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Listen Up - Festival of Orchestras 2004Making Music and ABO
Listen Up! Players Stories.
Oboe keyworkThe Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

As Education Manager and Oboist in the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment I feel privileged to work with such a fantastic bunch of people!

Every time I hear the orchestra play I feel exhilarated because of the passion and life of the music. The OAE is a special orchestra to work with not only because everyone cares so much about the music but because everyone feels they have their own voice. Many of our players regularly take the lead in our education work and I feel that is what characterises the work we do. In our 21st birthday season in our Enlightening Education programme we are having a year of exploration from sonata form in music and art to opera to ‘Get Fiddling’ events.

I love the fact that the ethic of the orchestra is to question and challenge our perceptions of what we do – education indeed!

Cherry Forbes

HornLondon Mozart Players

What makes the LMP special/different from other orchestras?

The LMP has become part of my family. Many of the orchestra, especially the wind section, have been part of this family for more than 20 years. It is a group of players that work together to make music. The different sections - woodwind, brass and strings co-operate with each other helping everyone to perform to the best of their ability - a feature not always apparent in other orchestras - especially within the freelance market. The LMP family stretches beyond just the players. One feels able to approach the management with comments and criticism (probably too much of the latter) knowing that they will take your views on board and value your opinion as a family member. LMP blood does seem to be thicker than that running through many of the UK orchestras. Another really important group of the LMP family are the Friends - doing everything from stuffing envelopes with mail outs to .....well, the list is probably endless - a fantastic bunch of people.

My most memorable LMP concert?

My most memorable LMP concert was probably the Fortieth Anniversary concert given in the Wigmore Hall - a repeat of one of the first LMP concerts in which the then principal horn of the LMP, and probably the most famous horn player of all time, Dennis Brain, would have been playing - and now I was sitting where he had sat - hopefully playing at least some of the notes as well as he did.

Most memorable LMP tour?

The most memorable LMP tour for me has to be the 1991 tour of the Far East - fantastic food, some of the best hotels in the world - have you seen the bathroom tiling in the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong - the best I have ever seen, and most importantly this was the tour during which I met my future wife !! The concerts were pretty good too.

My most fulfilling outreach experience?

With the LMP we do a great deal of education work in both main stream and special schools. Our outreach programme reaches many sectors of the community - care homes, hospices, sheltered housing groups etc etc. My most rewarding experience is one that occurred during a concert in a care home for the elderly. My brother and I were performing a horn and piano programme - we came to an item in the programme featuring songs from the shows - during one of the introductions to a particular song a lady got out of her chair, walked up to where we were performing, and performed the song alongside us perfectly. It was not until afterwards we discovered she was an Alzheimer sufferer, and with only a few bars of music, memories of singing this song forty years before came flooding back!

Christopher Newport

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