Mahler Players Walton Façade educational project to tour Highland schools

The Mahler Players, known for their innovative reduced-orchestration performances of works by Mahler, are undertaking an educational project next week in which William Walton’s Façade: An Entertainment will be toured to five Highland secondary schools.

The work involves the rhythmical recitation of amusing and witty poems by Edith Sitwell to a sparkling musical accompaniment by William Walton. The influences are very wide – from jazz and the popular music of the Roaring Twenties to parodies of the musical modernism which was very much in vogue at the time of composition in the early 1920s.

This project follows the successful initiative in March 2013 in which Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale was toured to four local schools. The Mahler Players are now continuing with this outreach work and their passion to make their music available to as wide a range of people as possible and to encourage the next generation of listeners and players.

The project is happening in association with the Highland Council, who are also providing funding through the Scottish Government’s initiative ‘Developing the Young Workforce’. This initiative will involve the members of the Mahler Players giving short talks to the pupils during breaks in the performance about what to expect if they choose to pursue a career in music.

The Players will be visiting Glenurquhart High School, Alness Academy, Nairn Academy, Inverness High School and Inverness Royal Academy.

Norman Bolton, Music Development Officer for The Highland Council, said “Opportunities for Highland pupils to hear live performances of music of this nature are few and far between. Taking the performances right into their schools should be a memorable experience.”

The Mahler Players’ Musical Director Tomas Leakey said: “Almost all musicians point to the experience of hearing live music as the thing that got them interested to start with, whether in the capacity of listener or player. Whilst we always try, it can be tricky to convince large number of pupils to come and hear classical music at an evening concert outside school. Therefore this opportunity to actually get into the schools and perform during the day is absolutely invaluable and will mean that literally hundreds of pupils have the chance to hear this extraordinary work live. We hope it will surprise them, challenge them, catch their imagination, be the cause of discussion and be the beginning of a life-long curiosity for music and culture more widely”

After the week of school performances there will also be two public performances: in the Old High Church, Inverness at 8pm on Saturday 3rd October and in The Stables, Cromarty at 4pm on Sunday 4th October. These concerts will also feature the Nielsen Wind Quintet played by members of the Mahler Players as part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Danish composer Carl Nielsen.

Tickets for both performances are available to buy in advance through the Mahler Players website, and cost £12 full price, £10 concession and £5 for under-26. The public performances are supported by The Highland Council.

Tickets for the Old High Church performance can be purchased in Leakey’s Bookshop, Inverness. Tickets for the Cromarty performance can also be purchased through Cromarty Arts Trust, Ardyne, 19 Bank Street, Cromarty. Telephone 01381 600354 to reserve.

25 Sep 2015
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