Orchestras Live - far and wide (June 2009)
Orchestras Live works across England with local authorities, orchestras and other partners to deliver dynamic and artistically adventurous projects with lasting legacies. This regular quarterly update gives a snapshot of some of the work we are currently involved with.
In Suffolk... Surf and Turf, the two-year series of collaborations with the London Sinfonietta and communities in different parts of the county, began with two successful performances at the Shipwreck pub on the Shotley Marina in Babergh. More than 150 people attended the events, which included small-scale repertoire by Takemitsu, Woolrich and Reich as well as a new commission by Orchestras Live from project leaders Fraser Trainer (composer) and Dean Parkin (poet), and a devised piece involving local primary school children inspired by the HMS Ganges Museum and reminiscences contributed by the general public. The second leg of Surf and Turf will see informal performances held along the coastal path and a concert at Landguard Fort in Felixstowe during Suffolk Coastal District Council’s ‘Felixstroll’ tourism weekend on 4 July. Find out more about Surf and Turf.
In Ipswich... the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on an afternoon of music and dance workshops during the Dance East Spectacular Dancing Tent at Christchurch Park on 1 July.
In Suffolk Coastal... part of the legacy of Flights of Fancy (Orchestras Live's Early Years music project held in Suffolk in 2007/08), the City of London Sinfonia are performing two Lullaby Concerts for young children and their carers during in Dance East's Spectacular Dancing Tent at Easton Farm Park on 30 July. These will be presented by specialist music leader (and Flights of Fancy project leader) Catherine Johnson, who has also been holding workshops at three nursery settings and a training day for Early Years practitioners from across Suffolk. Find out more about Flights of Fancy.
In Bedford... the Orchestras Live / Philharmonia project with Fusion Youth Singing and the Alzheimer’s Society Music for the Memory Group culminated in a performance at Bedford Corn Exchange, attended by a large number of the audience from the ensuing Philharmonia Orchestra concert. The interaction between these diverse community groups was warm and creative, facilitated by music leaders Duncan Chapman and Jeni Melia. Find out more about this project.
In Fenland... Aurora Orchestra will be leading a Family Music Day in Whittlesey as part of Cambridgeshire’s 2012 Open Weekend on Saturday 24 July. They will also be at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival on Sunday 25 July at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (tbc) with the same programme. Both events are supported by Cambridgeshire County Council and Orchestras Live.
In Derby and Bolsover... sinfonia ViVA’s 2009 summer vocal residency featured the premiere of The Fragile Shell, a new choral work by James Redwood and Hazel Gould, involving school groups from Derby and Bolsover performing alongside the orchestra at Derby Assembly Rooms on 24 June. The project took its inspiration from the Ice Age centre Creswell Crags and explored a range of environmental issues.
In Uttlesford... this year’s Thaxted Festival includes four orchestral concerts and three associated school education projects supported by Orchestras Live.
In Waveney... a new partnership has been made with the Beccles Music Festival, which will be hosting a concert by the London Mozarts Players on 19 September. It is hoped this will be the start of more regular chamber orchestra events with festivals in the district of Waveney.
In Central Bedfordshire... the Orchestra of the Swan’s six-month residency in South Beds culminated in an orchestral concert in Dunstable featuring Urban Orchestra, the collaboration with ‘hard to reach’ young people, and a desk-sharing performance with Gifted & Talented young instrumentalists. The successful youth and rural touring strands of the residency will form the basis of a new long-term orchestral plan in the area.
In Colchester... a three-year plan for orchestral work that contributes to Colchester’s Festival Development Strategy is being launched with the commissioning of site-specific pieces for performance by Britten Sinfonia musicians during the National Heritage Weekend in September. Several national and local composers will be commissioned to write short works for heritage sites such as Tymperleys Clock Museum, Colchester Castle and the Mayor’s Balcony at the Town Hall. There will also be an orchestral performance at the Arts Centre.