On Friday 28 February, over 275 children from 8 local schools attended open rehearsals at the Auden Theatre in Holt.
The children, aged between 7 and 12 were invited to hear members of the London Mozart Players performing pieces in rehearsal, ahead of their public performance later that evening. Amongst the programme was Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 performed by horn player Ben Goldscheider, who was the winner of Brass Section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year winner 2016, when he was 18 years old.
Saturday (29th) saw over 80 young brass, strings and woodwind musicians taking in a free workshop to perform as an orchestra. For the workshop, specialist music tutor Helen Stowell of the Norfolk Music Service specially arranged a range of pieces from Mozart’s Horn Concerto to Havana, by Camilla Cabello. For many of these young musicians, this was their very first ensemble performance and a unique moment to play great orchestral pieces with other musicians.
I’m really excited to share my new original song “I Just Can’t Forget” the first track from my second Whispering Bob TV Under The Apple Tree session. Curated by Bob Harris himself, Under the Apple Tree sessions are intimate performances recorded live in the studio of Whispering Bob Harris, which just happens to be situated under an apple tree.
It is always special catching up with Bob Harris and his son Miles Hyerscough-Harris - who beautifully records and films the sessions - and it was also a treat to be reunited with brilliant pedal steel player Alan Cook who played on my second album “Lost Again”
I had a great time playing two successive Americana nights in Norwich last week. I performed at the historic Guildhall in the city centre for Grapevine for Music, who host regular gigs showcasing quality folk, Americana and country artists. Also performing were superb Norfolk singer-songwriter Jake Morrell, now based in London and fresh from recording in Nashville, and also SJ and the flying Pigs from Cambridge, who create a lovely dreamy sound with acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle.
I had a lovely time performing two acoustic sets at Reepham Festival this month. It was my first time playing the festival and there was such a warm, friendly, laid back atmosphere.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, and expanding to two days, the line up this year had its usual eclectic mix of established names and independent artists. There were great energetic sets by headliners, legendary 2-Toners The Beat, who I have seen before at Reload festival, and powerful rock band Walkway, who have supported The Darkness and Status Quo, and the excellent Jeramiah Ferrair from Leigh near Manchester, who blend rock, ska, funk, reggae and calypso in a refreshingly original way.
Three wonderful singer songwriters, Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic and Michael Logen, played a sold out concert last month at Norwich Arts Centre. I was fortunate enough to be asked to support them on the night and performed with brilliant local musician Noel Dashwood, who plays dobro and ukulele on my latest EP ‘Another Place and Time.’
The special concert was part of their ‘A Night In Nashville’ European tour and saw them bringing the Nashville style of playing ‘In the Round’ to a captivated audience. Each songwriter performed their own song in turn and gave an insight into the inspiration behind the material. As a songwriter myself, it was fascinating to hear what inspires their writing.
It’s been a little while since I wrote my previous All Things Norfolk column but it’s been a very creative period of writing and rehearsing with some talented local musicians with a view to performing around the area very soon.
Last week I performed for Record Store Day at Vinyl Hunter in Bury St Edmunds which is always a great day celebrating independent record shops.
I’ve also been writing articles and reviews for quarterly digital magazine Songwriting Magazine. My feature on crowdfunding a creative project is in the new spring issue, cover star is Sheryl Crow.
I’ve been working hard on my new Christmas single ‘When Christmas Comes Around’ which I’ve recorded and mixed myself like my previous acoustic festive song ‘St Benedict’s Christmas Fair’.
The song is about the pleasure of spending time with those you love during the festive period and I really enjoy the process of creating a song from scratch, and adding layers and parts to it.
The song has just received airplay on BBC Suffolk which makes all the hard work so rewarding and will be available on my Bandcamp page lisaredford.bandcamp.com
I enjoyed another great Sound and Vision festival last month and found the conference on Friday as usual really informative and full of the latest advice for musicians releasing their own music and wanting to get heard by the industry. Representatives from organisations such as Tunecore, Music Glue, CMU and Sophie Little at BBC Introducing in Norfolk looked at ways you could promote your music using the various platforms available, the latest developments with streaming services, and how you could make the most of your social media accounts to engage with, and grow your fan base. As the music industry is constantly changing it can sometimes feel overwhelming for an independent artist, so it really helps to be aware of the new advances in technology and to use all the great online tools out there available to promote your releases.
It’s been a very exciting summer so far, my talented student Breeze Redwine has just returned from LA where she won many awards at the World Championships of Performing Arts, an international performing arts talent competition in Hollywood.
Among her many awards, Breeze won 4 Gold, 2 Silver and Overall Champion twice. She also won an Industry Award, meaning she is most likely to make it in the music industry.
I’m also so proud that 'Courage' her recent debut single that I wrote, won Best Original Song. As a songwriter, to gain recognition for your songs is the biggest thrill.
April is release month as I’m promoting not one, but two brand new releases. On April 1st my talented vocal and guitar student Breeze Redwine released digital single ‘Courage’. It’s a song I’ve written and I’m so proud of her beautiful performance on the track. The song is really heartfelt with an anthemic feel and a universal message, rising above those who have put you down. Breeze recently filmed a music video with Ipswich based photographer Brendan Taylor and so far it’s had an amazing response on YouTube with its strong message. You can view the powerful video at the YouTube channel for Breeze Redwine. Seeing all the comments so far, I feel so happy that the track has already resonated with lots of people.