Hallam Sinfonia are so excited to be collaborating with Concerteenies again! On Saturday 10 February we are joining forces with Polly Ives, music education specialist and narrator extraordinaire, to bring the story of ‘Stan and Mabel’ to life.
The two performances will include live narration from Polly, amazing music from Hallam Sinfonia, a big projector screen, tons of musicians and lots of audience participation.
As with all of Concerteenies’ events, these concerts are designed to be just as engaging and exciting for younger audience members as they are for their grown ups. The story of ‘Stan and Mabel’ has been brought to life by the composer Paul Rissman who has worked with ensembles around the world putting many other beloved stories to music such as The Lion Who Wanted to Love, The Duck with No Luck and Sir Scallywag and the Battle of Stinky Bottom. That last one sounds particularly great, especially for the lower brass section of the orchestra perhaps! snigger This is precisely the point though - introducing young people to the delights of seeing and hearing an orchestra performing live, and showing how much fun that can be, is exactly what this concert is all about.
The story of Stan and Mabel couldn’t be a better fit for a concert like this:
“Music-loving dog and cat, Stan and Mabel, are off to find their neighbour who's gone to judge the Greatest Orchestra in the World Competition - leading them on a musical adventure featuring a host of animal instrumentalists and a very unusual debut performance”
As well as Stan and Mabel we are also performing ‘Juba Dance’ from Florence Price’s 1st Symphony, two movements from Ernest Tomlinson’s 2nd Suite of English Folk Songs and Eduard Strauss’ ‘Bahn Frei.’ All these tie in beautifully with the concert’s overall themes of travel, journey, adventure, overcoming challenges and musical performance. As an orchestra we certainly have our work cut out with a lot of notes played at rather an exhilarating pace - make sure to listen out for some particularly exciting (i.e. high) French Horn moments in Stan and Mabel! - but we do love a challenge. We are particularly proud of the fact that we will be the first amateur orchestra to perform this piece in the UK after it was co-commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra!
There is perhaps no conductor more fitting for these performances than Helen Harrison thanks to her vast experience and enthusiasm for working with young people in music. On her work, Helen says:
“I firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience music of every kind and that includes the limitless range created by orchestras, operas and choirs. This drives my own work today with my own practice and as a Board member for Orchestras Live.”
Helen has worked with other brilliant ensembles and charities such as In Harmony, Sinfonia Viva and is currently Musical Director of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Youth Orchestra. Read more about Helen here.
This year marks a really important year for Hallam Sinfonia - it’s our 50th birthday! As well as our usual varied and exciting programming, it’s really brilliant that this collaboration with Concerteenies is falling within this celebratory year for us. We hope this is the start of a long musical relationship with Concerteenies which will allow us to perform more amazing musical stories in Sheffield in the future.
Stan and Mabel takes place in Victoria Hall on Saturday 10th February and there are two performances on the day with a BSL interpreter in the second performance at 1:30pm. Further information and tickets are available here. We hope to see lots of you there, and at our future concerts too!