Following the success of presenting a small string ensemble at the Are You Listening? Festival, in April 2019, APO has started a rolling programme of informal string repertoire workshops. These are open to all string players of all abilities!
How do they work?
Roughly each month, we’ll hold a session lasting 3 hours (with a healthy break for socialising!) on a Saturday or Sunday, to informally read through and learn string repertoire from a library of music owned by APO.
The sessions are directed by APO’s Music Director, Andrew Taylor, and leader, Mel Le Breuilly. All string-playing members of APO are welcome to attend, but the sessions are also open to non-APO members, and of all abilities – making it a great environment for younger string players or beginner adults to get playing confidence alongside more experienced players. There is no obligation to attend each session, though we do ask players to indicate if they plan to attend, so that we can confirm that there is a critical mass by a set point before the event. It doesn’t matter if you can’t make a particular session, or even several sessions. You can dip in and out as you like, depending on your availability.
What music do we play?
- Warlock – Capriol Suite
- Holst – St. Paul’s Suite
- Grieg – Holberg Suite
- Coming soon – Britten – Simple Symphony
The aim is to play through the entire library at each session (eventually every other session), without necessarily rehearsing anything in detail. We then use the remaining time in each session to read a new piece, which may involve a closer look at the music.
How much does it cost?
We ask players to make a donation towards the cost of the sessions, covering venue hire, the purchase of music and guest conductors. Our suggested minimum donation is £5 per session (you are welcome to give more!). You can make donations via this page.
Are there any performances?
Not at the workshops, which are completely informal (friends and family are welcome to listen in). Regular attendees/more confident and experienced players may be invited to perform at separate events by Andrew and Mel. These performances will require additional rehearsal time, but hopefully by having a core repertoire ‘under our fingers’, it won’t take long to whip things into shape.
When and where are the workshops?
The workshops are usually be at the John Madejski Academy or Reading Blue Coat School. You can go here for directions. Here are the provisional dates:
- Saturday 6th July 1400-1700
- Sunday 11th August 1000-1300
- Sunday 1st September 1400-1700
- (October – no workshop due to there being lots of APO rehearsals!)
- Saturday 2nd or Sunday 3rd November (tbc – Reading Symphony Orchestra might have a Sunday rehearsal around this time and obviously we don’t want to get in the way of that!)
- Sunday 1st December 1000-1300 – please note this a change to the previously advertised date
- Sunday 29th December (1400-1700)
- (January – no workshop due to there being lots of APO rehearsals)
How do I let you know I’m coming?