Monday, 3 December 2018

Devon Music Projects & Live Interview featuring Fiona McLean Buechel - from 2013 to 2018

Fiona McLean Buechel

This is just a selection of the many projects and events featured on the 'Classical Journey' programmes over the years which involved the work of talented musician and educator, Fiona McLean Buechel. The headings link to the full articles - and a fascinating live discussion with Fiona (and daughter Katy) on Soundart Radio.

Fiona McLean-Buechel and South West Camerata
Classical Journey Tuesday 9 July 2013

Jonathan Schranz
& Jack Oades
Many of Fiona's former students are well known to us now for their successful work in music. Jonathan Schranz and Jack Oades, both former students of Fiona got together last December to give a 'Messiah' workshop at St Michael's Church in Exeter - Jonathan directed the music, while Jack provided piano accompaniment for the rehearsals. For the evening concert, Fiona took over from Jack - with South West Camerata. (See 'One Week': 3-10 Dec 2012)
For the evening performance of Handel's Messiah
Fiona McLean-Buechel leads South West Camerata

Classical Journey 10am Tuesday 11 February 2014

Musical Director of
Devon County Junior Choir
Rachel Smith
Conductor and Leader of
Joined Up Thinking Projects Music
(South West Camerata
Tutti & Cameratinis)
Fiona McLean Buechel

Later on Saturday (at 1.30pm) the Treasurer of Exeter Cathedral, The Reverend Canon Ian Morter, was in the Cathedral Quire to introduce three extraordinarily talented Devon youth ensembles, South West CamerataTutti, and Devon County Junior Choir.

For 900 years the voices of children have been heard in the Cathedral Choir. Now the voices of children were joined by the string playing of members of Fiona McLean Buechel's 'Joined Up Thinking Projects Music' - a Devon-wide scheme to teach young people to play in a string ensemble, and to lead and mentor others. In the 10 years that JUTP Music has been in operation, over 20 young people have gone on to study music and become professional musicians. Fiona's 'Emerging Music Leaders' programme has been honoured with the Royal Philharmonic Society's Award for Education.

The opening music was the first movement of J S Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto VI" played by South West Camerata. Fiona McLean Buechel joined five other violinists and violists, but did not lead. The JUTP students were in control throughout. The four 'cellists (including Rosie Lester) created the compelling continuo, while the violin solos were played by students. The resulting sound was beautiful. Fiona plans for South West Camerata to prepare the whole concerto for future concerts.

Young double bass player, Katie Gibbings, introduced the next pieces played by Tutti - the intermediate level ensemble. They played "Black Jack" and "Take it from There" from PamelaWedgewood's "Jazzing About Suite".

Wedgewood's simple hypnotic rhythms allowed the larger group to build a sensational sound. Fiona took control more, but there were plenty of opportunities for the Tutti members to come to the fore. Katie herself joined the continuo with her double bass, alongside music teacher and double bass supremo, Melanie Lester.

Fiona is planning more concerts for the JUTP string orchestras, and Rachel will certainly be back in action with DCJC soon. After the resounding success of South West Camerata at theEdinburgh Festival last year (Vivaldi's "L'Inverno" at St Giles Cathedral) the sky is the limit!

Classical Journey Soundart Radio 21 December 2014 JUTP Music Fiona McLean Buechel & Katy - "Messiah"

Interview on Soundart Radio
A live interview with Luch Càise-Dearg on Soundart Radio discussing Fiona's many projects, including 'Joined Up Thinking Projects Music Devon' founded by Fiona in 2005 as a Summer Youth Programme - Alumni are now successful musicians and teachers. 

JUTP Rehearsals were being held at Totnes Progressive School, and Exeter School, for youth orchestras up to the level of South West Camerata - students were taken on who were as young as two-and-three-quarters years old.

Students were coming from Somerset and Cornwall, as well as Devon. Many received financial assistance. Classes were also available for adults. At JUTP rehearsals Fiona was supported by  assisitants of a very high calibre, and 'Emerging Music Leaders' selected from the existing students.

The radio programme includes extracts from a performance of Handel's "Messiah" by 32 members of South West Camerata, with Exeter University Chamber Choir directed by Michael Graham, including the Orchestra Overture, "Unto Us a Child is Born" and the "Hallelujah Chorus"  accompanied by South West Camerata. Fiona discusses the rehearsal process for that performance.

Fiona's daughter Katie discusses Arts Awards, and what work was involved for her - and the qualifications that can be achieved. JUTP Music Devon was an awards centre. Katy was studying double bass, and in the 'Tutti' orchestra 'on the cusp' of joining South West Camerata. There are also alumni playing in 'Concertante'.

Fiona discusses other projects including 'Earworms' for children at Exeter Northcott Theatre, and giving orchestral concerts at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and collaborations with Aileen Douthwaite previously Director of West Dumbartonshire Council Music Services, then Relations Officer for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (now with Richmond upon Thames Music Trust), and Gabriel Prokofiev who founded Joined Up Thinking Projects Music. Other opportunities for students include vocal workshops for string players with professional singers.

A lovely afternoon conversation covering many topics, and giving an insight into the very creative work of Fiona McLean Buechel!

Conductor: Andrew Daldorph

Orchestra Leader
Fiona McLean Buechel
The orchestra was led by Fiona McLean Buechel with an impressive line-up of first violins - Clare Smith (leader of the EMG Symphony Orchestra in Exeter), Julie Hill (regular violinist withDevon Baroque, and many of her own ensembles), plus Tina Bennet who started the evening with the violas.

Also playing viola in the first half was second violinist Exeter ‘Nonclassical’ & ‘Gypsy Jazz’ star,Rebecca Willson. The other seconds, Lyndsay Miller & Pippa Cotterill, were under Sandra Sutton.

Solo: “Serenade to Music”
Fiona McLean Buechel
After a break, the orchestra came to fore again in a very special performance of Ralph Vaughan
 Williams Serenade to Music. The orchestra leader, Fiona McLean Buechel, stood for an impressive solo performance

Andrew Maries

Her impeccable playing was lovingly wrapped in the combined 
sound of voices, harp glissandi, and her own fabulous orchestra, including oboist Andrew Maries, who arrived during the interval - especially to take part.

Andrew Daldorph & East Devon Choral Society Rossini "Stabat Mater" & Puccini "Messa di Gloria" Lucy Bray, Alison Kettlewell, John Pierce, Tim Mirfin Saint Paul's Church Tiverton Saturday 19 November 2016

East Devon Choral Society
& Orchestra Leader:
Fiona McLean-Buechel
Leading once again, was Fiona McLean-Buechel, with EMG Symphony Orchestra Leader Clare Smith at second desk. Fiona, among her other commitments, now teaches violin and viola as Lead Tutor for Strings at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

Leader & Conductor:
Fiona McLean-Buechel
Andrew Daldorph
Puccini's "Messa di Gloria" opens with a sweetly delicate "Kyrie" for choir, which was beautifully introduced by Fiona's orchestra. With the soprano and alto voices to the fore, and gentle support fromt the men, the traditional plea for mercy became increasingly impassioned - with the insistent addition of Steve Douglas' kettle drums, before being led sweetly back to delicate entreaty by Fiona's string section. Andrew's preparation had been faultless, and the scene was set perfectly.

Following a climactic, and apparently final, "Amen" the action stopped abruptly. Extensive retuning took place in the orchestra. Fully back in tune, the orchestra were then ready for more. The choir launched into a feverishly energetic "Credo". The swooping voices of the sopranos and altos were echoed by the strings - skilfully held under by Fiona and Andrew.

East Devon Choral Society
Choir & Orchestra
Musical Director: Andrew Daldorph
Leader: Fiona McLean Buechel

Orchestra & Choir
Leader: Fiona McLean Buechel
The instrumentation was impeccable as always. Fiona McLean Buechel, who is now based in Bournemouth and working increasingly in London, was nevertheless with us - and playing with her trademark gusto and precision. A joy to watch. Her orchestra were equally impressive. The softer solos were accompanied by the delicious trio of Fiona's violin, Hilary Boxer's 'cello, and Colin Pettet's chamber organ, while the rousing choruses exploited the full power of the orchestra - with the addition of Brian Moore and Matt Frances playing trumpets, and Steve Douglas playing timpani.

Violins: Pippa CotterillFiona McLean Buechel
Sopranos: Lisa HellierSally DaldorphImogen Daldorph
Tenor: George Daldorph