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Round-up: Summer Term 2023

We've barely managed to catch our breath after one of the busiest terms we've ever had! ICYMI, find out what we've all been up to below...

The Jan Modelski Big Band & Pop Orchestra

Our two Wirral-based ensembles have successfully shared their concerts in the past, providing audiences with a varied programme of popular music stretching from the realms of jazz and swing right through to favourites from films, musicals and the world of pop.

This term, they joined forces for not one, but two huge community concerts - the first of which being an important Charity Showcase concert to raise fund for two very worthy local charities: Claire House and Brighter Bebington. Holy Trinity Church in Spital was packed to the rafters, and the ensembles did not disappoint, even managing to get some audience participation going!

All photos, credit: Alan Jones

On Father's Day, JMBB & JMPO teamed up once again - this time in the beautiful setting of Vale Park, New Brighton. Fortunately, the weather was kind to them and they graced the bandstand to rave reviews from the deckchair-based, picnic-eating crowd, providing the perfect soundtrack to a sunny summer's afternoon in the park.

JMBB & JMPO will be back and raring to go after the summer break, as they look to rehearse for their Christmas programme: catch them at their Annual Christmas Party on Saturday 3rd December at St Anne's Parish Centre, Rock Ferry.

Wirral Community Orchestra

What better way to kickstart your summer concert programme than a concert to celebrate the King's Coronation?! On 6th May, WCO dusted off their Union Jack apparel and presented an evening's entertainment full of joy and patriotism. A jubilant audience were treated to a little Pomp and Circumstance and the best of British, before the evening concluded with some uplifting and exciting classics from Mussorgsky, Debussy and Prokofiev.

WCO presented their annual summer concert at a new venue this year - St Luke's Church in Hoylake - and as usual, in addition to their rousing programme of sunny classics, they invited some guest performers: young pianist Isiah Guo Ekani; their very own Tricia McClure; and local singing superstars The Capriccio Singers. The concert was so popular with the audience that a Christmas concert was requested, so you can catch them in action TWICE over the festive period - stay tuned for more details!

Modelski Music Play Day

Community music came grinding to a halt during the period of the Covid pandemic; this was marked for us by the very fact that our last Play Day had taken place on 29th February 2020 - only three weeks before the first lockdown was imposed. You can imagine our delight when, on 14th May 2023 - over three years later - we welcomed almost 60 musicians to St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Chester for a day of wonderful music making.

This talented bunch of performers, expertly conducted by our MD Jan Modelski, made short work of a challenging programme featuring the fiendish 'Jupiter' from The Planets (Holst), and everyone left with a feeling of huge pride and satisfaction having created a phenomenal sound - and played most of the right notes in the right order!

All Play Day photos, credit: Carlo Cerutti

Watch this space for more Play Day news...

Chester Big Band

Having had a relatively quiet start to the year to develop new repertoire, CBB made up for their absence in style this term, performing no fewer than FOUR gigs in enormously exciting venues.

Photo credit: Joe Lee

The late May bank holiday weekend saw CBB entertain crowds at a street festival in Lache - the culmination of a project to celebrate local talent and community spirit. Glorious weather drew a large audiences to perhaps CBB's most unusual staging venue yet - a roundabout!

The following week brought CBB's much anticipated gig at Storyhouse: the first time the band had ever hosted their own show, with special guests The Cheshire Swing Cats. Tickets flew out, and the band performed to a sell-out audience in the Main Theatre. After some nerves and doubts in the lead up to their biggest gig yet, CBB pulled off a great show - and left them hungry to do it again next year!

All Storyhouse photos below, credit: Delves Photography

Photo credit: Kevin Conyers

July saw CBB head back to the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Their first trip to the event in 2022 was so successful, the band were asked to perform on two separate occasions this year - the first of which gave them the prestigious honour of opening the entire festival. With MD Jan Modelski this time leading the band from behind the drum kit, the band drew in a huge crowd of festival-goers, thrilled to be entertained by an energetic set as they awaited the main act of the evening: none other than West End star Alfie Boe.

Photo credit: Stephen Lloyd

CBB returned to the Eisteddfod on Sunday, where they were victorious in the inaugural Community Band competition - see our full report on that glorious day in our previous blog post, here.

CBB are having a well-earned summer break, before embarking on their winter gig series and a whole lot of repertoire building in preparation for an enormous 2024!

The Jan Modelski Community Orchestra

Rounding off a packed summer (and heralding Modelski Music's fourth concert engagement in less than two weeks!), JMCO brought the summer term to a close with a huge showcase of their hard work over a busy year, which had already seen them play a huge Showcase concert in the Spring Term. As usual, all three orchestras - Introductory, Intermediate and Main - had the opportunity to show off their skills, presenting challenging pieces from the worlds of classical, film and popular music, and they were rewarded with excellent feedback from a packed audience inside St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Chester.

JMCO will enjoy their summer break, before returning refreshed to get stuck into their repertoire for the winter season.

Looking ahead...

Our Autumn Term commences Monday, 4th September when all our ensembles will be back in action. Why not join us? You can find out more about our ensembles, including details of how to get involved, by visiting our homepage and navigating to the Ensembles menu at the top of the page.

We're also very excited to announce that we're expanding our music school to bring increased availability for instrumental, vocal and theory lessons. Don't miss out: visit our Lessons pages for details of how to join our waiting list for the new term, and keep an eye on our socials for more information!

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