RFDO Appeal for youngsters to come to Xmas rehearsal

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Published on: November 23, 2015

Bring your primary school age children to see a real orchestra rehearsing for their Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 5th between 1.45-2.30pm at Coleford Baptist Church in Newland Street.
There’ll be carols with percussion and a taste of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite – and it’s free! Just come along.

The Concert itself is in the evening starting at 7.30pm featuring Rimsky Korsakov’s Suite from the Snow Maiden, the Nutcracker and all things Christmas with talented young guest conductor Michael Cobb.

RFDO concert CHRISTMAS1A DEC 2015

Winter 2015 Concert

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Published on: November 12, 2015

RFDO Poster Dec 2015

Press Release: Summer 2015 Concert

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Published on: September 16, 2015

Summer Concert at Newland Church, Saturday 4th July 2015

It could have been disaster for the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at its summer concert at Newland church. The opening piece was Smetana’s Vltava, an atmospheric work which relies heavily on percussion for the more dramatic parts. Unfortunately there was no percussionist available, but to save the night the Reverend Sarah Bick, who is the vicar in charge of five other parish churches as well as Newland, bravely stepped in to play cymbals and triangle quite faultlessly. Sarah is an experienced all round musician, as singer, pianist, cellist and percussionist, just the sort of person you need on hand when cymbals need clashing and triangles need striking.

Vltava was an ambitious choice by musical director Jack Lovell, but the Orchestra carried it off quite superbly. The piece is a symphonic poem to the river of the same name, and was a romantic anthem without words to Czech nationalism. Jack delicately steered the orchestra through the mountain springs, forests, meadows, riverside villages and rocks of Bohemia, as depicted by the music.

The Orchestra’s close partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire has provided a series of fine soloists for its concerts, and following in this tradition, Philippa (correct) Green was the star performer in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Philippa, graduate of the Conservatoire, enjoys a busy and varied career that takes in opera, musicals, pop, and chamber music as well as virtuoso violin performances such as the Mendelssohn masterpiece. She had only one opportunity to rehearse with the Orchestra before the concert, but it was a dazzling performance of fiendishly difficult piece, full of wit and confidence, well backed up by the Orchestra, with subtle unspoken communication between conductor and soloist to keep things moving smoothly.

The programme finished with another Czech symphony, Dvorak’s New World (No 9), composed in a late 19th century exile in America, in which the composer introduces some echoes of contemporary American popular music to this Bohemian rhapsody. The thrilling last movement of this great work was a fine ending to another well attended, well performed and well balanced musical evening at Newland.

The Orchestra’s next concert is on 5th December at Coleford Baptist Church and the programme includes The Nutcracker, by Tchaikovsky, and other festive favourites.

Dave Kent

Mid Summer Concert Success

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Published on: July 9, 2015

Magnificent Cathedral of Forest midsummer concert by Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra under talented Jack Lovell’s baton – and guess who came to rescue of percussion section? Thank you to music degree vicar the Rev Sarah Bick who took up cymbals at a moment’s notice in Smetana opener – we were literally on a wing and a prayer! And thank you Pip Green for brilliant Mendelssohn Violin Concerto!

Soloist Pip Green
Soloist Pip Green
Rehearsing with soloist Pip Green at the Cathedral of the Forest, Newland.
Rehearsing with soloist Pip Green at the Cathedral of the Forest, Newland.
The Rev Sarah Bick
The Rev Sarah Bick

Summer 2015 – Press Release

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Published on: July 2, 2015

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is promising to pluck at your heart strings on Saturday (July 4) – with Mendelssohn’s masterpiece Violin Concerto played by talented Pip Green, Smetana’s Vltava and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Staged in the beautiful historic setting of the Cathedral of the Forest at Newland with conductor Jack Lovell at the helm, the concert starts at 7.30pm, tickets on the door are £8 (concessions £6). Children free.

Retiring collection for Forest Talk, the talking newspaper charity based in Cinderford.

Parking available at Rookery Farm, near Laundry Lane. Passengers can be dropped at the church because of the walk up the hill. (Gates locked at 10.30pm).

RDFO rehearse with Pip Green summer 2015
Pip Green joins RFDO for a pre-concert rehearsal

Summer 2015 Concert

by rob
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Published on: June 22, 2015

Date: Saturday 4th July 2015RFDOJuly2015

START TIME: 7:30 pm
Venue: Newland Church
Programme:

  • Smetana Vltava
  • Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
  • Dvorak Symphony No.9 (from the New World)

Conductor: Jack Lovell
Leader:       Ros Taunton
Soloist: Pip Green
Tickets: £8 (concessions £6) on door
Free entry to those still at school.
Retiring Collection:Forest Talk

Philippa Green (Violinist)

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Published on: June 22, 2015
Philippa Green
Philippa Green

Originally from Portsmouth, Philippa moved to Birmingham in 1998 to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Rimma Sushanskaya. Since graduating in 2003 with an Honours degree and Masters in Music she has worked extensively around the West Midlands and enjoys a busy and varied career as a freelance musician. She has performed on tour with artists such as Il Divo, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, Chris De Burgh, Alfie Boe, Tim Minchin and Johnny Mathis, both in the UK and Europe.

A sought-after leader for theatre orchestras, Philippa can be found most evenings sat in an orchestra pit in one of the many theatres in the region, playing both musicals and operas, and worked for one glorious summer in Austria performing with the Bad Ischl Operetta Orchestra during their 2002 summer season.

At weekends Philippa is more likely to be found performing with one of her two String Quartets. As leader of the Ramoray String Quartet she has given a number of recitals both in Birmingham and as part of a regular series in Bath. As leader of the Signature String Quartet she performs weekly at weddings and corporate functions across the country.

Her orchestral work includes performing with Midlands Sinfonia, Queen’s Park Sinfonia, English Symphony Orchestra, the City Concert Orchestra, Armonico Consort, as well as finding herself in demand as a guest-leader for various free-lance orchestras.

Philippa juggles her playing career with a busy teaching one, passing on her love of music and the violin to youngsters in local schools.

From church halls to 88,000 seater stadiums, from classrooms to concert halls, and from accompanying singers on stage to accompanying brides down the aisle, Philippa enjoys a wide and varying career in music, where no two days are ever the same!

Press Release: Spring 2015 Concert Review

by rob
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Published on: April 13, 2015

Best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history

The reputation of our local symphony orchestra is clearly increasing, as this was perhaps the best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history.

St Peters Church, Newnham, was packed for an interesting selection of mainly Mozart, with some rather lovely Elgar melodies as an introduction. The two Elgar ‘Chansons’, de matin and de nuit, sympathetically conducted by Jack Lovell, made a flowing and lyrical start to the evening. Jack Lovell has now clearly stepped out of the great shadow of his illustrious predecessor, Thomas Payne, to stamp his own personality on the orchestra.

Jack LovellThomas was flamboyant, exuberant and expressive; Jack is more understated, precise, cerebral and fluid, a combination of attributes that works well with an orchestra which is always seeking to extend its repertoire and seek new challenges.

The first Mozart piece was a bassoon concerto with guest soloist Richard Tatton, another alumnus of the Birmingham Conservatoire, which has had a long and productive artistic connection with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra. A succession of fine soloists has
provided some great musical occasions over the years, and the orchestra provides support for
these distinguished guests.

The second Mozart piece, the finale, his 40th symphony, a thrilling and profound symphony,
was given full value by the musicians.

I’m already looking forward to the next concert, on July 4 at Newland Church, with Smetana
making his first appearance with the orchestra, another brilliant soloist performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, and Dvorak’s New World.

Dave Kent – the forester (16th April 2015).

Concert This Weekend – 21st March 2015

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Published on: March 19, 2015
Bassoonist Richard Tattam rehearsing with RFDO

Come along to Newnham-on-Severn this Saturday (March 21) to hear some fabulous music at daffodil time.

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra’s Spring Concert at the parish church will feature much-loved works by Elgar and Mozart in this picture postcard setting.
Youngsters from the St Peter’s Church of England primary are being invited to come and listen to the rehearsal before the evening performance – when funds from the retiring collection will go towards a spiritual garden at their school.

This will be talented new conductor Jack Lovell’s second concert with the orchestra – and he has invited professional Midlands bassoonist Richard Tattam to perform Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto.

Richard won a scholarship to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire and later went on to gain an Honours degree in Music.  He continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music gaining a PgDip in Performance in 2008. He has recently performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with Sinfonia of Birmingham for their tour of Italy in 2013.

“The concerto is a work that is often used by bassoonists for auditions,” said Richard, “but what I am enjoying so much is being able to give it my interpretation for this concert.”

Another popular Mozart work – ‘the Great G Minor Symphony’ (No 40)  – will also feature during the concert.

This will provide a contrast to Elgar’s beautiful Chanson de Matin and its companion piece Chanson de Nuit, which will bring another dimension to the evening. Conductor Jack, aged 24, who gained a Master’s Degree in conducting from Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said: “I have chosen this programme as not only because the music is beautiful, but the tremendous challenges that it presents for the players are fundamental to a high level of musicianship and technical ability.”

The concert starts at 7.30pm and there will be refreshments served during the interval. Tickets, available on the door, are priced at £8 (concessions £6) and schoolchildren are free.

RFDO with conductor Jack Lovell
RFDO with conductor Jack Lovell

Richard Tattam (Bassoonist)

by rob
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Published on: February 12, 2015

MrT1

Richard began learning the Bassoon at the age of 11 with Merle Calderbank through Sandwell Youth Music.  Following these studies, he gained a four year scholarship to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2003.  During his time at the Conservatoire, Richard studied under Maria Mealey, Margaret Cookhorn, Meyrick Alexander and Nick Hunka whilst undertaking masterclasses with John Orford and Gareth Newman.  Richard was a three time finalist in the Sylvia Cleaver Chamber Music prize and was part of several Symphony Orchestra concerts.  Whilst gaining a 2:1 BMus(Hons) degree, Richard was also part of the CBSO Youth Orchestra, and took part in the CBSO ‘Igor Fest’ in 2006.  He continued studies at the Royal Northern College of Music the following year, gaining a PgDip in Performance in 2008, studying with Laurence Perkins and Stefano Canuti,  reaching the final of the Woodwind Prize.

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