Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Anthem Spring workshops

Mon Feb 13 2012

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So we’ve been busy in the Education Department. In preparation for the Anthem for a Child school concert tour, each participating primary school receives a workshop from two OAE players – no mean feat when there are over 60 primary schools involved over 9 different locations in the UK. I’ve been routed at HQ (the office) but news from the road is good, so good in fact I wanted to share – so here we go, some snippets from emails I’ve received various people involved in the Anthem project:

A bright cold Tuesday morning, and we were on our way to meet 70, yes 70, recorder players in Bradford on Avon, to see how they were getting on with learning the Fanfare and My Cry; music specifically composed for them to perform alongside the OAE in March. I remember school journeys where 4 of us played our recorders non stop in the back of a Mini. It drove my Mum mad, but was it really enough preparation for facing 70 recorders? In the event it was the start of a great couple of days, visiting four schools in Wiltshire. The highlights? The ‘wow’ of awe that greeted us every time my double bass was wheeled into the classroom; the transformation of 30 beginner flute players from a fluffy cloud of sound into a focussed wind section; and working with a teacher who says he is not a musician, but yet had taught 3 classes the whole of My Cry. It’s going to be a great concert…”
Cecelia Bruggemeyer – OAE double bassist and workshop leader

“Two very cold mornings at the start of February saw three players from the OAE in Hastings working with more than 350 primary children. Since these workshops have been organised in conjunction with Brighton Early Music Festival, I went along too. This was a particular treat for me as I used to work for the OAE almost ten years ago, so it was a great chance to catch up with some old colleagues!
All the children we worked with are really looking forward to coming together at St Mary in the Castle in March to meet the Orchestra and play and sing together!”
From Cathy Boyes, Festival Producer, Brighton Early Music Festival

“Twangling instruments – I think after walking a marathon in snowy Suffolk this weekend I might change that to Twangling legs!”
Cherry Forbes, OAE Education Director

Some quotes from letters from teachers who have had a workshop:
“On behalf of some extremely excited Y4’s, may I say a huge thank you to you both for the fantastic workshop this morning. Although we have been using your CD, nothing beats working with ‘live’ artists. We covered so much in the hour, but it all seemed so relaxed- you had time to listen to the children and brought the best out of them. What a pity we were not in the middle of an OFSTED inspection as I am sure you would have been given outstanding! Some of the children suggested that they answer the register tomorrow morning by doing a thumbs up and singing, “I am here” at volume 6!”
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your colleagues for coming to school to do the rehearsal with us today. The children got a huge amount out of it and there was a real sense of excitement amongst them. “
“Just to say THANK YOU for a wonderful morning – staff and children very enthused and I am re-inspired!!! A very successful, fun session and I feel much more confident! The children loved you coming and want you to come back – in fact I think they would like you back permanently. Really looking forward to March.”

And finally, a brilliant news report from the Derbyshire Times about the Anthem workshops in Chesterfield.

We’ll keep you posted with more Anthem news as it happens…

Ellie Cowan, Education Officer

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