Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Watercycle: York Residency

Wed 17 Dec 2014

Watercycle York 005

The OAE education team travelled to York for an exciting weekend of music making, with six concerts over two days.

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The Three Town Tour and more

Fri 14 Nov 2014

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And they’re off…

The OAE is going on tour. Not a tour of the glamourous concert halls of mainland Europe or those of our cousins across the pond, but of local, accessible venues such as pubs and leisure centres.

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Watercycle at Southbank Centre

Thu 13 Nov 2014

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On Sunday October 19, we set up shop in Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room for a mammoth day of concerts, all part of our education and outreach programme, Watercycle. Children and families were welcomed by OAE staff armed with stickers, crayons and water-themed colouring pages.

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3 years, 17 cakes, Farewell OAE

Mon 8 Sep 2014

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I can’t quite believe it but I am leaving the OAE 3 years to the day after I started.  The past three years at the OAE have been a complete whirlwind with the brilliant, vast and varied projects that we undertake here in the education department and the fantastic concerts that the Orchestra offer.

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Hello! Do you have a spare 2 minutes and 52 seconds?

Tue 22 Jul 2014

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We thought you probably did.

And how do you feel about being inspired by music, and our largest-ever education project?

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Getting crafty…the Watercycle appeal

Mon 21 Jul 2014

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Last week we broke out the Pritt sticks and got crafty here at the OAE office, to fashion some rather special envelopes for our new Education Appeal.

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Top 5 Reasons to apply to be our new Marketing and Press trainee

Tue 1 Apr 2014

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As I end my three-month placement within the OAE as the Marketing and Press trainee, I have compiled a list of the 5 reasons YOU should apply for the position.

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Big Draw

Wed 21 Aug 2013

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On the 12th October this year, the OAE Education department will be taking part in The Guardian’s annual Big Draw.  This is a fantastic event which aims to encourage art for all the family, with artists leading workshops and activities that all ages can get involved in.  The OAE have been involved in this day for several years and we are delighted to be part of the exciting project once again.

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Capital Strings Tour

Thu 11 Jul 2013

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Last weekend we embarked on a first for the Education Department – a training and concerts tour for young people.  This tour was a celebration of three years’ work across our four partner London boroughs – Camden, Wandsworth, Merton and Islington – with whom we’ve developed many projects to give young people opportunities to work with members of the OAE.

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A Souvenir from Beverley

Thu 30 May 2013

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Education Director Cherry Forbes discusses her time at the Beverley Early Music Festival.

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Music for now, for later, for ever – Anthem and the RPS!

Tue 14 May 2013

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The inspiration for the OAE’s Anthem project came from watching David Walliams complete a sponsored cycle ride, from one end of the country to the other, about five years ago. It made me think how could we pass the baton in sound? How could we unite our partner cities in a large scale project and invite new cities to join the OAE community, through baroque music?

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OAE Tots go Strings: what you heard

Mon 15 Apr 2013

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We had great fun in our OAE Tots go Strings concert on Saturday and hope you did too. If you’d like to know a bit more about what we played, read on:

Most of our concert was made up of Telemann’s Don Quixote pronounced ‘Don Keyshot’. See what we did there with our donkey theme! This is a wonderful suite (collection of short pieces) by Telemann based on the 17th century Spanish story.  A while back, Richard Strauss was credited with writing programme music depicting stories in music, but you can see Telemann was at it about 200 years earlier.

This story is about the adventures of Don Quixote on his horse Rosinante, accompanied by his peasant squire Sancho Panza on his mule (that donkey theme again). Telemann’s pieces are titled Overture, The Awakening of Don Quixote, His Attack on the Windmills, His Amorous Sighs for Princesse Dulcine,  Sancho Panza is Mocked (tossed in a blanket), The Gallop of Rosinante, The Gallop of Sancho Panza’s Mule, Don Quixote at rest.

Donkey crept through the woods to part of the ‘Surprise’ Symphony by Haydn (second movement) and Teddy Bears’ Picnic was an arrangement by one of our own OAE viola players, Annette Isserlis.

The presenters for this concert were Cecelia Bruggemeyer and Susie Carpenter-Jacobs. And special thanks to our very willing and enthusiastic Education Officer Ellie Cowan, for her donkey work.

We look forward to seeing you again at future events. Check out our Education pages for events coming up soon.

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TOTS playlist: March

Sat 23 Mar 2013

OAE-TOTS

We hope you enjoyed our OAE TOTS go Wind today- it was fabulous to see so many music makers at Kings Place on a snowy Saturday morning!

If you grown-ups would like to know what you heard and maybe listen again at home, here’s a list of some of the music we played:

Anon (songs) Wind, wind, blow the clouds/Rock-a-bye baby
Vilano
             Ground bass
Corette
           Rondeau from Sonata 1 Op. 2  
Philidor
         Marche de La Calote
Keller
             3rd movement from Sonata in C
Engels
            Nachtigall or Bird Fancyer’s delight
Handel
            Country Dance from Water Music
Purcell
          Wondrous Machine
Bach
               Sinfonia from Christmas Oratorio

 

If you’d like more information about OAE Education and future TOTS concerts, visit our Education section.

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Musicians’ Miles update

Fri 6 Apr 2012

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As Ceri explained in her last blog post,  as part of our huge Anthem for a Child project we asked OAE musicians and staff to pledge to walk, run, cycle or do something else tiring for a mile per project participant, totaling 5000 miles altogether.
You can support them by sponsoring us through our JustGiving page or by sponsoring players individually via the links below. All pledges will completed by June.

Here’s a  few highlights of what they’ve been up to:

Sue Addison  committed to walk 40 marathons with her plastic trombone – and her dog!
She joined the Anthem tour and wrote a new fanfare for each setting with pupils which she then played when she undertook her marathon round their city or town  (1040 miles)

Ceri Jones, OAE Projects Director, did 500 Kettle Bell swings for 10 days.
Donate directly towards Ceri’s Swings

James Redwood (Composer and animateur), Matthew Truscott (violin), Jonathan Rees (‘cello) and James Toll (violin) cycled the tour between them on a tandem (1142 miles)

Zoe Shevlin (bassoon) (and her husband) will walk round all the outdoor pools in London and swim a length in each (52 miles between them)
Donate directly to Zoe & Charlie’s Swim

Stephen Carpenter (OAE Chief Executive) is going to swim a marathon (26 miles)

Roger Montgomery (horn) will run the London Marathon for Children’s hospices and will run the length of the tour in his training for us- since 1 Jan, he has built up a total of 1141.71 miles!

William Norris (Communications Director) will walk to or from work 2 days a week for 10 weeks (60 miles)

Cherry Forbes (Education Director) will walk, cycle and swim (100 miles)
Donate directly towards Cherry’s 100 miles

Katie Heller (viola) will dance 50 miles

Andy Watts (bassoon) will cycle from Elgar’s birthplace in Lower Broadheath to his burial place in Little Malvern and back again (30 miles)

Hilary Stock (oboe) will run 1000 miles

Tony Robson (oboe) will lose 26 pounds!

Andy Painter, teacher from Torpoint Primary, walked 103 miles (in 48 hours!)
Support Andy directly

Deborah Rees, Deputy Head of Camden Music Service , will complete 240 miles with her walking group to be completed in May

For a full run-down of Musicians’ Miles, click here.
You can also see pictures taken on tour by one of our horn players, Gavin Edwards, on our Flickr page.

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Anthem: The final day

Mon 2 Apr 2012

York-concert

Unbelievably, the last day of the Anthem tour has arrived and we find ourselves in the beautiful city of York.  As it was the final day we had to go out with a bang and so had organised a complicated day starting in the University and ending in the National Centre for Early Music.  Today we performed two concerts, the first one was our ‘normal’ afternoon schools concert, where four local primary schools joined us and the second concert was a public concert where York University students joined us and played and sang alongside the OAE.

It was a big day with the Jack Lyons Concert Hall providing the perfect setting for our last schools concert of the tour.  The battle scene was the most elaborate performance yet – I was wondering how they were going to top the theatre performance, but they did – the woodwind and brass got involved with the (string only) performance by using their instruments as pretend weapons.…  The improvisation battle was also very intense with Martin Lawrence (horn) competing against Ken Aiso (violin) in a copying contest – I don’t know if you could say who won, but a stunning performance was given by both!  The pupils from Bootham, Dringhouses, Heworth and Dunnington schools were simply fantastic in their rendition of Twangling Instruments and My Cry. We were all quite emotional at the end of their performance where 300 voices rang out “I am here!”

The evening concert was a slight change of pace from the schools concerts we have been delivering and was a lovely way to complete the tour.  We were joined by university students and gave a performance of Bach’s Wachet Auf and Vivaldi’s Gloria.  The whole night was finished by a final performance of My Cry, where we invited the youngest member of the audience – Kate, a 4 year old pupil who had learnt the piece for the Schools Concert, to join the choir and sing with us.  Ceri and I even went up on stage for a final sing and it felt brilliant!

So that was the end of the tour, I have had a simply fantastic time and felt incredibly privileged to witness all the wonderful work of everyone involved.

Also, today marked the end of the tandem ride – over 700 miles completed alongside 11 concerts – a truly incredible achievement.  I think all tandemers were quite sad it was over!  It’s not over though, well the bike ride is, but we still have a London concert to go, plus the summer term Anthem projects, so… watch this space!

A tired but happy, Ellie Cowan, OAE Education Officer

You can also watch a video of the York concert here.

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Day Seven: Anthem in Chesterfield

Fri 30 Mar 2012

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On Sunday evening we drove from Bury St Edmunds to Chesterfield after the terrific family fun day at the Apex Centre.  You know you are approaching Chesterfield when you see the crooked church spire that punctuates the skyline.  This magnificent landmark can be seen from the motorway and I was instantly reminded of a picture that hangs on the wall at my parents house of a painting of a town with a church that has a crooked spire.  All these years I had assumed the church with a crooked spire was artistic licence, only to discover that it is real and we were performing right next to it in an equally picturesque theatre!

Now, it is no secret that I have a bit of a thing for the theatre and the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield was such a sweet charismatic setting for our 9th Anthem concert.  Whilst setting the stage for the Orchestra, Ceri and I managed to take a couple of jazz hands photos (I mean, it would be rude not to, we were in a theatre) in amongst the stands and harpsichord (see below).  The stage was set ready for the OAE  but this concert was slightly different in that we were joined by the ukulele orchestra from Newbold Secondary School.  The pupils sat on stage behind the Orchestra and performed a piece they had created – Pachelbel’s canon mixed with Britney Spears!  The theatrical surroundings were perfect for this new remix and the performance of this piece was a fantastic precursor to what we can expect to develop in the summer term as part of the Anthem project.

As well as Newbold Ukulele Orchestra, we were blessed with a fantastic audience of children from four local Chesterfield schools who performed Twangling Instruments and My Cry with great aplomb.  Naturally, with the Orchestra being on stage in a theatre, the players acted even more outrageously during the Biber Battallia performance and I dread to think what will happen tomorrow to outdo this performance!

The cyclists also had a very dramatic day with the second tandem of the tour breaking mid journey – this time the gears went. Trepid tandemers Jonathan Rees and James Toll valiantly rode on with only 3 gears working and made it to the theatre with about 45 minutes to spare.  The bike then had to be taken to be fixed so Jonathan heroically cycled the tandem (solo) to a bike shop (about 2 miles from the theatre) and explained the challenge and the time frame (they had about an hour to fix it while he played a concert).  Jonathan made it back to the theatre with only a few minutes to spare before the start of the concert.  Luckily for us, J E James Cycles rose to the challenge and had fixed the bike by the end of the concert ready for the next big ride- Chesterfield to York-with an overnight stop in Thorne.

After such a theatrical day, it was with a little sadness I waved goodbye to the crooked spire of Chesterfield but I look forward to the beautiful city of York and all it has to offer tomorrow.

Ellie Cowan, OAE Education Officer (written on Monday 26 March)


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Day Six: Anthem in Bury

Thu 29 Mar 2012

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The Anthem bloggers have returned to normality, after an amazing tour ended with a sell out concert in York on Tuesday evening.  We’ll be looking back at the tour and the last concerts very soon but for now, Beni Weedon tells us about his day in Bury on Sunday 25 March:

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A 21st Century rehearsal…

Wed 28 Mar 2012

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One of the bigger problems musicians face is finding slots of time when we are all free to rehearse for chamber concerts and so on.

So, when Cherry Forbes, OAE Education Director, asked Double Bassist Cecelia and me to put together a programme of music for an education project in Plumstead, Cecelia had a brainwave – we would see if the 21st century had the answer to this old problem.

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Anthem anomaly…

Tue 27 Mar 2012

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The Anthem tour is nearing its end and Ellie and her blogging team are hard at work, but haven’ t been able to send us their updates these past few days due to the lack of internet access (I know…in this day and age!?)

We’ll have their blogs up as soon as we get them, but in the meantime, here’s some pictures from the Family Orchestra Fun Day at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

There are still a few £5 tickets left for tonight’s concert at the National Centre for Early Music in York where the OAE and students from the University of York join forces for the celebratory final concert of the tour. The programme will include Bach’s Wachet Auf, Vivaldi‘s Gloria and James Redwood’s two specially commissioned pieces, Twangling Instruments and My Cry.   For more details and to book, click here.

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Day Five: Anthem in Hastings

Sat 24 Mar 2012

Afternoon sun

Natasha Stehr, OAE’s Marketing and Press Officer, ventured out of the office on a gloriously sunny Friday for the next Anthem for a Child concert in Hastings.  Here’s what she made of it:

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