Students enthused with Cory Band visits and workshops
CORY Band has just completed an exciting and innovative project in collaboration with Rhymney Comprehensive School, supported by Arts Council Wales.
For three months, key players from Cory have been making weekly visits to the school to teach students in Years 7 and 8 the basics of brass and percussion playing as well as how to compose music.
Glyn Williams, euphonium player, who was awarded the Best Soloist Prize at the 2017 European Championships, instructed more than 100 students to play brass using a large set of P-Buzzers in the classroom.
The whole class would be buzzing and pitching in addition to brass music appreciation and constant Q&A sessions.
Cory percussionist, Steve Jones, led similar sessions focusing on the techniques of drumming and Cory Band’s composer in residence, Christopher Bond led workshops on music composition.
Head of music Michelle Diamond said: “They gave the students expert brass and percussion tuition with instruments provided for all involved.
“The majority of students would never usually have the opportunity to participate on a practical level in this sort of music making. We will really miss the visits!”
Initially, the students attended a rehearsal of the Cory Band at the Band Hall in Cwmparc, where musical director Philip Harper presented a programme of music to inspire and and impress the students and highlight the connection between music and the dramatic industrial history of Wales, which was a constant theme throughout the course of the collaboration.
At the climax of the three months the Cory Band performed a concert in the school hall which showcased the collaborative work in a number of ways appealing to students, teachers and parents. Most subject departments became involved in some way.
The student percussionists joined the band in a performance of Men of Harlech and Christopher Bond presented a new composition for its world premiere for the occasion entitled Fanfare Rocks Rhymney, which engaged all the students who had been involved in the collaboration.
Mr Bond said: “Every pupil involved in the project got something out of it, whether it was an increased musical awareness, practical knowledge of instruments or performance skills at the final concert”.
Cory also performed Kenneth Downie’s arrangement of Myfanwy composed by Merthyr born Joseph Parry, being another subject of study over the course of the project.
Philip Harper, musical director of the Cory Band, added: “This has been such an interesting and rewarding project.
“It was great to welcome so many secondary students to the bandroom and then to engage with them through the weekly work of the Cory tutors at the school.”
The students were also full of praise for the workshops and visits.
Tai said: “It was amazing, epic, brilliant. I loved it. When can we do it all again?”
Hollie said: learned so much.
“I realised that this is an amazing hobby to have and now I want to play in a band like them one day.”
Regan added: “I didn’t want the concert to end.” “I’ve
Philip Harper, musical director of Cory with students
Students on drums
Glyn Williams,leading brass tutor with P-Buzzers
Steve Jones, leading percussion tutor with students