Hello, on a sunny Sunday afternoon!
This week has been unusually busy (considering the year) as I have been working in a septet of players from the Chineke! Orchestra to bring music workshops to primary and secondary schools across the Royal Borough of Greenwich, in association with Woolwich Works.
How glorious to perform chamber music together again, even if was just a few movements of different pieces. Beethoven’s Septet is always a joy to return to, and it brought back memories of when I first worked on this piece: in 2010 during my first and only visit to New York thus far! It was a project bringing together students at The Juilliard School and The Royal Academy of Music. We flew out on January 2nd and BOY WAS IT COLD! Follow this link for a review of the concert ten years ago.
This week we also introduced some wonderful minuets by Ignatius Sancho. He is the first known Briton of African heritage to have voted in an 18th-century general election, and has an incredible life story which is touched upon in the recent BBC 4 Programme, Black Classical Music: The Forgotten History.
We also presented James Wilson’s atmospheric composition Remnants, which was a piece written in dedication to Dr Paul Stephenson who lead the Bristol Bus Boycott in 1963. Before sharing any information with the school pupils we asked for their impressions. The array of replies were fantastic, from ‘batman’ to ‘anxious’ to ‘it sounds like someone dies, then comes back to life, then dies, then comes back to life’.
If you ever feel like a burst of creativity, ask primary school children to describe what they feel and imagine whilst playing them some music!