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Blog 1: New Beginnings

Welcome to Magnard Ensemble, welcome to Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music, and welcome to our NEW BLOG!

Of course, these welcomes do not extend only to you, readers, but also to the newest member of our crazy Maggerz Family, the wonderful and bassoonerific Catriona!

She is, as of this week, our new permanent bassoonist, and she has already proved herself both inimitable and irreplaceable. From her sensitive musicianship to her hilarious rendition of the theme tune from 'Wallace and Gromit' on nothing but her bassoon reed, she is willing to throw herself into whatever crazy thing we do next, and we can't wait to share all our subsequent musical adventures with her. We have a VERY exciting photoshoot next week (expect a blog post), so all the photo content around the site will be updated as soon as we can. For now, we're making do with her addition to the TEAM page, but we will rectify this as soon as possible.

However, the real purpose of this post is to welcome anyone and everyone to us, our blog, and our project REVOLTING RHYMES AND MARVELLOUS MUSIC. This blog will be updated EVERY SUNDAY with updates relating to what's going on with us and specifically our 2016 Roald Dahl Project - for more day-to-day updates you can follow our twitter handle @magnardensemble.

Using Paul Patterson's musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'Three Little Pigs' as our starting point, the Year 5 class that we are working with will be composing their own piece around the companion poem 'Goldilocks' to be performed by all of us in three weeks time, live on the famous Wigmore Hall stage!

This first session on Wednesday consisted of a full performance of the 'Three Little Pigs', followed by various warmups, games and introductions (both personal and instrumentational). A highlight was human sculpture-moulding, led by our wonderful narrator Kenny, in which the chilren (and staff!) had to mould a partner into either a bear or little girl, and explore the mannerisms, actions and stances that might be adopted by their character (see right - our horn player Jon as 'Baby Bear')!

Then followed organisation of groups and allocation of sections of the poem which the children will be working on over the couple of weeks, as well as giving out vital pieces of information such as the exciting prospect of a professional camera crew coming to film the culmination event! (More on that in another blog entry).

In any case, with feedback such as 'the best morning ever', we have a hunch that the first session might have been a success...! We can't wait for you to see what happens over the next three weeks, and of course, the final result! This whole project is in fact acting as a warm-up and pre-show to the main tour happening next year, so we will be updating details of the main project - Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music 2016 - on this blog when we have them.

Pigs love, over and out!


P.S. Below is a video of us, with our new bassoonist Cat, performing Haydn in Tisbury, Wiltshire, in September 2015.

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