A musical, mini symphony and a percussion soundscape.
March 2017 sees the culmination of months of composing, revising and scoring for: beginner orchestra Stereo Sinfonietta, percussion group The onset of rain and for a community Pioneer – The Rotherham Musical rather than a reference to left – right, left – right – left… based compositions I have created in the past. The journey from concept to realisation of the musical has been years, the percussion work was prepared in a few months and in the case of the orchestral music it was completed in less than a week.
Each one of the compositions has had diverse aims and the writing processes have been varied. The main focus of the final realisations has been to allow the performers to excel no matter what experience they had on the instrument. This approach is in some cases quite restrictive and resolving the complications that arrive from using this method is all part of the process of composing for specific groups of performers.
Stereo Sinfonietta had the first performance on Wednesday 15th March at the North Lincolnshire Music Service’s Play Day in the Bath’s Hall, Scunthorpe. The Play Day is an annual event for any pupil/student in the borough that is at grade 1 and above standard to attend and be part of an orchestra. There were approximately 175 musicians at the event plus the Music Service staff and thank you to everyone who rehearsed and performed the music. The full score and parts are available as a download with more information at https://payhip.com/b/vma3
The onset of rain has its first performance tonight as part of the annual concert given by the music department at the Winterton Academy. The ensemble performing the work is made up of five drummers who have been playing for a few years and five that have only been having lessons since September (2016). Good luck to everyone involved and enjoy. The music for this work is now available to download from https://payhip.com/b/1Vil
Pioneer – The Rotherham Musical has performances booked for Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th March in Magna Science Discovery Centre. This is a renovated steel works that is a most appropriate venue for the story about a town that has had iron and steel at its heart for centuries. The music has been partly written by school pupils and I have completed the other parts to make the musical complete. To hear some examples of the music the overture is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoM_PCFZD0w
The performers are a mix of actors and school pupils and the Facebook page, with action shots from some of the rehearsals, shows how creative the pupils are https://www.facebook.com/pioneerrotherham/ Tickets can be ordered through http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/pay (registration required first before finding the Pioneer ticket booking page).
If these compositions can inspire the participants to cultivate their musical and/or dramatic aspirations I would regard the works as successful and I hope that this has been achieved during a hectic March.
© P. R. Birkby 2017