On Saturday May 4, Ely Sinfonia gave a fantastic concert to a packed audience in Ely Cathedral.

The tremendous effect these magnificent musicians created was encapsulated in one memorable performance.

The audience was completely mesmerized when Steve Bingham left the conductor’s stand to return with his violin and played the solo violin theme from Schindler’s List accompanied by Ely Sinfonia.

The memory of this haunting moment was unforgettable. This was a rare moment when a musician of Steve’s stature gave such a sincere yet exquisite performance of this haunting theme.

It reminded us of the horrors of the deaths of so many innocents during the Second World War and the brave people who rescued as many of them as they could.  

The whole evening was filled with such memorable episodes. The music from this huge orchestra was of such a high standard that, under the baton of Steve Bingham, we could become completely involved in it and allow the imagination to revel in the emotional depths of the themes.

This unique contribution of music to our perception was particularly well described by in the accompanying notes in the programme by Jeremy Harmer.

In Back to the Future, the jagged, complicated score brought to mind the complications of speedy time travel and the wispy hair of the professor.

When the Magnificent Seven theme sounded, it was easy to imagine the seven fine men riding forward on horseback, their bravery exalted.

The throbbing underlay in Chariots of Fire caught the urgency of the race, hearts pounding.

The expansive music by John Williams in Jurassic Park brought to mind the depths of an unending dark forest, E.T sailed into the heavens when his sweeping theme occurred.

This whole array of familiar, exciting film music was given respite with poignant, calmer interludes of two pieces from Henry V by William Walton and Adagio for Tron by Daft Punk.

In their compositions, the low strings played a repeated passage underneath gentle, soft warm melodies setting a melancholic or heart-warming mood as required.

The evening culminated with two determined Jedi standing either side of the conductor during the whole performance of the Symphonic Suite from Star Wars by John Williams.

We revelled in the triumphant bombastic main themes, the charm of the theme for Princess Leia, the thunderous Imperial March, the resonance of Yoda’s theme, and the majesty and thrill in the Throne Room and End Titles.

This was a wondrous evening that can be rarely matched for its appeal and extremely high standard.  

Your next opportunity to hear Steve Bingham in action will be on June 22 with Ad Hoc Strings playing Imagine at St Mary’s Church in Ely.

The event will start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £13 on the door or £10 in advance via www.ticketstailor.com/events/elyartsfestival/1216649

Ely Standard: Two Jedi even made a rare appearance at the Ely Sinfonia concert. Two Jedi even made a rare appearance at the Ely Sinfonia concert. (Image: Rosemary Westwell)

Ely Standard: Steve Bingham, conductor of Ely Sinfonia.Steve Bingham, conductor of Ely Sinfonia. (Image: Rosemary Westwell)