Category Archives: Ensembles

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Family Choir

Category : Ensembles

New Family Choir
First rehearsal of the Huntingdonshire Music School’s new choir.

10.00-11.00
Huntingdonshire Regional College.

Free this term only £25 per term thereafter.

Kindly Sponsored by HuMSA

Free Car parking.
Coffee bar open for purchase of refreshments – get your cookies while stocks last!

Open to: Everyone / Public
Cost: Free this term.


Posted by Rebecca


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Tea with a swing

Category : Concerts , Ensembles

Huntingdonshire Music School Big Band has had a very busy year this year.

The Band have a fantastic repertoire of 40’s music and have been putting this to good use at many events this year. Dressed for the occasion they have entertained crowds at several 40’s themed events this year including the Warboys World War II 70th Anniversary Fete on Saturday 27th May. One member of the band described this event as follows. Gorgeous Weather and marvelous music! Appreciative Audience and tea in Jasmine Beryl Ware cups and saucers! When it finally comes the band we hope that the band enjoy a well deserved summer break. You can catch them next at an open rehearsal in Huntingdon Library on 19th September 2015.

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Posted by Rebecca


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Play (Music ;-) )with Others

Category : Ensembles

At present, ensembles with the exception of the Folk Group rehearse on a Saturday Morning at Huntingdonshire Regional College. Other ensemble and group playing is encouraged and regular concerts are held in and out of College.

The current groups are:-

Ensembles

  • Brass Ensemble
  • Saxophone Ensemble
  • Beginner String Ensemble

Bands

  • Intermediate Concert Band
  • Advanced Concert Band
  • Big Band

Folk Group

Our recently formed Folk Group rehearses on a Tuesday night.

They are taking a break this term (Autumn 2015) but let us know if you are interested

Ad Hoc Groups

We have a group of saxophone fanatics who get together regularly for concerts and events and scope for a flute group subject to numbers wishing to take part.

Family Community Choir

Our Newest Ensemble – Any age or ability is welcome. A mixture of Genres and styles. No experience needed. Fun and relaxed

Other Ideas

The list is fairly fluid as we encourage those with a similar interest to start their own groups.


Posted by maestro


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Classical Guitar Concert – 3rd July Old Hurst

Category : Concerts , Ensembles

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The HUMS Classical Ensemble will be giving a concert at St. Peter’s Church, Old Hurst on Saturday 3rd July starting at 18:00. Entrance is free but there will be a retiring collection to help raise some funds for the PCC and say thank-you for allowing us to use the church in March for recording purposes.

The ensemble will be playing music from their recently released CD (see related article).

This isn’t a crack team of jewels thieves who broke in to discover that someone had left a pile of classical guitars but rather the guitar ensemble from the Huntingdonshire Music School.

This was at the end of a long – nearly 5 hour – recording session in Old Hurst at St. Peter’s Church.
The HUMS Classical Ensemble will be giving a concert at St. Peter’s Church, Old Hurst on Saturday 3rd July starting at 18:00. Entrance is free but there will be a retiring collection to help raise some funds for the PCC and say thank-you for allowing us to use the church in March for recording purposes.


Posted by madmusician


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El Huerto de los Olivos – CD Release on Behalf of HUMSA

Category : Ensembles , News

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The classical guitar ensemble from the Huntingdonshire Music School spent nearly 5 hours recording in Old Hurst at St. Peter’s Church one weekend in March. There’s not much you can do in gloves! Anyway the end result was worth it and we now have a CD for sale (£5) with the proceeds going towards HUMSA and therefore future music-making at the music school.

The tracks include:

        • Boureé (Mozart arr K. Marx)
        • The Olive Grove – 1) Il Pensieroso 2) L’allegro (Peter Nuttall)
        • Contradanza (Ian Gammie)
        • Jeux Interdits (Narcisio Yepes arr. Remi Laredo)
        • Beginners’ Rag (Susan Sharp)
        • Ashokan Farewell (Trad.)
        • Arena y Sol (Ian Gammie)
        • Sarabande Varieé (G.F. Handel)
        • Jamaica Farewell (Trad.)

A sample of the tracks from the CD can be heard on the Music Alley site (used to be the Podcast Music Network).

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Posted by madmusician


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All at Sea in the Southern Ocean: A HUMS Clarinettist in the Antarctic

Category : Ensembles , Tours

Dad with clarinet in Antarctica

The following is an example of how desperate some in the Huntingdonshire Music School get when faced with band practice. Keith Nicholls works for the British Antarctic Survey based near Cambridge and every now and then we lose him as he heads down south to do scientific work at the other end of the world. Or so he claims – personally it looks like a thinly-disguised excuse to get away. Of course a photograph doesn’t actually prove that he’s practising! 😉

If anyone else has interesting pictures of where they practice or interesting or funny tales of practice sessions that they’d like to share please do so!

Anyway, the story according to Keith is:-

“Have you brought your oboe again, or whatever it is?”
“It’s a clarinet, and yes I have – a nice new one, a Yamaha”.
“Humph…perhaps this one’s in tune”.

I’m not sure the Chief Mate of the RRS Ernest Shackleton was too impressed with my clarinet practice sessions in 2007, the last time I was on board. But I’m told I should practice every day – lots of scales and arpeggios – so when I do my day job for the British Antarctic Survey on an oceanographic research ship in the Antarctic, the clarinet comes with me. Unfortunately, this cruise is a very busy one, and opportunities for practice have been few and far between, certainly not daily. And preferring to practice in solitude makes it especially difficult. I’ve sought out a laboratory that’s rarely occupied, and sneak off there for the odd twenty minutes or so as often as I can manage.

The cold isn’t an issue, as the ship is heated to a comfortable temperature, but it can be exciting chasing the music around the lab when we’re in rougher seas. Luckily, we spend most of our time in the depths of the sea ice, which completely suppresses the waves. The only problem then is the banging and crashing through the ice, which jolts and jars the ship in a much more disorientating way than the waves.

Music is important to everyone on board, yet there seem to be no other active musicians. At one of our Antarctic bases, Rothera, we have a lively music scene, with a home-grown band called Nunatak giving regular performances. In fact, they shot to fame when they featured in the Live Earth 2007 concert in July 2007 (Nunatek & Live Earth – British Antarctic Survey is a site well-worth visiting). However, I seem to be the solitary active musician on board this ship, though I’ve seen guitars secreted in cabins here and there, including the Captain’s.

Ah well, on with the practice. Mike, the Second Engineer pops his head into the lab. “Oh, it’s you,” he said. “I thought one of my engines had gone wrong”.


Posted by madmusician


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Sax in the Cafe

Category : Ensembles

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It’s not just cappuccino and latte that are served in our cafe. Oh, no! If you want something hot leave the drinks alone and come and listen to what happens when musicians meet each other in a warm and friendly setting….

It’s fat-free, doesn’t damage the New Year’s resolution and far better for the figure and soul than Atkins’. It also lasts you a lifetime.


Posted by maestro


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A Typical Saturday Morning

Here we try to illustrate what goes on on a typical Saturday morning at the Huntingdonshire Music School.

The activities are split into the following categories:-

  • lessons. These happen throughout the morning with pupils dipping into and out of theory and/or group playing to take their lesson. Not everyone takes lessons.
  • theory tuition. Where you learn the theory (that makes sense of the black sqiggles on the page) and, if appropriate, prepare for exams. Not everyone takes exams.
  • group playing. Getting together in groups to practice, usually for a concert at the school or externally. Sometimes we do daft things, like turning the music upside down and seeing what it sounds like …
  • socialising / eating / drinking. Catching up with the gossip, in the cafe when we have quieter moments. Some even practice their pieces for the benefit ( 😉 ) of everyone else.

Theory Tuition

Theory is important when learning an instrument. It is so much easier to read and understand music if you understand the basic building blocks.

Theory classes are organised by Grade. This aligns with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) examination grades. In terms of difficulty we start at Grade 1 and finish at Grade 8 (the hardest). We currently have two theory groups which take students up to grade 5, further grades can ba arranged as an individual lesson. You do not have to take exams and anyone can take theory lessons.

There are two types of theory tuition:-

  • written. This is covered by a range of set books, by teacher-derived quizzes, tests, games and learning aids. Often a piano or other instrument may be used to help illustrate theory principles, or practice such as key signatures, scales, chords or timing. Practice theory exam papers are available for those taking theory and practical exams or those who want to see how far they’ve reached.
  • aural. This aims to make the student better at listening to and analysing music. Aural is a requirement for ABRSM music exams. For all grades these are covered in the students individual lessons. If you feel you need more Aural this can be arranged as an individual lesson.

Groups Playing

You don’t have to learn an instrument with us to play. You might take lessons privately elsewhere and want to learn the skills of playing as a member of a larger team (albeit in loose formation at times!). This sort of experience is very hard to get and almost impossible to get as an adult (most things are geared up towards the little dots, youngsters and teenagers (a decidely different species 😉 ). Not only that, but it’s convenient, sociable and you can join as many as you want.
We are also looking at forming new ensembles, particularly choral/singing and perhaps blending music technology with classical instruments.
Groups below are all open to all age groups.

  • Saturdays:
  • 9.00-9.30 Junior Theory (Moving to 08.45 spring term 2016)
  • 9.30- 10.00 Grade 5 Theory (moving to 09.15 – 10.00 Spring term 2016)
  • 9.00-10.00 Brass Group
  • 10.00-11.00 Family Community Choir
  • 10.00 -11.00 Intermediate Concert Band
  • 11.00 -12.00 Advanced Concert Band
  • 11.15 – 12.00 Beginner Strings
  • 12.00 -13.30 Big Band
  • register your interest at music-school@huntingdon.ac.uk
  • Tuesdays:
  • 17.30- 18.30 Folk Group (taking a break Autumn Term 2015)

Posted by maestro


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