First impressions of Adopt a Composer from Da Capo Alba.
Da Capo Alba, the adult orchestra of the Lanarkshire Guitar and Mandolin Association (LGMA), is about to enter its 20th anniversary year and we wanted to make that very special for both our members and our audiences. What perfect timing, then, to be paired with an exciting young composer, Nicholas Olsen, through the Making Music 'Adopt a Composer' project. As an orchestra we met Nick for the first time on 10 October at our weekly rehearsal and were bowled over by his enthusiasm, his immediate participation (we needed a singer!) and his promise to resuscitate his mandolin, long buried at the foot of a cupboard and join us as a player at some point.
Apart from the fact that our instruments have the potential to deliver a surprisingly large range of sound colours, we also have multi-instrumentalists with percussionists, whistle, concertina and violin players available, all within our usual members.
Various members of the orchestra have been seeking out recordings of his previous compositions – so wide-ranging in terms of both musical forces and styles. We are really excited to hear what he comes up with for us, and look forward to being an integral part of that creative process. Some of our members are current or past Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students, like Nick, and it is great for them, in particular, to meet someone who has been so successful, following on from his time there.
There is tremendous feeling of 'joint responsibility', too, for the success of this project. We don’t want to let Nick or ourselves down and I am sure he feels the same way. I don’t doubt that the orchestra members will be working hard over the next year to produce a performance that will do him and us, proud – Da Capo al Fine – from the beginning to the end.
Words by: Audrey Todd, Mandolinist, Da Capo Alba
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