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" Under the Palmy," or The Jewish Flower. Festival, a floral cantata composed bff Rodt, was given very successfully m the Oddfellows' Ball last night by the Ashburton Weeleyan Choir assisted by several well-known vooaiists, and an efficient and well-balanced orchestra of nine performers, tho whole being conducted by Mr J. Gamble. A very large and sympathetic audience assembled to hear and witness the first production ot this cantata, the Hull being comfortably filed m every part long before the curtain rose, when a very pretty and interesting sight was presented to the assemblage, the orchestra being stationed at the back of the stage on rased seatß, with piano and organ on the sides, and the oboir of about fory singers, arranged so as to givo the full effect of the diffdrent voices, m rows towards the front of these tho ladies all dressed appropriate y io. white or cream costumes, with ptofuse floral decorations and each carrying choice bouquets, the whole front row of seats being ocoupied by fifteen little lasies prettily dress d m white, with green ivy leaves formed into sashes from waist to ■shoulders, and large bouquets of field daisies n their hands. The eta^e was very nicely dressed with natural flowers sad oibbage palms, and theaa with appropriate scenery at the back lent a- very oharmiog effect, the new Wenham gas burners throwing the light jaijt where it was wanted . The cantata illustrates the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, or Harvest Festival, during the ooatinuance of which the people used to give up their ordinary dwellings for a week, aad live instead m booths made of foliage and ornamented with fruits and flowers, and tho particular feast represented m this cantata is one that took place, according to the Biblical narrative, after tho return from the captivity of the Jews at Babylon, as described iv the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Tbe soloists were all m good voice, and all acquitted themselvea well, Mibb Steel taking the eoprano, Mrs Gamble and Mrs Flower a;to, Mr Flower tanor, and Mr Millar, basß. • Tho nvieic of this cantata ;s generally of a lively and sprightly character m keeping with the nature of the festival it comnienorates There are a large number of pieces m it, some 45 before the fioale and spice will not allow a detailed account of all these. We mention, however, amongst the choruses as specially will excuted, No 4, "Hear, Hear to Jerusalem ;>' No 8, " The Lord hath done great things ;" No 22, Neath tho Palms:'' Wo 24, " Sing unto tbe Lord ; " No 32. "Behold the land; "No 40, ♦• Praise ye the Lord; "No 43, "From bondage awake; No 44 and 44, Kolo choru* and finale "We aTe mirchiog home." In No 44 a very pretty effect was pfoduced by all the performers waving their bouquets io time with the music, this item had to be twioe repeated before the audionce were satisfied. No 10, «' With j y*e leave ; lno 14, "He is help to the helpless ; " and No 38, were given by the children alone, their voiceß blending very sweetly and showing that great care had been taken by Mr Gamble m their training. No 22 " Neath the Palms," was given with a subdued humming effect nnd the lights were turned down dining its rendition 1 his piece was encored and deservedly so Miss Steel had a large number of items as solos. and m part singing, and although slightly nprvous at first, yet all through, gave the audience a great treat, her voioe being very sweet aud powerful. Perhaps the best of this lady's solos was that given m No 41, " 0 Church of Christ," which changes to a quartette and then winds up with full chorus by the whole ohoir. Mb* Steel's voice was also heard with great effe.t m the descriptive rJcena Nols,the air "Hail,' end duet with Mr Flower, tenor, "Guard well his flocks," which was one of the gems of the evening. This was redemanded, and repeated . Mrs Gamble was m good voice and sang her alto solo and parts very successfully icing encored m No 28 "O Lord the harvest." Mrs Flower also sang m alto and greatly pleased the audience, m No 34, !t By the dark Euphrates fcilroam," a solo, with quartette and quintett, her voice blending sweetly with the others. In No 86,' "Iwaa glad," duotfc with Miss Steel, cLslog with % cborus by all, the showed to advantage. Mr Flower ia Very popular m this class of muslo, and hU voice was heard very well Indeed fast night In nil the pleoas he took We mention speolally bis performance m No 15 air .•• Wander ye Flocks," and m the duet with sopraao "Guard well bis Flocks," snd No 37 "The Lord Is Nigh." M? Millar sang the bass solos sad parti very clearly, and was encored lo No 36 « The Hand of the Lord," This gentleman has a Very strong, and yet sweet bass voioo, snd hla enunciation 1b excellent, Miss Potter presided at the organ, and Me Armer Orr at the piano, the latter playing the accompaniment to the harp song by Mrs Flower exceedingly well. The Cantata, altogether was a great snocess, both from a musical and also financial pofut of view. We think the second part went with more animation and spirit than the first portion, and this was probably due to the faot of tbe ventilation of the hall being attended to daring the interval, as the air was rather oppressive" during the first part, through the ioors and window's being kept dosed op. Mr Buttle, at the conclusion, announced ;hat the Cantata would jbe repeated this sveniog, and that admlaslca would be at ■educed rates. He called for three oheers or the performers which were heartily liven, the choir and performers In return >ay leg the same compliment to the adlence and Mr Gamble. This gentleman may well be heartily congratulated n the great success of the performance, ad great credit 1b duo to him for the vidtiot trouble he has bean at to' bring je Cantata on the it»ge In so complete a

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Bibliographic details

"UNDER THE PALMS", Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2001, 30 November 1888

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"UNDER THE PALMS" Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2001, 30 November 1888