Last weekend, NYO wind musicians gathered with teenage musicians from all over the country to take part in the Inspire Wind Ensemble at the University of Liverpool. The aim of the whole weekend was to inspire young people by forming a large ensemble to perform challenging works from the classical repertoire, as well as giving them a taster of what happens at NYO.
The repertoire for the residency was ambitious: an arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’ as well as a Haydn’s Serenade in C major. From the first tutti, it was clear that that the wind ensemble had the potential to sound excellent. Over the course of our rehearsals I think we all realised how quietly (and loudly) we could play together, even with such a large ensemble, and learnt how to blend our individual sounds together to produce a different, more magical tone.
As well as having full tutti rehearsals, we also had individual sectionals and mini chamber ensemble rehearsals. I also spent some time leading the sectional rehearsal, which was really rewarding for me as I could pass down the knowledge which I had learnt from the tutors during my time in NYO. Our bassoon tutor, Adam, was really friendly and gave all of us valuable advice to help us improve our bassoon technique and sound.
Apart from intense rehearsals, we also had the opportunity to relax and get to know all the bassoons better on our section night. Fuelled by copious amounts of pizza, chocolate and cookies, the evening helped us to bond as a section socially as well as musically, and our (limited) skills at charades and Articulate were put to great use.
At the end of the residency, the Inspire Wind Ensemble gave a musical sharing to family and friends. The Inspire Percussion Ensemble had also been taking place at the same time, so it was fantastic to hear what they had achieved during their residency. As for the winds, I thought the ensemble sounded fantastic and I was amazed at the standard which the ensemble had reached in just three days. It was a pleasure to meet and make friends with the other Inspire Musicians who also share a huge passion for music.