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My Music in Norfolk

I arrived in Harleston, Norfolk (circa 1988) with violin in its case but unplayed for several years. To my surprise a local shop advertised an Orchestral Workshop with the Pulham Village Orchestra. There I met local enthusiastic musicians. I was co-opted to the Laxfield String Quartet as its erstwhile leader.

In the meantime it became clear that local choral and operatic societies had a constant requirement for orchestral accompaniment. In this way, I was invited to play for the Waveney Light Opera Group, the Bungay Choral Society, Great Yarmouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Beccles Spotlight.

Expanding one's musically horizons is an essential part for retaining the freshness and joy of music making. There are several orchestras in East Anglia catering for a wide variety of standards for playing and talents. I have been particularly involved with St Gregory's Orchestra, Pottergate, Norwich, Wymondham Symphony Orchestra and, more recently (circa 2015) Waveney Sinfonia.

Chamber Music

Musicians in East Anglia seem very good at getting together in small groups of string quartets and other combinations. Mostly this is just for fun.

Martin and I, who are both closely connected with the Laxfield quartet, wanted to bring together a group of players whose rationale for playing together was more specifically directed at performance. Thus the Pulham Strings was born in late 2004. The core of this group is a string quartet, but the hope is that other instrumentalists will join as and when required.

We gave our first performance in August 2005, when we entertained the guests to the formal opening of the Pulham Millennium Tapestry. The guests included Shirley, Lady Beacham and Lord and Lady McGregor. (John McGregor was our local MP until 1997.)

The membership of the Pulham Strings was:-

Name

Instrument

Experience and connections with other musical groups

Maurice Manning

Violin (leader)

Eye Bach Choir (many of the local orchestras and choirs - too numerous to list)

Kate Reynolds

Violin

UEA Orchestra, Norwich Mozart Players (and many other local choirs and operatic societies)

Stephen Allen

Viola

Waveney Light Opera Group, Beccles Spotlight. Waveney Sinfonia etc

Martin Croft

Cello

Pulham Village Orchestra, Laxfield String Quartet

 

 

 

 

 


Life moves on. In particular Kate completed her music degree at UEA and now dabbles in both more sophisticated music and teaching. This quartet's swansong was at my daughter's wedding (June 2006).

Cavell Ensemble

Chamber music attracts a variety of standards of musician. In this form of performance you are responsible both for the entirety of your musical line and for ensuring its appropriate interaction with the other members of the group. In 2010, Maurice and I managed to persuade Zbys Kasnowski to work with us and create a new group. The majority of us had close connections to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, hence the name.

Name

Instrument

Experience and connections with other musical groups

Zbys Kasnowski

Violin (leader)

Many of the local orchestras, choirs and operatic societies - too numerous to list)

Maurice Manning

Violin

Eye Bach Choir (many of the local orchestras, choirs - too numerous to list)

Stephen Allen

Viola

Waveney Light Opera Group, Beccles Spotlight etc.

Anna Lipp

Cello

Zimbabwe Philharmonic Orchestra

 

 

 

 

 

As a fresh group with at least some of us new to such small ensembles, we took our time before letting ourselves loose on a public performance.

Our first opportunity arose in July 2012 at a garden party organised in support of fund raising for the restoration of Diss Parish Church. A beautiful day displaying a richly diverse garden was a perfect setting for gentle background music from a string group.

 

Last updated 10 October 2016

 
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