What better way to spend a relaxed and sunny Sunday, than getting together for a Come and Play Day with Pulham Orchestra?
Our Come and Play Days are a regular and popular event, and take place in the spring and autumn each year, unless, as in 2012, we are running an autumn 3-day workshop instead.
The Days are open to players of all standards who can sight read well enough to have a stab at the material we're tackling. The atmosphere is pleasantly laid back, and somehow our Conductor, Margery Baker manages to extract the best possible performance we can give, without inducing stress or panic!
On 25 March 2012, we gathered in the Memorial Hall in Pulham Market at
9.30. Every Play Day is different, depending on which players come
along. On this day, we were lucky to have two double basses and a French
horn, alongside flutes, oboe, clarinets, violins, cellos and timps,
with piano filling in some of the gaps. After a welcoming cup of coffee,
our group of players launched into Beethoven's Overture, ‘Coriolan’ Op
By break time the piece was starting to sound like something Ludwig would recognise, and we'd mastered an (almost) seamless transition through Margery's crafty cuts, made in order to give the cellos an easier play.
After more caffeine and biscuits, we embarked on Edward German's delightful Three Dances. These lovely pieces were quite a challenge, but with Margery's encouragement we made it to the double bar, and ended the morning with the beautiful Pastoral slow dance.
Rich Pickings of Harleston laid on a splendid sandwich lunch, and suitably refreshed we came back to our seats to play another dance-based work, Les Sylphides, with music by Chopin, orchestrated by Chariosin.
The rapidly changing rhythms here produced some furrowed brows, but everything became clear after Margery sprang from her conductor's stool and gave a spirited demonstration of the mazurka, hopping and heel-clicking to show the correct emphasis of the beat.
Tea time arrived in no time at all - time always speeds up when you're having fun, playing - and for the final session of the day we played through all the pieces we'd covered, to end a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable day of music-making.