On Monday 21st May all the schools of the Glenkens gathered together in Dalry School Hall to hear a concert by the Vintage Ensemble. This group of musicians from all parts of Dumfries and Galloway meet once a week to play new music, arranged by their founder and leader Jonnie Dowswell – our ‘local’ from New Galloway.
It is quite an undertaking to get all the schools together but Kells School came by bus while Carsphairn pupils came by car, all sitting together with their peers from Dalry Primary School. Students from S2- S4 who are learning a musical instrument came to the concert as well as all the S1 pupils who are going to be doing a topic on ‘Musical Sound’ in June. This will involved listening to and telling the difference between different instruments, making an instrument, playing famous pieces of orchestral music such as Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ and Offenbach’s ‘Cancan’ on classroom instruments and trying out orchestral instruments for themselves.
The concert started off with a Basque Dance which had the children tapping their toes, followed by a selection of Klezmer music. The pupils in all the primary schools have been singing and listening to Yiddish (Jewish) music as the latest Music of the Month. You may not think you know any of this music but if you look up ‘If I were a Rich Man’ from Fiddler on the Roof, Shalom or Havah Nagilia on youtube, you will probably recognise the style. Pupils have been learning a popular dance to ‘Haida’, composing ostinato accompaniments to ‘Zum Gali Gali’and watching famous musicians play Klezmer music.
During the concert pupils learned about the different families of instruments and noticed how all the string instruments looked similar, except for size. and sounded correspondingly low or high. The group members gave little solo demonstrations of their instrument, which we followed with a game of ‘Guess The Instrument? All the students from the Glenkens schools were totally wonderful – answering questions really well and sitting quietly during the playing.
Another style of music, which the students recognised, was the mediaeval street music, which again they studied during a previous Music of the Month. A number of students played along with egg shakers and followed the drum pattern.
The last few pieces were a delightful mixture of styles – Django Reinhardt ‘Minor Swing’ , The ‘Paragon Rag’ by Scott Joplin (who also wrote the famous ‘Entertainer’) and finally a fast piece called Tarantella Funiculi Funicula which had the audience clapping in time all the way through.
I must thank the Vintage Ensemble for coming to play a special programme for us and demonstrate the enjoyment of music making. These musicians are a mixture of amateur and professional musicians, who have or have had successful careers in engineering, medicine and the arts and we cannot thank them enough for giving their time freely to entertain us all.
It was great to see all the pupils enjoying music together and I can only commend all of them on their great behaviour, responsibility and intelligent responses. I will miss them all when I retire at the end of June and hope that music will continue to flourish in the Glenkens.
Vinnie – I really like the very big instrument – the double bass. I don’t know how he got it in the car! It had a good beat. There was a good rhythm.
Danny – There was a good rhythm. The violins were quite cool.
Jessica – There was a good mixture of tempo which helped split it up. I think it was really sweet how they played the song that was played when the Titanic was sinking.
Romolly- I liked the different types of music they played. And the music was calming to listen to.
Ewan-The music was calming to listen to. They played each piece brilliantly.
Codie- I liked the drums because they are the right instrument for me and the music is calming for me.
Kaelan – I loved how relaxing the music was to listen to and I also liked how they played the song that the orchestra played when the Titanic was sinking.
P4/5 Dalry – comments
Dear Mrs Henry, Thank you so much for organising the concert, we really enjoyed it
We really liked clapping to the beat of the drum at the end.
We liked learning the names of all the instruments.
Brodie liked three of the songs because they made her think of Alton Towers, where she had heard them before.
Oscar liked the Medieval songs. Elizabeth said that the music made her imagine things.
Jack liked the songs that were in the style of ‘The Entertainer’ by Scott Joplin.
Eleanor liked the final song.
Thanks again. Please thank the Vintage Ensemble for coming to Dalry, we hope to see them again one day.
Best regards P4 and P5 😃