Monday, 12 November 2012

Yet more fun at Marion Wood's EMG Open Rehearsal for 'Christmas Concert' Thursday 7 November 2012

moonlighting again!
conductor Marion Wood

and the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra
keep the energy going late into the evening

If the picture above looks familiar, it's because it's that time again!

Marion Wood is seen here preparing the Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra for another evening of classical delights, by holding an 'open rehearsal' at St Peter's School in Exeter. Anyone can come along and see what goes on behind the scenes. Anyone with Grade VI or above in their instrument can join in! Children are welcome, and can meet the musicians and find out more about anything from woodwind to percussion.

Marion explains everything she is doing, and explains the music the orchestra is playing. This is music made accessible - and fun! (Still intrigued by the photo above? Look back to 1st March this year to see Marion in action at another 'open rehearsal' of Holst's 'Planets' and Elgar's 'Enigma Variations')

Last Thursday, the orchestra were preparing for their Christmas Concert, which will be on Saturday 24th November. They were preparing a feast of classical gems, some familiar - Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker Suite', Prokofiev's 'Troika', some not so familiar - Peter Warlock's 'Capriol Suite' and Leroy Anderson's 'Christmas Festival' and 'Sleigh Ride'.

Everything was explained with great enthusiasm by Marion, to a captivated audience. Every instrument's rôle was demonstrated by the willing members of the orchestra. No solo went unremarked, no effect was allowed to slip past without comment.

The explanations were fascinating and hugely entertaining for everyone - Ernest La Prade's 'Alice in Orchestralia' meets Benjamin Britten's 'Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' and 'The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra' - guaranteed to enthrall, and enlist, another generation of keen orchestral players.

Take a look for yourself!

Leader Clare Smith calls the orchestra to order
and introduces the conductor - Marion Wood
Before joining Jackie Baldwin at the 'first desk'
Marion explains everything to an enthusiastic audience of children
in fascinating detail
Marion summons up each section of the orchestra
tambourine: John McAvoy
tympani: Sarah Hodson 
Sergei Prokofiev's 'Troika'
now that is a tambourine!
student Jerome Blackburn observes the precise technique
and Sarah Hodson's impressive drum roll
children can observe the players close-up
bassoon: Prue Tasman
and ask questions
tuba: Robert O'Byrne
students at Grade VI or above are welcome . . .
Leonie Jones (Grade VIII) with mum Ann
(Leonie recently completed a placement with the
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra!)
. . . to join in!
Leonie Jones in the flute section
for 'The Dance of the Reed Pipes'
The smallest - and loudest - instrument
piccolo: Robert Stevenson
something different
tenor saxophone: Richard de la Rue
principal French horn
Sally Maya
(cor anglais: Kate Osbourne!)
big bass sound - double basses
front row: Melanie Lester
more bass sound - brass!
tuba: Robert O'Byrne
bass trombone: Charles Dowell
Melanie Lester shares a joke
with violist Rebecca Willson
and shares her experience with a young student
bass clarinettist John Welton
demonstrates the all important 'embouchure'
in a highly entertaining solo performance
led once again by Yvonne Ashby
for Leroy Anderson's 'Christmas Festival'
more tenor saxophones.
in the centre,
Exeter University Symphony Orchestra
& Chamber Orchestra leader: Jenny Rogers
warming up on glockenspiel: Jerome Blackburn
for Leroy Anderson's 'Sleigh Ride'
with 'slapsticks' (the whip): John McAvoy
and sleigh-bells: Sarah Hodson
the bassoons and double basses fall silent
as the trumpet has the last word
- the horse's whinny: Tony Hindley!

Finally, proper photos! - by EMG website designer Nigel Cheffers-Heard:

first violins: Ellen Stratton, Anna Davis
far right: Ray Fane
(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
first desk: Clare Smith, Jackie Baldwin
(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
memories of Gerard Hoffnung,
local artist Michael Buckland
records the orchestra at work

(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
"Russian Percussion"
for Leroy Anderson's 'Sleigh Ride'
- just add musicians!

(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
tympanist: Sarah Hodson
(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
Marion Wood conducts
Leonie Jones joins the flute section

(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)
another young student joins the violins
('your name here')

(photo: Nigel Cheffers-Heard)

Marion Wood
Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra
St Peter's School Exeter
Saturday 24 November 7.30pm
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: 'Valse des Fleurs'
Peter Warlock: 'Capriol Suite'
Edvard Grieg: 'Holberg Suite'
Dmitri Shostakovich: 'Tahiti Trot'
Leroy Anderson: Christmas FEstival
Sergei Prokofiev: Troika
Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
conductor: Marion Wood
leader: Clare Smith

Tickets: £7 (student/U16 £5)
one U16 flies free with each paying adult!
Box Office: Exeter Tourist Information, Dix's Field
(open 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Sat 01392 665885)
tickets also on sale at Exeter Strings Workshop
(Bartholomew Street West, Fore Street end)
open 10am-6pm Wed-Sat. cash/cheques only
Full details: EMG website

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