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Sunday, 05 July 2015
The weekend of 4 and 5 July presented a fantastic opportunity for some of Bolton School’s most advanced young musicians. For the first time, members of Bolton Youth Orchestra, Salford Youth Orchestra and Bolton School Orchestra joined forces to create an ensemble of over 70 musicians for a weekend of intensive rehearsals culminating in an informal concert. Jamie Phillips, Hallé Associate Conductor and conductor of the Hallé Youth Orchestra, conducted the orchestra throughout the weekend, supported by a talented team of tutors from Bolton School, Bolton Music Service and Salford’s Music and Performing Arts Service.
The overarching aim of the weekend was to allow students to experience demanding, large scale repertoire otherwise inaccessible by smaller ensembles. Although many students were nervous to begin with, they worked extremely hard throughout the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Sunday afternoon’s concert opened with ‘Mars’ from ‘The Planets Suite’ by Gustav Holst. The dramatic atmosphere created by the combined orchestral forces had parents and supporters on the edge of their seats, and the maturity and focus with which the young people performed was fantastic to see. The middle item of the programme; Modeste Mussorgsky’s ‘A Night on a Bare Mountain’ was a real tour-de-force for the orchestra. Technically and musically demanding, students rose to the occasion and followed Jamie’s expert lead to create a beautifully shaped rendition of the work. The final item, Aaron Copland’s ‘Hoe Down’ from ‘Rodeo’ was performed with real style and gusto, bringing the weekend to an exciting conclusion.
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