AYO National Music Camp 2012: Blog 5
By Natasha Conrau
Day 7: The Pointy End
And so began Day 7 of AYO National Music Camp, which could mean only one thing – CONCERTS! The musicians were pretty relaxed this morning, with general rehearsals in preparation for two concerts in the evening. As well as being a pivotal day for the campers, today was the 21st birthday of one of our librarians, Jacinta, which was duly celebrated with balloons, streamers, cake, and some silliness from our library staff – not entirely unheard of…
Adding to the atmosphere of the day was a visit from Nelson Cooke, our chamber orchestra’s namesake. After hearing the Cooke Orchestra’s sound check, Nelson issued a warning to a certain professional band: ‘The ACO will have to watch out for these guys and pick up their game!’
The Cooke Orchestra opened the first concert with a CPE Bach symphony, before stunning the audience into silent awe with the well-known Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. The Alexander Orchestra’s performance of MacMillan’s The Confession of Isobel Gowdie had me transfixed as they powered their way through this striking work.
At dinner, I had the pleasure of sitting with the three AYO National Music Camp Maestros, overhearing Christopher Seaman’s warning to William Conway about the suspect looking kebabs on his plate: ‘This chicken’s been burnt then hanged, you know that don’t you?’ (some Isobel Gowdie humour from the conductor there).
The finale of the night, Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, enthralled the audience with the Bishop Orchestra’s commitment to every single phrase and every single pizzicato – and there are a lot of them!