The idea for this event was to share the experience of playing and rehearsing in a good orchestra with a professional conductor and leader. There were no auditions to take part in the event, though a minimum standard of grade 5 or equivalent was recommended, and we asked for applications so that we knew people were going to be of an appropriate standard. We knew that we might have unusual numbers of players in each section, but felt it was worthwhile in any case, and that we would have a lot of fun making new friends. We played Brahms’ Hungarian Dances numbers 1, 5 and 14, Copland’s Hoedown from Rodeo, and De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo. There was a play-through at the end.
There was no charge for the event, and we provided home-made cakes in the break.
It was a very successful afternoon. There were nearly a hundred players altogether - 40 Haffner Orchestra members and the rest visitors. Many were teenagers, one of whom (14-year-old Alistair Burton), had a go at conducting. The visitors very much enjoyed the experience of playing in an orchestra like the Haffner, being alongside us and welcomed by us. They enjoyed Justin’s challenging style of conducting too, and his wit, good humour and friendliness.
Sunday 17th January 2016