|After its premiere last November, we were keen to bring Brushstrokes to a wider audience. Partnering with Gallery Different in London, that opportunity came last Saturday night. We performed the suite as part of the gallery’s exhibition ‘Colour’ - our first London concert.|
In addition to Brushstrokes, it was our chance to perform Ancient Impressions by Blaž Pulchiar. Blaž is a Slovenian composer and friend of Liz, our Musical Director. Pre-Covid we were planning to follow our 2019 tour of Amsterdam with a series of concerts in Slovenia, where we would perform Ancient Impressions. While we were working on it, it became clear that a 2021…then a 2022…tour wasn’t going to be possible, so we were delighted to have this opportunity to bring it to an audience at last.
Along with the two suites, a few favourites were in the programme, including Oblivion by Astor Piazolla, which scooped us an award at The Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama, a few years ago.
Not long before the concert, a train strike was announced, throwing all plans into peril. Luckily BWAFE has Nicky, our wonderful Secretary who managed to get everyone there and back by coach and arrange for everyone to eat between the rehearsal and the concert. We’d be lost without her! (Quite literally in this case).
The team at Galley Different was fantastic – thank you for hosting us. Despite the transport chaos, we had an audience – thanks to everyone who worked out how to reach us. It was lovely to have Edgar there, along with his family, including his wife Emily who, once again, joined us to play.
This was the first time that we played in three smaller groups, allowing different players to shine and creating a different sound compared with the full ensemble. These were three new pieces for us: The Sun, Whose Rays by Gilbert and Sullivan, The Man I Love by Gershwin, and Façade Suite by W. Walton.
Playing at Gallery Different was a fantastic experience and it was brilliant to be able to play Brushstrokes for Edgar again. Special mention to the ensemble’s newest member, Dani, who played the G flute solo part at very short notice, you were fabulous! And, as ever, thank you to Liz for her hard work, direction and support.
It turned out that travelling home by coach is a great concert wind-down and we even managed a sing song – we’re confident that Nicky loved our rendition of ‘Hey Mickey’, changed to ‘Hey Nicky’ for the night…
And that’s us done until September when rehearsals begin again after our summer break – can’t wait.
|The Low Flutes Workshop on June 11th was a resounding success!! Carla structured the day around the participants and we all learnt so much about tone, breathing, posture, and how to actually set-up and position our low flutes. Members of the group that had never played a low flute before came away sounding amazing and we're already planning the next one. Many thanks to Carla for being so friendly and approachable but also for making the day so relaxed and inspiring us to learn more. Also a big thanks to All Flutes Plus who kindly lent us some instruments for the day.|
|Join musicians from the 3 Counties as they lend their support to raise funds to aid the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Soloists and Ensembles will play through the day from 10am - 4pm on Saturday 9th April in St Mary's Church Hitchin. The Flute Ensemble will be playing from 12.30pm - admission is free so please join us if you can.|
|A Roadie’s Review|
Being married to a long term member of the BWA Flute Ensemble not only gives me a unique perspective on how they’ve grown and developed over the years but an inescapable vested interest in everything they do.
Having heard them play countless times, at rehearsals, busking, events, concerts on tour and in competitions, I felt moved to write a brief piece to cover their most recent performance and success at the Bedfordshire Festival of Music, Speech and Drama.
I am not a musician, but do enjoy music, especially the added impact of a live performance. Following months of disruption from Covid-19 and the restrictions it imposed on musical groups, it was great to see them performing in a near normal way.
The ensemble was entered in the Centenary Class helping to celebrate 100 years of the festival. The chosen piece, the Ballet Suite by Shostakovich was chosen to fit the centenary theme, demonstrate the groups range of instruments and ability and fit the 10 minute time allotment.
To a reasonable-sized audience, given the final evening slot, at the end of a no doubt long day for audiences and judges alike, I saw weeks of rehearsals come together in a fantastic performance, possibly the best I have ever heard them play. The domed ceiling and faded walls of the Harpur Suite at the Bedford Corn Exchange seemed to amplify the rhythmic bass, enhance the impressive dynamics and sing with the beautiful melodies.
The adjudicator was very impressed, awarding the ensemble a Distinction, and provided his own eloquent summary. He was full of praise and generous comments on everything from the group’s organisation, dress and range of instruments to the subtleties of their accomplished performance.
So, once again, a big thanks from me, for letting me continue to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Long may the group continue to grow in size, ability and ambition. In an exciting year for the group, with the temporary addition of a composer to the ensemble, I can’t wait to hear what you get up to next. I remain a full-on flute fan and long-term listener.
|We are delighted and proud to hear that our Musical Director, Liz Childs, has been recognised as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in their Honours List for 2021/2022.|
|Catch Liz, our Musical Director talking to Babs Michel on 3 Counties Radio - 7:49pm Friday 18th February|
|We’re really excited to announce that we’ve been selected to take part in Making Music’s Adopt a Music Creator Project 2022!! |
The year long project brings together music groups and music creators to collaborate on a brand new piece of music, culminating in a premiere performance, a recording and a radio broadcast.
What a great start to 2022!
Adopt a Music Creator is run by Making Music in partnership with Sound and Music and is funded by the PRS Foundation and the Philip and Dorothy Green Music Trust