With just 2 weeks left to go until the Summer Showcase, everyone is hard at work finalising their sets, polishing their instruments and getting their bow ties out from storage. What better place to start than at the end – with the Showstopper, which this year has been arranged by Hannah Bayliss. Below she shares her thoughts and experiences in taking on this mammoth task.
“Arranging an ULMS showstopper means writing for at least fifty musicians, ranging from tenor horn to string bass, and including a four-part choir. It means arranging a fifteen-minute medley that’s challenging enough to be interesting, but easy enough to be nailed after one rehearsal. With enough parts that no one is bored, but also not too difficult to play at the end of a two-hour concert. Easy, right?
Ella Clarke – a previous brass band rep – suggested the theme of La La Land, but had no experience arranging and couldn’t commit the time to the project with exams looming. With no exams of my own this term I decided to go for it. I’m so grateful it was La La Land that Ella suggested, as any other soundtrack would have probably driven me mad by now. Listening to ‘Another Day of Sun’ over and over to pick out the auxiliary percussion lines left me hearing a phantom cowbell that I’m still not sure is actually meant to be playing.
As I’m not a very practiced conductor, the fantastic Morgan Winyard will be in charge during the rehearsals and performance. In the next week we’ll sit down and talk through the arrangement – which will consist of me explaining what I want in a convoluted way, and Morgan coming up with a much more straightforward way of achieving it. Because this is the biggest project I’ve ever done I’m fairly nervous to hand over custody, but I can’t think of a better babysitter.
The concert is getting closer and closer, and I’m anxiously hoping the showstopper will be a fitting end to a concert all seven ensembles have worked so hard on. Without giving away any spoilers, I know the finale is going to be very special. Are we dropping balloons, firing confetti, or perhaps a sea of tiny rubber ducks will rain down on the audience? All I can say is, come along on the 22nd June and find out!”
So, there’s just 2 weeks left to go until the big day and the countdown is on. Each day next week, we’ll be looking at an ensemble and their preparation for this years Summer Showcase.
Get your tickets at the following link: https://lancastersu.co.uk/groups/university-of-lancaster-music-society-ulms/events/ulms-summer-showcase-441f
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