Sudbury Symphony Orchestra holds regular workshops, in October (usually at Nayland village hall) and in February at St. Peter's in Sudbury. During these events we work on a piece of music from the orchestral repertoire to challenge ourselves. We also welcome guests at these events, either those considering joining an orchestra or anyone who wants to have a go at the work we've chosen.
If you would like to come along, please get in touch with Hilary on 07802 793768 or email her. We usually suggest that a standard equivalent to grade 5 or above is required for you to get the most out of attending. If you are not quite that standard or are just not an experienced orchestral player then these workshops are a good way to get an introduction to playing in an orchestra - you can just sit in the orchestra with your instrument and follow the music and when you feel brave enough play a few notes.
These workshops are free to non-members of the orchestra, so please do contact us if you are interested - string places are usually unlimited, but places for wind players can't be guaranteed - don't let that stop you getting in touch though!
Our next workshop will be on Sunday 2nd February 2020 in St Peter's Sudbury. We have not yet decided on the music for this workshop - as soon as we know it will be on the website.
We actively encourage string players, whether currently playing or maybe just returning to playing to come to these events. We are very supportive of players, no one is left out and we all know what it is like to be completely lost, playing an unintended solo, or playing an interesting variant of the written music. We have all been there and got the T-shirt. These are hard working but fun days with plenty of laughter. Whats not to like?
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hilary on 07802 793768 for more details.
Our last workshop was in September 2019 when we tackled Mahler's Totenfeier, the symphonic tone poem which later became, after some revisions, the 1st movement of his 2nd symphony, plus Suk’s Scherzo Fantastique which is a great piece to get to know from a very underrated composer. We all really enjoyed the Mahler and hope sometime to play it in a concert. The Suk was great fun, very fast and energetic - probably a little too challenging to get up to concert standard but wonderful to have played it. And the Colchester Brewery No.1 real ale went down a treat.
In February we tackled Tchaikovsky' Symphony no. 6, the Pathetique. This is such a great symphony going from deep despair to exuberance in a matter of a movement or two - and then ending in death and nothingness, or so the critics would have you believe. The work was premiered just a week before Tchaikovsky's death although as it was a sudden death it is unlikely to be reflected in the symphony. The workshop was a great success, very enjoyable, with a fine turn out of musicians and a very sociable lunch at the nearby Codfather restaurant.
On this one day workshop we performed Rachmaninov's Symphony no. 1. This symphony is now viewed as a powerful and dynamic representation of the Russian symphonic tradition but after its disastrous premiere performance in 1894 (the work was under rehearsed and the conductor was drunk) Rachmaninov became deeply depressed and it took him several years to recover from this. In the circumstances we felt it was only appropriate to ensure that we had a barrel of Colchester Brewery's finest on tap for the day.
In this workshop we tackled Bruckner's 4th Symphony. How many times do you get a chance to play this symphony? At one hour long it is not often performed by amateur orchestras but it is one of Bruckner's most popular works and we were very pleased to have a chance to play it. This is a great symphony for the brass and horn sections to strut their stuff, who duly did. Over 50 players came to the workshop and it was a very enjoyable day. For nearly all of us it was the first time we had played any Bruckner symphony, another tick in the list of must do's.
Our last weekend workshop was on 7th and 8th October 2017 in Nayland Village Hall when we tackled Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony. This was quite a challenge as many of us were sight reading the music for the first time. In total there were nearly 50 players, some coming from as far as Norwich, Felixstowe and Southend. By the end of the weekend and with the sheer force of will of our conductor Matt Andrews we managed to play through the symphony in full without stopping, it was not always perfect but it was always played in great spirit. We came away knowing what great music this symphony is, how big a piece of music it is (not just in terms of its length, 50 minutes) and that this was something we could include in one of our concerts in the not too distant future. This was a great result for all of us and we came away from the weekend with a great sense of achievement. And we were ably helped this year by two polypins of Colchester Brewery's finest ales which they generously donated.
February 2017: Neilsen Symphony No. 1
October 2016: Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
January 2016: Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Overture and Mussorsky Night on Bare Mountain
October 2015: Mahler Symphony No. 4
February 2015: Sibelius Symphony No. 2
October 2014: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6
February 2014: Brahms Symphony No. 1
October 2013: Franck's Symphony in D minor and Liadov's Kikimora
February 2013: Brahms' Symphony No. 4
October 2012: Dvorak's Noon Day Witch and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2
February 2012: Dvorak Symphony No. 9