REVIEW OF GRAVITY DUO CONCERT ON 19 MARCH 2019

Could there have been a better way to end this 69th season? From the moment the two young men that are Gravity Duo leapt up onto the Grammar School stage to perform their opening fanfare, ‘Okavango’, on African drums, I’m sure everyone knew they were in for something very special.

Now a percussion concert demands to be seen as well as heard. The instruments are so many and so varied, some purely percussive, others pitched and melodic – like the marimba and vibraphone, standing there foremost on the floor: a full drum kit and more up on the stage; with scatterings of who knows what – cymbals, shakers, a violin bow strategically placed. Add to that amazing manual dexterity and the choreography their performance demands! Two young chaps but full orchestra. Wow!

An eclectic repertoire, arranged or original, stretched from Bach to the present, embracing classical, folk, dance inspired, film and pop, all cleverly put together  with calm, reflective and melodious pieces to contrast the fastest, furious, loudest drumming. ‘Ellen Vannin’ from Peter’s birthplace, the Isle of Man, so sensitively played and sung was flanked by a piece from Pirates of the Caribbean and their own ‘Head 2 Head’.  Admirable is their use and mutual control of dynamic.

The good fun and friendliness in their introductions, that held all together, proved to be infectious. In no time we were all at a party, fit to complete our season. At the interval the chatter seemed more exuberant than usual. This duo are dedicated to  workshops as well as entertainment and not surprisingly, I gathered their visit to a local school that afternoon had been a great success and with  several others on the following day, as part of the club’s outreach programme, I was reminded of our son, returning from primary school after a performance in the early 1970s by James Blades, and yes, he still remembers, what an impression it made all those years ago.

As we look forward to our 2019-20 season, I do hope there is sufficient support to have the suggested dinner to celebrate our 70th birthday. Party mode seems to suit us!

Brenda Lane.

 

 

 

 

Review of School Visits 2017-2018

By the end of March, we had organised visits by five of the groups of musicians visiting the Club this season.  They went into 14 local primary schools, plus there was a session at Boston Grammar School.  The primary school visits ranged from Spalding in the south to Stickney and New Leake in the north, from Quadring and Donington in the west to Wrangle in the east, not forgetting six schools in Boston itself.  Of our destinations this season, six schools were receiving musicians for the third time and another six for the fourth time since 2012.

Around 2,600 primary age children have been present at these performances this year, a small increase from 2016-2017.  The audiences have covered both Key Stages 1 and 2 and range in age from 5 to 11 year olds.  They have seen, heard and been inspired by musicians playing a wide range of instruments, namely bassoon, oboe, clarinet, harp, viola, flute, trumpet, violin, cello and piano; not forgetting the large number of early instruments, such as crumhorn, shawm, viols and recorders from the 14th to 16th centuries that were brought to us by Hexachordia.

For many of these children, they are seeing and hearing live music for the first time and are fascinated by the instruments and how they are played. Our musicians have played music that is familiar to their audiences – a popular choice is an arrangement of “Let it go” from the current Disney favourite “Frozen” – but also introduced them to pieces that are new and atmospheric. They have willingly answered all sorts of questions from the children about their instruments and careers.  These visits complement the work already being done in schools and the musicians are often encouraged by the knowledge and vocabulary shown by the children.

I was pleased to arrange a visit to Boston Grammar School in February by the Rautio Piano Trio.  They spent an hour playing through, analysing and providing helpful comments on a piano trio written as an exam piece by a student in year 13 who is just weeks away from his final “A” Level exams.  Their helpful advice and comments about his piece were invaluable as he prepared to finalise it before submission as part of his coursework.

Stephen Boycott – April 2018.