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  • An Isolated Event - in a time of lockdown
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 2 May 2020


    On Saturday 2 May, David Morris, music director, orchestrated an on-line concert to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Bloomsbury Band. The programme included pre-recorded items skilfully edited together from individual performances in the players' own homes. One example was the Song of the Blacksmith by Gustav Holst (as shown in the image above) with improvised anvil.

    Other items were cleverly devised to be played live allowing for the inevitable and variable delays in the sounds experienced when using software such as Zoom. These works included Latent Potential composed by David Morris and Retune devised by Alison Henning to weave together improvisations by members of the Band.

    In between the main items in the programme, there was a musical quiz in which audience members were invited to identify the theme tunes of films played by individual members of the band.

    There were several duets too, including an Andante from a Teleman Sonata with both parts played by Kiran Barhey. The image below shows Helen Ahlfors and Erica Masala playing Konzertstück, Op. 114 no. 2 by Mendelssohn.



    At the end of the concert, members of the audience were invited to join the Band members on screen for a well-deserved round of applause.  The Band estimates that between 150 and 200 people were in the audience based on the number of logins to the event, some on behalf of several people. This is a record for the Band.  Many attendees - friends and family of the Band - were seeing it perform for the first time, as attending the London concerts is not a possibility. This was particularly special.  As a result, the Band will explore ways to livestream future concerts.

    This was a charity concert that raised £260 for the Trussell Trust via Just Giving.

  • All rehearsals and events cancelled
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 18 Mar 2020
    You will understand that we have had to cancel all rehearsals and concerts until further notice for both the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble and the Bloomsbury Band.

    We are all looking forward to making music together again as soon as it is possible.

    We hope to welcome you to performances by our two ensembles later in the year.

     
  • Celebrating a tenth anniversary
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 26 Feb 2020

    The Bloomsbury Band is 10 years old.  The Band had planned a celebratory concert for Saturday 2 May 2020. Former members of the Band were invited to come and play with the ensemble. The concert has had to be postponed. When possible, the programme will include new music for flute and clarinet choir which music director, David Morris, has commissioned new pieces for from four composers.

    Ten years ago the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble was well established. The length of the waiting list for clarinet and flute players had grown so long that the committee wondered what to do about it - bearing in mind that one of our objectives has always been to provide opportunities to play and perform for as many wind players as possible. After a good deal of debate we decided to go ahead and set up a second ensemble which began life as a flute and clarinet choir which we called BWE2.

    David and the members of the Band have made a great success of the venture over the last ten years. We have no regrets about the decision to go ahead. The image shows BWE2 (as it then was) performing at Lumen URC in December 2013.

  • A new commission for the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 12 Feb 2020

    Shea Lolin has commissioned the British composer Judith Bingham OBE to write a new work for the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble.

    This new work for woodwind orchestra will be the thirteenth work to be commissioned by the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble. Shea Lolin writes: “Judith Bingham’s compositional voice is unique and distinctive. Her harmonies are bold but not abstract. She writes phrases which are so naturally contoured and coloured with those daring and sumptuous harmonies. It will be a great privilege to work with a composer of such prominence on my lifelong fascination and dedication to the woodwind orchestra.”

    Born in Nottingham in 1952, Judith Bingham studied composing and singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the 1971 Principal’s Prize. Her commissions include works for King’s College (Cambridge), Sarah Connolly and Tenebrae, the King’s Singers, the Sacconi Quartet, the BBC Philharmonic and many British cathedrals. In 1983, she joined the BBC Singers for whom she became Composer in Residence in 2004. She has written 15 pieces for them, and four works for the BBC Proms. Judith Bingham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Aberdeen University in 2017, has won four British Composer Awards and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to music.

    The new work will be performed as part of BWE's 2021 season of concerts.

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