Saturday 27th July – Saturday 3rd August 2019, College of St Hild & St Bede, Durham
See photo gallery.
This wonderful course goes from strength to strength and there were many memorable moments in a week of superb music-making and friendship.
A good number of new participants were joined by new recorder tutor, Chris Orton. Musical Director, Andrew Fowler oversaw a full and varied programme of events culminating in an epic Friday concert of orchestral first half and choral/instrumental second half: Monteverdi’s Northumbrian Vespers was the brilliantly conceived imaginary event that the great Italian might have produced had he been in the north-east in about 1642, matching Venetian psalms and Magnificat with local items and plainsong antiphons.
At the start of the week, Sunday evening’s lecture-recital was conceived by Martin Eastwell in his final NORVIS as lute tutor. ‘With Fyre and Sword upon Tuesday Next’ combined lute tunes and songs, Northumbrian pipes and fiddle with readings to illustrate the story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers.
On Monday evening, Jacqui Robertson-Wade and Michael Williamson had compiled ‘Before the Guillotine’, exploring 18th century French musical fashion, taste and change until the Revolution of 1789. In particular they charted the development of viols and violins and recorders and transverse flutes. Most of the tutorial team joined in, performing a fascinating selection of (mostly French) music of the period.
There were excellent student and tutor concerts on Tuesday and Thursday (see the programmes – links below). Lunchtime proms gave more informal opportunities to play. Epilogues in the (now sadly dilapidated) Bede Chapel included remembrance of Mavis Henshaw, former NORVIS participant, and Layton and Christine Ring – founders of NORVIS who both passed away this spring. This latter event included wonderful music by Gibbons and Bach that couldn’t be fitted into the Hexham Abbey memorial service.
Each day brought a busy programme of tuition classes, tutored ensemble playing, choir / orchestra / own activities, a very varied Choice of Delights and an evening’s entertainment.
This was the final NORVIS at Hild & Bede. There was much excitement and anticipation of our Golden Jubilee NORVIS 50, next year, as we will move to Barnard Castle School.
Documents of interest: