Dirk, Maidstone In answer to the Cambridge correspondent, I still stand by my negative comments as posted previously but would say that the SERIES itself, not the Cambridge event, had a positive influence on me, even though I've been playing and teaching sax for some years. I had not had the opportunity to play with a 'proper' ensemble (beyond my students) since my school days on violin and seeing Robert Winston in the programme playing with others made me want to get into some kind of band - there're just no opportunities in my area. I am now in a concert band, although I have to travel a bit. I would like to see a second series commissioned by the Beeb and also more tie-in events, as I would, my personal experience nothwithstanding, indeed 'Play it Again' - glutton for punishment that I am! ;)
A, Cambs I would defend the sax tutor and all of the BBC team to the hilt - they were very friendly, very helpful and when I sat 'in amongst' for the performance I felt as much a pro as they actually are!! I haven't played my sax in front of real people before but I had a real blast! Actually, I think I might be Charlie Parker re-incarnated ............. Thanks Concert Orchestra - please come again!
Nic, Huntingdon As an exhibitor for the Huntingdonshire Music School (www.humsa.org.uk) I was really pleased with the help and enthusiasm of all those in the Play It Again team that helped make it work. Great fun talking to everyone taking part and finding out what they were doing and how they'd got into learning music. Although I only got a small opportunity to watch the closing performance it seemed to be so much fun that I signed up to take part in the event at Watford. Inspirtaion stuff!
Dirk, Maidstone (a saxophonist and proud of it) I wouldn't be at all surprised if only positive comments find their way onto the site but here goes...I've been playing saxophone nigh on twelve years and teaching in my spare time for over four. But I've lacked any ‘proper’ ensemble experience since my school days. That was my main reason for participating, also since it was paid for by the BBC, thought I'd get some of the TV licence fee to work for me!!!! I thought that some of the celebrity students from the television series would have come along but that was not the case, but the drum tutor from Aled Jones’ episode did, to promote his business and had a drum kit set up for people to try. The Eb alto part (with a problem as a result of a copying error, which the saxophonist teaching us blamed on the composing software!) consisted of short, repeating cues and since it was transposed from concert pitch, we had to deal with a sax-unfriendly key signature but that goes with the territory regarding transposing instruments! The teacher in our group only picked up his own instrument once in the half hour session and as there were raw beginners there, all the sharps confused them and the man didn't explain things very well. He showed us various hand signals that the conductor would use in the actual performance in the early afternoon but it turned out that he used signals not even shown and we also ran out of time, so couldn't run through everything. After a short break it was back to the main hall for the postulated grand finale. The attendees were seated around the orchestra itself and each of the tutors sat by their sections, to lead them. Except our saxophonist tutor, who seated himself in front of the section and was not seated to help anyone, just to play himself. I thought the conductor was quite sneering about the saxes in particular, the snobbish attitude being that they're not a standard orchestral instrument even after over a hundred and sixty years since the instrument’s patent.There may be other players in my group who think differently but what I have said is how I feel and also how I perceived the goings on. Also - and this is just personal preference - the organisers, composer/conductor and specifically the tutor we had - were very scruffily dressed, which didn't give a good impression. I was there in shirt and tie, making an effort to look presentable. So, I can’t speak for everyone but it was very limp and uninspiring from my point of view because of the poor tutor but I'm glad my fiancé enjoyed herself immensely. She dearly wishes to learn how to sing and a little part of her dream came true that day.
Norman, Norwich I attended the morning session at Comberton and I felt compelled to email you to say a HUGE thank you for such an enjoyable morning.I am amazed that such a mixed group of people could be brought together to produce such a satisfying sound in such a short time!The organisation and dedication of everyone running the event was superb – you should all be very proud of yourselves.Please pass on my thanks to the entire team – it was inspiring!
Schuyler, nr Ely I just wanted to thank you and all the team that made yesterday mornings event a real pleasure to attend. I gave up playing in a band six years ago after the birth of my first child, so it was a real joy to play as part of a group again rather than on my own at home! I'd love to join another group and this has given me a real kick to start to try and do something again. I have researched the possibility of this previously, but there are only a very few groups locally and all flute spaces are occupied. I am a post grade 8 flute player so its a real shame there isn't more opporunities for me to find a suitable group to join.Could you also extend a warm thanks to Christopher Green and Sophie Johnstone (flute players) who made us all feel very welcome and at ease!
Wendy, Norwich We had a fantastic time yesterday, thanks to all concerned.It was a well prepared event with something for all levels. It was fun, challenging and socially interactive. I’d do it again like a shot!
Jo, Saffron Walden We have just returned from the morning session at Comberton, Cambridge and must tell you how FANTASTIC and BRILLIANT it was!!!!!!!!!! Eleanor my 10 year old played her keyboard with 'Winnie' in the orchestra and Lydia my 8 year old could just about see over the drum she played in the percussion section. Both had an experience they have never had before and want to do it again!!
Janet, Cambridge I just wanted to let you know how much the family enjoyed the Play it Again event in Cambridge yesterday morning...in fact, so much so they would have liked to have returned in the afternoon as well! The mentors were wonderfully encouraging and enabling, and have been an absolute inspiration.Thank you to everyone who gave of their time to make this event so successful. We are very appreciative.
Immy, Letchworth Garden City Hello I am Immy and I am 8 in 2 weeks, my mum said I could use her email to tell you today was great doing the percussion, I loved the instruments. I felt scared as I don't do music at school and because there were so many people there, but I tried my best as I had never played a instrument or in a orchestra. If a space comes up in London can I come please because I loved it so much today.
David, Hitchin Many thanks. EXCELLENT
Michelle, Royston I just want to say what a fantastic morning I had at the Play it Again event today. It was such fun and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you to everyone involved for such a fabulous time.
Catherine, Cambridge Could I thank you and your colleagues for organising a wonderful event on Sunday. I enjoyed it very much and particularly appreciated the enthusiasm and zeal of the BBC concert orchestra performers.
Barbara (a Diva in progress), Otley, Suffolk Please thank all those involved for such a superb event in Cambridge. It was such an awesome experience to sing with an orchestra and share the experience with other people. I was totally inspried. I am just rediscovering my voice and this was such a fun event to discover more.
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