We are the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) and we are trying to do something special but we need your help so that the output of our project can last for years to come.
On Saturday 23rd January, 2016, we’ll be performing Ravel’s magnificent orchestration of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’. One of APO's passions is bringing classical music to a wider audience, especially developing and encouraging local young musicians. So, to complement Mussorgsky & Ravel's masterpiece, we’ve decided to commission a companion piece, ‘Picture at APO’s Exhibition’, written by young composers and influenced by local artists.
Under 19s from the Reading area or surrounding counties were invited to enter our competition to compose a picture for APO’s exhibition. After a judging process made almost impossibly difficult by the high quality of all the entries, we have chosen four young composers to write full orchestral pieces with the help of our composer mentor, Roger May:
- Alice Knight, 12, a pupil at The Downs School, Compton and Berkshire Maestros
- Robert Holmes, 18, who has just finished his A levels at Reading School
- Thomas Carr, 16, a pupil at St. Bartholomew’s School, Newbury
- Tim Johnston, 17, a pupil at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, Marlow
In addition, Maeve McCarthy, 21, who is an APO cellist and an undergraduate composition student at the Royal College of Music under the supervision of Mark Anthony-Turnage, will also contribute an orchestral piece to the composition.
How will we create ‘Pictures at APO’s Exhibition’?
Local Reading Arts Group, Jelly, are our partners in this project and providing the link between our competition winners and local artists from the Reading area.
At this stage our young composers have chosen their art works and they are busy composing their musical depiction. Their work is being supervised by Roger May, (who won the APO young composer award in 2003) who will provide guidance on how to elaborate on their ideas and orchestrate them. It is worth noting that the pieces will all be their own work so that they are eligible for their GCSE or A-level submissions.
Once the winners have completed their piece, Roger will link the individual ‘pictures’ together to form the overall piece, ‘Pictures at APO’s Exhibition’, which will then be performed alongside the Mussorgsky/Ravel and the Sibelius Violin Concerto at our concert in Reading Town Hall, on Saturday 23rd January, 2016.
The winners will get to work with Roger, Andrew and the APO players during the rehearsals leading up to the concert, to tweak and refine their pieces as part of this amazing learning opportunity. Then, each winner will receive a complimentary ticket to the concert, for the thrilling experience of hearing their music performed live by a full symphony orchestra.
How we need your help
I hope you will agree that this is a fascinating and unique project that engages young people in orchestral music composition and contemporary local art. To be able to engage a wider range of young people, give the project longevity and allow other community groups to be inspired by the project afterwards we are looking to professionally record the live performance and create a visual companion guide that will include links to the recording.
The recording will allow future exhibitions of the artists' works to be accompanied by the music without the need of the Aldworth Philharmonic coming along too! We will then look to inspire other community groups with the visual companion guide that will show images of the art work alongside a link or QR code to the live recording and commentary from the artists and composers.
Our budget can't stretch to cover the recording and the companion guide and therefore we are looking to crowdfund the extra cost to allow us to take this project to a wider audience.
The Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra and prides itself on being Reading's most innovative orchestra. It was established in 2003 and is a registered UK charity, no. 1105542.
Jelly is an arts organisation in the heart of Reading. It was established in 1993 and is a registered UK charity, no. 1100730