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Phoenix Concert Band

Autumn Concert

Phoenix Concert Band
St George's Church, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3BR
Saturday 14th November 2020

Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble


Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble
Monday 30th November 2020

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Article: Yorkshire Playday

Yorkshire Playday

The atmosphere at Bradford Grammar School was already highly charged when I arrived at 9.45am on Saturday 2nd November. Players had signed in and already started warming up for the first session.

The venue was excellent and it was clear from the sounds I was hearing that the acoustics would work well for wind playing. I saw a lot of YWO players already welcoming their sections and helping in many ways. John and Amanda were fully in control of everything from music to leaflets, coffee (provided by Starbucks and we thank them for that) and snacks.

The first session was all devoted to ensemble and cohesion. The group played Shepherds Hey by Grainger and I used it to show how I wanted them to phrase and blend. This quickly brought the group of players into a cohesive unit. The Irish Tune from County Derry was the used to improve balance, ensemble wisdom and intonation. The hour went in a flash and the players went off to learn the Bedford.

I would have liked to run that through before they did that but time did not allow it.

For some reason I felt tired after that session; a feeling that grew during the day. I did not realise that I was coming down with a virus that would make the evening concert really tough for me.

The players worked hard all day in sectionals and in full rehearsals. They worked on ensemble performances as well as the Bedford and in a way there were some who needed more detailed rehearsal on the David Bedford piece. A few players did decide not to stay on for the evening performance. I would have liked them to feel more confident about that.

The evening concert went very well. YWO played extremely well and some players really delighted me with their musical awareness and sheer class. I needed them to be in top form as I was running on adrenalin and dozing whilst off stage.

The groups played their ensemble spots then the full group worked their way through Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves. They played in a very determined and brave manner, getting through the work with some style and not too many frightening moments.

The whole day has to be thought of as a complete success and we can build on it for the future.

I want to thank all of the players, tutors, helpers and most of all organisers.

Well done.

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