Spring 2016. Time to catch up!

Since I last wrote a blog, life has been very busy, and as usual I haven’t posted my news. After the inevitable Christmas concerts (at the end of 2015, obv.) I started 2016 with rehearsals for the re-written ‘Wind Dragon’ for Berrymede school. The script for this musical story, involving an entire school in songs, recorder orchestra pieces, with an adult orchestra has to be rewritten every time it is performed, as the story involves real people & events in the local environment as well as the mythical dragon. The kids loved it from the start, but it is a long work, to be performed at the end of a short term. After quite a lot of stress, more to do with practical arrangements than musical concerns, the performances were wonderful.

At the same time I was preparing for my usual trip to Dorchester at the beginning of March for the performance of my ‘Buzzard or Kestrel’ (story by Richard Baker) & ‘Water Birds’. Dorset Chamber Orchestra, with added brass, was conducted by Walter Brewster, & led by his wife Jane, who also trained the young string orchestra who performed with the main orchestra. I was happy to be asked to play the sax parts in Bizet’s L’Arlesienne  Suite too.

I’ve finished orchestrating the songs from ‘Les Mis’ for Ealing Chamber Music Club’s Summer sing/play in, though it will need to be tweaked a bit when I know exactly which wind players plan to be there, and I’ve now started working on a selection of Brass pieces for use by Paul Archibald on English Brass Academy courses.

At some point, though I don’t exactly remember when, I completed ‘Interplay’ the concerto grosso for Brass quintet & whacking great symphonic wind orchestra, which the Croatian brass players requested last Summer, when I was there. I sent a Sibelius file of it, but now need to extract & edit the parts.

My ‘Rainbow Island’ is being performed by children from 8 schools & adult orchestra in St Barnabas church, Ealing on July 4th & 5th, so I’ve been preparing score, piano transcription & having meetings etc. in preparation for that. It is to be conducted by Lee Marchant. I’m planning to cut down on my teaching a bit from the end of this school year, so hopefully I’ll be more efficient at keeping my website up to date.

Big Double Reed Day – Guildhall

At the end of November I met the publishers of my double reed music, Marie Jose Egeling, & her husband, who had come over from Coblenz to Guildhall College of Music & Drama. I was great to catch up, face to face, & she sold quite a lot of music, much of it by me. We met lots of other friends, & many other lovely people – A good day.

Update of new works & concerts

I completed Reeds & Rhythm   for oboe, bassoon & drums, written at the request of my German publisher, Egge Verlag & sent it off, and Prelude & Jig for oboe & viola, completed before Christmas was performed at an Ealing Chamber Music Club concert on February 10th.

Rehearsals are going very well at Berrymede Junior school for ‘Dave the Musical Caveman‘, which the entire school will perform with an adult chamber orchestra on April 2nd.

Andy Bungay of Resonance FM visited school & recorded a whole school singing rehearsal, as well as an interview with me, and a performance of my solo for alto sax & prepared cd ‘Awakening‘, which will be performed at a concert at St Mary’s Putney at 1pm on Friday 21st February at a London Composers’ Forum concert.

Both Studio Music & Forton are  publishing  my wind & brass music, & on 7th/8th of March I’ll be going down to Dorchester to perform my ‘Dorset Ghost Story Music’ with Dorset Chamber Orchestra & Martin Clunes.