PLC writes for new BBC series
Paul Lovatt Cooper writes the music to the BBC's new flagship children's series 'Strange Hill High' - a bit like the Simpsons meets Grange Hill.....
Music composed by Paul Lovatt- Cooper will form the sound track to a brand new children’s series which has just started on the BBC.
‘Strange Hill High’ is BBC’s innovative new animated comedy and stars well known actors Emma Kennedy, Richard Ayoade, Ben Smith, Caroline Aherne and John Thomson.
It is all about an all-but-forgotten inner-city school filled with fantastical secrets and outlandish mysteries, and has been created using ‘hypervynorama’, a groundbreaking animation technique that combines Japanese vinyl toy design and puppetry with stop-motion animation and computer generated imagery (CGI).
The thirteen, 22 minute long stories of the multi-million pound series follow the quick-witted and street smart Mitchell Tanner (Doc Brown), the new kid at school and his two new best friends, ever-confident Becky Butters (Emma Kennedy) and class nerd Templeton (Richard Ayoade).
As the series has been penned by ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ head writer Josh Weinstein, not surprisingly, offers more than a little something for adults too.
Paul composed the complete musical soundtrack and told 4BR: "It’s been a huge task composing the music because Josh and the BBC wanted an epic film-like soundtrack.
I combined live orchestral musicians with some state of the art sequencing software to create a substantial score. Having to work on 13x22 minute shows is the equivalent of working on two feature films!"
He added: "One episode entitled ‘Snoozical’ see’s the star of the show Becky, fall into a deep sleep during her music lesson and drift off into this dream-like musical. I had to compose several songs for this episode for the cast to sing, including a full scale finale for over 40 voices.
It was a surreal experience having the likes of John Thompson and Caroline Aherne in my recording studio singing away only to apologies profusely when I asked them to re-take a line because they sang out of tune slightly!"
Atlanta and LA
Not all the actors were available for certain recording sessions, with Richard Ayoade filming in Atlanta with Ben Stiller on his latest film ‘The Watch’, so Paul was faced with a tricky situation.
"We had to link up to a recording studio live in Atlanta where I directed him from our studios in Altricham," he continued. "His vocals were recorded there and broadcast to us via ISDN for my immediate approval."
Paul worked closely with Head Writer and Showrunner Josh Weinstein, who is based in Los Angeles.
"Working with Josh has been a fantastic experience. When we received each new episode that was ready for the music score he would give great direction as to where he wanted the music to go and what sort of a feel or emotion he wanted to develop in each scene.
It really helped me to develop my composing style for this type of medium."
Speaking about the music Josh Weinstein added: "It was a genuine pleasure working with Paul. I love his music."
Paul is the Director of Music for Factory Transmedia which is one of the co-producing companies of the show.
Factory TM’s Managing Director is Phil Chalk, former assistant principal cornet and conductor of Faireys. He is also the Producer of Strange Hill High.
Phil commented: "It was a big undertaking to set up the shooting of Strange - it is a huge show.
We needed sets that were elevated 6ft high to accommodate all the puppeteers who operated the puppets from underneath the sets. There was a lot of work implementing the stop-motion animation and computer generated imagery into the scenes also.
All in all, the finished product is thirteen episodes that have a fantastic look and feel about them. Each episode is a ‘mini movie’, from the set design, to the acting, puppetry and even the music everything has worked to perfection."
Topping the ratings
The show has become a major hit with the first two episodes having already aired and are leading in the latest viewing figures. The second series has been commissioned and is in full production.
You can watch Strange Hill High on CBBC every Wednesday at 5.00pm with repeats on Saturdays at 11.00am.
You can also watch Strange Hill High on BBC’s iPlayer and by visiting the website http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/strange-hill-high
White & Newton lead Medway memories
The music of composer Rodney Newton provided the backdrop to a fine evening of music making in Medway.
The Medway Town Band organisation recently performed their first Patrons' Concert featuring their main senior outfit conducted by Melvin White and Medway Concert, directed by John Campbell, with guest trombone soloist Susan White and special guest, composer Rodney Newton.
The Medway Band's programme included six items composed by Rodney, including the English premiere of his 'Three Burns Portraits' written for, and performed by Susan in memory of her mother Maureen Cordiner.
Melvin and Rodney provided the background as to how the short trombone solo requested, turned into the major three movement work produced!
Tour de force
As one delighted audience member later told 4BR: "It was certainly a 'tour de force' for trombone, which displayed Susan's scintillating technique and beautiful melodious playing."
Meanwhile, the band's Scottish born solo horn player remarked; "From someone who's grown up in the middle of Ayrshire, I think Rodney Newton's ‘Three Burns Portraits’ was spot on."
Susan also performed Rodney's, ‘'Dick Turpin's Ride to York' and Kevin Kay-Bradley performed his flugel solo, ‘Dimitri’. Other items included Rodney's wonderfully evocative 'King Solomon's Mines' and his arrangement of 'Gaudete'.
Rodney was also invited to conduct the massed bands in what he announced as the first ever performance of his early work, 'Range Rider'.
An appreciative audience were treated to a finale of the Introduction to Act III, ‘Lohengrin’ before being sent on their way with a promise that this was the first of what will be an annual event.
Harry's winning game
13 year old Harry Lear is leading Leicestershire Co-operative band to success.
The Leicestershire Co-op Band certainly enjoyed their trip to the seaside on the weekend where they claimed second place in the top section at the Weston Super Mare contest.
The result was also boosted by the news that their 13 year old principal cornet player Harry Lear, claimed the ‘Best Cornet Player’ award for his contribution on their own choice selection of ‘Royal Parks’ by George Lloyd.
"This is a twelve year journey that has taken us from the depths of the Fourth Section to be competitive at the top level", explained MD, Graham Jacklin.
"The band is still improving and never look back, no matter how tough the opposition. After our promotion to the First Section in 2012, we knew we were in for a tough time, but our team ethics are built on hard work and that's exactly our approach to improvement. All our members are committed and that's what makes our community band so enjoyable."
He added: "The bonus of seeing Harry make such a wonderful mark shows our commitment to younger players. As a band we love to give them as much opportunity as we can and Harry's a great player already.
He has no fear and you only have to ask him once and he responds immediately. He is a pleasure to work with and we just know he will only get better."
Youthful thanks at Chalford
A commitment to youth is paying off for the Chalford Band organisation.
The Chalford Band has been praised for its hard work and dedication in training young players, by grateful parents.
One parent, Tina Baker, went along to the band’s recent AGM annual to express her thanks after her three children (one in the Junior Band and two in the Academy Band) kept telling here what a wonderful time they have in learning and playing their instruments.
Band Chairman Derrick Witts told 4BR that said the band’s commitment to encouraging new young players has been central to its success in recent years.
Developing young players
"The Academy Band’s promotion to the Third Section from 2014, after three years of good results has been a massive achievement, and the senior band’s promotion to the top section this year has also come on the back of developing our own young players over the past few years."
MD Steve Tubb added: "The quality of our tuition and commitment was shown with our youth band winning the National Youth Championships a couple of years ago—and we have continued to build on that ever since."
Neish to top out Galashiels rebuilding work
Tuba star set to spread the brass masterclass word in a rebuilt Galashiels this weekend.
Galashiels Town Band has announced that they will be teaming up this weekend with tuba virtuoso Les Neish for a series of workshops.
Les will lead two of his highly popular workshop events with the youngsters in the band on Saturday, before putting their senior counterparts through their paces on the Sunday. In between Les will be the featured soloist in a concert on the Saturday night.
The event comes as a result of over two and half years of solid rebuilding for the Galashiels organisation, as MD Stuart Black told 4BR: "Around 3 years ago the band was sitting with around 5 players and not doing a huge amount. Since then a huge amount of work and commitment has seen both young and old players grow in enthusiasm and ability, and to now be putting our first concert on our own with only our three bands being used is a great milestone.
It’s a huge credit to the hard work by the players and the phenomenal committee we have working here."
He continued: "I have worked with Les a couple of times now and his passion and enthusiasm for what he does is inspiring.
I’m sure the weekend will prove to be equally inspiring for the players and for the audience at the concert."
Results: 2013 NEMBBA Junior Solo, Duet & Quartet Contest
There were plenty of rising young stars on show at South Normanton on the weekend.
The rising stars of Midlands banding strutted their musical stuff at the Post Mill Centre, South Normanton in Derbyshire on the weekend, much to the delight of the audience and adjudicator Sharon Stansfield
10 & Under Slow Melody:
1. Luke Newborough
11, 12, 13 & 14 Years Slow Melody:
1. Bethany Moore
2. Heather Moakes
3. Jack Newborough
15, 16, 17 & 18 Years Slow Melody:
1. Will Thirkell
2. Rory Rolfe
14 Years & Under Duet:
1. Amy Shelton & Franek Skalbania
2. Gabrielle Moakes & Luke Newborough
3. Gabrielle Moakes & Heather Moakes
15, 16, 17 & 18 Duet:
1.Rory Rolfe & Bonnie Bonelle
14 Years & Under Hymn Tune Quartet:
1. Shirland A
2. Shirland C
3. Shirland B
Junior Quartet 18 Years & Under:
1. Shirland A
2. Shirland B
3. Shirland C
March past places still open at Hebden Bridge
If you want to have a quick march over Hebden Bridge then there are still a few places up for grabs - and a top prize of £350 too.
The Hebden Bridge Band will run their sixth annual March Contest on Sunday 16th June - and there are still a few spaces left for any band who would like to compete.
Heart of the Pennines
The event is held in the picturesque town in the heart of the Pennines, and provides a fantastic atmosphere for the competing bands. Open to all bands from Championship to Youth, a march past the famous 500 year old bridge is followed by a hymn tune and contest march performance to a packed town square.
With total prize money of over £1000, including a £350 first prize and £100 prizes for best placed lower section bands, the event is well supported by local sponsors.
Bands who also wish to enter the Morley event on the same day can ask for an early or late draw to enable both contests to be attended.
Any band wishing to enter should apply via the entry form on the bands website at www.hebdenbridgeband.co.uk
General enquires should be made to Dayle Squires on 07966 100435.
Boobs & Brass continue to make the most of their assets
Another great concert from the Boobs & Brass girls helps fill the coffers for their Breast Cancer Charity.
The fabulous fund raising girls of Boobs & Brass received a standing ovation at the conclusion of their latest concert at St Mary’s Church in Finedon, Northants on the weekend.
The audience were treated to cracking night of popular music and entertainment which included guest soloist, accordion player Mairi Addy and local singer Jon Baish.
It was also the first performance under the baton of Stan Lippeatt, who was delighted to be asked to be part of this unique concept.
After the concert, Stan commented: "The band played very well, the soloists were brilliant and the singer was great! Everyone involved in the organisation are super people and in fact the whole evening was very enjoyable and raised so much money for such a good cause."
The ‘Boobies’ are now looking forward to their trip north to appear once again at the Whit Friday contests with Stan at the helm—so you are sure not to miss them!
House of Lords
Earlier in the month, three of the girls represented Boobs & Brass at a reception hosted by Breast Cancer Campaign at The House of Lords. There, they heard remarkable stories from women who have battled against the disease as well as meeting inspiring people who are also doing so much to raise much needed funds for further research.
To date, Boobs & Brass have raised in excess of £108,000, and their aim is to raise at least another £12,000 before the end of this year.
Radio: Listen to the Band
More entertainment from the Europeans with Frank at the Beeb....
Listen to the Band: 26th June
The Gala concert which follows the European Brass Band Championships is one of the 'Blue Riband' events of the banding calendar.
On stage in Oslo this year was the Norwegian National Brass Band with star trumpeter Ole Edvard Antonsen, Black Dyke and the European Youth Brass Band.
Report & Results: 2013 Weston Super Mare Contest
Glorious weather, a packed hall and plenty of great music was on offer as Sandhurst Silver under Ian McElligott led the prize winners in Weston.
There was an excellent day of brass band contesting in Weston Super Mare on the weekend, with bands from the West of England, London, Midlands and Wales making the trip to seaside to perform in the town’s Winter Gardens.
Thanks to the glorious weather and slick organisation from John Woods and Brian Elliott of SWBBA and stewarding support from members of Weston Brass, the hall was packed with listeners throughout the day.
Adjudicators David Thornton and Chris Wormald also enjoyed a wide selection of own choice repertoire too.
In the joint Championship/First Section, Sandhurst Silver conducted by Ian McElligott (above) took the Town Mayor’s Cup and the £200 first prize back up the M4 motorway thanks to a fine performance of ‘Tallis Variations’.
It proved good enough to just pip Leicestershire Co-operative’s well delivered rendition of ‘Royal Parks’, with rising star Harry Lear, aged just 13, claiming the Bill Buzza Memorial Award as the best solo cornet.
Third place went to Lympstone SW Telecoms with their performance of ‘Journey into Freedom’.
There was real West of England battle in the Second Section, where Cornish challengers St Keverne directed by Gareth Churcher claimed the Bailey Trophy and £150 first prize with a reprise of the recent Area set work, ‘The Plantagenets’.
Paul Villers was presented with the Fred Trego Memorial Trophy as ‘Best Euphonium’ after catching the ear of adjudicator David Thornton.
AW Parker (Drybrook) entered into the seaside musical spirit with a well delivered performance of ‘Oceans’ to come runner-up, with Cheltenham qualifiers Pendennis Brass Falmouth ending third on ‘Trittico’.
Welsh challengers Pontypool Brass rounded off a busy contest weekend by crossing the Severn Bridge to claim victory in the Third Section under the baton of horn star Owen Farr.
They put behind them the disappointment of coming out of the prizes at the Ebbw Vale contest 24 hours earlier by giving a commanding reprise of ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ to claim the Sun Life Stanshawe Award and the £100 first prize.
Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda also reprised their Ebbw Vale own choice selection of ‘Kaleidoscope’ to come runner-up for the second time in two days, with their experienced bass section taking the W Hurst Memorial Trophy for their fine individual efforts. Bratton Silver was third playing ‘Chorale and Toccata’.
The Fourth Section contest played out to recent Area form with South Molton under the direction of Gil Taylor claiming the Weston Super Mare Trophy and £100 first prize thanks to their well delivered reprise of ‘A Devon Fantasy’.
Corsham Borough’s solid rendition of ‘A Salford Sinfonietta’ saw them snatch second place from Tiverton’s ‘Four Cities Symphony’, with the band’s principal cornet Tina Pillivant taking the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award.
The prizes were presented by Susan Oldfield, Secretary-elect for the Council of West of England Brass Band Associations and Alan McMurray Chairman of North Somerset Council.
Championship Section/First Section:
Adjudicator: David Thornton
1. Sandhurst Silver (Ian McElligott) - 195
2. Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin) - 194
3. Lympstone SW Telecoms (Charles Fleming) -192
4. Llwydcoed - 191
5. Hyde - 190
6. Verwood Concert Brass - 189
7. Forest of Dean - 188
8. Lewis Merthyr - 187
Best Cornet Player: Harry Lear (Leicestershire Co-operative)
Adjudicator: David Thornton
1. St Keverne (Gareth Churcher) - 192
2. AW Parker (Drybrook) (Josh Ruck) - 191
3. Pendennis Brass Falmouth (Steve Thomas) - 188
4. Bream Silver - 186
5. City Of Bristol - 185
6. Soundhouse Brass - 184
Blaenavon Town (Disqualified)
Best Euphonium: Paul Villers (St Keverne)
Adjudicator: Chris Wormald
1. Pontypool Brass (Owen Farr) - 188
2. Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda (A F Gibbs) - 187
3. Bratton Silver (Simon Carr) - 185
4. Newport Borough - 184
5. Ynyshir - 183
6. Pillowell Silver - 181
Best Bass Section: Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
Adjudicator: Chris Wormald
1. South Molton (Gil Taylor) - 176
2. Corsham (Colin Hogg) - 174
3. Tiverton Town (David Boorer) - 173
4. Malvern Hills District Brass - 172
5. Totnes - 171
Best Soloist: Tina Pillivant (cornet) -Tiverton Town