Culture volunteers make a big noise on stage

Posted on 15th Nov 2017 12:30:19 by Admin

Hull Philharmonic Orchestra has recruited a select group of bass drummers for one of the most famous passages in music in an event marking the centenary of the Russion Revolution at Hull City Hall on Saturday 25 November.

The volunteers’ chance to shine will come in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Festival Overture, which commenmorates the French retreat from Moscow in the Napoleonic wars, and calls for celebratory church bells and cannon blasts in its tumultuous finale.

‘We can manage the church bells from our normal instrumentation, but not the sound of cannons’, said musical director Andrew Penny. ‘Instead we will be using 10 bass drums which we have invited the Volunteers to play as a thank you for their assistance at our previous two concerts this City of Culture year. It will be a very effective way of replicating cannon fire. It will also be a daunting task, but they will have the benefit of master classes from Chris Bradley, who is principal percussionist with Opera North and a regular guest with our orchestra.’

Mr Bradley, who has played for many top British orchestras, will have nine drummers alongside him – six of the Volunteers and three members of the team running City of Culture. They include Paul Hesp and his wife Joanne Ledraw-Hesp, Janet Anderson, Kate Dagleish, Julie Johnson and Corey Rose plus Rosie Millard, Phil Batty and Sam Hunt from the City of Culture team.

Another highlight will be Shostakovich’s 12th Symphony, also known as The Year of 1917, for which contemporary images of events depicted in the music, including the uprising in Petrograd (now St Petersburg), the shelling of the Winter Palace and the emergence of a new society, will be screened above the stage.

Callum Smart will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s lyrical Violin Concerto in D, widely regarded as one of the most important classic works written for the instrument.

Photo: (from left to right) Andrew Penny (HPO), Paul Frankish (Albemarle Centre), Kate Dagleish (Volunteer)