National Centre for Early Music

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Purcell's Twist


Cathryn Dew introduces the recorder

First notes on the trebles!

CPD for local musicians
Purcell's Twist is a collaboration between young and amateur musicians from across Yorkshire, celebrating early music and modern creativity. The project is part of NCEM's work as a BBC Ten Pieces national champion, "aiming to open up the world of classical music to young people and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to the music".

Drawing on the accessibility and authenticity of the recorder (a low-cost instrument with a relatively shallow initial learning curve but with the scope to progress to increasingly complex and historically-informed repertoire over time), Purcell's Twist seeks to increase opportunity for those who regularly face barriers to engaging in high-quality, high-profile music-making.

Focusing predominantly on Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire, through partnerships with Castaway Accessible Music Theatre and local schools and community groups, Purcell's Twist offers young people aged 10-25 the opportunity to:
  • Learn to play the treble or descant recorder, supported by early music specialists Cathryn Dew and Jennifer Cohen;
  • Explore and play a part in Henry Purcell's 'Rondeau' from Abdelazer (one of the 2017-18 BBC Ten Pieces);
  • Develop a brand-new composition, using the Purcell Rondeau as inspiration;
  • Meet and rehearse with York's Youth Early Music Group, the Minster Minstrels , developing a shared performance of the Purcell Rondeau.

Purcell's Twist also offers professional development to local community musicians, through:
  • Instrumental tuition from recorder expert, Cathryn Dew, for all music leaders and support staff involved in the project;
  • Placement and shadowing opportunities for students from the University of York's Music Education Group and staff from Castaway Accessible Music Theatre.

The project will culminate in a collaborative community concert, held at Toll Gavel United Church, 1pm on Saturday 26th May, as part of the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival. Young people from this project will join forces with recorder virtuoso Piers Adams and participants from the festival's Revolutionary Recorder workshop , closing the show with a massed-recorder finale!

Purcell's Twist is made possible thanks to the support of Youth Music (as part of the Music4U programme), the East Riding of Yorkshire Music Education Hub and the Mayfield Valley Arts Trust. The Minster Minstrels are generously supported by York Music Hub.

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