Welcome return of popular singer

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THE much-awaited return of one of the Spa Orchestra’s most distinguished singers happens tomorrow.

For over a year, Marilyn Hill Smith has been playing the Mother Superior in a national Sound of Music tour and was unable to sing at the Spa last summer.

This year she has been allowed to leave Connie Fisher and Jason Donovan with her understudy for one night only so she can take part in one of the orchestra’s gala concerts, focusing on Ivor Novello.

Where the songs of Ivor Novello are concerned, Marilyn Hill Smith is top of everyone’s list, says promoter Stephen Walker.

She was chosen to sing the great tunesmith’s songs on the stage of London’s Strand Theatre when it was renamed the Novello Theatre a few years ago. She holds the record for the most appearances on Radio 2’s flagship light music programme, Friday Night is Music Night. Her career has taken her all over the world, from opera at Covent Garden and the Palace of Versailles to Gilbert and Sullivan at the Hollywood Bowl.

Tomorrow, Marilyn will be joined by two other Spa favourites, Alison Hudson and Joe Shovelton.

“This combination, together with Novello’s wonderful tunes, is bound to be a crowd pleaser,” says Stephen. The programme will include all the well-known melodies from Perchance to Dream, The Dancing Years, Glamorous Night and King’s Rhapsody.

“When performed three years ago, this show attracted the Spa Orchestra’s biggest audience of the season,” Stephen adds.

“Many regular Spa Orchestra audience members are declaring 2011 the best season for a long time. Under Paul Laidlaw’s direction, the musicians are playing at the highest professional standard, and the sound in the newly refurbished Spa Grand Hall proves that the acoustics are second to none.

“Almost every day there are visitors, and Scarborians, who have never discovered the Spa Orchestra before, and without fail they leave the concert enchanted. Last week a visitor said “I was just passing and popped in to see what was happening. Now I’m going back to my hotel to tell everyone they must come and hear this wonderful orchestra”.