University concert premières moving student composition
As Bangor University prepares to stage its End-of-Year Gala Concert at Prichard-Jones Hall on Friday, 3 June, one young woman is preparing for one of the biggest moments of her life as part of her final year composition will be premièred on the night, which ties in with the University’s 100 Years of Music at Bangor celebrations.
Charlotte Oxberry, a final year student on the BA Music degree composed the work as part of her final year project in composition, and ‘Disaster at Holditch’ is a tribute to the mining disaster which happened in her home area, Stoke on Trent, in 1937. The symphony orchestra will perform the last movement, ‘Movement Four: Elegy’.
Charlotte, who has spent most of the last two years in Bangor away from her family said, “It is such a strange feeling, knowing that I have spent the past academic year working on this, and then to be told it’ll be performed at the Gala Concert during the centenary year celebrations! On the one hand I’m terrified, but at the same time, excited, that a small snippet of my local history is being conveyed through music.
The orchestra are just brilliant, and I feel really honoured. I was going to keep it a secret from my parents and just let them hear it on the night but now the secret is out, hopefully this will be a really special moment for them too.
The University’s symphony orchestra will perform the work with the addition of the Tubular Bells which are a key part of the piece, notably at the end.
Charlotte said, “As the movement title, ‘Elegy’, suggests, I wanted to convey that sense of reflection and emotion. I would like to think the audience could get a sense of the loss and grief from all the ones who lost a loved one, but also a sense of community. After the disaster, the community pulled together to support the families of the miners. So, the audience should feel that sadness, but also the sense of community, and being supported through the music.”
The End-of-Year Gala Concert will feature bands and ensembles from across Bangor University, including jazz, strings and a sax quartet, as well as the music society choir, chamber choir, concert band and symphony orchestra. Steven Evans, a Bangor alumni, will also be playing the organ in a performance of the Concerto for Organ by Handel.
Professor Andrew Lewis, Head of Music said, “As we approach the end of the academic year, it’s a real pleasure to be able to come together to celebrate the wealth of music making across the University. Congratulations to all our students for a year of hard work, dedication, and truly wonderful music!"”
Gwyn L Williams, the University’s Director of Music, added, “During our year-long celebration on the centenary of Music at Bangor we have of course been focusing on the great achievements of the University in the past. We have much to be proud of. Equally the year has been about looking to the future. We have re-established our connections with the community, so much a feature music at the University, and in the concert on June 3 it is hugely rewarding to include music by the next generation of music makers. Charlotte's elegiac work reminds us that communities across Britain are more connected than divided, by tragedy and by loss, but also by the common practice of grieving and by the consolation that music brings.”
Bangor University Gala Concert
Friday 3 June, 7.30pm Prichard-Jones Hall, Bangor University
Tickets: FREE and no ticket required.