Piano recital at Irvine Hospital

Gabriel Barnett who performed piano recital at the Irvine Unit for Christmas 2015 - pic and story by John Dowling
Gabriel Barnett who performed piano recital at the Irvine Unit for Christmas 2015 - pic and story by John Dowling

ONE of hospital chaplain the Rev Neville Barnett’s objectives in bringing the Arts in Healthcare project to the Bexhill Hospital’s Irvine Unit was to give young people the opportunity to play in public.

Now he has had the pleasure in introducing his own grandson to an audience of patients, staff and visitors.

The guest artist at the fifth recital in the series was Gabriel Barnett, 16, a Year 11 school student in London.

The young pianist has just gained his Grade 7 and delighted listeners two days before Christmas with a varied programme delivered with skill and assurance.

Gabriel’s programme included two Tchaikovsky offerings - the March from The Seasons Opus 37 and Old French Song, Opus 39..

His Chopin choice was the Waltz in A Minor.

Gabriel was particularly pleasing with his rendering of Beethoven’s Fur Elise and the Allegro from Mozart’s Sonata in C.

In musical contrast was Gershwin’s Do It Again – also requested as an encore.

A recital demonstrating great promise was rounded off with the Gigue from Bach’s Partita in B Flat Minor.

The presence of Gabriel’s uncle, Ian Barnett, in the audience in addition to his grandmother meant that three generations of the family were present.

Not a recital with a Christmas theme, as his grandfather observed, but one performed by someone with a Christian name reflecting the seasonal timing of Gabriel’s arrival in the world.

Chantry Community Primary School choir recently entertained. The Rev Barnett hopes to work with local schools to bring young musicians to take part in the recital programme in the new year. So far, the series has included adult pianists, a violinist and harpist and the Conquest Hospital choir.