History is made at sell-out concert to honour Coates

COATES AFICIONADOS -- from left, orchestra founder and conductor John Sheppard, society secretary Peter Butler, chairman Geoff Sheldon and reserve conductor Don West -- DISPIC NHUD11-3195-1
COATES AFICIONADOS -- from left, orchestra founder and conductor John Sheppard, society secretary Peter Butler, chairman Geoff Sheldon and reserve conductor Don West -- DISPIC NHUD11-3195-1
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HISTORY was made when a prestigious concert to celebrate the music of Hucknall-born composer Eric Coates wowed a full house in the town.

For the show at the Central Methodist Church on Baker Street featured a very special piece of music by the world-renowned musician.

‘God’s Great Love Abiding’ is the only hymn that Coates ever wrote. It was published but never recorded — until now.

For via a video recording of the concert, the piece has now been captured.

The hymn was performed by Nottingham’s Boots Orchestra and also offered a throwback to Hucknall’s past.

For it was specially composed for the anniversary of the Hucknall Baptist Sunday School in 1947.

As well as the score, Coates wrote the words, which were printed in the programme for the concert last Saturday, so audience members could sing along.

The event was the third annual concert laid on by the Hucknall-based Eric Coates Society. This year’s coincided with the 125th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The Boots Orchestra, who this year celebrate their 60th anniversary, performed a selection of songs based on the title ‘Eric Coates And His Contemporaries’.

Half of the programme was devoted to Coates and included ‘By The Sleepy Lagoon’, which is the theme tune of the long-running radio show, ‘Desert Island Discs’.

The rest of the concert featured pieces by composers Roger Quilter, York Bowen, Montague Phillips, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Sir Edward Elgar.

Principal conductor John Sheppard gave a brief summary of each item before they were played.

The event was opened and closed by Coates historian and former Hucknall butcher Harry Smith, now of Southwell. He thanked the orchestra, assistant conductor Don West, of Hucknall, the audience and the venue for a “fine evening”.

Mr Smith was also able to announce that next year’s Coates concert will be held at the Central Methodist Church in late September or early October. Society member and international concert pianist Haruko Seki will perform her own pieces and Coates creations.