Edinburgh Concert Band: Sheer joy, elation and mushy peas

After a year on the Adopt a Composer scheme alongside the composer Gaynor Barradell, Sarah Freshwater - trombone player for the Edinburgh Concert Band - talks rhythm tricks and recording for BBC. Followed by a last word from MD, Sarah Cunningham.  

Fish and chips, fish and chips and some lemonade, we’ll have some mushy peas now…

Gaynor gave us this phrase to help us get a tricky rhythm right. It worked, and I had the words and accompanying tune stuck in my head on loop for weeks. This piece has really grown on me as it’s grown in itself. And not just because it has some magnificent lower brass parts (I play the trombone). I hadn’t really thought about how much work goes into getting the notes on the page before we even start playing them, and it was great to be involved in the process.  

I found it easy to relate to the inspiration for the piece, as I enjoy cycling about Edinburgh, but probably in a more boring, rules-respecting way than Gaynor had in mind. However, my kids are mad about the crazy bike stunts performed by the likes of Danny MacAskill, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to get into the spirit of the piece. 

There was a real buzz and excitement around the first performance of the piece and the BBC recording a couple of days later.

January 2019 seems a long way off to have to wait to hear the recording, and find out if they chose the version where I played best (not to mention all seventy-something other players in the band of course!). All in all, it was a great experience, and I really hope we get the chance to play the piece again soon. Thanks to Gaynor, Sarah, Judy and everyone who put so much work into making it happen! 

Now where’s the chip shop, all that cycling has made me hungry…

A last word from the Edinburgh Concert Band MD, Sarah Cunningham. 

I can't believe it's all over.  What a year! What a journey!

With bleary eyes, I go to work with tunes and riffs of last week and related events swimming round my head.  I am exhausted but what a fantastic reason to be exhausted.  There's not enough words to describe the events of the last year, their impact on a very talented, dedicated, open-minded and responsive group of musicians and the sheer joy and elation of such an exceptional concert and recording with BBC radio 3.

All I can say is THANK YOU it’s been fantastic.