The Jonah Man Jazz Workshop for young singers was part of the Harleston Festival Workshop and took place on 22 August 2013 at the Archbishop Sancroft School, Widerness Lane, Harleston.
There was a great advantage to being one of the three children who came to this singing workshop- the undivided attention of Margery Baker. All the children were encouraged to play a starring role, and having the chance to conduct the Pulham Orchestra!
Margery lead the 'Intrepid Trio' through the learning of the various
songs which told the story of Jonah from the Old Testament. Some
percussion playing was included. The young particpants then rehearsed
with The Pulham Orchestra, who also provided the adult soloists.
Having refuelled on squash and biscuits our three brave young singers were ready for their debut performance with the Orchestra in front of a small but enthusiastic audience.
The children played percussion and sang in the opening number, accompanied a soloist in another. In a third song, two youngsters led different parts of the audience in creating storm sound effects, while the third provided excellent rumbling thunder on the timpani when the storm blew up!
The orchestra then played various other pieces including a selection from Carnival of The Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, Danse Infernale, Berceuse and Finale from Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and The Teddy Bears' Picnic (arr. by Peter Cooper for the Pulham Orchestra) during which the audience and our one attending teddy bear were encouraged to sing along.
The children had the chance to conduct the Orchestra under the guiding hand of Margery and were also given permission to wander amongst the players to observe the different sections. At the end of the final performance one of the 'Intrepid Trio' was discovered ably assisting in the percussion section!
Comment from a parent of one of the workshop participants:
"Thankyou for the wonderful day given to the children. They enjoyed the whole experience and the proof is in the pudding - I asked my daughter what she enjoyed most and she said, "All of it!". If further workshops come up we would be thrilled to participate."