Thursday 11 October
Oakham’s Jerwoods Choir enjoyed the fantastic opportunity of recording the new music for a forthcoming Radio drama production. The play is due to be broadcast at 9.30pm on Saturday 22 December 2012 on BBC Radio 3, and pupils, parents and staff are sure to all be tuning in to listen to the finished production in the days before Christmas.
The choir was invited to record new music that had been especially composed by internationally-renowned local composer Gavin Bryars in a special recording session held in the School Chapel. Director of Music, Peter Davis, confirmed that “this has been an amazing chance for the pupils to have the experience of making a professional recording. Despite half the choir being new in September, they have worked exceptionally hard to achieve a very high standard in their singing in such a short period of time.”
The play, entitled The Pythagorean Comma, is a new work by the British writer and poet Blake Morrison, who is a long-term collaborator with the composer. It is loosely based on a short story by Jules Verne called Mr Ray Sharp and Miss Me Flat. The story focuses on a Eastern European visitor to a Scottish village who repairs the organ in the kirk and then forms a choir of children to make a human organ, with each child especially chosen to sing their perfect note.
The choir recorded the song Our Island for the very start of the play, the solo song Young Eve (featuring Form 3 music scholar soloist Dominic Hill) and then various versions of the song The Widow and her Son which the choirmaster teaches the children. This culminated in a version sung by the choir in 12 parts, with each group of singers performing different notes from within the melody. Various individual pupils volunteered to be recorded singing additional scales and notes to be used in the final production, as well as laughing and chatting for background sound effects! School organist, Tom Chatterton, then recorded four pieces of incidental music for the play that had also been written by Gavin Bryars.