NEXT WORKSHOP: sometime in 2023
Our next workshop will be in 2023, we would normally have two workshops a year but the dates did not work out for our October 2022 workshop so our next one will be in 2023. But when we do have our next one, probably May 2023, it is likely to be in Long Melford Village Hall which works pretty well as a venue. Our normal schedule is to start playing at 10 am, doors open 9:30 for refreshments and setting up and then finish by 5 pm at the latest with a playthrough of part or all of the work - with NO audience - so it is much more relaxed. If you want to register your interest for our next workshop please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Hilary on 07802 793768.
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 and absolutely no tears. Whats not to like?
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!
Just email email@example.com or call Hilary on 07802 793768 for more details.
One day Workshop - May 2022
Our last workshop was on 8 May 2022 in Long Melford Village Hall when we played Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. This is a big work, particularly for any string player who certainly got their money's worth. For the wind most sections had at least one movement when they were not playing - which was a relief. We really enjoyed tackling this work which we would never, as an orchestra, play in a concert as its technically very tricky for almost all sections of the orchestra. But for a workshop it was a perfect piece to tackle and a great days playing.
One day Workshop - October 2021
On 3 October 2021 in Nayland Village Hall we played Malcolm Arnold's 5th Symphony. Some of us approached it with a touch of trepidation as its not the easiest work to love on a first listening. But with the addition of some really strong players and a very good lower brass section it was a great piece and a great day's playing. We loved its mixture of lyricism, jazziness and off beat rhythms (in all senses). Its not for the faint hearted but we all ended up as enthusiasts. Somewhat to the surprise of our conductor, Matthew Andrews! In fact, we were so enthusiastic that we played it for real in our March 2022 concert in Lavenham Church. It blew the audience away.
One day Workshop - February 2020
On 2 February 2020 in St Peter's Sudbury we played Tchaikosky's 4th Symphony, one of his best but also his hardest to play symphonies. With over 50 players we made some great sounds, we even got asked by a passerby if we would take part in the Lavenham Summer Music Festival. Which is a first for us, and, it has to be said, for Lavenham. As with all our Sudbury based workshops we had a group lunch at the nearby Codfather which was also a highlight of the day.
One day Workshop - September 2019
In September 2019 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.
One day Workshop - February 2019
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.
One day Workshop - October 2018
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.
One day Workshop - February 2018
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.
Weekend Workshop - October 2017
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.
In Previous Workshops
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