Leader of Exeter University Symphony Orchestra
and Exeter University Chamber Orchestra
takes on five concerts in one week
Many thanks to Katherine Miles, Vice-President and Percussionist of the Exeter University Symphony Orchestra. She contacted Phonic FM to alert us all to the wealth of music and drama being made by students as the University year draws to a close. Some of the students will graduate and leave Exeter. Others will be studying abroad next year. Many will return in the autumn. In the meantime, school's out for summer. As a glorious parting gesture the students have been putting on all forms of entertainment on campus, and in the town. The citizens of Exeter have been made very welcome and have enjoyed several extremely talented performances.
Rotten Apple Express
Back in May, Katherine joined the Rotten Apple Orchestra for their stage musical 'Rotten Apple Express'. There were only two showings, at the Roborough Studios. A very professional show, and great fun.
|Cool Guitar: Will Hudson|
|Soulful Fiddle: Callum Finch|
|Katherine drums in a dream|
while Phil de Iongh narrates
|and sensational music!|
(Guitar: Phil de Iongh Violin: Callum Finch Trumpet: Tim Spicer)
Exciting Theatre in a different vein was put on at the Northcott Theatre by the MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) students in a series of plays coordinated by Programme Director, Professor Christopher MacCullough.
The creators call themselves 'We Shadows'. Their series, called 'Shakespeare, No Copyright', extended to six pieces of theatre inspired by the writings of the great Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare. Even played back to back, the plays had to be divided in programmes A and B. Presented in two separate runs they represented a creative tour de force - and a huge dose of quality entertainment!
|lithe in leotards|
Ben Gilbert, Ellie Chadwick, Faye Hutchinson,
Kathryn Rosenberger and Dan McNiell
combine dance, street theatre, poetry
and incredible shadow mummery
in Ellie Chadwick's 'Vice'
drawing on Macbeth, Othello and Richard III
Directors Raphael Massie and Faye Hutchinson
reverse the genders in 'Twisted Virtue',
their take on 'Measure for Measure'
Dan McNiell is the madam, Mistress Overdone
and endures abuse from two 'male' characters
|Faye Hutchinson is Orlando|
Corrupted by power - and ultimately cast adrift
|After the show|
Professor Christopher MacCullough
introduced the audience members to the students
- over a drink, of course!
|In the post-performance Q&A|
Kim Carrell fields a question.
Nearest to the camera is - Laura Baggs
A Little Night Music
|Rosie Frecker & Charlotte Monk-Chipman|
Director and Producer
Stephen Sondheim's 'A Little Night Music'
Reed Hall, which was once a student hall of residence (lucky students!) is now a plush wedding and reception venue. With the help of the Annual Fund, and a concessionary student rate, the Guild were able to hire the hall for four nights (4-7 June). The setting was perfect for their musical - Stephen Sondheim's 'A Little Night Music'.
Director, Rosie Frecker, really made the most of the performance area. With the audience on both sides of the reception hall, the actors gave a 'traverse' performance - a very intimate experience, where the observer is drawn into the action, which was disconcertingly natural and realistic - even when the students broke into song! There are many memorable numbers in Sondheim's musical, but the first half closer really took the prize - 'A Weekend in the Country'!
The musical accompaniment was top quality, of course. Instrumentalists from the Exeter University Symphony Orchestra played from a perfect position in the extension of the room behind the audience. Discreet but very effective. The orchestra included Phil de Iongh's double bass and Oli Ritchie's harp - perfect!
|Two experienced musical actors|
Stephanie Lysé and Jonathan Wood
Stephanie was Mae Coleman
in 'Reefer Madness'
(Student Guild Shotgun Theatre Company)
Jonathan was Bunthorne in 'Patience'
(Gilbert & Sullivan Society)
|The main protagonists:|
Ed Johnson and Antonia Vickers are
Frederik Egerman and Desiree Armfeldt
Their farcical romance won the hearts
of the entire audience
|Another touching romance|
Egerman's son Henrik (Dave Wall)
is a confused curate, in love with
Egerman senior's second wife Anne
|Three generations of Armfeldts|
Desiree and daughter Frederika
(Phoebe Mulcahy) under the
watchful eye of grandmother
Madam Armfeldt (Rosamund Frost)
- imperiously clicking her fingers
at her attendant Fred (Will Kellerher)
|The count considers his wife 'irrelevant'|
(when she's not around)
and resents Egerman's affection for
'his' mistress, Desiree.
Egerman can't see what
all the fuss is about
the incredibly pompous
Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
is easily cut down to size
by the withering wit of
Countess Charlotte (Rosie Archer)
|At Supper, Countess Charlotte|
completes Carl-Magnus' humiliation.
However, Madam Armfeldt's
very special Belgian wine
is about to have devastating effects.
Now read on . . .
Exeter University Chamber Orchestra
|A star performer|
Orchestra oboe & cor anglais player
plays sweetly on her pear wood treble
EUCO's Musical Director, Paul Mcclure, brings comedy to his introductions, with stories and one-liners - a great skill for a professional musician. The audience appreciate his bonhomie, and they must surely enjoy the music even more as a result.
|Paul McClure plays second recorder to Sammie Buzzard|
J S Bach's Fourth Brandenburg Concerto
(They also played Elgar's 'Serenade'
and Ireland's 'Downland Suite')
|Conducted by Sammie's fellow oboist|
Stephen Martin Mason
|The full ensemble.|
In the centre (in pride of place) -
Orchestra Leader Jenny Rogers
|Crediton on Wednesday|
- at the Church of the Holy Cross
(and the Mother of he who hung thereon)
James Bellamy conducts a choir of singers
from Tremough campus at Falmouth
in mediaeval and renaissance choral music
Back There on Earth
'Between the Moon and the Earth'
by Simon Belshaw
They played Simon Belshaw's multimedia classic 'Between the Moon and the Earth', a thoroughly engaging take on the Apollo moon missions with original film footage and recording of the astronauts' voices, with Simon's backing track of percussion and piano, overlaid by live sting playing by the quartet.
Next came Paul Whitty's 'Bury your Love like Treasure'. Sound picked up by buried micophones in a field above Thorverton were played back through speakers mounted in Emma's double bass and combined with video of Emma burying the phones, and playing her bass in the field (and a recording of a traditional poem being recited) - with more live string playing. This time, however, the instruments were used to echo the sounds from the soil. Scratching, tapping, scraping - every technique was used to extract new sounds from any part of a violin, viola or 'cello.
After the interval 'Exeter Contemporary Sounds' played a more established piece - Steve Reich's 'Different Trains' - combining railway sound with recordings of train-related spoken word. The pitch and rhythm of which was matched by the quartet in their playing - individually and in consort. As the piece approached its 'terminus' the violins and 'cello repeatedly played a single drawn out note - just like a train whistle - while Andrew continued the melody on his viola
gently plucks the 'cello part
in the darkness of
|In the eerie light of|
a projected image of the inside
of the Apollo capsule
Emma Welton plays
'Between the Moon and the Earth'
|The star of|
'Bury your Love like Treasure'
Emma Welton's double bass
|under a huge video image|
of Emma playing her bass
|Julie Hill adds violin|
|Video of Emma burying microphones|
outlines Emma herself playing her violin
|. . . in very curious ways!|
|A very different set-up|
No video, just very atmospheric stage lighting
for Steve Reich's 'Different Trains'
|Emma Welton, Julie Hill, Andrew Gillett, Jane Pirie|
What a combination!!
|Melissa Barrett and Kim Carrell|
return to the Exeter Northcott Theatre
for more Shakespeare inspired plays
|The other cast members applaud|
for his performance as Timon of Athens
|Finally the characters of 'A Winter's Tale'|
collude to entertain the audience
- and reanimate the statue of Hermione -
in 'Stone no More'
Classical Night at the Bicton Inn, Exmouth
The Bicton Inn, a small street corner pub in Exmouth, is regularly the venue for 'Classical Nights'. Every second Thursday in the month there is an open night, where local musicians can perform for the enjoyment of the other guests. There are also regular guest nights, when a local player can entertain for the whole evening. On Wednesday Tim Othen took the chair and played a glorious medley of classical works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninov. It was an unexpected gem of a recital. The Bicton is certainly worth a return visit!
|A battered upright in a cosy corner|
of the local pub
|becomes a thing of beauty|
|To assist turning the pages|
|Natasha expresses her appreciation|
|The last word goes to another|
Roger Bourgein of the 'Exmouth Shantymen'
Exeter University Chamber Orchestra
Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
|The tireless Jenny Rogers|
takes the lead again
|Joking aside, Paul McClure conducts|
|Stephen Martin Mason conducts Brandenburg IV|
|While Paul joins Sammie on recorder|
|An extra item - a 'cello concerto for former president|
Still jesting, Paul suggests her father might like to accompany
|Katharine prefers her Musical Director|
|A great orchestra|
|and two great conductors|
Exeter University Symphony Orchestra
|Back in the Ram Beer Garden|
Jenny Rogers prepares to lead yet another concert
- something very special
|President Beca Pennar|
|for all the violinists|
plays a mean tuba
|New EUCO president Milly Bowen|
joins EUSO - with her 'cello
|And, standing in for the guest conductor|
- Sammie Buzzard !
|On Saturday night|
at Exeter's Mint Methodist Church
Richard Gonski takes the rostrum
for Damien Harron's 'Another Street Song'
(Marimba Soloist: Molly Lopresti-Richards)
|The violins set the scene|
|Molly plays perfectly|
|Richard accepts his applause|
|and applauds the soloist|
|Another soloist appears for|
Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 2
- Veronika Shoot
|Oli Ritchie assists|
|with a very complex score|
|It's all in Russian|
|and beautifully scored|
All together, there were four amazing soloists
|Johnathan - who sang so beautifully|
in 'A Little Night Music'
directed by - Rosie Frecker
|Someone is very interested in|
what Jonathan will be singing
- Natasha Iuchanka
|First - the fourth amazing soloist|
Bass Trombonist Tilman Schus-Klinger
|plays Steven Verhelst's|
'Song for Japan'
|Ably supported by the orchestra|
- led by Jenny Rogers
Leader of the Second Violins: Abi Jenkins
|Richard Gonski congratulates|
|The orchestra strikes up again|
with Milly Bowen's 'cellos
|For the grand finale|
Jonathan Wood sings 'Rule Britannia'!
|and receives his own bouquet|
|Jenny Rogers and Richard Gonski|
a great leader and a great conductor
|Richard Gonski receives his own bouquet|
|and presents a stem to Jenny Rogers|
|One for everyone!|
|Special thanks to one person|
for letting Phonic FM know about
all this glorious music-making
Exeter University Symphony Orchestra
Vice-President - Katherine Miles!
What's on next?
Listings from June onwards . . .