Huntingdonshire Music School Association

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

HuMSA on Tour

A Letter from Marberg

Dear Mum and Dad

I have just got back from a busy few days away, and have now come back for a rest

My german speaking skills are a little bit to be desired, well actually they are non-existent, but I did learn how to say cheers, good morning, good evening and thank you.  Everyone speaks english and everyone made us so welcome.

We (the Huntingdon Music School) went to Marburg-Biedenkopf, there was 22 of us playing.  We left at 2.45 am from Huntingdon on the Thursday by coach, taking our instruments with us.  I am glad I only have a flute to look after, Martin had to look after a double bass!  We went via the Ferry and took all day to get to Bad Endbach, Bruxelles was the worst stretch of road, there were road works and traffic jams.  We stayed in a B&B, which was nice.  I had my own room overlooking the garden.  Breakfast was meats and bread, there was no porridge :(.

The first night (Thursday) we played at Marburg, it was a cool evening and we played in the market square of the town, along with other performers.  We were the only orchestra that went along.  We wore black tops and black skirts or trousers.  I noticed that everyone else wore national costumes and were singing and dancing, their costumes were really nice and a lot of effort had gone into the dresses.

Friday we did not play but went to shopping and in the afternoon and visited Griefenstein Castle.  We saw the ‘world bells’ there, it was interesting to hear how they managed to keep the bells a secret, others would have wanted to melt them and make canons.  There was a medieval festival taking place and we tried honey ale.  There was also old fashioned ice cream, which was nice, not too dissimilar from nowadays.

On Saturday afternoon we played at Kirchhain, we played the same music.  We played in a different order but we had a different audience.  The weather was hot, very sunny, (I borrowed a hat and used some sun cream), my hands were sweaty and my flute was hot, I didn’t enjoy it.  I think we played really well and this was our best concert, we really got the audience joining in, thanks to our bus driver I think.

On Sunday it was our day to introduce the performance, we played a marching tune, I can’t remember the name (we have given back all the music) – Prince Williams March?), we also played Jaguar, another marching piece of music.  The audience were not so willing to join in with us, it wasn’t the same as the day before.

The other pieces that we played were ‘Shepherds Hey’ English Morris Dance, Fantasy on an Irish Clogging Tune, English sea song suite: The saucy arethusa, Farewell and adieu (spanish ladies), Tom Bowling and Jack’s the lad (the sailor’s hornpipe), you will recognise two of the pieces from the Last night of the proms.  We didn’t get the same response from our crowd and there was no-one with a horn!

It was a good experience, it was nice to go and play as an orchestra.

Love Jane

Posted by Rebecca in categories: • PerformTravelHUMSAStudentNews

Tags: hums humsa news perform social student travel

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Interested in Teaching For Us?

photograph:by kind permission from Bethany May Henson photography

Huntingdonshire Music School Currently Has No Vacancies

Please don’t be down hearted! This situation can often change. If you are interested in joining the teaching team in the future please send us your current CV and we may well contact you in the future!

Posted by Rebecca in categories: • LearnTeachHUMSStudentNews


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Accompaniment Downloads for ABRSM Exams

ABRSM logo

Having an impending ABRSM tuba Grade 4 exam looming I thought it might make sense to see what means of playing with accompaniment were available to me (short of kidnapping a piano player). I’d heard that somewhere there might be some download options available. Unfortunately for me, or rather anyone with a tuba, I didn’t find anything to help me. I did, however, find that the ABRSM does itself now have a ‘download shop’.

The ABRSM Audio Download Shop ( provides the ability to download the piano part for Grades 1 - to 8 for the piano (!) [2009-2012], violin [2008 - 2011], clarinet [2008-2013] and flute [2008-2013]. Individual downloads are GBP 0.79 (79 pence) each or there’s an offer of 1 from each of the A, B and C lists (i.e. your complete exam) for GBP 1.95 available once per grade. Pretty cheap and a lot less hassle than trying to persuade the computer to create a backing track.

From the ABRSM site:

An expanding range

Launched in 2008 with recordings of ABRSM’s Piano syllabus (2009 & 2010), the download service has already proved highly popular with pianists. It now includes almost every piece from ABRSM syllabuses for Violin (2008–2011), Flute and Clarinet (both 2008–2013).

Amongst the huge range of repertoire, violinists will find Howard Blake’s jovial Dance of the Snowmen (from the famous animated film) at Grade 5, and can make new discoveries, such as the charming Sentimental Romance by Wilhelm Stenhammar (sometimes known as ‘the Swedish Elgar’) at Grade 8.

Individual movements from Koechlin’s 14 pieces were reintroduced to the Flute syllabus in 2008, and flautists at Grades 1, 2, 4 and 5 can enjoy these beautiful pieces. Grade 3 clarinettists can discover the highly effective transfer of Mendelssohn’s Song without Words. The Arabesque by Germaine Tailleferre (the only female member of the early 20th-century French group of composers, Les Six) is a wonderful find at Grade 7.

New features and offers

The preview facility allows all users to try out 10 seconds of any track before making the decision to purchase. Recordings of pieces set at Grades 1–5 are priced at 79 pence each, and those at Grades 6–8 are 99 pence each.

For the price of what is normally a single track, those purchasing Violin, Flute or Clarinet exam repertoire will actually receive two tracks: the exemplar recording of solo instrument with piano accompaniment, and a bonus track that includes just the piano accompaniment alone, for playalong practice.

This doesn’t help anyone on any other instrument, including the tuba. Are there any other sites out there than can provide accompaniment downloads for ABRSM (or Guildhall) exams?

See also

New ABRSM Syllabuses for 2010Music Exams - Not For Everyone!

madmusician's avatar Posted by madmusician in categories: • LearnStudentNews

Tags: abrsm clarinet download exam flute piano violin

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