Sunday, May 31, 2009

Music at Douai Abbey

It seemed to me, as I was sitting in Douai Abbey this afternoon listening to Tom Winpenny’s organ recital, that the sound of an organ in full flow is reminiscent of a wind band. Perhaps it is not surprising, since they both rely on air passing through tubes to make their sound.

Anyway, I spent an enjoyable hour listening to Tom playing pieces by de Grigny, Bach, and Duruffle, rounded off by a Libby Larsen prelude.

Tom was visiting from St Albans, where he is Assistant Master of the Music at the Cathedral, also home to the biennial International Organ Festival.

Douai Abbey, with its good accoustics and beautiful architecture provides a lovely concert venue. If you haven’t been along I recommend it.

The monks are warm hosts, and offer a succession of interesting concerts. Next week, Saturday 6th June, is a Berkshire Maestros “Children Celebrate the Child” concert featuring local youth choirs and musicians. And on Sunday 21st June, it's Mozart from the Basingstoke Choral Society and New London Sinfonia, preceded by strawberries.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lloyd Coleman rehearses Jublilation

The band had great fun on Friday when Lloyd Coleman came down from Chetham’s for his first rehearsal of Jubilation, which he wrote especially for us.

Jubiliation is a dynamic work, with plenty of ebb and flow in its development, and drama in its conclusion: something for the band to get its teeth into, and much for the audience to enjoy.

Lloyd knew how he wanted us to perform, and through his good humour, and meticulous and energetic conducting, communicated that to the band.

Anyone who wants to hear Jubiliation’s premier performance - with Lloyd conducting - should book tickets for Beenham Band’s anniversary concert at the Newbury Corn Exchange on 20th June, when it will feature in our spectacular and wide-ranging programme.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beenham dance

Guess who I saw when I turned up to a dance in Beenham school last week?

Simon Witcomb and Mike Smethurst-Evans, putting real life into the Kick Ball Change live dance band.

Good jazzy ballroom and latin, with great vocals from Ed Hall singing as he drummed.

When they ran out of puff, Karen Goodall of Kennet Dance played CDs to keep the music rolling.

Look out for the next one, and jive!