News

The Colours of the Winds - Saturday 7 December 2019

The colours of the Bloomsbury Band windplayers at their December 2019 concert

The Bloomsbury Band was in fine voice during its December concert and enjoyed by a full house of friends, family and other supporters. 

 

The programme spanned the spectrum from The Red Rose Polka through The Banks of Green Willow via Blue Rondo a la Turk to Violet Hill.

 

Roger Cawkwell, one of the Band's regular arrangers, was present to enjoy the performances of three works that he had recreated for this concert: Green Bushes, The Song of the Blacksmith (complete with anvil) and Blue Tango.

 

Musical colours were enhanced by contributions of members who play second instruments including piano, alto saxophone and bassoon.

Horizons - Saturday 23 November 2019

BWE preparing to rehearse its concert programme at St John's Waterloo in November 2019

 

BWE's concert programme offered fleeting visions of cities, scenes and buildings. The Ensemble performed works from the Eternal City to the ancient ruined city of Ani. This enchanting programme of bells, processions and song was contrasted with ethereal images from folklore and make believe.

 

The programme included:

  • Edward Elgar Cockaigne (In London Town)
  • Kamran Ince Domes
  • Alan Hovhaness Symphony No. 23 - iii Adagio con molto expressione
  • Joaquin Turina La Procesión del Rocio
  • Vitĕzslav Novák Slovak Suite - i In the Church
  • Claude Debussy Le Cathédrale Engloutie
  • Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition - i The Old Castle, viii Catacombs, and x The Great Gate of Kiev

 

This was a charity concert in support of the Royal National Institute of Blind People. The audience donations raised £250 for the RNIB.

Victoria Park Bandstand Concert- Sunday 7 July 2019

Shea conducting BWE on the Victoria Park bandstand

A dry, windless and almost sunny afternoon made it a pleasure for BWE to contribute to the the summer season of music in Victoria Park.

 

The programme included:

Francis Poulenc Rondeau from Les Biches

Lionel Bart Oliver! – Food, Glorious Food

Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata – The Drinking Song

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni – Champagne Aria

Jerry Bock Fiddler on the Roof (medley)

Sergei Prokofiev The Love for Three Oranges – March

Johann Strauss II Wine, Woman and Song

Claude-Michel Schönberg Les Misérables

Majesty - Saturday 6 July 2019

Collaborating once again with local actors for this popular annual charity fundraising event, the Bloomsbury Band performed a varied programme of music and words on the theme of Majesty. The setting was the beautiful and intimate gardens at Copsefield Lodge on the west end of Ryde. 

 

 

 

 

The programme included:

  • Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
  • Byrd: Pavane for the Earl of Salisbury
  • John Blow: The King's Hunt
  • Grieg: Hall of the Mountain King

and the premiere of The King’s Head, a short piece by music director David Morris.

Bloomsbury Band at Beckenham Place Mansion - Thursday evening 27 June 

The Bloomsbury Band returned for a third time to Beckenham Place Mansion to perform in the Peckish Park Place series of summer soirées. An enthusiastic audience enjoyed a programme of music drawn from both recent concerts on the theme of Flight and the Band’s imminent return to the Isle of Wight for an evening of music and spoken word on the theme of Majesty.  

B;loomsbury band performance at Gatwick Airport - Saturday 18 May 2019

The Baker Street Quartet performing in front of Bloomsbury Band

The Bloomsbury Band performed in the unusual venue of South Terminal Arrivals at Gatwick Airport. The two-hour programme also included items performed by the Band’s own Baker Street Quartet, and every item was in some way connected to the theme of Flight. Staff from the airport and charity were on-hand to look after the Band, who were delighted to learn that the event raised over £800 for Kent Air Ambulance, one of the charities supported by Gatwick Airport.

Food, Glorious Food - Saturday 18 May 2019

Led by Head Chef, Shea Lolin, the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble celebrated all things food and drink at its May concert.

 

The programme included:

Johannes Brahms Academic Festival Overture

J S Bach Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht – Aria: Heute noch, lieber Vater, BWV 211 (Coffee Cantata)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata – The Drinking Song

Sergei Prokofiev The Love for Three Oranges – March

Erik Satie Three Pieces in the Form of a Pear

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni – Champagne Aria

Johann Strauss II Wine, Woman and Song

Lionel Bart Oliver! – Food, Glorious Food

Winging It - Saturday 6 April 2019

Members of the the audience at the Bloomsbury Band's April concert was invited to fasten their safety belts, stow their sandwich trays and ensure their seat-back were upright as the Band took off into a programme of music all about Flight. 

 

The programme for this spring concert featured the usual wide variety of musical styles, from the likes of Delius, Tchaikovsky and Janáček through to modern composers from pop and film. 

Music for the Christmas season - Tuesday 11 December 2018

David Morris conduced the ensemble at this performance

Flute and clarinet players of the Bloomsbury Band, together with a couple of players from BWE, continued a well-established tradition by performing an informal concert of carols and other seasonal music in the atrium of BT Centre. 

 

The music featured the usual selection of popular carols together with Gaudete, a selection of melodies from the Nutcracker Suite as well as arrangements of the sixteenth century Quand Je Bois and of Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard.

 

This was a charity concert which entertained BT staff as they left their offices at the end of the day. The sum raised was just over £300.

A Walk in the Woods - Saturday 1 December 2018

David Morris introducing the next piece of music to the appreciative audience

The Bloomsbury Band of Flutes and Clarinets took a 'Walk in the Woods' during its conert at Lumen URC. The first part of the programme included an arrangment of The Banks of Green Willow by George Butterworth together with a fine arrangement by Roger Cawkwell of six of the eight Woodland Sketches by Edward McDowell.

 

The second half began with a charming arrangment by Carolyn Franklin called Say it with Flowers featuring the familiar tunes: We'll Gather Lilacs, The Flower Duet and Tiptoe through the Tulips. The final work was Ian Harrold's own arrangement of his version of a folk song: Variations on the Frog and the Crow.

The Baker Street Quartet performing

There were two chamber pieces. One in each half of the programme.

 

In the first half, the Band's Flute Trio played the Gypsy Song from Bizet's Carmen.

 

In the second half, the Baker Street Quartet played Evening Prayer by Engelbert Humperdinck and an arrangement of melodies from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim.

Festival of Lights - Saturday 1 December 2018

BB flute trio playing later in the day at the Band's concert

A clarinet quartet and a flute trio from the Bloomsbury Band played a selection of seasonal and lighthearted pieces, both old and new, as part of the musical programme for the Beckenham Place Mansion's annual Festival of Lights celebrations. This was a free community event funded by Lewisham Council.

 

The seven players gave the premiere performance of Norwegian Wood. You can watch and here them play on this video in Google Photos.

A Space Odyssey - Saturday 24 November 2018

BWE rehearsing with one of the videos that illustrated one of the pieces in the programme

BWE entertained a large audience with a journey into space with a varied programme that featured the première of a BWE commission from Christopher Hussey called Child of the Wandering Sea

 

Four of the items in the programme were illustrated with videos on the themes of Earth and Space.

 

In 2018 BWE has been celebrating 25 years of BWE music making. This concert was also a celebration of the sustained impact of a flourishing collaboration with Chris Hussey. This began, ten years ago, with the Making Music's Adopt a Composer Scheme. 

Chris Hussey has been composing and arranging music for BWE concerts for ten years

 

The programme included:

Gustav Holst The Planets – Venus: The Bringer of Peace

György Ligeti Lux Aeterna 

Claude Debussy Clair de Lune

Roger Cawkwell Space Oddity

Christopher Hussey Child of the Wandering Sea      

John Williams In a Galaxy far, far away (Star Wars)      

 

 

Our November concert is, by tradition, a charity concert. In our 25th year of music making, we chose to support 'Music For All'. The concert raised £350 for the charity.

 

BWE at Ruskin Park - Sunday 1 July 2018

BWE playing on the Ruskin Park Bandstand, July 2018

BWE, directed by Shea Lolin, returned to Ruskin Park on a warm, sunny afternoon to entertain a family audience with a wide ranging programme that included:

  • A West Side Story selection, Leonard Bernstein
  • The Padstow Lifeboat, Malcolm Arnold
  • Prague Waltzes, Dvorak
  • Pavane, Fauré
  • Russian Sailors Dance, Gliere
  • March Past of the Kitchen Utensils, Ralph Vaughan Williams

Flowers, Dogs and Midsummer - Saturday 23 June 2018

Bloomsbury Band at Beckenham Place in June 2018

This was a new event for the Band.

 

On a sunny Saturday they entertained the participants at the first ever flower and dog show at the mansion in Beckenham Place Park.

 

The programme of music was inspired by the themes of the show and the proximity to midsummer.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Saturday 9 June 2018

The Bloomsbury Band of Flutes and Clarinets performing on the Isle of Wight in 2018

The Bloomsbury Band returned to the Isle of Wight to play at a charity event. This year, music from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream was interspersed with readings from Shakespeare's play of the same name. 

 

Other dream-like music, played by a variety of large and small ensembles - including a clarinet quartet and a group with recorders, bass clarinet and voice. The players infused the outdoor concert with magic as night fell. A large audience was entranced.

Russian Fire Saturday - Saturday 12 May 2018

Sarah Markham performing the Glazunov concerto

Shea Lolin inspired BWE to rise to the challenge of an exciting programme of music by Russian composers. The concert attracted a large audience to St James's Church, Sussex Gardens.

 

The programme opened with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture, followed by the BWE saxophone section playing Intermezzo and Mazurka from Borodin's Petite Suite.  

 

Colin on soprano sax as soloist in an atmospheric work by Cui

The programme continued with Igor Stravinsky's Russian Dance from Petrushka.  

 

The climax of the first half of the concerto was Sarah Markham's electrifying performance of Alexander Glazunov's Saxophone Concerto.

 

BWE opened the second half of the programme by playing the first movement of Alexander Borodin Symphony No.2 in B minor.

A BWE wind quintet playing a Waltz by Shostakovich

The celebration of all things saxophone continued with Colin playing the solo part in César Cui's Velichit Dusha Moya Ghospoda with sections of BWE spread to the four corners of the church - thus creating a wonderful effect of music in the round.

 

Next a wind quintet played Waltz no. 2 from Dimitri Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra. The second half ended with Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor followed by the rousing Red Poppy – Sailors Dance by Reinhold Glière.

In Your Dreams - Saturday 28 April 2018

One Charming Night

The Bloomsbury Band of Flutes and Clarinets presented a nocturnal ramble through the images of the night. David Morris conducted the concert at Lumen URC. The music featured Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus nocturnally-themed works by Schumann, Fauré, Mozart, and Cage. The Band gave the premiere of Phantasmagoria - a new work by Roger Cawkwell.

 

The Band's clarinet quartet played Fleetingness by Prokofiev and Puck from Lyric Pieces by Grieg. The flute quartet performed Clair de Lune by Debussy. New for the Band was a performance of Purcell's One Charming Night from The Fairy Queen by a recorder trio with soprano.

 

The whole programme was recorded and is available on SoundCloud.

BWE celebrates its 25th anniversary year

Graham Lyons founded the London School of Pharmacy Flute & Clarinet Choir in 1993. This group evolved into the Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble.

 

More details about the development of the ensemble over these years are given on the BWE and BMG pages of this web site.

 

Concerts

Past Present and Future

Saturday 2 May 2020

Present and former members of the Bloomsbury Band of Flutes will celebrate he 10th anniversary of the ensemble.

 

Into the Forest

Saturday 16 May 2020

The music in the programme of this BWE concert will invoke the strong sense of intrigue conjured up by forests.

News

The Colours of the Winds

Saturday 7 December 2019

The Bloomsbury Band entertained a packed house with a musical exploration of a spectrum colours 

Horizons

Saturday 23 November 2019

BWE offered its large audience musical visions of cities, buidlings and wider scenes.

Victoria Park Bandstand

Sunday 7 July 2019

The Bloomsbury Woodwind Ensemble played a varied and popular programme on the bandstand.

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