Welcome to our website. Here you will be able to find all the information you need for our world premier of Neil Brand’s “People’s Guide to the Orchestra”

Neil’s description of how this new piece has evolved is below. If you will be playing the piece it would be useful for you to read this before the first rehearsal.

‘The writing of People’s Guide has been in two parts.

Firstly, I tried to think up a story that our ‘film composer’ (the actor in the piece) would have to score. It needed to be a storyline that had action and quiet periods in it, that was a gripping story in itself with some emotional content, and in which the ‘images’ would spring to life in the audience’s heads. Rather than going for a modern story I decided to write something closer to a fairy tale with fantasy elements, especially as children today are so used to films like How To Train Your Dragon, Wicked and Frozen.


Then, once I had an outline story which would split into four sections for the four sections of the orchestra (Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion and Strings) I began scoring the music to fit with the narration. I tried to give every instrument in the orchestra its chance to shine, for us in the audience to hear how those instruments sounded when they were ‘put to work’ in different scenes. I added moments where the composer changes his mind, where he has to go back and think again – even a moment where he forgets to try out an entire section of the orchestra! I wrote one piece of music which would run through the whole piece and be heard in all the different orchestral departments. I had a lot of fun with it.


So now the piece is heading to all the players who will work on it with their own teachers and their own sections of the band. Rom (Stanko, who will conduct) and I have talked a great deal about the piece and will watch it come together gradually over the Spring until the big final rehearsal just before the concert, where we will hear the whole piece with the narration for the first time! It is hugely exciting, and will be a lot of fun to work on, I hope, for all the players, no matter what their musical standard or experience’.

Neil Brand