Two Arban Studies For The Holidays…

I have a total of five weeks Summer holiday from the orchestra this year. I have always liked to play the trumpet a lot and have never been a player who just shuts the trumpet case at the commencement of the vacation and opens it again the day before work begins. After all, I took up trumpet playing because I like doing it!

In fact, I will probably do more practice during holidays because, without the distractions of work, I can really concentrate on my playing. I can address areas of technique, get repertoire ready for the RLPO next season, continue to improve solo pieces and learn new solo stuff for the coming year.

Whilst undergoing a heavy schedule of work, a professional trumpeter has to be careful to save his best ‘chops’ for the concert stage and not leave them behind in the practice room by overdoing things, even slightly. This, of course, is a difficult ratio to judge and if anyone knew the answer to what, how much etc they would be the best player in the world and the richest for selling the secret on.</p Continue reading

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Electronic Music Humour…

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RLPO – Petrenko – BBC Proms – Royal Albert Hall – 31/07/2014

RAH - The Royal Albert Hall

RAH – The Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra travelled to London yesterday. The occasion was to take part in the prestigious music festival in the world, the BBC Proms. The concert had sold out well in advance, as do all RLPO appearances at The Proms and 5,000 people awaited the start eagerly. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and was televised for showing on BBC 4 this Sunday; programme to start at 7pm! The orchestra was conducted by Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, and included a blockbuster of a programme.

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Works on offer were the spectacular Festliches Praeludium by Richard Strauss which featured our internationally renowned organist and RLPC choir master, Ian Tracey on the spectacular Royal Albert Hall ‘Willis’ organ, the second biggest in the country. The organ Ian plays on a daily basis at Liverpool Cathedral, also built by Willis and Sons is the biggest!

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New Working Conditions…

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Urban Farm 2014 – July 27th First Tomato!

Very exciting times down on the Urban Farm. My first tomato is about a day off being ready. It is a ‘Moneymaker’ variety and is grown for reliable high yields. This also means the toms are now giving off a gas in the greenhouse called ethylene. This is a naturally occurring gas essential for ripening and means they should all start ripening at a fast rate now!

'Moneymaker' tomato. The first tomato of the season for me!

‘Moneymaker’ tomato. The first tomato of the season for me!

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RLPO – Cardiff Proms – 25th and 26th July 2014

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have just returned from performing two days at the Cardiff series of Proms concerts. We were conducted on this occasion, as on every appearance at the Cardiff Proms, by the founder and artistic director of the festival, Owain Arwel Hughes.

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The concerts were in the wonderful acoustic of St. David’s Hall and consisted of a programme of Russian music, followed the next night by the Last Night Of The Welsh Proms. The weather outside was glorious as the UK is currently in the midst of a heat wave!

St David's Hall

St David’s Hall

The RLPO has been a regular visitor to these concerts over the years and know Cardiff Continue reading

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Redevelopment Of Liverpool Philharmonic Hall latest – 23/7/2014

For those of you who don’t know, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is currently closed for a major redevelopment and refurbishment. I was cycling past today and had to stop and take a photo as the whole of the back end of the building is now demolished! Work is definitely under way now…

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Meanwhile the RLPO will be recording a children’s educational cd tomorrow before being whisked off to Cardiff for two nights at the Welsh Proms at St. David’s Hall. We will play an evening of Russian music and the Last Night Of The Welsh Proms. Next week sees the orchestra appearing at the BBC Proms in London at the Royal Albert Hall. The programme in London will be televised and will include the Festival Prelude and Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss, followed by Elgar’s Second Symphony.

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Urban Farm 2014 – July 22nd – Not Looking Too Bad…

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RLPO Chester Cathedral – 18/07/2014

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra are currently engaged in a couple of days work in Chester Cathedral playing a little Elgar and Vaughan Williams for the Chester Festival. We have appeared at this lovely event many times over the years. Tonight was our rehearsal with the choir, with James Burton conducting.

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The precise repertoire on offer is: Elgar ‘The Spirit Of England’ and ‘Sospiri'; the ‘National Anthem’ by Britten (my favourite arrangement, actually!) and the second half will concern itself with the poignant ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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Chester Cathedral is right in the heart of Chester’s Medieval district, with narrow winding streets and high town walls. It is spectacularly beautiful! The cathedral is a jewel of architecture.
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Of course, Gerald Grosvenor, the current Duke of Westminster, is the UK’s largest landowner and his family seat is in Cheshire. Not only that, Gerald’s predecessors have presided over Chester since coming over from Normandy with William The Conqueror. He sits at the head of an estate that has developed since then, dwarfing even that of Queen Elizabeth The Second! The Grosvenors were installed in Chester to defend England against the Welsh and to this day it is apparently legal to shoot a Welshman, after dark, with a longbow!

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Concert tomorrow!!!

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Urban Farm 2014 – 18th July – Peas And French beans…

A good day for peas and French beans!

A good day for peas and French beans!

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