Yorkshire Wind Orchestra

2009 Events

Christmas fund-raising

December 2009

French Horn quartet

Christmas is a great time of year when the festive spirit cheers us through a cold and wintry season. Its also the time when many of our players take part in fund-raising activities across Yorkshire to help see the orchestra through the coming year.

We attended an evening Christmas fair at St Aelred's Primary School in York, raising money from the sale of Christmas cards and gifts, many of which had been kindly donated by Hallmark. We were entertained by the school's talented choir and the enthusiastic children made it a lovely event for everyone.

Returning to Bradford for our second year, we also took part in the Clayton Dickensian Market, a well supported all day event on the outskirts of Bradford, where eager Christmas shoppers look for that last minute bargain. This year, four of our French Horn players came along and entertained the crowds to hastily arranged Christmas tunes.

Meanwhile in Leeds, more of our musicians gathered at Leeds City Museum in Millenium Square. The mixed ensemble performed a series of carols and other Christmas favourites for the passing crowds and helped to raise funds for the orchestra.

Raising funds in York Clayton Dickensian Market

The Spooktacular!

31st October 2009

The Spooktacular: Yorkshire Wind Orchestra
The Spooktacular!, Magna Science Adventure Centre, Rotherham

Set in Rotherham's old Templeborough Steel Works, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra's first Spooktacular! was an unforgettable Halloween event.

The scary Face of Steel at the Magna Science Adventure Centre became the setting for a spine-tingling evening of spooky music that literally chilled the audience to their bones.

The audience was treated to a fire juggler as they queued to enter the steelworks, and the children spoilt with free chocolates handed out by a friendly witch.

Once inside the Face of Steel, the scene was set with the atmospheric lighting and visual displays specifically put together for the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra and the Spooktacular!

The night's music started off with the dance of death, Danse Macabre, better known to some as the theme to Jonathan Creek. Towering high above the orchestra, a solitary skeleton danced along to the music, adding to the mystery of the evening.

Fire Juggler, The Spooktacular, Magna Double bass of death

Next was the eerie Ghost Train, a musical journey on a driver-less night train bound for nowhere! The atmosphere and acoustic of the 9-storey high steelworks brought the auditory image of ghosts and ghouls frighteningly to life!

After fleeing from some trolls in Peer Gynt's In the Hall of the Mountain King, spells and potions flew high up in the night air from the Sorcerer's Apprentice, commonly recognized from Disney's family film Fantasia.

The Spooktacular!, Magna Science Adventure Centre, Rotherham

The interval gave players and audience alike a chance for a well deserved warm drink and those daring young (and not so young) souls the chance to have a go in our fancy dress competition. Our resident adjudicator was mightily impressed with all the entries, but two winners were scary enough to frighten our judge into awarding them a goody-bag of tricks and treats for them and their families.

The music recommenced with A Night on Bald Mountain, also used in Fantasia, the popular fantasy for orchestra, depicting the gruesome goings on during a Witches Sabbath. The rituals of magic, demonic rites and the conjuring up of evil spirits continued with Incantation and Dance by John Barnes Chance.

Eric Whitacre's October, a musical tone poem about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light typical of the current month was some light relief before Harry Potter and friends brought the evening to a close.

Thanks go to everyone at the Magna Science Adventure Centre, without whose help and generous support the Spooktacular! would simply not have been possible. Thanks also to all the local businesses that donated prizes for our popular raffle and fancy dress competition.

Walkley Community Centre Centenary

8th September 2009

Sax quartet at Walkley, Sheffield

The Walkley Community Centre in Sheffield is 100 years old, and last Saturday members of the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra were there to provide musical accompaniment to the centenary celebrations. A saxophone quartet of five (you always get a little extra from the YWO!) formed especially for the event, and consisted of members from the saxophone, clarinet and trumpet sections. The quartet performed a collection of jazz and popular pieces to accompany tea drinking, face painting and reminiscing. The musicians received cake and compliments, made some new friends for the YWO, and were able to make a contribution to the orchestra's funds from the generous fee they received.

Film Favourites at feva

16th August 2009

Those who had the perception to attend this concert were amply rewarded with two hours of pure enjoyment.

What an extremely pleasant way of spending a Sunday afternoon under the baton of Keiron Anderson.

Based in Wakefield, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra was formed to bring together the best wind players in the Yorkshire region. This was an inspired event by the FEVA committee.

This programme was full of all the film music you know, Starwars, Titanic, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Braveheart, and Indiana Jones.

There could not be a better piece to start proceedings than the Big Country, by Jerome Moross, arranged Leslie Statham. The clarinets need special mention here, representing the violins of the orchestra and setting the standard for the afternoon. Ensembles of this size, around 50 players, could easily be accused of blasting the audience into the next planet. (Thrilling when it happens). However, the big sound was tempered by very sensitive playing in the quiet passages.

The second item, Hymn to the Fallen, from Saving Private Ryan, a thought provoking score, suffered from minor lapses in the trumpets at the beginning of the piece; marring what I considered my favourite of the day.

An intriguing piece, Radio Days, written by Keiron Anderson, was an evocation of a classic era in BBC broadcasting:

  • Workers Playtime 1941-64
  • Listen with Mother 1950-82
  • Down your Way 1946-92

He even used the originally recorded BBC voice introduction to each section. All the known melodies were woven into each section of the suite, with a subtle but pleasant manner.

The introduction of each piece with antidotes by Keiron Anderson was particularly welcome; securing the rapport the performers had so early achieved with their audience.

This special programme was titled Family Film Favourites. Whilst a number of families were represented, it would have been so worthwhile to see more families in attendance. After all, most of the music is well-known. Come on Knaresborough, FEVA has something for everyone.

Review by Brian Robinson

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra gave a twilight concert at Holy Trinity Church in Knaresborough as part of the FEVA festival. The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra, a regional orchestra conducted by Keiron Anderson, presented an exciting programme of film music to an audience of over a hundred people.

The concert opened with a rousing performance of the classic western genre, The Big Country which the orchestra followed with a medley of Hollywood Blockbusters written by the film composer James Horner, including extracts from Apollo 13, Braveheart, An American Tail and Titanic. This music is technically very difficult and the YWO delivered it with consummate ease, showing just how accomplished they are as an orchestra.

The next piece was an entertaining and original score by Paul Hart called Cartoon, a pastiche of the 1930's cartoon music, or a big Tom and Jerry Romp with tease and chase and strutting swagger. The percussion section of the orchestra delivered their whole armoury including possibly the kitchen sink!

The first half ended with Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan, a wonderful and emotional contrast to the previous piece and then a medley of three John Williams Symphonic Marches to take the concert to the interval.

The second half started with the rousing theme tune from Thunderbirds, and then Radio Days, a delightful walk down memory lane with an evocation of a classic era in BBC Broadcasting. The piece written by the conductor Keiron Anderson, was based on music from Workers' Playtime, Listen With Mother and Down Your Way. The audience had smiles of fond memories by the end.

The concert headed to the close very much like the first half with the orchestra performing arrangements of film music by John Williams. The Harry Potter Symphonic Suite took all the well known themes from the first film the Sorcerer's Stone showng why John Williams is always in such demand as a composer. The concert ended with the majestic and memorable score from Jurassic Park.

This was an excellent and exciting concert from the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra and if you were not there then you missed a treat. The orchestra will hopefully be back at the festival next year and it is definitely one that you should look out for and mark in your diaries.

Review by Nick Garside

Lord of the Rings and Carmina Burana

16th May 2009

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra performing Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana Wheel of Fortune

One hundred and seventy of Yorkshire's talented musicians came together in Bradford on Saturday at a sell-out performance Carmina Burana, the epic choral work which features the famous spine-tingling music used in "The Omen", an Old Spice advert, "Only Fools and Horses" and more recently as the entrance music for Simon Cowell and the X Factor judges.

Yorkshire's own talent The Bradford University Singers, Bradford Youth Choir and our region's finest wind group, the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra, were joined by three soloists, Phillippa Cairns, Leon Waksberg and David Heathcote at the evening concert held at The Richmond Atrium, University of Bradford on Saturday 16th May 2009.

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is probably one of the most well known and most performed choral works of our time. For this performance, the two choirs and soloists were accompanied by the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra, in the Juan Vicente Mas Quiles wind orchestra transcription of the original symphony orchestra version.

Mark Robinson conducting the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra in Lord of the Rings

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra, directed by guest conductor Mark Robinson, opened the concert with Johan de Meij's Symphony No. 1, Lord of the Rings.

This modern day 'Ring Cycle' tells of primeval forces, mystical characters and fantastic creatures that control the fate of their universe.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy has fascinated many millions of readers since its publication in 1955. This performance of Johan de Meij's musical interpretation of the famous story gave audiences a chance to immerse themselves in the well loved themes of the novel which are reworked and re-imagined in musical form.

A successful and very entertaining evening of collaborative music which we hope to repeat again soon!

Square Chapel, Halifax

8th March 2009

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra at Square Chapel, Halifax

The Yorkshire Wind Orchestra yet again produced a concert full of variety and beauty, on this occasion in the historic Square Chapel, enhanced by a backdrop of bleak hills surrounding Halifax.

They opened with a dignified and mature performance of Vaughan Williams' Folk Song Suite, which fitted perfectly with the surrounding industrial architecture, and ever changeable weather. This was followed by a dreamy delivery of Kenneth Heskeths' Danceries demonstrating the outstanding range of colours and tone this group can produce, flowing seamlessly between airy and florid woodwinds to the sheer magnificence and power of the lower brass.

Other highlights included Grainger's witty Lincolnshire Posy, depicting an intricate web of contrapuntal interjections that left members of the audience gasping in delight. David Bedford's minimalist Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves was well delivered with clarity and drive, although it might have benefited further from a more generous acoustic.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, expertly conducted by Keiron Anderson with his usual mix of insight and humour. A tremendous range of repertoire, maturely and thoughtfully delivered.

Review by Dave Joyce

Flute ensemble afternoon

10th February 2009

Two YWO flute players recently arranged their own flute afternoon and very kindly donated their profits to the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra.

Tracey and Jane organised an afternoon of informal flute ensemble playing in Wakefield which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the players who took part and their mini concert was also a great success as shown by some of the feedback below:

It was an absolute delight to be involved in the flute afternoon on Sunday, both playing in the ensembles as well as listening to some younger flute players. Gaining experience in solo performing is such a vital part of their tuition so well done you for organising it all!

I really enjoyed playing! Hope to see you again. If you do anything at this standard again I'll bring some of my grade 5/6 flautists along.

You were talking to somebody at the point I left yesterday so I didn't get chance to say 'thank you' for a great afternoon. I really enjoyed it and would be keen to take part in any similar (or different!) events in future.

We would like to thank Tracey and Jane for taking the time and trouble to organise their event not only to give local flautists a chance to come together and make great ensemble music but for showing their continued support for the YWO at a time when we are in desparate need of funds. Thank you!

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