Students from seven years old to seventy-plus ventured to the Steinway Grand Piano in Castle Coole’s main entrance hall to take part in a summer recital on the afternoon of June 23.

After a brief introduction, the general format of the recital progressed in order of difficulty of repertoire. Music by composers from the early Classical and Romantic Eras such as Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Brahms were performed as well as the more modern Jazz style. A special treat was to hear music composed by a few students. Coincidently, one of the students, Chris Campbell, performed ‘Chopin’s Waltz in A minor’ and the succeeding piece, performed by Harry Rees, was his own composition based on Chopin’s same theme. “I was inspired by my students who performed pieces they had composed and decided to perform one of my own compositions too,” said Jonathan Beatty, piano tutor and organiser of the recital.

He continued: “Compared to last year, this year’s recital contained a greater variety of performance.”

Two students, Abbey Wilson and Molly Quigley, opted to sing and accompany themselves on piano. “It was great to showcase musicality outside of solo piano repertoire and a few students have expressed an interest in accompanying themselves singing,” Jonathan added.

A few students that had performed at last year’s recital returned to perform a higher level of repertoire. “It was a joy to witness these students’ growth in confidence and deliverance of repertoire style while performing, but also interesting to hear that a few students were more nervous than the first time they had played piano in front of an audience,” said Jonathan. “I take my hat off to Cormac Hughs-Jordan who stepped up to perform after only a few months of learning and hope to encourage him, and all my students, that music is a reflection of life and every performance is a practice for the next,” he added.

Towards the end of the recital, local indie-Irish folk duo Taobh Eile performed two original songs, ‘The Lough’ and ‘Elsewhere’ from their newly released EP. They where accompanied by Jonathan for the performance.

Jonathan concluded the recital by playing two pieces, a Jazz piece called ‘Billie’s Song’ and one of his own untitled compositions. “I felt it appropriate that, if I was encouraging my students to perform in front of an audience, I should also take part,”he said.

Following the successful recital, Jonathan offered his thanks to those who made it possible. He said: “I must thank Wendy Webb, Visitor Experience Manager, National Trust, Robin Cornell and all the volunteer staff involved at Castle Coole for their work in facilitating the use of such a beautiful environment for a very enjoyable afternoon.”