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West Oxfordshire Winds

 

WOC's programme

Lindo - Percival
Elegie - Ostijn
Jeux d’Enfants - Bizet arr. Van de Wal/Marks

Five Feet Two, Eyes of Blue - Henderson/Marks

 

WOL's programme

Let it Go - Anderson-Lopez arr. Marks
Dixie Belle - Cliffe arr. Kenny

A Million Dreams - Pasek & Paul arr. Marks

Over the Rainbow - Arlen arr. Story

 

WOW's programme

Marche Militaire - Schubert arr. Rondeau
Forgotten Dreams - Anderson arr. Marks
Waltz - Shostakovich
Elton John Selection - arr. Ricketts

 

June 2019

WOC comprised 15 players, across the range of clarinets, so the audience got a chance to experience the different voices and versatility of these instruments. Where else in Oxfordshire can we get the opportunity to learn about both the expressivity and the challenges involved in melding this colourful audio palette let alone holding these forces together in a cohesive shape? In the Percival the bass clarinets coped well with the syncopated line with lovely flourishes. In the Ostijn, Wendy really communicated what she expects, encouraging space between phrases that added to the overall expressiveness of this romance. Bizet’s Suite, Jeux d’enfants concluded the set.

WOL charmed us all with some well-known popular tunes, What is remarkable is that there is a tune for everyone here and Wendy Marks’ own arrangements - ‘A million dreams’  - and later on, ‘Forgotten Dreams’ - mean players have a bespoke piece, written with real people in mind; real learners aspiring to perform. Great! So if you have a trombone in a cupboard or an old clarinet under the bed, and you are musically curious, bring it along, because Wendy can create a part for you.
WOW - a group that lives up to its name! The energy was palpable. A great choice of repertoire for this instrumental mix, starting with Schubert. His ‘Marche Militaire’ was a fine change of mood, the overall sound was full and supported by a great bass line. The flutes and oboes displayed lovely articulation as did the clarinets in the middle section. The Da Capo section was vibrant and welcome. Wendy’s arrangement of Anderson’s ‘Forgotten Dreams’ was evidently created by a sympathetic woodwind player who understands tonal colour; flutes were to the fore, then matched by clarinets and the oboe solo was particularly expressive. Now to Shostakovich – another wonderful melody in his waltz. Here the alto sax took the solo beautifully, while there was lovely staccato articulation in the flutes and oboes and an excellent bass line played with just enough lightness for the whole springy bouncy effect. Well done clarinets with all those arpeggio figures so accurately executed. So we danced on into the finale – an Elton John selection, supported by some lovely percussion and tight syncopation in the drumming, complete with rhythmic clapping from the band.   (Alison Street)