The Isle of Man Wind Orchestra has announced its contribution to the Island of Culture 2014 celebrations, which will include performances of new music, a concert tour and collaborations with other groups.
The orchestra will also be collaborating with other cultural groups and this will include a concert with The Gale Force in April and a concert of Celtic music with Manx Gaelic choir Caarjyn Cooidjagh in October.
The centrepiece of this concert will be the first performance of a new composition for wind orchestra and choir by Paul Dunderdale, IoMWO’s musical director.
The year will also include some of the orchestra’s popular annual events such as the annual Wind and Brass Weekend from February 14 to 16, which this year will be led by Rob Wiffin OBE, musical director of the Kew Wind Orchestra and professor of conducting at the Royal Military School of Music, who teaches postgraduate conducting, composition and arranging at the London College of Music.
For this event, the orchestra will be joined by musicians from Bewdley Concert Band who will be travelling to the island from Worcestershire to take part.
Due to the increasing popularity of this event, which is open to musicians the island over and not just IoMWO members, it will be held at St Ninian’s Lower School, Bemahague, Onchan, so that all those who wish to attend can be accommodated. The weekend will end with a concert at the school on the afternoon of Sunday, February 16.
The orchestra will pay a return visit to Bewdley in April to perform in a St George’s Day concert with the Bewdley Concert Band.
Meanwhile, in July the orchestra will host a visit by American composer Clare Shore.
Based in Florida, Ms Shore is only the second woman to earn the doctor of musical arts degree in composition from the world-famous Juilliard School.
She has been invited by the orchestra to join in the cultural celebrations surrounding Tynwald Day and the orchestra will give the European premiere of a new work she has written. IoMWO has chosen to work with her in order to discover more about the American tradition of wind orchestra music, which is vibrant.
The orchestra has its first rehearsal of the new year on Thursday, January 9, at 7.45pm at Marown Primary School and new members are welcome. No audition is necessary.
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The orchestra will be supported in the year ahead by Sure Isle of Man and the Isle of Man Arts Council.
Sure’s sponsorship will mean students will be able to take part in the orchestra’s events free of charge and will enjoy free admission to its performances.
Michael Morrison, chairman of the orchestra, said: ‘It is important to us that we make our rehearsals and events as easily accessible as possible to young people, so that they can participate, encouraging them contribute to our music-making. We are very pleased that Sure supports this aim.’
Sarah Jarvis, Sure’s marketing manager, added: ‘Members of the orchestra recently performed carols and Christmas music outside our Douglas store and it seemed a natural progression to make an offer of sponsorship. We are absolutely delighted to support the orchestra in this special year for arts and culture in the Isle of Man and are thrilled this will allow greater access to music for youngsters on the island.’