Thursday, 16 February 2012

Exeter University Students in the Phonic FM Studio: Sound of the South West (Sat/Sun 3/4 March) - The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui (Wed 29 Feb - Sat 3 Mar) - Reefer Madness (Tue 21 - Sat 25 Feb) (Somerset Chamber Choir - Sunday 19 February)

In an unprecedented (and very welcome) invasion by Exeter undergraduates, there were seven University students in the Phonic FM studio on Tuesday morning. First the University Choral, and Steel Drum Societies sent three members to discuss an ambitious project to bring together musical cultures of the world for a workshop in Kay House and subsequent concert in the University Great Hall. This sounds very exciting. The workshop on Saturday costs only £5 to attend (which includes the cost of refreshments, and entitles you to a complimentary set of drumsticks to use, and to keep) - and workshop members get free admission to the Sunday concert as well!

We also managed to get in a little discussion about a related event -  University Musical Director, Marion Wood's open rehearsal of Elgar and Holst with the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra . . .

 Sound of the South West
Jade Mckensie - Predident of the University Steel Drum Society
Lily Hawker-Yates - President of the University Choral Society
Michael Willmott - University Choral Society Tenor
(Kay House Exeter University Campus Sat-Sun 3-4 March)
 (Photography - Cecil Hatfield & Dorota Turowska)

Marion Wood conducts EMG
St Peters School

(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra
St Peters School Exeter
Thursday 1 March 7.30pm
Gustav Holst: Planets Suite - Mars & Jupiter
Sir Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations - Nimrod
Conductor: Marion Wood
Leader: Clare Smith
Admission Free (also see events below)
(musicians Grade 6 or above - join in!)
the Spring Concert will be on Saturday 21 April

Sound of the South West with Exeter University

Kay House, Duryard, Exeter University
Saturday 3 March 2pm - 6pm
An afternoon workshop to prepare 'Olympic Rings'
for performance on Sunday 4 March (see below)
Come and create your own rhythm section
with whatever comes to hand . . .
(and build a hosepipe trumpet in the intervals!)
 - Anyone can join in - the 'Grade 6' requirement
    does not apply here
Admission: £5
includes refreshments & essential equipment - drumsticks

Great Hall, Exeter University
Sunday 4 March 7pm
University of Exeter Music Office, Choral Society
Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Charinet & Flute Choirs
Sir Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations - Nimrod
Gustav Holst: Planets Suite - Mars & Jupiter
A compilation of world sea songs to celebrate
The International Community of Exeter
G. F. Handel: Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus
Ludwig van Beethoven: Ninth Symphony - "Ode to Joy"

Further Details on the two events above:
(press release)

As Michael, Lisa and Jade discussed their project, we heard extracts of Nimrod and Jupiter. We opened the show with Handel - 'Zadok the Priest' from the Coronation of King George II. And the intrepid trio left to the rousing sound of more Handel - 'Hallelujah Chorus' from The Messiah. All music we can hear at the Great Hall on 4th March!

What could follow that? - More choral music from the Counterpoint Choir. Counterpoint were at Buckfast Abbey on Saturday night to sing music from a century earlier - anthems and songs of remembrance and grief from the 'In Memoriam' service following the tragic death of the eighteen year old Henry, Prince of Wales, (prospective King Henry IX of England) in 1612. The Counterpoint Director of Music, David Acres, had kindly provided a recording of Glinka's 'Cherubic Hymn' sung by the choir at L'Eglise Saint-Pierre in Pont l'Abbé in Brittany in 2003.

Utterly glorious music, and the perfect introduction to this week's telephone guest. Tenor Tim Donaldson of the Somerset Chamber Choir, called to talk about their inspired concert of music from eastern Europe which will take place at King's College Chapel in Taunton, in the afternoon this Sunday 19th February.

While he was talking we had time to listen to two examples of the music we can hear at Taunton - sung by the Corydon Singers. First we had another performance of 'Богородице Дево, радуйся'  ('Ave Maria') from Rachminov's 1915 Vespers (wrongly introduced as 'радуйся дева' despite extensive practice by yours truly!). But the basic idea got across, I hope.

There was even time for another Russian 'Cherubic Hymn', this time from Sergei Rachmaninov's 'Liturgy of St John Crysostom', and the final allegro moderato for mixed chorus from Rachmaninov's 'Three Russian Songs'

This will be a spectacular afternoon of Choral music from Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland . . . - and the guest accompanist, Anita d'Attelis, will also play piano music from the East, and of course music by that great Polish exile - Fryderyc Chopin. Very timely and exciting news from Taunton.
Piano: Anita D'Attellis
Somerset Chamber Choir
King's College Chapel, Taunton
Sunday 19 February 3pm
Conductor: Graham Caldbeck
Piano: Anita D'Attellis
Russia: Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov,
Alexander Grechaninov, Igor Stravinsky & Alfred Schnittke
Estonia: Arvo Pärt
Lithuania: Vytautas Miškinis
Finland: Einojuhani Rautavaara
Poland: Fryderyc Chopin, Henryk Górecki, Pavel Lukaszevski
Tickets: £18/£15 reserved £11 unreserved
Taunton Tourist Info: 01823 336344

Highlights of Sunday's Concert:
Tchaikovsky: 'How Blessed are They' Communion Hymn from the Liturgy for the Departed
                      'O Praise the Lord' from the Liturgy of St John Crysostom
                        'When Jesus was yet a Child' from Chansons pour la Jeunesse (Opus 54)
Rachmaninov: 'Vespers' & 'Liturgy of St John Crysostom'
Schnittke': 'Concerto for Choir'
Gorecky: 'Amen' (Opus 35 1975)

Anita's Piano Solos:
Rachmaninov: 'Prelude No 12'
Chopin: 'Polonaise No 6' & 'Waltz in C sharp minor'

As Tim rang off, we were joined by Zac Price, Director of Exeter University Theatre Company's latest production 'The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui', and Arturo Ui himself - EUTCo actor Nicholas Limm. EUTCo put on several production productions each year, and once a year put on something really special at the Northcott Theatre. Last year, we may recall, they put on Laurence Till's 'Kes', a dramatisation of Barry Hines' novel 'Kestrel for a Knave' (8-12 Feb 2011). If that was any indication, this year's production is going to be something very special. Zac himself was very memorable as the pedantic and unworldly headmaster Mr Grice. As director he will be bringing out the very best in this year's crop of young actors.

 Exeter University Theatre Company Production
'The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui'
Nicholas Limm is Arturo Ui
Director - Zac Price
(Exeter Northcott Wed - Sat 29 Feb - 3 Mar)
(Photography - Cecil Hatfield & Dorota Turowska)

Nicholas Limm as Arturo Ui
(Tom Chapman as Ernesto Roma)
Exeter University Theatre Company
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Wednesday 29 February - Saturday 3 March 7.30pm
(Hitler's rise to power is reflected in 30's Chicago . . . )
Tickets £12 (Concessions £8 Students £5))
Box Office: 01392 493493
Online: Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat
Information: Laura Pringle - 07792 008 744

Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui – The Full Cast:
Nicholas Limm (Arturo Ui) Tom Chapman (Ernesto Roma) James Bailey (Emanuele Giri)
Joe McDonnell (Guiseppe Givola) Luke Theobald (Dogsborough) Hannah Dunne (Clark)
Jack Stanley (Flake/ Bowl) Sinead McDonnell (Butcher/ Young Inna)
Liam Desborough ( Mulberry/ Young Desborough/ Fish)
Harry Boyd (Caruther/An actor/The Prosecuter)
Tom Myles (Ignacious Dullfeet/ Butler/ A little man)
Simon Bradshaw (Ragg/ Hook) Emily Hibbert (Gaffles/ Defence Counsel)
Patrick Read (Sheet/O’Casey) Sophie White (The Judge/ A woman/ Goodwill/ Doctor)
Sophie Jukes ( Dockdaisy/ Betty Dullfeet)

During our chat with Zac and Nick we had time for 'La Cumparsita' from Hilary Boxer and David Cottam's new CD 'Cantico', which they performed live in their 'Nocturnes by Candlelight' concert at Hockworthy on Saturday as part of 'Villages in Action'. The tango composed by Garardo Rodriguez and arranged for 'Cello and Guitar by David Cottam. An amazing piece of music. (details on this week's pre-programme post).

Details of Hilary's future 'Tasty Music' concerts at

We also heard a recording of Elizabeth Jane Baldry playing Charles Oberthür's 'In Twilight Hour', from his 'Two Music Poems' on her amazing golden harp 'Oberon' in the domed music room at Buckland Manor near Great Torrington. A stunning performance.

Zac and Nick also chose a piece of music by Mary O'Shea to play them out - 'Hydra Seeks' from her album 'DollyO' ( to play them out.

Having waited patiently in the wings, two more students took over to talk about another event taking place in Kay house. The Student Guild's musical drama group 'Shotgun Theatre Company' were represented by by Freya Joseph, Director of their latest production 'Reefer Madness' and actress Hollie Morgan, who will play the lead rôle, Mary Lane.

Student's Guild Shotgun Theatre Company Production
'Reefer Madness'
Director - Freya Joseph
Hollie Morgan is Mary Lane
(Kay House Exeter University Campus Wed-Sat 22-25 February)
(Photography - Cecil Hatfield & Dorota Turowska)

Shotgun Theatre Company
Kay House, Exeter University Campus
Wednesday 22 February - Saturday 25 February
7.30pm with additional 2pm matinée on Sat 25
A musical theatre production
Tickets: £7 - book by email:

During Freya and Hollie's very interesting report, we were able to hear two more great pieces by musicians who will be playing in Devon soon:

a recording of chaturanga guitarist Philip Henry's 'Separation of Soul and Body', from his album 'Live in the Living Room' with violinist Hannah Martin (Phil and Hannah played at the Phoenix on Thursday 16th Feb as part of Steve Knightley's show 'Committed Songs of Conscience, Love and History' - which will be repeated at Exmouth on Sunday 4th March)

Philip Henry & Hannah Martin 
Exmouth Sea Front
Steve Knightley (Show of Hands)
Special Guests:
Hannah Martin & Philip Henry
Blackmore Theatre Exmouth
Sunday 4 March ?time
‘Committed and distinctive songs
of conscience, love and history’
Tickets: ?price
Box Office: ?phone number
(See also Thu 16 Feb, Exeter)

and a recording of flautist Susie Hodder-Williams' 'Landfall' from the 'Music on the Edge' album 'The Mariner's Way' with clarinettist Chris Calwell (Chris and Susie played at the Long Room, Drewe Arms, Drewsteignton, also on Thursday 16th February, with the violin/double bass of Emma Welton and guitar/'cello of Rick Bolton - Chris and Susie are scheduled to be 'Live at the Long Room' again on Monday 26th March with Emma Welton - possibly to be rescheduled for later in the week to allow for Emma to conduct the Exwick Choir who meet on Mondays!  Chris and Susie will appear as the eponymous duo 'Music on the Edge' again on Monday 16th April - just before they go to Oddessa in the Ukraine to perform in the International Festival of Modern Art . . )

Woodwind Duo
'Music on the Edge'
Susie Hodder-Williams
& Chris Caldwell
(flute & bass clarinet)

Photo: Chris Chapman
Music on the Edge
Spring Series 2012
The Drewe Arms, Drewsteignton
Monday 26 March 8.30pm
Special Guest:
Violin/Double Bass: Emma Welton
Monday 16 April 8.30pm
Clarinets/Saxophones: Chris Caldwell
Playing by the roaring fire in the 'Long Room'
(Catch them before they go to Odessa for
  the 13th International Festival of Modern Art)
Admission: £8 (U21 Free)
Information: The Drewe Arms - 01647 281224

An incredible array of musical and theatrical talent in Exeter and across Devon - and Somerset!

Well worth the trip!!!

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