Adopt a Music Creator blog: Rehearsals aplenty

Gina Pegg of Newcastle-under-Lyme Community Orchestra (NULCO) provides an update on her group’s collaboration with composer Charlotte Marlow for Adopt a Music Creator 2020/21. 

We had a couple of interesting online sessions with Charlotte Marlow in spring 2021. One session was on getting ‘not the usual’ sounds from our instruments, which was interesting and got our members to explore more textures with their instruments. Another session was on improvising music and listening to what other members are playing. 

At the end of June, when some of the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, some members started rehearsing face-to-face, but due to space restrictions, the group was split into two groups. Tom and his team did a brilliant job of organising this and came up with a way of directing and producing the online NULCO summer concert. 

Since the group has not rehearsed face-to-face as a whole this year, the NULCO committee has decided to postpone our five-year anniversary celebration until later in 2022. 

At the start of the autumn term, the group started rehearsing together in our venue and on 20 September we finally got a chance to meet our fabulous composer, Charlotte Marlow, and mentor, Colin Riley, in the flesh. Charlotte has adapted one of her folk scores, ‘There are the People’, and members enjoyed trying to play the piece. This has allowed Charlotte to get a feel for our group and our abilities as an orchestra. 

'I had such a wonderful time meeting the group in person for the first time. It was amazing to be back in a room with a large ensemble after such a long time, and it feels extra special that I could share that moment with NULCO. The first session has thrown up so many interesting ideas from the group, and I'm so excited about getting stuck into more composition for them!' - Charlotte Marlow, music creator 

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The Adopt a Music Creator project matches vocal and instrumental leisure-time music groups with some of the UK’s most promising music creators to collaborate on creating a new piece of music. The project leads to a premiere performance and possible broadcast. If you’re a music group or music creator and you’d like to take part, find out more