Hello to all Holiday Orchestra people and welcome to our Summer Course, 2017.
We have planned a huge range of music to please children and young people aged from 7 to 18. Our core activities, bands, string groups, choirs and orchestras, as always form the heart of the programme, with jazz, recorders, gamelan, ukuleles, djembe drumming, music games, music theory, brass workshop and double-bass tasting giving something for everyone to fill their time with music. The Music Theory section, given by the incomparable Kirsty Body, will, as last year, cover the basic subjects of the Grade 5 exam but cannot, in the time, do everything. The Course Director will be Russell Keable, and the dates are August 21st to 24th for the lower sections, plus the next day, the 25th, for the upper sections.
One very exciting development this year is our new commission. We are very grateful to have been given a considerable sum of money by Alison and Alan Suter, following the winding-up of the Suter Prize. The prize was endowed by their parents for Cambridge Youth Music’s annual Young Musician of the Year, but this has recently become too difficult to administer. The Suter family has decided to entrust us with the use of this money and so we were delighted when Maurice Hodges agreed to write a piece for us, for the Upper Orchestra and the 10+ and 9+ choirs. The text chosen is Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s beautiful poem “Ode”, which starts “We are the music makers”.
The choirs will perform the piece in the piano version in the Upper Presentation on the afternoon of the last day, Friday 25th August, but the full orchestral premiere will take place that evening. We are planning an extra concert – a Gala Concert – at West Road, as a one-off special event for the premiere of ‘Music Makers’ and because Holiday Orchestra has a lot to be proud of and to enjoy. Together with Maurice’s song, we will have Brahms from the Orchestra, a selection from the 10+ choir and a return visit from ‘Smolorch’. Smolorch is a small orchestra put together by an enterprising bunch of sixth-formers (largely Holiday Orchestra related) who thrilled us last year with their lunch-time performance. We are grateful that, between exams and holidays, they have agreed to come and play for us again.
So it will be a fabulous evening, with time for a glass of something together afterwards and a retiring collection in aid of a suitable charity. Ticketing systems will be explained later. Parents of children in the 9+ choir may have already realised that those children will be needed in the afternoon and evening of the fifth day, contrary to our usual policy of trying not to tire them out too much. Every effort will be made to make that day easier for them and we are sure they will rise to the occasion!
Looking forward to seeing you for what promises to be a wonderful week in August.
Lydia Hill, Chair of Cambridgeshire Holiday Orchestra