Stu­dents en­thused with Cory Band vis­its and work­shops

Cynon Valley - - BRASS BAND NOTES -

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

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