This year SoundStorm celebrates 20 years since it started in Bournemouth and 10 years as the lead partner of the award-winning BCP Music Education Hub. Across two decades, thousands of students have benefited from a diverse and wide-ranging programme of musical enrichment, tuition and performance opportunities many of which have and will continue to be free.
To mark the anniversary SoundStorm, the Music Education Hub and its sister agency Wave Arts Education, have lined up a year-long programme of events and workshops, in-school concerts and a major public performance ‘Around the World in 8 Days’ to be performed at the BIC on the 12th July, 2022. This showcase event will bring together 250+ students of all abilities, from numerous schools, to perform together as an orchestra in the 2100 capacity venue. They will be joined on the night by several guest musicians, bringing to the stage instrumentation and rhythms from across the globe.
The score, composed by Bournemouth resident and Music Hub partner, Stefan Defilet, was specially commissioned as the centrepiece event for the anniversary. Drawing on the Jules Verne novel as inspiration the message is one of hope communicated through the international language of music and the friendships it can create.
Arranged for instrumentalists of all abilities the score, centred around a recurring musical motif, transports the players and the audience on an epic musical journey embarking from the British Isles, and featuring ‘stopovers’ in Spain, the Balkans, Senegal, Israel, China and India, before arriving at its final destination in Latin America to bring the show to a carnival-style finale.
During the creative process Stefan undertook to consult with, and work alongside musicians either from or familiar with the musical traditions of the areas visited. The score shifts in emphasis and dynamics across the 8 movements, from Celtic jigs and Klezmer rhythms to the Balearic pulse of Spain, communicating musical moods that shift seamlessly from the reflective to the triumphant as the journey concludes.
Each movement lasts around 9 minutes totalling a show time of approximately 85 mins, performed in two parts with a 30-minute interval. The performance will be conducted by Lee Marchant and will also feature members of the Westbourne Orchestra, which Stefan leads.
On the evening of the 12th of July, the orchestra will be joined on stage by guest musicians, some of whom worked with the composer to develop the score. They include Ricky Romain and Udit Pankhania performing a tabla and sitar duet, Josh Doughty on the kora with Cheikh Diop on djembes, Royal College undergraduate Lon Fon on the enchanting gaohu, and local musicians Mike Potts taking principal trumpet, and John Edwards on classical guitar.
On the evening of July 12th the BIC will host the largest youth orchestra to have played in the area for many years. Recruited from schools across BCP and also featuring members of the Dorset Youth Symphony and Coda Fiddle Orchestra’s, it will mark a triumphant return to large-scale performance after 2 years of restrictions (and a few frustrations!)
The Infant member school programme, led by Hub practitioners Cathy Murray, Sandie Elkins, Abi Thommes, Lou Wilson and Kevin Morgan, this year takes inspiration from the Around the World score, offering each school the chance to create and improvise songs. Their musical journey began last autumn with a unique cross-arts input, Scary Bones and the Pirates of Brownsea Island. Since then each school has been developing their own unique journey in partnership with their resident musician, in preparation for a final performance this summer featuring some very special guests.
The Infant School Tour will visit 11 schools this summer, taking over 2000 of the conurbation’s youngest students on a bespoke musical journey, featuring a trio performance who will premier selected excerpts from the original score. Led by the composer Stefan, accompanied by Becca Defilet on piano and Hannah Gobbett on clarinet, the trio reduction was commissioned with a simple ambition of sharing some of the musical joy from the night of the 12th, with a wider audience, particularly those that are too young to perform.
SoundStorm commissioned local designer and musician Andrea Todd to develop an identity and logo for the event that would capture the musical diversity, colours and sounds of the locations we visit and importantly, would convey a message of how we all might choose to travel in the future, as we commit to addressing the climate crisis.
The striking designs were extended to our Education pack, issued to the Infant member schools as they began their journey last autumn; this engaging learning resource was co-developed by Arts2Educate’s Abi Thommes and the Music Hub and has been used across the region to engage our youngest students in their own journey.
Visit the BIC website to reserve your seats – click here