Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


The Brass Section in rehearsal
It is difficult to know where to start with the fabulousness that was my Sunday, playing with the WOW Orchestra for the second year was even better than it was the first year!   I suppose that having been here before I was more comfortable with the experience, I knew where to park and what the structure of the day would be, I knew my way around the back stage of the hall, and I knew I didn't have to worry about anybody shouting at me "You're just a man in a dress you shouldn't be here!"

The choice of music also suited me better, not least since it meant I could use my big shiny CC tuba.

The orchestra was made up of a selection of professionals, students and amateurs, we were all shapes and sizes, although we covered a range of ages, I think that once again it was an encouragingly young orchestra.   I was also impressed by the technical and musical skill of the orchestra.   We gave the premier of a new song written by Dillie Keane and Sandi Toksvig "Walk Beside Me" We had first sight of this at Saturday morning's rehearsal, we expected to rehearse with the singer on Sunday.   The singer was the fantastic Sharon D Clarke who has a great voice, but unfortunately not one that suited the key we were expecting to play in.   So we were asked to transpose the whole song up a fourth, no fresh parts could be provided in time so just had to get on with it.   I was so impressed that this orchestra managed this with barely a glitch, this speaks volumes for the musicianship of all the members as well as their technical ability.

This was the finale of the WOW Festival and had more than it's fare share of WOW moments, the winner of the Feminist Quiz (I did pretty well but not quite a winner) was presented with her prize by Baroness Scotland, just about to take up her new role as Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

Later the Orchestra played.Rissolty-Rossolty a piece by Ruth Crawford Seeger, it's a good fun piece based on folk tunes, and won her a composing prize, Sandi Toksvig gave a quick list of the composers achievements finishing with "and she also managed to raise several children, including Pete and Peggy, and here is her daughter Peggy Seeger" Peggy Seeger came out on stage with her guitar, looked up at the big screen behind us to see a photo of Ruth, and said, "That's my Mum"  I was sharing a stage with a legend, who turns out to be a lovely person as well.
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