High Sheriff of Bristol’s
Concert 2016 St George’s Bristol | 18 June 2016, 7.30pm in aid of Bristol Youth and Community Action and St George’s Bristol
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Welcome from the High Sheriff I am delighted and honoured to welcome you to St George’s for the High Sheriff of Bristol’s concert. It has become a tradition for the High Sheriff to organise a concert in aid of Bristol Youth Community Action as well as a charity of their choice. This year I am pleased to support the transformation of St George’s to help make this important venue even more accessible and open to everyone in our city. Tonight’s concert takes as it’s starting point the way in which music can cross so many boundaries: of time, of place and of language to name but a few. Our centrepiece is a work which has boundary crossing at its very core. When my husband Peter and I commissioned Will Goodchild to compose a piece for tonight’s concert, he came up with the idea of collaborating with Mamadou Cissokho, a Bristol-based seventh generation kora player, to create a concerto that brings together the traditions of West Africa with the sound of a classical orchestra.
music can cross so many boundaries: of time, of place and of language Mamadou and Will collaborated very closely in this project, African themes and rhythms being suggested and reflected back in the orchestral response. Will transcribed the natural fast flowing kora rhythms and melodies into a written score for full orchestra and soloist. Working together they developed the themes and shape of the piece, adding and modifying as they went along. It has been a privilege to share the journey of this piece from concept to the stage, and I am immensely inspired by the creativity, energy and hard work that Will, Mamadou and the orchestra have brought to this undertaking.
Elsewhere, there are expressions of the diversity in our family history. Land of the Mountain and the Flood reflects my Scottish heritage whilst the African Suite reflects my husband Peter’s African upbringing when, sixty years ago, Fela Sowande was pioneering fusion sounds. I am also thrilled to include an all too rare performance of a work by the English composer, Ethel Smyth, who was not only a celebrated and prolific composer, but also a well-known suffragette and activist. I do hope that you enjoy this programme of music and will join me in supporting our very worthwhile charitable causes this evening.
Helen Wilde, High Sheriff of Bristol
The Role of the High Sheriff
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent nonpolitical Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county. Sheriffs were also responsible for the collection of taxes due to the Crown and so they were not always very popular! Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year. Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. Although we no longer have to collect taxes and enforce order, the High Sheriff still welcomes and entertains visiting High Court judges sitting in the Crown Court. High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies and particularly in supporting crime reduction initiatives. In Bristol this is done through the High Sheriff’s charity, Bristol Youth and Community Action. Perhaps most importantly nowadays, High Sheriffs also support and promote voluntary organisations of all types ranging from large charity organisations to tiny community projects and charities. High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse.
From top: The High Sheriff opens Redland May Fair with the Ambling Band; Simon Caraffi, staff and patients welcome the High Sheriff to St Peter’s Hospice; Lesley Freed and Julie Molesworth with the High Sheriff at the opening of Fairlawn Primary School.
High Sheriff of Bristol’s Concert 2016 Saturday 18 June 2016, 7.30pm | St George’s Bristol
Bristol Symphony Orchestra William Goodchild Conductor Mamadou Cissokho Kora PAMELA BELL Leader
Land of the Mountain and the Flood
African Suite for Strings
Concerto for Kora and Orchestra
Smyth Serenade in D
James (Hamish) MacCunn (1868 - 1916)
Fela Sowande (1905 - 1987)
Land of the Mountain and the Flood
African Suite for Strings i) Joyful Day ii) Nostalgia iii) Akinla
Hamish MacCunn was a Scottish Romantic composer, conductor and teacher. He had a genuine love of Scottish folksong, and although he lived mostly in London, he was always a champion of Scottish music and of the country’s musical life. Born in Greenock, the son of a ship-owner, he showed an early musical talent and won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where his teachers included Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. His career saw him compose operas, cantatas, overtures, songs and instrumental works and between 1888 and 1894 he was a professor at the Royal College of Music. A hectic programme of composing, conducting and teaching brought about a gradual deterioration in MacCunn’s health, and he died in 1916 aged only 48. Land of the Mountain and the Flood, was MacCunn’s first success and was performed for the first time on 5th November 1887 at the Crystal Palace in London - this remains his best-known composition by far. Its easily remembered opening ‘cello theme with lilting rhythm and Scotch snaps, along with its lyrical second theme first heard on violins, produced an atmosphere which greatly appealed to his audiences. The piece is often cited as the archetypal Scottish overture, being frequently likened to the works of Sir Walter Scott in its unashamedly lyrical, romantic view of the Scottish landscape. The title is in fact taken from Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel. In 1968 the overture came to renewed attention when it was recorded by the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Alexander Gibson. From there it gained wider familiarity by being used from 1973 to 1976 as the theme for the BBC television series Sutherland’s Law.
Fela Sowande is the father of modern Nigerian Art Music and is one of the most distinguished and internationally recognised African composers. During his early years in Lagos, Sowande studied music with his father and subsequently with the influential Dr. T.K. Ekundayo Phillips. As chorister and organ scholar he encountered works by Bach, Handel and other European masters as well as the experimental and complex Yoruba compositions which were becoming popular in Lagos. He heard jazz greats including Duke Ellington on the radio and became a bandleader, playing popular jazz and highlife music. In 1934 he moved to London to further his studies in European classical and popular music, playing solo piano in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as working with Fats Waller and other famous names. He obtained several prizes and a degree from the University of London - becoming the organist and choirmaster at the West London Methodist Mission until 1952. Western and African ideas prevail in Sowande’s music as well as a strong influence of Anglican Church music combined with West African pentatonic melodies. His orchestral works include Six Sketches for Full Orchestra, a Folk Symphony, and the African Suite for Strings, of which we are performing three movements tonight. All his works show African rhythmic and harmonic characteristics. Sowande ‘s own notes on the African Suite say: ‘Joyful Day’ is a melody from the pen of Mr. E. Amu of the Gold Coast, West Africa, to whom the composer was indebted. ‘Nostalgia’ is based on an original theme and represents the nostalgic memories of ‘an African in England’, while ‘Akinla’ is a folkmelody from Southern Nigeria.
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858 - 1944)
Serenade in D i) Allegro non troppo ii) Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Allegro molto iii) Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace grazioso - Allegretto grazioso iv) Finale: Allegro con brio
Although often overlooked in the contemporary classical canon, Dame Ethel Smyth was a renowned and distinguished composer who lived a colourful and extraordinary life as a composer, writer and political activist. Resisting strong opposition from her family, Smyth studied with a private tutor from the age of 17 before attending the Leipzig Conservatory. During her studies and subsequent career she moved in the very best musical circles meeting Dvorák, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Clara Schumann and Brahms. Throughout the course of her long and varied career, she composed six operas and an array of chamber, orchestral, and choral works, the most famous being her 1906 opera, The Wreckers. A forceful and sometimes maddening character, Smyth counted amongst her friends Emmeline Pankhurst, Vita-Sackville West and Virginia Woolf. She earnestly embraced the Votes for Women cause, writing the March of the Women, which was to become the suffragettes’ rallying cry. In 1912, she was imprisoned in Holloway for throwing a stone through a politician’s window. On visiting her in prison, the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham found her leading fellow inmates in a rousing chorus whilst ‘beating time in an almost Bacchic frenzy with a toothbrush’.
Sir Thomas Beecham found her LEADING fellow inmates in a rousing chorus whilst ‘beating time in an almost Bacchic frenzy with a toothbrush’
Though written when she was already 32 and fully mature in her musical career, Serenade in D is Smyth’s first major orchestral work and, at 35 minutes, might have qualified as a fullscale symphony had it not been for the lack of a slow movement. The central two movements, more lightly scored than the outer ones, form something like a pair of interludes: the first a jolly scherzo and the second an allegretto grazioso of the kind that would often appear in the work of Brahms. There are other places where Smyth has clearly taken Brahms as a model, though the writing is more than distinctive enough to establish its own identity. The gentleness with which the first movement starts is deceptive, for the writing is increasingly violent, culminating in a sharply rhythmic development section full of syncopations. The finale is vigorous too, rounded off with a typically positive flourish.
Cissokho / Goodchild
Concerto for Kora and Orchestra i) Moderato ii) Andante iii) Allegro vivace
The kora is a traditional West African harp with a beautiful melodic sound whose history goes back to the 13th century. A hardwood neck attached to a large calabash (or gourd) supports two rows of strings which are plucked by the finger and thumb of each hand.
The three movements of the concerto are scored for symphony orchestra with solo kora, played by Mamadou Cissokho, accompanied by a range of Senegalese percussion instruments including drums: djembe, congas, dundun, tama (talking drum) and kalibas, shakers, rattles and metals.
The kora could fill St George’s on its own, but tonight it is the lead instrument in this new orchestral work.
The concerto commences with a string introduction that introduces the kora’s variety of musical colour. Soon a lilting accompaniment from the orchestra and rhythm section supports the solo instrument, like a musical conversation.
The kora plays rippling melodies, bass and rhythmic accompaniment simultaneously, with the orchestral instruments not only highlighting, supporting and playing alongside these parts, but also having their own voices – contributing melodic, harmonic and rhythmic styles of their own. The result is a rich tapestry of sound and rhythm of varying pace, with space for the kora to weave its spiritually-derived improvisations that are a continuation of centuries of musical tradition. The music throughout these three movements is very uplifting, conveying a feeling of happiness and touching the soul.
a rich tapestry of sound and rhythm of varying pace, with space for the kora to weave its spiritually-derived improvisations that are a continuation of centuries of musical tradition
The second movement begins with a dynamic kora solo that demonstrates the complex range of parts that the instrument can play simultaneously, with an underlying passionate feeling that continues when the orchestra joins the journey again. The piece is suddenly elevated to another dimension, beautifully supported by the rhythm section that conveys the West African character of this work. The joyful final movement contains a vast array of intertwining melodies and cross-rhythms with the various sections of the orchestra becoming immersed in the tapestry of sound and rhythm, always with the kora in control of the many musical conversations that are going on around it. A haunting solo on the clarinet is carried away by the upper strings, with the brass and woodwind having plenty to say to embellish the full sound. It’s a pity it all has to come to an end!
Master kora player and drummer Mamadou (Modou) N’Diaye Cissokho is a member of the famous Cissokho family of Griot musicians and oral historians from Southern Senegal. Griots are cultural figures in society who carry the cultural knowledge and regional identity of the people. They witness important events, deliver messages and play an important role as peacemakers. This hereditary legacy stretches back hundreds of years and traditionally the knowledge and history surrounding the kora is passed on from father to son.
William Goodchild is a professional composer, orchestrator and conductor. He composes music for film, television, concert performance and commercial installation. Specialising in wildlife and history documentary, he has scored well over 70 films, including many that have won international awards.
Modou started learning the kora from his grandfather at the age of five. Since arriving in the UK in 2002, he has performed across Europe as well as mesmerising audiences at Glastonbury Festival, Womad Charlton Park, Brighton Festival, Bristol’s very own St Paul’s Carnival, Bristol Harbourside Festival, Ashton Court and St George’s. Modou’s music has also featured in the soundtrack of the blockbuster film Blood Diamond and in the teenage cult series Skins between 2008 and 2009. Modou’s dream is spread through his music: the universal language of peace, togetherness, love and understanding across the globe.
In March 2016, he was nominated for Best Composer at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards. On stage and in the recording studio, Will has collaborated with a wide variety of international soloists, including guitarist John Williams and saxophonist Andy Sheppard. His passion for working across styles led to a recording Live at Colston Hall, a collaboration with Mercury Prize-Winner, Roni Size & Reprazent. Will also orchestrated and conducted the BBC’s Nature’s Great Events Live at the Colston Hall, with Sir David Attenborough presenting. The soundtrack for the BBC’s Wild China series, composed by Barnaby Taylor and orchestrated by Will, won an Emmy. Will has worked with professional orchestras including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bristol Ensemble. He also very much enjoys working with amateur musicians and enables them to reach standards they never realised they could achieve. Studying familiar and unfamiliar orchestral works also helps him to continue developing his own musical knowledge and compositional language.
Bristol Symphony Orchestra Bristol Symphony Orchestra is a brand new orchestra for the City and this is its first public performance. Our ambition is to take audiences and players on unexpected musical journeys and for all involved, in whatever capacity, to revel in the unexpected. We do not wish to be pigeon-holed as only playing nineteenth and early twentieth century music, although of course these will be included in our repertoire. Together with more familiar pieces, we will perform new works, starting with tonight’s Concerto for Kora and Orchestra. From time to time we will move into different territory, such as film and choral music, musicals and jazz, working in collaboration with a variety of regional and national organisations. From our website, you will see that some of these ideas are already incorporated in our future programmes. Rely on us to spring the occasional musical surprise at the end of a concert! Our players’ daytime lives span a broad spectrum of careers, including medicine, law, teaching, accountancy,
academia and full-time professional music. It’s vital therefore that rehearsals are stimulating and fun, enabling everyone to go home elated and with a sense of achievement. That is only possible because of the collaborative approach of our conductor, both at rehearsals and in performance. Another strong factor in the chemistry of the Orchestra is the fusion of Will’s outstanding musical direction and our leader Pamela’s skilful management of us as orchestral players. As well as orchestral concerts, we also enjoy playing in smaller groups of instruments for different occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, fundraising events, corporate launches and more. In addition, we plan to work with charities, providing another way to fundraise, and our first such concert is next week in support of Penny Brohn UK: see our website for details. We hope you enjoy tonight’s performance, which we are honoured to give for you. Management Team, Bristol Symphony Orchestra
First Violin Pamela Bell (Leader) Eleftherios Chrysanthou David Grubb Richard Hunt Sarah Ivanovich Elea Mumford Wendhy Sierra Robert Tulloh Maretha Van Der Walt David Whiston Eloise Wyke Second Violin Aimee Cottam Monique Ayres Erica Burnell Naomi Hill Lizzie Porteous Kenneth Price Michael Ray Rosie Schultz Viola Anita Chute George Gaitanos Alexia Granatt Oliver Kholl Craig Thomas Bethan Thomas Cello William Marriage Vivien Arthur Sophie Barford Ruth Bush May-Lin Coxson Jayne Taylor Sarah Vesty Catherine Warner Rhiannon Wilkinson Double Bass Ben Groenevelt Rob Lillis Alex Pearson Clare Edmunds
Flute Pippa Craggs Jane Lings Oboe Jennifer Mears Esther Williams Clarinet Sophie Wilsdon Sarah Edgeworth Bass Clarinet Anna Perry Bassoon Daisy Woods Stanley Smith Horn Luke Norland Dave Ransom Trumpet Mike Daniels Christopher Rowe Trombone Lyn Harradine Tim Fowler Matthew Davies Tuba Simon Derrick Timpani Christopher Fletcher-Campbell World Percussion David Oliver African Percussion Amadou Diagne Sura Susso Harp Emily Mullins
For more information visit www.bristolsymphonyorchestra.com
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We are delighted to be part of the High Sheriff of Bristol’s 2016 Concert, supporting BYCA and St. Georges Bristol.
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The High Sheriff’s Fund Bristol Youth and Community Action
Every year the High Sheriff of Bristol raises funds to support the work of Bristol Youth and Community Action (BYCA), a fund which enriches the lives of young people by providing coordinated holiday activity schemes for children in disadvantaged areas of the city. The fund is managed through Quartet Community Foundation and each year the responsibility for the fund is passed to the new High Sheriff. Funds are provided for local groups to run activities in the school holidays for young people involving sport, drama, art, caving, climbing, canoeing, woodcraft, circus skills, stone carving, cooking and many others. BYCA schemes have a positive impact on the wider community by helping to reduce youth crime and offending in local communities. An important aspect of the scheme is that they are run by local people for local children. Our feedback shows that BYCA funds generate a large reservoir of goodwill by encouraging volunteering and support of many kinds. These holiday schemes have engaged many young people in activities that build their skills, challenge their prejudices, and enhance their self-esteem and much more besides.
St George’s Bristol Building a Sound Future
St George’s is a special place for musicians and audiences alike; its stage has been graced by some of the finest artists of our age and many thousands of concert-goers have experienced their most memorable musical encounters here. This evening’s concert promises to be up there with the very best, boasting the debut performance of Bristol Symphony Orchestra and the première of an extraordinary musical creation specially commissioned from Mamadou Cissokho and WIlliam Goodchild by the High Sheriff of Bristol.
Our ‘Building a Sound Future’ project will extend and upgrade St George’s to make it fit for purpose in the 21st century. Work is already under way to build an elegant two-story extension that will provide the space and modern facilities we so desperately need and ensure we can look after the growing numbers of audiences, artists and school children who visit. You can see an illustration of the design below and read more on displays downstairs. Our project will be completed in October 2017.
You will share in all this with family and friends and leave, I hope, feeling inspired, uplifted and eager to return. With a capacity audience, you will also experience some of the less magical aspects of our hall. You may well rub shoulders with musicians as they spill out from the cramped backstage areas and jostle for space in the rather too cosy box office and café area. At some stage you will inevitably find yourself in a queue at the bar, toilets or along the narrow corridor and stairwell leading to the hall. For all these things we apologise, but would reassure you that we are poised to put them right.
All this comes at a price - £5.5 million. We are drawing ever closer to this target and proceeds from this evening’s concert will support our appeal. We all want a building befitting our artists, you, our audience – and of course our High Sheriff! If you feel moved by the wonderful music making you hear this evening, please do get in touch as we really need your support. Thank you. Suzanne Rolt Chief Executive, St George’s Bristol www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk
Many people and organisations have helped this concert to take place this evening and we thank them all.
If you would like to contribute a donation to the High Sheriff’s Fund, please make out your cheque to High Sheriff’s Fund at:
The new Bristol Symphony Orchestra has many fantastic supporters and special mention is due to Rachel Goodchild, Jane Krish, Rob Tulloh, Aimée Cottam and Pamela Bell. Michael Ray wrote the musical programme notes.
Quartet Community Foundation Royal Oak House Royal Oak Avenue Bristol BS1 4GB
The St George’s team has offered much help and advice in helping to stage the High Sheriff’s concert in a new venue and particular thanks are due to Trish Brown, Dagmar Smeed and Michael Beek.
If you prefer to use a bank transfer the details are:
Quartet Community Foundation works quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to support the High Sheriff’s Fund. The concert programme was designed by Jane Wilde and Adrian Lear at www.thinkinform.com Very special thanks are due this evening to the following for their generous sponsorship of the concert: Wessex Water Bristol Grammar School BurleighPortishead Business West Nisbet Family Charitable Trust Paradigm Norton Ltd SH Fiske Ltd Theraposture Ltd TLT Solicitors
Quartet Community Foundation – Grants Bank of Scotland Account no: 06004700 Sort code: 12-05-77 Please put ‘HSF’ as the reference to ensure it goes to the correct fund.
Coming up from Bristol Symphony Orchestra Saturday 25th June 2016, 7.30pm Penny Brohn UK Charity Concert Henleaze United Reformed Church with Sara Lovell, Cello Beethoven Coriolan Overture, op.62 Schumann Concerto for Cello, op.129, A minor Dvořák Silent Woods for Cello and Orchestra Schubert Symphony No. 8, D.759, B minor (Unfinished)
Thursday 1st December 2016, 7.30pm An Evening of Film Music St George’s Bristol with Roger Huckle, Violin
Saturday 8th April 2017 St George’s Bristol with Natalia Lomeiko, Violin
There are many keys to building a sound future. The secret is playing them together in such a way that they create beautiful music.
Congratulations to all who have worked so hard together to build that ‘sound future’ tonight. At Paradigm Norton, this level of highly talented cooperation and focused attention is music to our ears.
Proud supporters of the High Sheriff of Bristol’s Concert 2016
www.paradigmnorton.co.uk Tel: 01275 370 670
Paradigm Norton Financial Planning Ltd. Paradigm House, Macrae Road, Ham Green, Bristol BS20 0DD Paradigm Norton Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Reg. no. 4220937 England
Concert Programme designed by Jane Wilde.