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Imaginary Orchestras by Peter McGarr

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Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010

The Oldham Music Centre Contemporary Music Group and players from CoMA directed by Gregory Rose play Imaginary Orchestras by Peter McGarr. The Oldham Music Service has been developing the provision of Contemporary Music since 2007 and has developed close links with 'CoMA' (Contemporary Music making for Amateurs). The Music Centre Contemporary Music Group, under the leadership of Simon Prince, has had a very positive experience with a limited number of works from the CoMA collection over the last three years.

As a natural extension of this work a course was jointly developed for any musicians who have an interest in this particular kind of music or for those who wished to find out more. The event took place over the weekend of 13th and 14th November 2010 at the Lyceum in Oldham.

This weekend of contemporary music making for young musicians also had the objective of taking an existing youth group - Simon's Contemporary Music Group - to a new level of aspiration and attainment. A wide range of works was introduced and rehearsed, culminating in a public performance on Sunday November 14th.

Since its foundation in 1993, CoMA has been developing a repertoire of contemporary music to match the technical abilities of amateur musicians and capable of being given exciting and convincing performances by a range of amateur ensembles. CoMA's library now houses more than 1200 works by some of the most outstanding established and emerging composers in the UK. Many of these are flexibly scored allowing for use by a diverse range of mixed ability ensembles. CoMA is keen to share this repertoire with as many musicians as possible, through the ensembles it has established and with youth and other amateur ensembles.

Both organisations have agreed that a more active and ongoing collaboration would be of immense mutual benefit, providing a unique opportunity to develop a generally neglected area of music provision within schools and local authority music services, and develop a model that could support a programme to establish youth based contemporary music ensembles nationwide

Participants at the Lyceum included members of the Oldham Contemporary Music Group, secondary school students from the borough and other surrounding authorities and 7 players from CoMA.

Contemporary music is hugely rewarding and challenging for young players. Expert tuition is the key and this particular course provided tremendous educational input for the students. The weekend was run by Simon Prince and Gregory Rose, conducting professor at Trinity College of Music who has also been music director of CoMA London Ensemble since 1998.

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