Tag Archives: tim torry

Piano Project 2018: An afternoon of new music

Piano Project 2018 is the third Piano Project event run by Dylan Christopher and Colchester New Music. For each event, composers have been invited to submit scores for aspirant pianists – between the levels of grade 1 and grade 5, and no longer than 5 minutes in length – to be considered for the project.

This year Colchester New Music teamed up with EPTA Essex with the help of Sharon Goodey. After the submitted scores were analysed and discussed by a panel of three, they were distributed to EPTA Essex piano teachers, who let their students choose a piece (or pieces!) they would like to present at the concert.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, students, families, teachers and composers descended upon Christchurch United Reform Church in Chelmsford. Sharon Goodey opened the event, inviting students to come up and sit near the performance space when they were ready to perform, creating a lovely relaxed atmosphere for the music to unfold in. Students were invited to say a few words about their pieces before they performed them – what they liked, or how they felt about the piece – which gave the audience a wonderful insight into the pieces, and it was fantastic from a composer’s point of view to hear how the performers had interpreted their work. Some students chose to perform more than one piece, and some of the composers’ works were performed multiple times (see below).

What was brilliantly unique about the event was not only was it a concert featuring purely new music, but that it was all performed by student pianists – of all ages. Not professionals, but students having that rare yet amazing opportunity to be among the first to perform a new piece of music.

During the all essential tea and biscuits an audience vote was taken as to the most popular piece. For Ellie by Dylan Christopher was the most popular with 41 votes, followed by New Boots by Theresa Chapman (34 votes) and In Autumn by Melanie Green (32 votes). Andrew Higgins from Alfred Publishing was also present at the event, with his favourite performances of the day being of Peter Thorne’s Little Boat and Dylan Christopher’s For Ellie.

Many thanks must go to Dylan Christopher, the brainchild of the Piano Project 2018 for all his work on Piano Project (2018 and in the past!), to Alex Blustin for all his organisational work on the CNM side, and to Sharon Goodey for all her organisation on the EPTA Essex side of things.

Pieces performed [number of times in square brackets]

New Boots by Theresa Chapman [3]
In Autumn by Melanie Green [3]
Sad Tale by Theresa Chapman [2]
Taking Turns by Mel McIntyre [2]
Largo by Mel Mcintyre [2]
Allegretto by Jenni Pinnock [2]
A Scots Saddhu by Tim Torry [2]
Ancestors Footsteps by Ian Wilson [2]
Sleepwalking by Anna Appleby [1]
Just Before Dawn by Paul Burnell [1]
Five Pulse Pieces by Paul Burnell [1]
Can my heart escape this sadness? by Theresa Chapman [1]
Rabbits by Theresa Chapman [1]
Elegy by Dylan Christopher [1]
For Ellie by Dylan Christopher [1]
Prelude by Dylan Christopher [1]
Simplicity by Dylan Christopher [1]
Waltz by Dylan Christopher [1]
Little Boat by Peter Thorne [1]

Announcing the Piano Project 2018 shortlisted works

We can now announce the shortlist of pieces for CNM’s Piano Project 2018, presented in collaboration with EPTA. These pieces, written by contemporary composers for learner pianists of ABRSM grade 1-5 standard, form the list from which students and teachers will select works for the final concert in Chelmsford in summer 2018. The shortlisted works are:

SleepwalkingAnna Appleby

RobotAran Browning

Five Pulse PiecesPaul Burnell
Just Before DawnPaul Burnell
Trying to RememberPaul Burnell
Soften Swords Paul Burnell

Rabbits Teresa Chapman
New BootsTeresa Chapman
The Lonely ChickenTeresa Chapman
Can my Heart Escape this Sadness?Teresa Chapman

For EllieDylan Christopher
SimplicityDylan Christopher
ElegyDylan Christopher
WaltzDylan Christopher

Minor sadnessMartin Devek

Prelude in C MinorLaurence Glazier

In AutumnMelanie Green
MusingsMelanie Green

SeeSaw 45Mel McIntyre
Taking TurnsMel McIntyre
The Jolly SailorMel McIntyre
LargoMel McIntyre

Reminisce Jenni Pinnock
AllegrettoJenni Pinnock

RodeoRoger Sciachettano

Little BoatPeter Thorne

Tonal tunes and modal melodies 2: Variations on a wistful tuneTim Torry
Tonal tunes and modal melodies 5: A Scots SaddhuTim Torry
Tonal tunes and modal melodies 6: Variations on a Sea Song, The Drunken SailorTim Torry

Ancestors’ FootstepsIan Wilson

Composer biographies

Anna Appleby is an award-winning, Manchester-based composer and the 2016/17 Rambert Music Fellow. She has written for artists including the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Cavaleri Quartet, the Hermes Experiment, the BBC Singers, Manchester Camerata, Jonathan Powell, Het Balletorkest and A4 Brass. Collaboration is at the heart of her creative practice.

A composer from the Lake District, Aran Browning (b. 1994) recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Rory Boyle and Gordon McPherson. Since coming to Glasgow his collaborators have included Live Music Now, Red Note Ensemble, Inclusive Creativity, BBC SSO, Drake Music Scotland, Ensemble Modern, Leeds Lieder and Strathendrick Singers through Adopt a Composer.

Paul Burnell (b. 1960) is a composer and musician based in London. His compositions can be heard on his albums, including ‘Leaving the Party on Pluto’, ‘Cabbage Heads’, and ‘Acute Suites’. An album with pianist James Bacon was released in 2016 and ‘Accompanied Readings Vol.2’ is due for release in 2018.

Theresa Chapman is a Colchester-based Piano Teacher, and also works as a Music Tutor for Essex Music Services. She holds both a B.Mus degree from the University of Cape Town and an Honours degree in Music from Stellenbosch University.

Dylan Christopher (b. 1987) completed his music studies with honours at Colchester Institute, where he studied piano with Australian pianist Lesley Young, and composition with Dr Mark Bellis. A promoter and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dylan joined the membership of Colchester New Music in 2014.

Martin Devek (b. 1979) is a multidisciplinary artist, creator of original music, film and fine arts. Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), he is currently working in Northern Ireland and England. His compositions for dance & theatre pieces include ‘Knowing the dance’ performed at Brian Friel Theatre (Belfast), Dance Ireland (Dublin) and Down Arts Centre (Downpatrick); ‘IReflexes’ performed at R-Space Gallery, (Lisburn), The International Meta-Body Symposium (Brunel University, London) and Black Box (Belfast); ‘A Spoonful of Jelly’, performed at the Belfast children Festival 2014, the Banbridge Box and the Down Arts Centre; ‘Bubbleloon’, performed at the Belfast Children Festival (2013) and the Crescent Arts Centre (Belfast). Martin holds a BA in Music, from CONSUDEC (Argentina), a Masters Certificate in Composing music for Film and TV from Berklee College of Music (USA), and an MA in Computer Music from Maynooth University (Ireland).

Laurence Glazier studied mathematics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. After lessons in composition from Chris Sansom, he studied Harmony and Counterpoint at the City Lit in London, where one lecturer was Colchester composer Alan Parsons with whom he later undertook many years of study.

Melanie Green (b. 1977) works as both a music tutor and a maths tutor in Cambridgeshire. She studied in London: Music at Royal Holloway; Ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies; and Community Music at Goldsmiths College. She plays cello and Balinese gamelan.

Mel McIntyre (b. 1957) is a writer, musician and composer living near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Originally from Canada, Mel has been living in the UK since 1983. He began his career as a music teacher and has written lots of music aimed at helping people learn to play.

Jenni Pinnock is a composer, teacher and arranger based in Cambridgeshire, UK. She studied at Kingston University (BMus) and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (MMus), and has had her music performed by a variety of ensembles across the UK and worldwide. For more information about Jenni and her music, please see her website jennipinnock.com.

Roger Sciachettano (b. 1947, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt) is a retired primary teacher and an amateur composer who started taking lessons with Peter Thorne in January 2016. He very much enjoys composing and arranging.

Peter Thorne (b. 1955) has been composing music since the age of about 12. He read music at Oxford and the UEA, where he took a master’s degree. Over the years he has written in many different styles and genres but most recently he has been writing for wind instruments and piano. Peter’s music often features influences from various kinds of jazz and pop and is often colourful and rhythmic. He has written two piano sonatas and other pieces for the concert pianist Peter Seivewright who is in the process of recording them for a CD. Peter’s music for wind ensemble is published by http://www.soundthetrumpets.com and music for wind and piano by http://www.warwickmusic.com.

Born near Chelmsford, Tim Torry was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School (where he later became Head of Music), York University and the RAM. During the 1970 and 80s he was well-known locally as a baritone/bass soloist, and also as a composer-member of CNM. Severe ME symptoms cut short his career in 1992, but treatment for mercury amalgam poisoning led to his full recovery and, eventually, a return to solo singing in 2007. Encouragingly, a work of his was accepted onto the SPNM Shortlist in 2003 and his song cycle The Face of Grief received four festival performances in July 2015 from Roderick Williams (baritone) and Susie Allan (piano); the ‘Three Choirs’ one was broadcast on Radio 3, a broadcast that was repeated in 2016.

Ian B. Wilson (b. 1967) is a music graduate of Durham University, where he received composition lessons from Robert Casken. ‘Come and Rejoice in Jesus’, an album containing songs written for his church, is available online. The Dunblane Chamber Orchestra performed his ‘Three Songs from A Shropshire Lad’ in May 2012 and his compositions have been performed by, among others, the St. Bonaventure’s School Choir and the Colchester New Music Group. Ian is a secondary headteacher in London.

Photos and programme from The Pale Enchanted Gold, 17 June 2017

The Pale Enchanted Gold, CNM recital 17/6/17

The Pale Enchanted Gold, CNM recital 17/6/17, l-r: Alan Bullard, Tim Torry and Charles Hine (photo: Francis Knights)

Many thanks to everyone who came to see The Pale Enchanted Gold on June 17, and especially to Tim, Charles and Alan for their engaging performance. The pdf of the concert programme can be downloaded here. We will make some recordings available in due course.

The Pale Enchanted Gold, CNM recital 17/6/17

The Pale Enchanted Gold, CNM recital 17/6/17, l-r: Charles Hine, Alan Bullard and Tim Torry (photo: Francis Knights)

The Pale Enchanted Gold, 17 June 2017: recital programme announced

CNM_recital_poster_CM_170617-webThis June’s CNM summer afternoon recital by Tim Torry (baritone), Charles Hine (clarinet) and Alan Bullard (piano) will take place at 3pm on 17 June at Castle Methodist Church, Maidenburgh St, Colchester CO1 1TT; entry free, retiring collection.

The programme is based around three key works: Tim Torry’s setting of JRR Tolkein’s ‘The Pale Enchanted Gold’ poem from The Hobbit, Alan Bullard’s setting of Edward Blunden’s ‘A Swan, a Man’, and also Alan’s ‘Three Blues’ for clarinet and piano.

Alongside these, CNM members have contributed new pieces for clarinet and piano, plus song settings of poetry with all kinds of interesting connections to the pieces above. The full lists of members’ works in each category are as follows:

Song settings

A Swan, A Man –  Alan Bullard/Edmund Blunden
The star –  Dylan Christopher/Jane & Ann Taylor
The sun goes down –  Francis Knights/AJ Blustin
The Genealogy of Christ –  Mark Bellis/Gospel of Luke
Oft when warring –  Stephen Watkins/Thomas Hardy
The Pale Enchanted Gold –  Tim Torry/JRR Tolkien
The sleep –  Ian Wilson/E B Browning

Clarinet/bass clarinet and piano

The Bold Princess Royal  – Colin Blundell
Three Blues – Alan Bullard
Whither Now? –  Laurence Glazier
Seeking stillness for solo bass clarinet – Philip Joy
A movement from the Scenes from a train suite – Jenni Pinnock
Dance –  Peter Thorne
Subsequent Darkness –  Julia Usher

The programme also includes three works from the 20th Century English Song repertoire:

It was a lover and his lass – Gerald Finzi
Silver – Armstrong Gibbs
A Sergeant’s Song – Gustav Holst