“Tell me, I forget; Show me, I remember; Involve me, I understand”- Carl Orff
Over 200 enthusiastic musicians from across Merseyside took part in a special wind band event on Saturday 28th November at Hope University Liverpool. The event was the culmination of the Cornerstone Festival, a week- long annual arts programme at Liverpool Hope University.
The event was a joint collaboration between the University and the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles. (BASBWE)
The ensembles sessions were led by Professor Craig Hamilton, Director of Bands, at Ouachita Baptist University, Arkansas, USA. For Professor Hamilton this was his second visit to Liverpool to undertake work with Merseyside musicians. A special delight for Professor Hamilton was meeting up with a number of students from Archbishop Beck Catholic College who met him on their recent trip to Texas where they attended the TMEC music conference.
As well, during the day, there were a number of special Master classes on instrumental technique.
The musicians thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of the day, took part with great enthusiasm and were able to really further develop their skills, both as ensembles and individual players. A very special part of the day was Bill Connors (Chair of BASBWE) work with the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School pupils and the Archbishop Beck Catholic College Band when they performed a special commission called “It’s raining Cats and Dogs” Composed by the primary school pupils. Specialist tutors also led sectional rehearsals and jazz and samba workshops.
Professor Hamilton shared many wise words of wisdom with those that attended, some catch phases throughout the day were, “Music comes from the heart, sit as you stand, Air as against use of the tongue”, but above all listen”
Professor Hamilton gave each group taking part, (Archbishop Beck Catholic College Concert Band, Magull Concert Band, Sefton Schools Wind Ensemble, and Hope University Wind Band) an hour’s session on ensemble playing. The remarkable difference make to each group was an amazing experience for both players and conductors.
Following a full programme of master classes the event closed with an evening concert given to an appreciative audience. The concert featured the Hope University Band and the Magull Community Band.
Anne James from the University speaking after the event said “This has been a most remarkable, high achieving and musical experience! Where performers as young as 8 to 88 took part, yes music does come from the heart.”
Course tutors were, (Anne James (Samba), Jonathan Pippen (low brass), Sean Chandler (trumpets), Chris Burridge and Chris Tratt (flutes), Andrew Roberts (Clarinets), John Padfield (saxophones), Matthew Whitfield (percussion), Per Nielsen (Jazz)). Band Conductors were Phil Shotton (Maghull), Anne James, Matthew Whitfield and Chris Tratt (Hope), Bruce Hicks (Archbishop Beck Catholic College), Phil Shotton and Phil Palmer (Sefton).
After the event we received the following email from Professor Hamilton:
Thank you for bringing your ensembles to the Liverpool Hope Band Festival! I had a great time working with the bands and getting to know some of you better. I appreciate all the great work and teaching that is going on in and around Liverpool. Please let me know if I can assist you or your band programs in the future.
All the best!
Craig V. Hamilton, PhD
Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music Director of Bands Ouachita Baptist University OBU Box 3649
Arkadelphia, AR 71998