Rehearsals for all groups continued throughout the day. Hilary Campbell had the singers drawing the Z of Zorro with imaginery swords – one swiped line for each triplet note to ensure the perfect rhythm of three against two.
Hilary also rehearsed the string orchestra for the works accompanying the choir, with MfE’s Abi Smith taking and inspiring the group’s other rehearsals.
Today’s recital, given by Zephyr Winds – five professional players with national and international careers – was a virtuosic display of the colour and versatility of flute, clarinet, obe, horn and bassoon. The playing was by turn dramatic, tender and comical – particularly superb were the animal sounds in Jim Parker’s Les Animeaux. Director Chris Swann dazzled on clarinet in the world premier of an arrangment by Matthew Lax (MfE’s Treasurer and Trustee) of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumble Bee. Phew!
Each member of the quintet led a workshop for small groups of Summer School players – brass, oboes, bassoons, flutes, clarinets and saxophones. These groups then performed their workshopped pieces to each other. This was in addition to the players rehearsing as a windband with MfE’s Gill Henshaw, and then with the strings in the full orchestra.
The visiting professionals offer Summer School participants unique access to leading players, singers and conductors. There are opportunities to ask them for advice about individual issues or technique in general. But the days are not all work – there are refreshment breaks morning and afternoon, and today’s sunshine meant outdoor lunch for many. There is time to chat with friends, meet new people and browse the stalls, including Windblowers’ array of instruments.
You can hear the improvement all the tuition and rehearsing is bringing about. Players and singers are developing confidence in performing their own lines, listening more carefully to each other to create a blended sound, and adding in not only the dynamic and expressive effects written into the score, but the emotion that turns notes into music and a collection of individuals into a band, orchestra or choir. Tomorrow’s concert audience is in for a treat.
Today’s interesting fact: Oboes are not automatically always in tune!
An oboe gives the note for the band or orchestra to tune to because its sound is clear and carries. To enure the note given is spot on, the responsible oboist must first warm their instrument and tune to a perfect A by using a tuning fork.
Click for biographies of the staff of MfE at the Summer School
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