David Heyes was the guest double bass tutor for South West Music School’s Youth Orchestra course held at the school from 22-26 August 2016. Wells Cathedral School is a partner with SWMS and this was the first time both organisations had collaborated in Wells. All the orchestral tutors were members of the specialist instrumental teaching staff at the school and “it was a great pleasure to work with so many talented young musicians from across the South west” David reported. “Conducted by Mark Eager, who had been a double bass examiner at Wells in the past and was an inspiring and tough task-master, the students worked on four contrasting works – Finlandia (Sibelius) and Symphony No.8 (Dvorak), alongside two modern works by Michael Csanyi-Wills, an ex-Wellensian, and Morfydd Owen. The final concert was a complete triumph and it was wonderful to hear such spirited and energetic playing from so many talented young musicians.
The South West Music Orchestra had the distinction of being the first to play in Cedars Hall, our new state of the art concert hall at the school. Although not quite completed and with a faint smell of new paint in the foyer, the builders and cleaning staff had worked tirelessly to have it ready for the final rehearsals and concert. A packed audience were welcomed by Elizabeth Cairncross (Head) and Mark Stringer (Director of Music), who were fulsome in their praise of everyone who had helped to make the hall as ready as possible and to everyone connected with the summer school. The audience were enthusiastic in their welcome and lengthy applause and the hall will be a magnificent asset to the school, the city and the area.
Tom Mahoney, one of the bassists on the summer school, joins Wells Music College in September 2016 to study with David Heyes, and was a lively and important member of the string section. The collaboration between the school and South West Music School was a particularly fruitful one and all the tutors and students worked together to create a great feeling of camaraderie alongside much hard work, good humour and laughter. The students were able to witness a little of the ‘Wells magic’ which is known and respected throughout the musical world and hopefully this will be the first of many collaborations.”