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1897: Wonderful night of musical entertainment in Cuckfield

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 30 November 1897


Nowadays humanity needs all the social agents there are to lift it out of its daily routine; music is one of these factors, and among the rare pleasures of life it takes foremost place. Like nature, music speaks to the universal soul; it touches fibres of the inner nature lost, forgotten, ignored, and makes them thrill with new life.

All praise and thanks, then, to Miss Payne for training and developing the musical talent of Cuckfield, and affording enthusiasts the opportunity of banding together through the medium of the Musical Society. Whenever the Society essays to appear before the public a musical treat may generally anticipated, thus it was that the Cuckfield Drill Hall was filled on Wednesday evening, when a vocal and instrumental concert was given in aid of that most deserving institution the County Hospital.

Of the performance, it is no exaggeration to record that it ranks among the finest of the Society's efforts. Never do we remember witnessing such spirit, such strict attention the baton of the Conductor as on the occasion under notice, and Miss Payne, the Chorus, and the Orchestra are worthy of the highest commendation.

It is impossible to single out any one piece either of the Orchestra or Chorus for special comment, for the excellence was uniform throughout. Mr. H. E. Stewart, whose tenor voice we before have had occasion to speak highly of, was warmly applauded for rendering, from the Gondoliers, “Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes," and Miss Olga Schwann enraptured the audience with her songs, “My Dreams” and “Who'll buy my Lavender?” and for the latter a re-appearance had to be made. Of the violin playing Mr. F. Knight it need scarcely be mentioned that it was admirable. There was soul in it, and it was so profoundly and generally felt that the whole house clamoured for the musician to oblige again, which he did. The Rev. K. H. Mac Dermott, who is no stranger in the musical world, was capital voice, and the vivacity infused into songs “The Storm Fiend" and “The little Hero" gained the honour of encores. Very prettily, indeed, was the part song "There is Music by the River," vocalised by Messrs. Stewart and Lyon and the Misses Payne, Watkins and Morfee, the voices blending splendidly.

Drill Hall now private dwellings c2020

The programme in its entirety was follows : Part I.—Symphonie (The Oxford). Adagio and Allegro Spiritoso; song, “Take Pair Sparkling Eyes”,"Mr. H. E. Stewart; chorus, “Strange Adventure" (The Yeomen of the Guard); song, "My Dreams," Miss Olga Schwann; violin solo, Capriccio, Mr. F. Knight; song, "The Storm Fiend," Rev. K. H. Mac Dermott, English dances (Rustic Dance and Stately Dance), Part ll.—Air and chorus, “Haste Thee, Nymph"; madrigal, "Brightly dawns our Wedding Day" (The Mikado)', song, "Who'll buy my Lavender?” Miss Olga Schwann; part song, “There is Music by the River"; song, "The Little Hero," Rev. K. MacDermott; Pas de Trois and Tyrolean Chorus (William Tell) ; God save Queen.


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