Our first concert of the new season took us a short-hop down the M4 in the Rage-mobile to the Whiteknights Campus of Reading University. A friendly audience were treated to some old favourites as well as a couple of new Boris offerings: an arrangement of a magical Couperin harpsichord piece, and a new addition to the Debussy set in the form of "Le Petit Negre". Many thanks to Stuart Dunlop, Director of Music, for having us.
Reed Rage made its maiden voyage on the Thames, performing at a young bassoonist's Bar Mitzvah on HMS President. Admittedly the boat didn't technically leave its mooring, but it still took a while to get used to the floor moving! We performed many classics as well as a departure from our usual repertoire in the form of "The Final Countdown", arranged especially by Boris Turner at the request of young Daniel's mother. It was a great party - there was even a speed boat and a giant Scalextric track! - and we were very pleased to be part of Daniel's special day.
In spite of the Rage Mobile failing its MOT and some navigational issues involving many roundabouts and a very narrow lane, we made it to the church on time, and were delighted to be performing in such a lovely venue, a rather old church in the middle of a rather new university. Boris had been busy over the Christmas holidays, so we presented a new arrangement of Eric Coates's "Calling all workers", which seemed particularly fitting as the audience were on their lunch break! Old favourites were very much admired too, resulting in an unsolicited email to the organiser from a very satisfied listener: "just wanted to say WOW about Reed Rage! They were sooo musically tight and wonderful and the sound was gorgeous. I want to learn the contrabassoon!! Let's get them back sometime. Many thanks for bagging them.” It was our pleasure, and we look forward to a return visit in the future.
Reed Rage were thrilled to open the lunchtime recital at the 2011 Big Double Reed Day, or Big Double Reed Rage as we like to call it. Playing to an audience made up entirely of bassoonists ranging from the age of seven to over seventy was a rather daunting task, but we raged to the occasion and had a great time! Being part of the finale, a massed performance of "The Lone Arranger", was another highlight of the day.
A sunny Autumn afternoon saw Rage in full swing at the wedding of two bassoonists, performing before and during the ceremony, at the drinks reception and in a feature spot during the wedding breakfast. It really is a beautiful venue, and it was a lovely occasion. Thanks very much to Rick and Caroline for inviting us, and we wish them all the best for their future together.
We very much enjoyed our trip to Essex in September. As well as playing some old favourites, we also performed two new Boris arrangements: a Dvorak Slavonic Dance went down rather well, and a transcription of "Minstrels", a piano prelude by Debussy, added a certain "je ne sais quois" to the proceedings. The build-up to the concert also included our radio debut, with Tom being interviewed for Saint FM's "Classics Ahoy", hosted by Stephen Foster-Pilkington.
Reed Rage had a fabulous outing at St. Anne's, the beautiful church on Kew Green. It really had the feel of countryside village, despite being a stone's throw from the Thames - there was even a cricket match being played nearby! Over eighty people came, which was a nice surprise, and luckily they helped us to demolish the tea and cake after the concert. A real highlight for us was giving the first performance of Daniel Barkley's "Jaunt", a great little piece which we're sure will become a firm favourite in our repertoire. Luckily we had digital recorder and video handy, so you can see some clips here on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/tomhardybassoon/videos
Reed Rage appeared at The Big Double Reed Day -http://www.bigdoublereed.com - a huge event with over 340 attendees which can be read about in the latest British Double Reed News magazine. Three members of Rage helped to give reed-making and "try a contra" classes, and one even ended up conducting dozens of oboes and bassoons in the final concert for a rendition of the first movement of Gounod's Petite Symphonie!
Here's a nice pic of us modelling our beautiful new t-shirts!
7th October 2010 at 1.00pm saw Reed Rage perform as part of Warwick Arts Centre's Recital Series at a packed lunchtime concert. This was the first concert of the season and the enthusiastic audience and full hall made this a very memorable occasion. It also happened to be the 50th birthday of one of our fans and his wife brought him along as a birthday surprise! We think he might have been expecting a nice pub lunch somewhere a bit closer to home, so we hope he wasn't too disappointed... We look forward to a return visit, when we will discover if we really did inspire the organiser to blow the cobwebs out of her bassoon and get playing again.
The Summer saw Rage's first foray into the world of wedding entertainment, when we ventured to Cleve House in Seend, Wiltshire, to play for the nuptials of Anna and Ian. We stuck to some traditional wedding fayre, performing the "Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Sheep May Safely Graze" by JS Bach. But being a former bassoonist herself, Anna also entered into the Rage spirit and asked us to play "The Lone Arranger" during the ceremony and "The Poacher" as they walked out! A bride after our own hearts! Many congratulations and best wishes to Anna and Ian.