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

 

Come and take part in a special Handel celebration!

*From 23rd March 2019 places are only available on a waiting list basis, but there is another opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day in Hampshire on Saturday 4th May 2019.

It was on 27th April 1749 that the ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’ composed by Mr Handel was first performed in Green Park in London. This was a major event in the city – even the rehearsal, held a week earlier in Vauxhall Gardens, attracted more than 12,000 people, each paying half-a-crown (12½ pence – just over £15 in current-day money value), and the event caused major traffic jams on London Bridge! If only classical concerts attracted the same attention nowadays – but this astonishing response was because the music was indeed the ‘pop music’ of its time. With our modern categories of ‘classical’, ‘pop’ and numerous other genres, this work is now firmly in the classical category, but it remains one of the most popular of all works from the baroque era.

It is a major piece for double-reed players – the original performance featured 24 oboes and 12 bassoons (multiple players on each part), and the work is one of the earliest to incorporate the contrabassoon. Exactly 270 years (to the day) after this legendary first performance, BDRS will be promoting a performance of this great music in London to commemorate the anniversary – and if you play oboe or bassoon, YOU could be a part of this historic event!

This will be on Saturday 27th April and it will be held in the Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music. There will of course be the original Handel oboe and bassoon parts, which are suitable for players of around grade 7-8 upwards, but if you are not quite at this level, you can still come and play. The performing edition which I have prepared for this from Handel’s original also includes some easier parts for players of between grades 3-6 standard. All parts will be put up on the BDRS website in March for you to download, print and practice in advance.

Please note: this performance will be on modern instruments playing at A=440

Here is the outline timetable for the day:

Saturday 27th April

1300    Arrive at Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5HT

1315    Sectional rehearsals (oboes with Sarah Francis, bassoons with Roger Birnstingl)

1445    Break

1500    Those not taking part in sectionals arrive, we are not able to access Dukes hall before 3.00pm

1530    Set up and Rehearsal of Handel ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’

1700    Break

1730    Informal public performance (free admission to audience)

1800    Event ends

This schedule enables players from many parts of the UK to travel and take part – the start and end times fit with  train services to and from many destinations.

Event fees: There are of course numerous costs involved in promoting an event of this kind, but we have kept fees down to a minimum – and interestingly, they are fairly similar to what people paid to come and listen in 1749!

Adult non-members £20

Adult members £15 ( including those joining on the day)

Full-time students £5 (no BDRS discount, as this is already subsidised)

Application: You may apply but you will be placed in the queue on our waiting list. You will not be able to turn up on the day and play. There is an opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May, another opportunity to perform and join in!

Please go to the menu options at the top of the BDRS home page, click on BDRS MUSIC COURSES and in the drop-down options click ‘Music Course Application Form’. Places on this event are limited by the size of the Dukes Hall platform, so book soon! Places need to be booked in advance – for security reasons, you need to be on the players list. If you turn up on the day without prior booking, you may not be able to take part – sorry!

Updates: Plans and details are still evolving for this event, so please do keep a close eye on the BDRS website for updates and any possible changes. The one detail that will not change is the finishing time – it will not go beyond 6pm on that day.

Be there! This is arguably one of the most important historical events in the calendar for oboe and bassoon players. It’s a fantastic celebratory piece to play, and will undoubtedly be a unique, special and very memorable day for everyone involved. So, make sure that YOU are a part of this!

 

We are very grateful to the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department for kindly hosting this event.

Photo credit © Gerald Coke Handel Foundation

Annual General Meeting

Attention all members of the British Double Reed Society
The Annual General Meeting will be held on
Thursday 6th December 2018, 2.00pm
at Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St. George’s Road, LONDON SE1 6ER
(Next to the Imperial War Museum – Elephant & Castle)
Come along with your mind brimming full of ideas for the way ahead!!
The AGM will be followed by a meeting of the newly elected committee.

GDPR: The data we hold about you.

The data we have is (a) your title, given name and surname (b) your postal address (c) your telephone numbers and email address(es) (d) an indication (if relevant) that you are under 18 years of age (but no other specific details such as date of birth, etc.) (e) musical details (the instrument you play, etc.) and other similar information (f) any other miscellaneous information that you have voluntarily sent to me in email(s) and via other on-line systems.
We do not have your bank details, date of birth or other sensitive information of this kind.
Also, we will not pass on your data to any other organisation, unless that is a necessary part of an entirely relevant process such as your application for a music course, where I need to send your details to the venue hosting the event.
Our system is safe – All Membership details are stored on encrypted removable media solely for this purpose.
Further information about the Data Protection regulations that apply after May 25th 2018 can be found at the Information Commission’s website: https://ico.org.uk/