"Play that funky music white boy,
Play that funky music right."
Although you don't have to be white, or a boy, to play with SUWO. You just have to be able to improvise your way through pieces that haven't been rehearsed once this year.
Every year at around May/June (conveniently cutting into exam preparation time) SUWO plays for an hour in the bandstand at Weston Park. This year we had the most prestigious honour of doing it during the Whit Fayre. A prestigious honour mainly because we performed surrounded by people in Victorian-style dress walking around in stilts and playing croquet... and we can only wish they had been done together.
So after defying the laws of physics and getting over fifty SUWO members, their instruments (which, as a reminder, include tubas, large saxophones, and tonnes of percussion), chairs and music stands into the bandstand, and still somehow managing to leave enough room for Tony to do his required arm-flails without poking any of the higher woodwind instrumentalists in the eye, we started to play. Our repertoire included:
- Selections from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin; a piece that had been played many times in the SUWO days of yore (2008-2009) but had not been rehearsed at all this year. After finishing playing this piece we noticed that not many audience members were vacating their seats with vigour, or indeed at all. We like to believe that this was not because they had been super-glued to them.
- English Folk Songs by Tomlinson, movements 1, 2, and 3; which was performed well and proof of this would exist in video format if Tony had not looked disapprovingly into the camera, at a time when I admittedly should probably have been playing.
- Folk Song Suite by Vaughn Williams, movements 1 and 3; with Gareth, barely visible without the normal SUWO podium, doing the conducting, this was a fun couple of movements to play. The audience seemed to like it too.
No video this entry, I'm afraid, but there are photos!
The bandstand, with various SUWO members conglomerating to its left.
Some of the nearby festivities.
As students of Sheffield, we know that a daytime event is not a daytime event if it is not performed under the block-shaped shadow of the Arts Tower.
Inside the bandstand. The test of a true musician - being able to play in such a small space.
Further pictoral evidence of the lack of space inside that bandstand.
Not sure when the next SUWO blog will be. But when it comes, I'm sure it will be extraordinary. :)