A Concert for Swifts

A Concert for Swifts

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Sarum College

19 The Close



United Kingdom

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A Musical Evening Celebrating Salisbury's Swifts!

About this event

We are pleased to announce this fundraiser with four local musicians - see biographies below.

During the interval, we will observe Salisbury's largest colony of nesting swifts just outside the venue - weather permitting.

All proceeds will go towards Salisbury and Wilton Swifts (SAWS), helping to keep our skies alive!

Please note - Refrehments will NOT be provided .Please feel free to bring your own drinks for the interval.

The Programme:

Bill Benham - Violin with David Grierson - Piano

Mozart ... Sonata in Bb K454

Chaminade - Kreisler ... Serenade Espagnole

Glinka - Balakireff ... The Lark

Gershwin - Heifetz ... Summertime from Porgy and Bess Suite


Quentin Edwards - Flute, Bill Benham - Violin and James Swainson - Viola

Mendelssohn ... Scherzo from the Midsummer Night's Dream

(flute and violin)

Beethoven ... Serenade Op 25 (flute, violin and viola)


Bill Benham - Violin

Bill studied the violin with John Sealey, Homi Kanga, Jean Pougnet and Alfredo Campoli. He was a member of the Bath Festival Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra - which he joined in 1968. During his five years with the LSO, he performed in the Nash Ensemble and the Academy of St Martin–in-the Fields, before being appointed co-leader of the Northern Sinfonia. From 1975 to 2003, he was a session musician playing in a wide variety of films and recordings. He has given many recitals, some at International festivals, and has made several CDs of his concerts. In 1979 he qualified as an Alexander Teacher and has taught a number of people over the years. He has also developed an Ergonomic Chin Rest which is adjustable in height and angle. With this equipment, Bill has helped many people with long arms as well as long necks to play without pain. His violin is a copy of Paganini’s “Canon”, made by Tibor Semmelweis..

David Grierson - Piano

David was, for many years, Head of Music and Drama at Shaftesbury School as well as being a part-time OFSTED inspector. Following a lengthy tour of duty in China, where he taught in both international and Chinese schools, he returned to North Dorset in 2009. He is well known as an accompanist, conductor, musical director, writer and occasional speaker; his exploits whilst overseas were serialised in the Blackmore Vale Magazine, winning him an enthusiastic following! David founded and leads the Shaftesbury Community Choir and is a member of the Phoenix Café Orchestra and of the sax ensemble Saxophony.

Quentin Edwards - Flute

Quentin is a beef farmer and keen amateur musician. He began playing the flute with Edward Manning at Chafyn Grove School, Salisbury. As a Music Exhibitioner at Malvern College in the 60’s, he studied the flute under Susannah Whitty and Stephanie Smith. After reading English at Oxford, where he taught the flute at the local teacher training college, Quentin moved to Bradfield College where he taught English Literature, but also took on the eleven flute pupils as there was no qualified instrumental teacher at the time. While at Bradfield, he studied the flute with Hilary Finzi, in barter exchange for teaching her daughter English. He became Head of a large preparatory school near Rugby for 11 years before returning home to run the family farm near Tisbury.

James Swainson - Viola

After studying the violin and viola with Joan Spencer and Patrick Ireland at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, James Swainson joined the viola section of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1967. After a short period in that orchestra he moved to London and became a member of the viola section of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1970 where, as well as performing with the orchestra, he had the opportunity to play and perform chamber music with other members and his wife, the violinist, Suzanne Bareau. There followed a period as a freelance player when he was engaged by many of the London ensembles including the London Symphony Orhestra, the Londonon Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and many other symphonic and chamber ensembles. In 1981 he moved to Yorkshire and took up the post of Head of Strings at Giggleswick School which also offered the opportunity of a further freelance career in the NorthWest – most notably as a front desk player with the Manchester Camerata, as a founder member of the Goldberg Ensemble and to perform with many of the other ensembles, operatic and symphonic, in the region. For some years he was also tutor of viola at Chethams Music School. During this time he and Suzanne founded the Ensemble Tremoine, a string quartet to which were added other instrumentalists and which was engaged to play in France and music clubs in the North. After leaving Giggleswick he continued to enjoy a varied freelance career until 2013 when he retired from full time playing, moving back South to Somerset where he has enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and colleagues to play chamber music and take on the odd professional engagement.

Many thanks to the musicians and Sarum College for use of the venue.

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