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A Recorder Orchestra is Born!

East Midlands Recorder Orchestra was ‘born’ on Sunday 18th September 2016.  On that day, 24 recorder players travelled from across the region (sometimes for several hours!) to Balderton (just outside Newark on Trent) in order to attend the birth – following a gestation period of about 10 years!

It could be said that the birth was ‘induced’ by my friend Nick Wynne who, following a casual conversation one lunchtime, emailed me the following day to say that he had found us a venue and was set to email recorder players in the area…  After that, the enquiries quickly arrived.

On the day, the sun was shining.  The 24 players, many of whom had never played in a recorder orchestra, set down with good humour and proceeded to tackle the music in front of them.  During the course of the afternoon we played music by Holst, Saint-Saens, Grieg and Jenkins with very encouraging results.

Following the successful birth, the prospects for a happy childhood look rosy indeed – fingers crossed that EMRO goes on to lead a long and prosperous life!

 

Teaching

Lessons in violin or recorder are available at my home in Newark.  Fees are currently £12 for 30 minutes, £17 for 45 minutes or £25 for an hour.

Source: Teaching

Rehearsals!

It’s September already and with it comes an exciting new season of rehearsals.

Things have already kicked-off with the first meeting of the Lincolnshire Branch of the Society of Recorder Players where a group of 25 players played a wide variety of music – from Boyce to Lyndon Hilling.

Lincoln Music Workshop Recorder Group met up on Monday 5th where we spent a fun-filled evening exploring potential new repertoire to work on.

On the 8th Lincoln Symphony Orchestra will be starting rehearsals for their next concert, to be held on 12th November. The programme consists of:-

Mendelssohn:Hebrides Overture

Rachmaninov:Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18

Brahms:Symphony No. 1

There is also an additional Workshop day on 25th September – do check on their website for further details.

On the 10th the London Recorder Orchestra starts the rehearsals for the new season. I’m really looking forward to starting work on the new programme including music by Handel, Keler, Glen Shannon and David Moses – plenty of variety there!

In the afternoon of the same day (same venue!) I will be conducting a meeting of the South London branch of the Society of Recorder Players.

Most exciting for me is the first rehearsal of the new East Midlands Recorder Orchestra on Sunday 18th September.  This is the first opportunity for the experienced recorder players in the area to play regularly in an ensemble of this sort.  We will be playing a wide range of music and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone!

On the 19th September rehearsals begin for the next concert to be given by Trent Chamber Academy on 26th November.  The programme includes:-

Boyce:Symphony No 5

Mozart:Clarinet Concerto

Haydn:Symphony No. 94

Finally, on 21st September we start rehearsals with the Lincolnshire Philharmonia in preparation for their springtime concert.

Isn’t it amazing just how much music is going on!  Fantastic!

London Recorder Orchestra

Our last concert was at 7.00pm on Saturday 25th June 2016 at St Matthew’s Church, 29 St Petersburgh Place, London W2 4LA.

The programme included:

Glory Days & Hallelujah Nights – D Moses

Bavarian Dances – E Elgar

Le Roi s’amuse – L Delibes

Kinderspiele Polka – J Strauss

Heavenly Fire – A Davis

Hello Dolly – G Haverkate

Romanian Dances – B Bartok

Tickets £10.00 (concessions £6.00) were available at the door and included interval refreshments.

 

For those of you who missed it, you can hear a couple of items of Saturday’s concert on our Facebook Page

 

Normal Service?

Now that the 2016 SRP Festival is over, it’s time to catch up with all those things that have been ‘on hold’ for the past few months.

Following the success of the Festival ‘shop’, it’s time to start reprinting to replenish the Willobie Press stock. In the past few days we have received a number of large orders for music to be sent overseas – so the printer is working overtime!

Not being one to sit at home, a flurry of conducting engagements will see me visiting, Glasgow, East Berkshire, London and Leicester within the space of a month. On most of these occasions I shall be taking Willobie Press music with me – so hopefully we may need to restock again…

After the successes of the February exam period, my students are all enjoying new repertoire and making great progress. Last week I was delighted to hear some of them perform in the anniversary concert given by Newark Young Sinfonia – a great tribute to all concerned!

Lincoln Music Workshop Recorder Group are on their ‘summer timetable’, where we only meet once a month (complete with ‘nibbles’) to play lots of new music. The trophy from this year’s music festival is already engraved – another success!

Counting Down to the Festival!

It is now just seven weeks to the 2016 National Festival and Conference of the Society of Recorder Players. This year the event is being hosted by the Lincolnshire Branch of the Society and takes place on 2nd & 3rd April at Christ’s Hospital School, Wragby Road, Lincoln, LN2 4PN.

An event of this size takes a lot of organisation and with only a year to prepare, our little ‘gang of four’ committee have been hard at work.

The first task was to find a suitable (and affordable!) venue. We needed somewhere with a large hall for massed playing, as well as plenty of accessible smaller rooms for ensembles and shops. Space was needed for reception areas, dining and a concert venue! Of course, plenty of parking was essential…

Having found the venue, we set out to invite the best conductors and shops to take part. A fantastic team of dedicated conductors was duly recruited, to lead playing sessions offering a programme of music to suit all tastes. Among the musical goodies on offer, are a Jazz Workshop led by Evelyn Nallen, a Recorder Orchestra led by Helen Hooker and a Masterclass given by Piers Adams.

We also managed to attract some of the leading shops and publishers! These will include Early Music Shop, Hawthorns Music, Recorder Music Mail and Willobie Press, so there will be plenty of opportunity to try and buy new instruments – or to check out the latest sheet music titles.

One feature of the National Festival, is often the first performance of a newly-commissioned work. Here in Lincoln we are lucky enough to have two local composers connected with our branch, so we have TWO new works – by Paul Richards and Nicholas Wynne.

A music gathering of this size sounds like a perfect opportunity for a concert – or two! Local musicians, Lindum Divertissimo, will provide a Saturday lunchtime recital of English Baroque music for recorder, violin, voice and continuo. On Saturday evening, we are excited to welcome Piers Adams & David Wright – the ‘Wild Men of the Baroque’!

With so much in place, we needed to design an application form. We were delighted to have local artist, Sheena Fairclough, design our wonderful ‘Imp’ logo SRP Imp 275and the Imp takes pride of place on the form. The form needed to be clear enough to make it easy for our visitors to apply for the weekend, and to order the meals and concert tickets they want.

At this point, the forms are pouring in! There is still time to apply but you are strongly advised to book by 11th March – especially if you want to order meals or concert tickets! Application forms can be downloaded from SRP National Festival. Our website shows all the latest festival information – including the timetable for the weekend.

An army of volunteers are already gearing up to assist our visitors, allowing them to have a great weekend. I do hope YOU will be able to join us…

Merry Christmas 2015

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my students – past, present and future! Only a couple of spaces now remain for violin or recorder lessons – I wonder how soon they will be filled with new students!

Greetings too, to members of the London Recorder Orchestra as rehearsals continue for our concert on 25th June 2016.

Best wishes for a restful Christmas period are extended to fellow members of the committee the Lincolnshire branch of the Society of Recorder Players as they continue preparations for the next SRP National Festival to be held in Lincoln on 2nd-3rd April 2016.

Further good wishes are extended to members of Lincoln Music Workshop Recorder Group as they plan their programme for the local music festival in March, and to members of Lincoln Symphony Orchestra who are taking a short break from rehearsals for their New Year Concert, to be held on 10th January.

In fact, best wishes for a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to ALL my friends and colleagues! See you in 2016…