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A New Concerto for York

24 November 2014

York College Music Development Centre students have been working with the composer James Redwood to create a new Concerto for York entitled 'Ouse I am the River'. The new concerto will be premiered by members of the world-renowned London-based Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) in the Watercycle community concert at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York on Saturday 13 December at 6.30pm. 

The concerto is based on the poem 'Ouse' by John Wedgwood Clarke, specially commissioned for 'Watercycle' - a nationwide project run by the OAE in partnership with the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York.

Andrea Hayden, Team Leader for Music at York College says: "Music Development Centre students at York College have enjoyed the challenge of the Watercycle Project, working collaboratively on the composition of the piece and perfecting their performance skills. The project has enabled them to work alongside professional musicians and they have created a piece of music which is totally inspired by water. It has been a unique opportunity for them all - no doubt they will draw from this experience when they progress to study music at university."  

Cherry Forbes, OAE Education Director added: "The event is part of the NCEM's programme of participation in the OAE's year-long Watercycle project, which brings outstanding musical opportunities for young people, reaching 9 UK towns and cities during the year and raises money for WaterAid.  The project is designed to both encourage young people to enjoy making music and to teach them about water - from raindrops to the seas, to the clouds and back again to rain."

Watercycle York is generously supported by Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, Youth Music, Arts Council England and the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

For further information visit:  

Media Enquiries: 
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music 
m: 07813 796 733

Editors Notes:
Watercycle Community Concert 
The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall
University of York 
Saturday 13 December at 6.30pm 
The programme includes a new digital overture, also based on John Wedgwood Clarke's poem 'Ouse', created and performed by Castaway Goole's Sloop Group; the NCEM's Minster Minstrels perform Telemann's Water Music and York's newest community choir, The Belfrey Singers, will perform a section of their own repertoire in the concert, as well as taking part in the Concerto for York. 
Members of the audience alongside the performers are invited to take part in the Watercycle Song - a piece written for all Watercycle projects taking place throughout the country. 
To listen to the song before the concert go to:

The York College Music Development Centre is open to students wishing to follow either an A Level or Vocational Qualification in Music. It is particularly suitable for talented musicians aged between 16 and 19 years. All students will be asked to audition for the Development Centre. This specialist education with high quality music tuition is for students wishing to pursue a career in music or aiming to progress onto a music related university degree/conservatoire.

National Centre for Early Music has undertaken a collaborative partnership with the OAE through its work in York. The project builds on the partnership developed with the NCEM through the Anthem for A Child in 2012. Together, the partners will work with over 500 primary and secondary school children, young people with special needs, singers and teachers across York and the East Riding of Yorkshire from September to December 2014, culminating in public performances in York on 12 and 13 December. 

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Just over two decades ago, a group of London musicians took a good look at that curious institution we call the Orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch. They began by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born. 
Since then, the OAE has shocked, changed and mesmerised the music world. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne haven't numbed its experimentalist bent. Record deals haven't ironed out its quirks. Period-specific instruments have become just one element of its quest for authenticity. 

Today the OAE is cherished more than ever. It still pushes for change, and still stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. And over two decades on, there's still no orchestra in the world quite like it. 

James Redwood composer/presenter
James Redwood is a composer and workshop leader whose practice thrives on collaboration and partnership. His work includes creative projects with young offenders and young people with special needs as well as primary and secondary school workshops exploring opera and creating original pieces of music and music theatre.

Since his first chamber opera commission for Glyndebourne Education in 2005, James has written pieces with and for young people, professional singers and instrumentalists across the country. He is involved in teacher training and has worked on several schemes mentoring emerging artists in education. 

John Wedgwood Clarke is a writer and teacher of creative writing. He is currently full-time lecturer in creative writing at the University of Hull.  His work is widely published in periodicals like Poetry Review, PN Review, The Rialto, The Warwick Review, Poetry Wales, Iota, Smiths Knoll and others; he has been commended in the National Poetry Competition and shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize 2010.
He is also co-artistic director of Sea Swim and his pamphlet celebrating the life of this arts project is available from Valley Press.  His first collection, Ghost Pot, was published on 7th September, 2013.
John also undertakes public arts projects and delivers innovative creative writing workshops for schools and colleges, working in particular with museum and gallery collections and historic buildings.  He holds a DPhil in literary Modernism from the University of York.