with an accident in April last, by which his spine was hurt, he was unable at the last moment te undertake the long rail journey to Ashburton ; consequently, Bro. W. H. Gundry, the W.M. of the St. John’s Lodge, occupied the chair, and apologised for Bro. Thomson’s absence. The Chairman alluded to the reasons for giving the concert, which were of a twofold nature. One was that the Masons possessed the finest hall in the town, in which they desired to invite their friends ; and the other was to raise funds for the purchase of an organ for the hall. In the name of the Masonic body he thanked the audience for their attendance. The programme was then commenced by the conductor, Bro. H. J. Weeks, playing the Masonic Grand March on the organ. This was followed by a nicely executed overture (piano and violin) by Miss and Messrs G. and H. Morris. This charming overture, “ Der flotte Bursche,” which is arranged for a violin and two pianos, was rendered most harmoniously, and showed very careful practice. Bro. Fredk. Hobbs then sang “ I Fear no Foe ” (Pinsuti), which was followed by the duett “ The Wind and the Harp ” (Glover) by Mrs Eyton and Miss Honour, the former singing soprano and the latter contralto. Mr Alfred Harrison then sang “ Long Live Our Prince ” (Sparks.) This Masonic ode contains some beautiful passages, and was sung very effectively by Mr Harrison, the chorus being particularly noticeable. Miss Robinson then played admirably a fantasia on the two airs, ‘ ‘ The Last Rose of Summer ” and “ The Minstrel Boy,” as arranged by Harvey. In her beautiful touch on the piano Miss Robinson undoubtedly shows a skill which is unobtainable save from instruction from the great masters in the profession. Those who , have heard Sir Julius Benedict will at once recognise in any of his pupils a similar form of execution and expression ' on the piano, and of this fact Miss ’ Robinson fully convinced her hearers when she played the complicated varia- | tions on these two beautiful, well-known airs. “ Los Cloches de Monasterie ” was, in response to an encore, beautifully , rendered, each tone of the bells being ' represented throughout the various pasi sages clearly and distinctly. The next ( item on the programme was a song to be sung by Bro. Willcughly, but as he was not present of , course it it was not given. The song, “Alice, Where art Thou?” (Ascher), was ( very nicely given by Miss Shappere, a j lady who is quite new to an Ashburton audience, and received an encore, and in J response gave “In the Gloaming.” The latter was very well rendered, and as this young lady possesses a very sweet voice we hope to hear more of it anon. Bro. Jacobson then gave Adam’s “ Warrior ( Bold ”in a spirited manner, and was fol- ‘ lowed by a piano and violin duet by Miss : and Mr Morris, consisting of airs from the opera of “Martha,” which were ' admirably rendered. Brother Hoobs L then sang “ The Tar’s Farewell,” and the first part of the performance was , brought to a close by the quartette, “ The Angels Breathe on Flowers,” ’ in which Mrs Eyton (soprano), Miss ( Honnour (contralto), Bro. W. H. Gundry , (tenor), and Bro. Harrison (bass), took part. We were sorry to find that Bro. H. Gates was absent, as the audience fully expected to hear him in his usual
“motto ” songs. After the usual interval the second part of the concert commenced with the overture to “II Barbiare ” (Rosini), being admirably given by the Messrs Morris (piano and violin). Mrs Eyton then followed with “ Waiting ” (Malliard), which was carefully sung. Mr Harrison gave “ The Yeoman’s Wedding” (Poniatowski) This song (which is quite a new one), was very well rendered and was loudly re-de-manded, to which Mr Harrison complied by singing the last verse. Mr H. Morris then played the overture to “The Bohemian Girl” (Balfe), arranged as a piano solo, with precision and effect. “ The Message ” (Blumenthal), was then sung by Miss Honour, but this lady appeared to be rather nervous, a matter which, no doubt, will be unnoticed on another occasion. Bro. Hobbs followed with that fine song “ Will-o’-the-Wisp,” after which Miss Kidd sang “Beauty Sleep” (Arditi). The way in which this song was rendered delighted the audience, and it was loudly encored, which was responded to by singing the last verse. This sweetly pretty song was undoubtedly the gem of the evening. Miss M. Robinson then gave another musical treat, consisting of Thalberg’s arrangement of “ Home, Sweet Home,” in such a charming manner that she had to respond to an encore, and gave one more selection, even more delightful, entitled “ Rippling Rivers,” the beautiful melody of which was thoroughly appreciated by the audience. Sullivan’s “ Let Me Dream Again,” was sung sweetly by Miss Rose Shappere, and in response to a hearty encore, sang, with extreme simplicity and grace, “Kathleen Aroon.” In the absence of Bro. Gates Bro. Hobbs sang his song, “ The Four Jolly Smiths,” in a spirited manner. Miss Kidd (piano), Bro. Weeks (organ), and Mr H. Morris (piano), played “Jessie’s Dream ” (Bleckley) very evenly and correctly, the various passages of organ and pianos being particularly effective. The orchestra then struck up the National Anthem, in which Mrs Eyton sang the solos, the audience joining, thus bringing a very successful concert to a close. Bro. H. J. Weeks acted as organist and conductor, and great praise is due to him for the trouble he has taken, and also to Bro. H. Zander, who has been most assiduous in his duties in connection with this concert, both of whoiq deservo the thanks of the Masonic brethren. The proceeds of the concert amounted to about L3O. We are desired also to express the thanks of the Masonic body to the ladies and gentlemen who performed, some of whon had come from long distances.
MASONIC CONCERT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 366, 9 June 1881
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