Fermanagh Concert Band finds it a bit of a struggle to keep Twitter, Facebook and this blog all updated! As such, for up-to-date news, please visit us on Facebook at here or our Twitter page, here.
Accordingly, posts on this page will be just periodic musings, only submitted on an ad hoc basis.
If you do not have a Facebook or Twitter account, please leave us your details here and we'll make sure you don't miss anything!
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Our biggest congratulations to our flute section leader, Dr Jane Crooke and her husband Dr Simon Crooke on the birth of their lovely little girl, Sandy Ruth - and another cousin for the band's Musical Director, Dr David Baxter!
Sandy was born on 17th September, 2012 weighing 6 lbs, 12 ozs and has the comfort of an older brother, William, to look after her as she grows up.
Here she is having a little yawn . . .
Posted by Administrator at 06:01
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
As part of his 'day job', our Musical Director and Conductor, Dr David Baxter, took his school chamber choir to central Scotland where they sang in Edinburgh Castle, Dunblane Cathedral and other selected venues. On Monday 2nd July, the final day of the tour, the choir stopped in Glasgow where they were given a guided tour of the The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a 'meet and greet' with the Conservatoire's principal, Professor John Wallace, who is of course one of the band's two patrons!
The choir couldn't believe how friendly and accommodating he was, making sure they were ok and being looked after and chatted and spoke to all as though he had known them for years! "It was a real privilege to meet Professor Wallace", said former band member Rory Jones (tenor), "to think that he was the same person who played at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana all those years ago. Lauren Coulter (soprano), was equally enchanted by meeting one of the glitterati of the world's trumpet players. "He was just so amazingly friendly and so modest, especially as they were so busy getting ready for their graduation ceremony the next day!", she added.
John Wallace also inquired about the band, wanting to how it was going and what we were playing. He was also interested to learn how the various sections were getting on and David enjoyed telling him a few stories and anecdotes about some of the members!
Here is a link (audio) to John Wallace (trumpet) and Dame Kiri te Kanawa (soprano) performing 'Let the bright seraphim' (Handel) at the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana Spencer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuB1wTjySM0
Posted by Administrator at 10:14
Monday, 9 July 2012
This isn’t really news about the band – more a set of variations on a theme. The musings were prompted by reading the post on Facebook about our MD and his choir visiting the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in
(where, of course, one of the band’s patrons, John Wallace, is the principal)
while on tour in Scotland. This started a train of thought about
students, teachers, music, musicians and all the links between them. Plus, of course, audiences, who form a very
important part of the mix.
Occasionally members of the band can be heard muttering things like ‘Oh, not again’ when a piece of music that’s been played a million times comes up. Come on, we’ve all said it! But probably not all about the same piece, and there’s a clue. Because who’s to say that someone in the audience isn’t hearing that piece of music for the first time? And maybe, just maybe, it could change their life – either by inspiring them to find out more about music, or even by motivating them to begin making music themselves. As someone once said, every performance is a premiere.
You just can never tell when that spark, that moment of magic, will catch and hold. Maybe it could be hearing a particular piece of music, maybe it could be the performance of a particular musician, maybe the inspiration of a dedicated teacher. In the band right now we’ve got a wind player who began on the clarinet after hearing Emma Johnson play and a brass player whose entire career path changed as a result of discovering music.
And it works the other way, too. During the band’s comparatively short existence, seven members have gone on to third-level music studies at both university and conservatory. The longer-serving brass members will have happy memories of the times when John Wallace, in the days when he was still playing trumpet professionally, visited us for workshops and performances. Who knows whether one day, some of our current members may find themselves as John’s students, now that he’s heading up the Royal Scottish Conservatoire?
Posted by Administrator at 12:23
Monday, 11 June 2012
Friday, 8 June 2012
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Was it . . . hang on, has Peter Jackson been holding auditions locally for extras for the Hobbit films? Because there’s been this hooded figure, dripping wet, dashing round town at breakneck speed recently, staying just one step ahead of the Olympic torch relay, zooming in and out of shops and other premises far too quickly to be shopping. So what’s going on? Couldn’t be the Hobbit films, could it? Nah – too tall for a hobbit, too flabby for a dwarf, not photogenic enough for an elf, all major parts already cast. But that hood, the suspiciously fast loping gait, and all that water pouring off everywhere… Maybe a baddie? An orc, say – you know, Gigbag the Gruesome – or, yeah, maybe a Black Rider, but on the hoof, as it were. (Sorry about that last one. Terrible half-pun lurking, couldn’t resist.) It’s a fair bet one of the local gentlemen of the cloth got a bit of a turn when he saw the dark, dripping figure thumbing the bell at his house. Probably thought it was a visit from Mephistopheles! But no, panic not, folks. It was merely an emissary from Fermanagh Concert Band, belting round the town on band business. A poster here, a sponsor’s courtesy call there, tickets to be delivered. Anyone opera lovers reading this could sing it to the relevant bit of the Barber of Seville, you know the one: ‘Figaro qua, Figaro la’ and so on. So yes, basically we can report that posters for our forthcoming concert are now in venues all over town, all our sponsors have been invited to attend, and tickets are now available for sale at KB Music in
Queen Street. Tell your friends! Bring your granny along! Brainwash your kids into taking up an
instrument! But just be there and we can
all enjoy the music together. It’s only
£8 for adults and £5 for everyone else, frankly a bargain not to be
missed. See you there!
Saturday 16 June, , Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen.
Posted by Administrator at 07:10
Monday, 4 June 2012
Our forthcoming ‘Midsummer Melodies’ concert will close our current season and round off the year’s work. It takes place on Saturday 16 June at in the hall of Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen. Tickets are now available, priced at £8 or £5 for concessions (children, students and senior citizens) in advance via the website or from KB Music in
Street, or on the night at the door. As already mentioned, there will be a
featured spot in this concert for the Elastic Band and the main band will be
playing what promises to be a really enjoyable and entertaining selection from
our (extremely varied!) repertoire.
There’ll be jazz, light classics, blues, big band numbers, film themes,
songs from the show . . . plus solos, a Dixieland combo, improvisation… yes, we’re a versatile bunch!
Posted by Administrator at 09:27