More events being planned…

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate 270 years since the first performance of Handel’s Musick for the Royal Fireworks, at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and to everyone who supported our 5 day oboe and bassoon course and double reed day at Park Place, Hampshire.

It was wonderful to meet members, non members, traders, participants with their family and friends at these events, particularly those travelling from abroad – thank you for making a memorable week!

You will be able to catch up with photos and feedback from these events in the forthcoming issue of our publication “Double Reed News” – if you are not a member, do think about joining us – and also here on our website in due course.

That’s not it for this year though! We are contacting our members very soon with a short survey about what they would like from our large events, details of 2019 AGM will be announced soon, with another event in the autumn, and we are busy planning 2020’s programme of events.

Check back here, and our social media channels for updates!

Uilleann Bagpipe Chanter Double Reeds In Action

We have heard from Phil Westwell who has taken some interesting slow motion photography of an uilleann bagpipe chanter double reed, there is a link below to the film on YouTube. It makes for interesting viewing.

For those who aren’t familiar with the structure of this instrument, Phil tells us that regarding construction, the uilleann bagpipe reed is like a giant oboe reed (the blades are the same size as a bassoon reed). Although bagpipe reeds are free standing rather than played in the mouth, which makes it possible to film them in normal operation. Phil says “The film contained a few surprises for me, especially the Hard D note at the end of the video. I thought it might be of interest.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCM7kVsYpvI

If anyone has any questions for Phil, our Secretary can put you in contact.

The British Isles Music Festival – Information For Double Reed Players

Flutist and festival director Susan Milan has been in touch with us about the British Isles Music Festival, which is now receiving applicants for David Theodore’s and Martin Gatt’s classes. Chamber music, daily classes and concerts. Wind, strings and piano. Excellent experience with top performers and professors from the conservatories.

Dates are August 9th – 18th 2019, for ages 18-32, residential. More information at https://www.bimf.org.uk/

The White Rose Orchestra Seeks Principal Oboe

The White Rose Orchestra is a friendly orchestra of 40+ members, they rehearse weekly on Thursday evenings in Leeds and perform four times per year. The orchestra currently has a vacancy for a principal oboe (minimum standard grade 6).  The position closes at midnight on Sunday 14th April. Applicants should send a short biography along with a video recording of their playing to whiteroseorchestra@yahoo.co.uk The recording should be a minimum length of 1 minute. mailto:whiteroseorchestra@yahoo.co.uk

For further information please visit http://whiteroseorchestra.org.uk/currentvacancies/

Obomania Academy Information For 2019

2019 sees the 5th season of the “Obomania Academy”, academy of improvisation in Jazz and Current Music, for Oboists and Cor Anglais players. It takes place in La Roche-Guyon Castle, France, from the 30th of June to the 7th of July 2019.

More information: www.jeanlucfillon.com/obomania_eng
Contact and registration: obomania.academy@gmail.com

All the information about the academy is in this PDF – click the link – Oboemania 2019

Empty Seats: Amateur Orchestras and Bands Looking for Double Reed Players!

If you are looking for an opportunity to play in an orchestra, concert or wind band then don’t forget the new page on our website which lists any groups who have been in touch with us recently looking for double reed players.

Double Reed players are great at networking – do let anyone know who may be interested! If you haven’t played in an orchestra before but are curious, then arrange to try them out for a couple of rehearsals, it’s a great way to get to know other players, learn more repertoire and of course improve your playing!

The vacancies are listed by requirement, then by county and there is contact information in each listing – visit https://bdrs.org.uk/news/empty-seats/

Silent Aria: Suite for Oboe and Piano by Philip Herbert

Oboists might be familiar with the abridged version of Silent Aria which appears on the ABRSM oboe syllabus, here is some background to how the full suite came to be written:

This suite for oboe and piano has recently been published  in November 2018, by Novello/Musicsales classical.  There are four movements to this piece and these include:

  1. Silent Aria
  2. Spiritual
  3. Melisma
  4. Pulsation

The Suite is written by Leicestershire Composer, Philip Herbert (pictured below). It was commissioned by Serendipity UK for the 2014 Let’s Dance International Festival, where there was an opportunity to collaborate with the acclaimed choreographer, Henri Oguike along with  dancers.

The Suite ‘Silent Aria’ carries this title, as the suite was inspired by the work of award winning black choreographers who worked during the 1970s, 80s and 90s; but more recently their work has become forgotten. Each movement is imbued with an eclectic array of musical influences. In the first movement, there are some beautifully sustained melodic lines for the oboe, suspended over a syncopated 3 note motif that is coupled with arpeggio figures in the piano accompaniment. There are also sections of this movement, where there are lush chords progressions that you might find in a soul ballad. The second movement is based on a soulful theme and variations which carries the influence of a spiritual/blues, pentatonic tonalities: with opportunity for the oboist and the pianist to swing across the beat. The third movement, is ternary in form and there is a dark haunting main theme in C sharp  minor, but the mood lightens in the middle section that is in C major, before returning to the opening theme in C sharp minor. The fourth movement is rhythmic where the musical influences touch on calypso and latin dance rhythms. There is plenty of room in this movement to enjoy the joyous rhythmic exchange between the oboe and piano parts.

It could be programmed with works such as the sonata for oboe and piano by Alwyn, or Poulenc’s sonata for oboe and piano, or even Edmund Rubbra’s sonata in C for oboe and piano, along with Schumann’s Romantic pieces, Bartok’s Romanian Dances, Ravel’s Habanera, or even pieces by Benjamin Britten.

You can hear an excerpt of the suite here http://www.philipherbert.org/sound/  in it’s abridged version, as found on the ABRSM syllabus.

Khemi Shabazz (pictured) is a versatile oboist and a keen explorer of a range of musical styles from classical music, world music through to electronica. She is currently planning a recital for oboe and piano  in Leeds, to feature this work. Watch this space.

Photo credits Below left © Leicester Mercury Mike Sewell and below right © Kandace Walker