December 7, 2020
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EYO includes players from all kinds of schools and backgrounds and we want all talented young musicians to feel welcome. We feel passionate about the experience of playing music and think learning an instrument is one of the best things that can happen to a young person. Summer Term 2018 saw the fifth annual EYO Roadshow visiting local schools to work with students.
The team visited a wife range of local junior and high schools and thanks to Ealing Music Service they were able to provide a range of orchestral instruments for students to try out, with some amazing results!
Please read the account about the 2019 EYO Roadshow by EYO player Alex Wu below. The programme was a great success and we hope to continue it, so if you’d like a visit to your school please contact EYO Chair Chris Brown or Kate Hyams via email@example.com.
On a dry, cloudless summer’s day, the students of Mayfield Primary School obediently – but perhaps wearily – line up outside the hall. Unimpressed by the heat and prospect of having tosit through an assembly of that grown-up thing called ‘classical music’, many seem keen to resume break time; some bleakly stare into the sky, fantasising over the possibility of an early lunch. ‘I hope they’re good’, I hear one pupil sceptically mutter to his friend, doubtful of anything remotely entertaining.
Yet only half an hour later, the reluctant pupils now left with wide smiles, in awe and genuinely inspired at the sound of the variety of instruments in the orchestra.Upon learning that the year 4s would have the opportunity to try every instrument, either envy or stunned delight was apparent in each face, eager to get their hands on such peculiar objects.
Similar reactions were typical across the schools we visited. They all made for fantastic audiences, sitting attentively through the performance whilst silently taking it all in (far better than some adult audiences with seemingly perpetual coughs). During the intermissions between each piece,the families of instruments would be introduced and a brief explanation into how they operate. Some would captivate the pupils, in particular the French Horn, more affectionately known for being a long coiled-up trumpet, which would never fail to amass an ‘oooooh’ on account of its rich brass sound, complex valves and shiny finish (admittedly mostly the latter). Esther was excellent at demonstrating how wind instruments work, as well as the reed trick whereby blowing down the detachable reed of the bassoon or oboe a kazoo-like squeak could be heard. Generally speaking, the larger and more sophisticated instruments stole the most limelight when introduced. However, that didn’t prevent the violin followed by the flute being the most popular when it came to choosing favourite instruments after playing them.
Any former roadshow participant will tell you that when it comes to mentoring children, it is the sheer satisfaction and reward of simply being part of a pupil’s first steps into the alien world of orchestral instruments that is reason enough to participate. Some were very keen to make as much noise as possible; immediately after learning how to purse the lips or swing the bow they would happily belt it out for the remainder of the session. Most however,benefited from a demonstration of the more exciting techniques (glissando, trills and in the strings, tremolo and pizzicato) to appreciate the variation in sound possible with one instrument.
In addition to visiting seven schools, the Roadshow team participated in a concert organised by Ealing Music Service, featuring ensembles from many local (mostly primary) schools, on the previous Wednesday. In addition to performing the repertoire that would make up the roadshow content, the roadshow team merged with orchestral players of the schools to form a massive ‘Tutti Orchestra’ large enough to rival our own recent EYO60 performance with EYO alumni of the 1812 Overture. Including twenty-four flutes spanning the stage, the Tutti Orchestra was not only loud but adept at overcoming intense and heavily orchestrated arrangements of Mars from the Planets Suite (familiar from EYO’s November ‘mini-tour’ to Birmingham) and Ride of the Valkyries which kept even the Roadshow team on their feet; we were impressed with how well they fared playing far from simple music. I expect many will find their way into EYO in the near future, and that is the greatest fruit of the Roadshow: Inspiring the next generations of musicians.
EYO Roadshow 2019 participants:
Violin: Zoe Goreham, Olivia Howard, Nick Kwong, Jessica Lau, Freddie Maud, Marine Munier, Ellie Nanni, Henry Saunders
Viola: Emily Harpley-Gebbels, Elsa Rapisarda, Ted Traeger
Cello: Clara Brown, Floss Morris, Alex Wu
Double Bass: Clara Romero
Flute: Hallie Davis, Trini Prasadam
Clarinet: Yasmine Afifi, Henry Wood
Oboe: Cordelia McGonigal
Bassoon: Felicity Howard, Izzy McGonigal
Sax: Grace Pang
Trumpet: Luke Taylor-Adams, Tim Wallace
Horn: Kian Parsapour, Hannah Spry
Percussion: Elyas Brice
Leaders: Esther Sheridan, Lee Marchant, Esther Sheridan
Schools visited: Our Lady of the Vistiation Primary School, Wolf Fields Primary School, Tudor Primary School, Little Ealing Primary School, Mayfield Primary School, Greenford High School, St Gregory’s Primary School