The EOO made history as the first ensemble to play classical music at the Regal in Cowley Road. This former cinema has been reinvented as a nightclub and venue for live music. Its programme suggests the venue is aimed primarily at students, but Sunday’s concert was aimed at families. It was good to see a number of young children in the audience — even if they did occasionally add a few sound effects of their own. The programme was a journey through some of the baroque masterpieces of Telemann, Handel and Bach, starting with Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G major. This was a brave effort, with some competent work from soloist Monica Cuneo, but it was taken at a rather pedestrian tempo. Director Mel Houldershaw conducted with an energy never quite reciprocated by the players.

Handel’s cantata for St Cecilia’s Day was notable mainly for introducing the 17-year-old tenor Guy Cutting, who oozed confidence and injected some much-needed vibrancy into the proceedings. Soprano Helen Maxey had a clear and sweet voice, but the sound was a little thin, and at times her intonation was suspect. She improved after the interval, though, giving a much more solid performance of Bach’s Cantata No. 209. The best was saved to the end — a lively and vigorous performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, which featured some impressive solo work from Stephen Cutting (trumpet), Celia Redgate (flute), Chris Redgate (oboe) and Janet Froomes (violin).

So, rather a mixed bag, but one that introduced classical music to a new, young audience, and that has to be a good thing.