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Posted on: 3 June, 2014

Kent Youth Wind Orchestra: Easter 2014

Kent Youth Wind Orchestra (KYWO) are looking forward to their next concert following their ‘sell out’ concert at the outstanding Colyer Ferguson Concert Hall in April. The award winning KYWO joined forces with the County Choirs to present a programme with something for everyone with music ranging from The Lion King through to commissioned works by the group. The atmosphere was amazing and the collaboration between the choirs and KYWO will be repeated with different repertoire at the hall on 11th April 2015 – put the date in your diary now.

 

Photos from our KYWO Easter course and concert

A view from the players…

We caught up with some of the players to find out about their experience on the KYWO Easter residential course, from the music making to the social activities and what they got up to during the week…

In Easter this year, I had my first KYWO experience. I have taken part in previous Kent Music courses, for example the Kent Music Summer School at Benenden and KYSB courses at Rochester Girls Grammar, and so this meant that I already knew a lot of the people who were taking part in the course. Those that I did not know were very friendly and I made lots of new friends during the experience. One difference between KYWO and other courses that I have taken part in was the way that the atmosphere felt more personal, there were fewer people there compared to other events – especially Benenden – and I felt that this meant that you were able to get to know everyone better. Obviously, the best part of the course was playing the music. The standard of everybody’s musicianship was amazing; on a whole other level to any other Kent Music activity I had taken part in before. It was a great opportunity to be able to play music which I ordinarily would not be able to, and to be able to do so with so many other like-minded people. Now I just can’t wait for the next KYWO course at Benenden!

Nicola Adams


Day 1, Tuesday: I came really nervous, unsure of how things were going to go. I had been to Benenden for 3 years beforehand and I loved every single one, but this was my first residential KYWO course. There were so many questions; would I be good enough? Would any of my previous friends be there? Would I actually have a good time? However, I had worried about these things many times before and everything turned out great, so I dismissed these worries. These worries went out the window when I realised that things began to go great from the first low brass sectional! Not only were there many of my friends from other Kent Music courses, but there were many new people who seemed to share some of the worries I started out with. The music was great, with a distinct African feel, and the conductor was both experienced and nice. Things were looking good.

Day 2, Wednesday: Today there were even more sectionals today, which were great for boosting confidence in the music. Our low brass teacher was really nice, and really helped in improving the quality of our playing. Today was also the day when the choirs came, and… more friends arrived! Things were getting better and better by the minute, and combined with some great stuff bought from the 99p shop (five packets of crisps for 99p?!) and a really fun evening, there were no worries of feeling lonely.

Day 3, Thursday: Sadly, the sectional teachers had to leave, so no more private sessions. With this in mind, many of the rehearsals today were focused on bringing all the elements worked on in the sectionals together. Things began to sound really great, with varied repertoire; the conductor himself composed a brilliant African piece called ‘Etosha’ which was combined with a Medley of tunes from a personal favourite film of mine, ‘The Lion King’, as well as a Broadway-style piece and music for a story called ‘Burning of the Boats’. Of course, things were once again great on the social side, and by now the common room was buzzing with people. My only worry now was that we were already half way over the course, and I didn’t want things to end just yet!

Day 4, Friday: This was the last day before we headed out to play in the concert. There was a lot of work done as the band, choir and the two talented young actors were combined to make sure the repertoire was 100% ready. Things were set to be great for the concert, and there was a distinct lack of stress or worry about the real thing messing up! The pieces were ready, morale was at a high, and we were all happy. There were also some prizes to be handed out; these ranged from the normal, such as the most improved section, to the weird, such as the ‘fittest section’ (which went to us over in the tuba section). Nevertheless, many of us were quite tired by now; the evening was spent relaxing and watching films, making sure we had enough energy for the next day.

Day 5, Saturday: This was it. Everything we had previously prepared would be put into action today, and everything was set on good track. We all woke up, had one last breakfast, and set off in the coach to University of Kent. Here we did some final preparations, relaxed a little bit, and had a little bit of lunch, and then we played the concert. The concert went terrifically well, and there’s nothing that went wrong in any of the pieces. Probably the hardest bit of today was saying goodbye; things went so well on this course that it was hard to let go, but there was revision to be done and homes to go back to. Thank you so much to everyone who made this course so great, and to all my friends; I won’t be forgetting this course any time soon!

– George Harrington