Having been paired with Ben See on the Adopt a Composer scheme, we caught up with a couple of players from the Main Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra to find out what they've been up to.
As part of the Adopt a Composer scheme, Ben See firstly sent out a questionnaire to each orchestral section asking about what kind of music we enjoy playing the most as well as what we thought Stoneleigh's strengths were.
This was a great way to get the musician's voices heard so we could have an active part in the creation of the piece we are going to play.
A few weeks later, Ben workshopped short ideas with each individual section. In the cello section, we tried out a range of interesting ideas including cello percussion and improvisation. It was really interesting to see the initial ideas of the piece becoming tangible and I'm sure Ben will use them wonderfully to create a fun and inspiring piece for us.
Working with Ben this year has been really interesting. Starting with some singing was great fun and something different to what we are used to as an orchestra!
Ben is a great person to work with – he’s got the whole orchestra involved and he really values everyone’s input.
His section improvisation workshops were great fun and really helped us to feel involved in the project as well as introducing us to interesting ways of playing and exploring our instruments, being more experimental and using the viola as a percussion instrument as well as playing it normally.