Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Whilst a good part of Cambridge folk were tucking into their Sunday morning breakfast, Jeremiah Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary heralded the start of the Cambridge Brass Day with Prime Brass. The ten-piece Cambridge based ensemble had started their welcome concert to the 104 participants in the Henry Morris Hall at Sawston Village College. Tuba player Chris Lawrence warmly welcomed everybody and eloquently introduced Mozart’s Twinkle Variations. The following two items took on a feline nature, perhaps adding to that cosy armchair Sunday morning feel, with Rossini’s Cats Duet seeing trumpeters Paul Garner and Michel Sedgwick standing up front purring away through their instruments, and then, completing the session, Chris Hazel’s classic Brass work Three Brass Cats.
Truly inspired and eager to break out of that relaxed morning mood, four ensembles of approximately 26 students were formed, each led by a member of Prime Brass and assisted by their fellow musicians. Composer, teacher, tuba player and general Brass educator David Minchin joined the players to lead one junior group, ably assisted by Shaun Fitzgerald, whilst a second junior ensemble rehearsed next door with Gavin Bowyer, Alex Hewins and Julian Jarvis. Not only were correct notes, fingerings, slide positions and rhythms worked on, considerable emphasis was placed on style, projection, tone and ensemble sense. Thunderbirds, Easy Winners and even a little Swedish ABBA could be heard floating down the music suite corridor.
In the beautiful Walnut Room, trumpeter Michel Sedgwick, assisted by Gary Davidson, demonstrated great enthusiasm and skill whilst working with a senior ensemble on the Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlesienne and The Sunny Side of the Street. Meanwhile fellow trumpeter Paul Garner, joined by trombonist Neil George and French Horn player Guy Llewellyn, gave clear direction delivered with humour and panache when working on three classical pieces by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Prime Brass have a natural way of communicating with all ages and abilities, giving testimony to their years of performing and teaching experience.
More homely pleasures followed at break time with a customised café in the staff room serving hot tea, coffee and squash, plus homemade flapjacks and fresh fruit. A DVD of the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble was enjoyed as the food and liquid revitalised everyone and the Wood Wind & Reed brass trade stand was kept busy with interest and sales.
Further ensemble playing and lunch followed, and whilst stomachs rested, ears were treated to a second Prime Brass recital, opening with Trepak from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and followed by the velvet sound of the Flugel horn, masterfully played by Paul Garner in Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns.
The sheer Joie de Vivre of the ensemble cannot be better demonstrated than by their performance of Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust featuring the French horn playing of Guy Llewellyn, who performed from his wheelchair having just returned from hospital from a very serious accident. His tone, control, musicality and humour shone through and moved us all.
Tea and ensemble work followed, then the final session brought everyone together in the hall to top and tail their pieces ready for the end of day concert and to rehearse a Celebration March, which further demonstrated Michel Sedgwick’s animated and musically intelligent rehearsal style.
Family and friends filled the hall to maximum capacity, Prime Brass performed Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, each ensemble played their hearts out and the day came to a close with all 104 participants plus Prime Brass playing the Celebration March.
Prime Brass wanted to say how impressed they were with the enthusiasm and dedication of all those who attended and that it is reassuring to see so many brass instrumentalists in the region. The smooth administration, festival atmosphere with trade stands and performance DVDs in the breakout areas, good music, tasty flapjacks, and wonderful musicians of all ages and abilities were a recipe for success. Thank you all who attended and made it this way.
Monday, 15 November 2010
As some of you have already noticed, we are now taking bookings for 5 of our 2011 courses.
Courses currently booking:
Clarinet & Sax with James Rae - 13 February
String with Steve Bingham - 13 March
Flute with Ian Clarke - 27 March
Bassoon with Philip Turbett - 10 April
Clarinet Ensemble with James Rae - 10 April
Details of these courses can be found on our website: http://www.acefoundation.org.uk/courses/music.html
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
‘Principles of Primary School Design’ - Book/film launch
Towards a common vocabulary of practice - Looking back to imagine the future
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Tiina-Mall Kreem, Curator of the Department of Sculpture at Kadriorg Art Museum in Estonia recently finished her placement on the Attingham Trust Summer School. A placement funded by the ACE Foundation. As ever with this scholarship, she was extremely complimentary of the hospitality and the excellence of the experience provided by the Attingham Trust. She confirmed that her experinces over the three weeks have given her invaluable insights that relate to both her personal development but also her work at the musueum back in Estonia, in particular her report mentioned how the school clarified the work she is doing towards two exhibitions: “Wine and bread” (Museum of Estonian Art in 2011) and “Artist and Clio. Historical painting in the 19th century” (Kadriorg Art Museum in 2014).
Picture of Tiina-Mall @ Waddesdon Manor
Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Welcoming Candida Bradley as our first artist in residence we are becoming immersed in the world of Book Arts. Candida is currently devising a 10 week course open to anyone with an interest in creative bookmaking. The course will give you an opportunity to discover and explore the unique and wonderful world of Book Arts. During the course you will learn to make artist books using a number of different materials and techniques which can be adapted to help you express your own ideas and challenge your imagination. Books produced by students and the tutor will form a local exhibition in December.
The Tate Gallery define artists books as ‘books (normally defined as a number of pages attached to each other in some way) that are wholly or primarily conceived by (though not necessarily actually produced by) an artist and that are made in multiple editions.’
Book Arts bypass the constraints of the gallery – giving the creator complete control. The ‘walls’, or pages, of the book are the limit of your gallery. One can transform the form of a book from how we are accustomed to it, to something much more creative and thought-provoking. By participating in this course your perception of books as objects and as tools for communication, will take you to a completely new level of appreciation for the 'book'.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
Last week we said goodbye to our American students who have spent an intensive month with us -based at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge- studying British archaeology.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
There are now water tight areas at Bury Farm! Well...ish!
Friday, 16 July 2010
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Monday, 28 June 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
With many thanks to Stephanie Reeve for writing it, below is a review of our Clarinet & Saxophone Day held in February this year
We are also extremely grateful to Peter Lefort for producing a video of the event which can be found on our facebook page or on youtube (Video). As can more photos!
Cambridge Clarinet & Saxophone Day, 28th February 2010
Cambridge is historically a city of culture and education attracting thousands of students and tourists each year and on a quiet Sunday in February 120 single reed enthusiasts descended on the city sporting clarinets and saxes of all different sizes all set to take part in a day packed full of playing, rehearsing, advice and enjoyment directed by James Rae. Sawston Village College hosted what was possibly the largest ever gathering of single reeds certainly in Cambridge, possibly in East Anglia. As well as Cambridgeshire and surrounding counties participants had also travelled from as far away as Kent and Stafford. The star attraction was of course Jim Rae and as the main tutor Jim was supported by course director Trevor Barlow and a team of ten local clarinet and saxophone tutors. The main focus was the single reed choir and the day began with Jim expertly guiding players through a wide range of his own pieces and arrangements as well as other specially commissioned arrangements from Jon Halton. Parts were arranged for grades 1 and 2 right up to grade 8 so there was something for everyone. The sound was quite incredible with the theatre organ effect of ‘Organ Interlude’ from Jim’s own Cinerama effectively reverberating around Sawston’s hall followed by News Reel from the same set. James rearranged his Toccata Brilliante, to accommodate all abilities and instruments, whilst Jon Halton’s arrangement of the last movement from Mozart’s 40th Symphony, St Louis Blues and Carol Taylor’s arrangement of Bizet’s Carillon gave everyone a substantial and varied session.
After the break saxes divided into two ensembles, grades 1 to 4, and grades 5 to 8. Local tutors led these groups rehearsing up to three pieces covering a variety of techniques. Jon Halton’s own pieces and arrangements were used here and were very enjoyable. At the same time clarinettists saw an informative presentation by Thomas Dryers-Beers of Wood Wind & Reed on how to choose reeds and mouthpieces. This inspired several participants to upgrade their basic mouthpieces, while others were given confidence to start experimenting with different reeds. Wood Wind & Reed were available throughout the day for participants to try out instruments, buy sheet music and accessories and seek advice.
The lunch break was also packed with activity and the main attraction was the excellent live jazz with Alex Merrit and Josh Ison in the main hall. Those that wanted something a little quieter were able to watch either of the two videos on display in the foyer or refreshment room. The masterclass followed lunch and six students (three each of clarinet and sax) at different levels performed to Jim, ably accompanied by Ralph Woodward. Two played Jim’s own pieces so it was great for them, and for us observers to be able to hear the composer’s own suggestions and advice. Time felt a little short as the six students were heard in an hour but there were some useful suggestions and hopefully all six gained from the experience.
Saxes and clarinets then swapped around with clarinets put through their paces in small groups while saxes watched Thomas’s presentation. It was then back to the large ensemble for a final rehearsal and preparation for the performance. During the last break sax and clarinet quartet Simply Reeds performed in the refreshment room, this time not just hearing Jon’s arrangements but hearing Jon play as he is the bari saxophonist in this quartet. Friends and family were invited to the final concert which featured most of the pieces that had been rehearsed in the massed ensemble. There were a few tired looking players, especially some of the younger pupils but this took nothing away from the enjoyment and fun time had by all.
Jim’s experience and the enthusiasm that participants bring with them ensure that these days are always a success and the musical side of things was the highest standard expected. However a few extra things really stood out for me. Firstly the age range was something like 8 to mid-70s and the general balance of young and not-so-young was something rarely seen in a musical, let alone any other leisure activity. Some adults I spoke to were impressed by the confidence and ability that their younger counterparts demonstrated. Children were not as forthcoming with their views but appeared to be at ease with the mix and I know of at least one younger player who was reassured to see that adults do not always get it right and can struggle with similar difficulties!
Secondly the overall thought and consideration that had gone into every detail of the event made this an exceptional day. The ACE Foundation is already experienced in running a whole host of educational activities but musical events are a new venture for the organisation. Trevor Barlow deserves special mention as course director along with Paul Barnes and Rosemary Bangham whose combined skills, experience and forward planning made sure everything ran smoothly with military precision while enabling the atmosphere to continue buzzing the whole day. The delicious homemade flapjack was yet another memorable touch! The ACE Foundation already has plans well underway to develop an arts centre in Stapleford, just south of Cambridge but in the meantime is continuing to hold events at various venues across Cambridge. Next year’s Clarinet and Saxophone workshop has already been confirmed and will take place at Sawston Village College on 13th February with Jim again directing. Jazz players will also be interested to know that there will be a course featuring Alan Barnes on 4th July. If it is anything like the Clarinet and Saxophone Day both are highly recommended! 2011 plans include courses for many other instruments which will be published on www.acefoundation.org.uk.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Flyers are ready. If you don't already have some, please email us with an address.
Cambridge Brass Day with Prime Brass
Date: 21st November
Time: 9.30 – 5.30 (Concert 4.30)
Venue: Sawston Village College, CB22 3BP
The day is open to all Brass instruments, all grades, all ages. You will play alongside Prime Brass in a mixture of large and small ensembles.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
We wish to draw your attention to an exciting weekend coming up in October this year. On behalf of The Musical Brain we are taking bookings for this inspirational event, which will combine science and music in a dynamic and informative manner. Speakers including Professor John Cox, Dr Jessica Grahn, Dr Katie Overy and Professor Michael Trimble will lead lectures and discussions in the fields of neuroscience, therapy and music. The talks and debates will be illustrated by live concerts and demonstrations by leading musicians such as Ian Brown (piano), James Gilchrist (tenor), Anna Tilbrook (piano), and the Sacconi Quartet.
The Musical Brain is a newly established trust which aims to bring together artists, scientists, teachers, therapists and the public, in original and stimulating environments to examine the effects of music and other art forms upon the human mind, brain and body. The founding of the charity follows the success of a pilot event they held in 2009 with the Nash Ensemble. There was such an enthusiastic response that it was determined permanent efforts should be made to support and promote this invaluable field of study. The 2010 conference, which takes place on the weekend of October 2/3, has as its theme Robert Schumann - the man, the Mind, the Music, and coincides with the great composer's 200th anniversary. Keep an ear out for further events.
Bookings at: www.acefoundation.org.uk/courses
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The Henry Morris Hall was bursting at the seams as 120 Clarinet and Saxophone players came to Sawston for a play day organised by Trevor Barlow and the ACE Foundation on Sunday 28th February.
Players from all over East Anglia and London came to the College to form what must have been the biggest Single Reed Choir in the region with guest star James Rae directing his own Toccata Brilliante and Cinerama Suite.
From aged 8 to nearly 80 and from beginner to advanced the day offered large and small group sessions with specially arranged music by James Rae and Jon Halton, a master class, free lunchtime Jazz, Quartet recital, trade stands from Wood, Wind and Reed plus plenty of expert guidance from James Rae.
Each player had a suitable part written for their ability and instrument.
The complete Clarinet family was represented from the small e flat clarinet through to the Contra bass whilst the Saxophone section boasted 8 baritone saxophones!
This day is to be one of many partnerships with the ACE Foundation (www.acefoundation.org.uk) including such future events as a Jazz Day with Alan Barnes at West Road Concert Hall on 4th July and Brass Day with Prime Brass at SVC on 21st November.
Monday, 15 March 2010
Trevor & Paul of the ACE Foundation attended an excellent concert by Prime Brass (The Cambridge Brass Ensemble due to host our Brass Day on the 21st November) on Friday Night. The Polish Heroes represented in their repertoire included Lutoslawski, whom Prime Brass's founder unorthodoxly approached to commission a piece for them when he was a student at Cambridge!
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Monday, 1 March 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Monday, 15 February 2010
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
This year it is the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's (Madiba's) release from prison. In celebration e.TV, one of the big television broadcasting stations for South Africa, have commissioned a documentary called First Step to Freedom broadcast tonight in South Africa and hopefully soon, worldwide. croc E moses - some of you may remember from his gig on the 17th December last year - was commissioned to write the opening song, called we don't see and sung by Alice Matthews.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Friday, 15 January 2010
Thursday, 7 January 2010
Our own musical director, Trevor Barlow, was course director for the 2009 Christmas Holiday Orchestra. Not only did he manage to introduce extra special variety to the course, but he also managed to take plenty of photo's! (see our facebook albums for more images)