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OTG NEWS 03/09

With the echo of the implosion of the worldwide financial markets still very much reverberating, and the consequent fall-out from the credit-crunch a continuing reality, we confidently predict that ‘news that The Orchestra of The Thames Gateway (OTG) is building upon its early successes’ will not grab any headlines!

Gateway Studio

The OTG will be back in the studio in the coming months, adding to their music DVD series. “We recognised early on that combining our music output with artwork provided an accessible route to bringing music to new audiences,” commented a spokesman for the Orchestra of the Thames Gateway (OTG). 

Bringing together different art forms using this media brings a relevance to our music making. “Whether we are working with local artist groups, schools or colleges, the combination of the visual and aural is compelling,” said the OTG.

Virtual Window

We’ve taken a viral approach to marketing the OTG. Audiences have enjoyed our informative concert programming, marrying quality music making with informed comment and anecdote. This style of programming has enabled us to provide a virtual window to the life of the musician in the 21st century in addition to sign-posting great works that have withstood the test of time.

The OTG has sent ambassadors to address established organised groups, worked with schools to bring students music compositions from the notated page to reality, and identified public performance opportunities for these works.

Musicians from the OTG have been involved in bringing music to the people with their day-long tours of libraries being well established south of the river. The challenge has now to be to take this simple and effective “library tour” and extend it to libraries within the region. Typically we programme 5 or 6 concerts within a  single day; it is not hard to imagine that we could (and should) cost-effectively bring live music to 100 Thames Gateway libraries in a single month, perhaps three times each year. 

Thames Gateway Concertos 

The OTG has taken the first steps in an ambitious programme to commission 16 new works for the region. “It is no coincidence that we are bringing local composers together to create 16 new works -- to match the 16 different local government districts that comprise the Thames Gateway,” the OTG noted.  

“Shorter works of between a dozen to 15 minutes duration, will form the cornerstone of our development work for the next two to three years. The works will be accessible to audiences without the charge of dumbing down. Drawing together the musical heritage of the Thames, with research work already undertaken at Cecil Sharp House (the home of the English Folk Song & Dance Society), will add a topical dimension to our contribution to the Thames and the Thames Gateway region.”

“Where this series of compositions, dare we say ‘The Thames Gateway Concertos’, will travel will be fascinating. Three compositions are already beyond the initial thought process and will be a catalyst to bringing other new music to the table. Without being too prescriptive, we wanted accessible works that could be slotted into an existing concert programme. With several community orchestras active in the region, we aim to offer performance opportunities for these new works, benefiting composer, soloist together with orchestras & audience alike,” said the OTG.

A Pan-Thames Gateway Arts Project

The Orchestra of the Thames Gateway is perhaps one of the first pan-Thames Gateway Arts project that is up and running. The musicians involved with the OTG are professional musicians, working with main established orchestra groups in London, but who live and work in the Thames Gateway region. Our players will be found performing at The Proms, for the Movies & TV, for adverts and pop-backings, at the Opera & Ballet, for West End Shows, in Symphony concerts…..  Generally 'making the air move'

One of the most exciting cultural developments in the Thames Gateway region, Village Concerts is pleased to be associated with The Orchestra of the Thames Gateway

Players and guests include:

Violin:- Amyn Merchant, James Dickenson, John Perkins, Jenny King, Jane Browne, Adrian Smith, Nicky Goodwin, Rachel Samuels, Jane Cullis, Sarah Freestone, Geoff Creese, Anna Giddey, Keith Gurry, Pippa Harris, Geraldine Bereen, Franky Thornby, Hazel Correa, & Becky Watts .

Viola:- Phil Hall, Nigel Goodwin, Lori Norriss, Angela Bartlett, David Griffiths, & JB.

Cello:- Graham Bradshaw, Gina Harris, Tom Roff, John Cullis, Helen Griffiths, & David Grubb.

Bass: Mike Clark

Guest soloists include: Andrew Crowley (trumpet), Neil Mitchell (Horn), Sarah Freestone (Guitar), Joe Browne (Saxophone), Jozef Janick (piano), and the late Liam Coleman (traditional Irish music)

   Andrew Crowley (trumpet soloist)

The OTG launched the first Thames Gateway Chamber Music Festival in May 2009 with The Merchant Quartet in residence, together with a sprinkling of community events.