DYJO Ambassadors at Respect Festival Exeter

After doing their educational bit at Kilmington on Friday, today the DYJO Ambassadors went into performing mode at the Exeter Respect Festival. As befits a performance at an outdoor festival, the  long, hot, dry weather was punctuated with perfect timing by heavy thundery rain on Exeter’s Belmont Park. Despite the weather, the Ambassadors gave a stonking performance in front of a select, damp, but enthusiastic audience (including DYJO parents, of course!)

Ben Lee, the tutor who is in charge of the Ambassadors, played bass (reminding me of when he first joined DYJO2, nobly taking over the bass chair, in the absence of anyone else who could play it!), but the band jointly took responsibility for the joyous ensemble and solo work. Oliver, Dodie, Morgan, Will, Theo, Harry and Cameron were on top form. If music could change the weather, this should have brought out the sun. Sadly, it didn’t, but that didn’t stop us all smiling at the professional music-making on display. A great show indeed.

Thanks to Jonathan Page for the photos.

Ambassadors at Kilmington

It’s been a busy weekend for our DYJO Ambassadors. On Friday, a small and nimble group went out to Kilmington in East Devon, with Ben Lee overseeing the musical side, and our industrious chair, Nic Steward, looking after everyone. Here is her report on the day…

Back in March, the Ambassadors’ planned workshop at Kilmington Primary School had to be cancelled because of snow, but on Friday, they were more than ready to turn up the heat on what was already a very hot afternoon!

They started with a short concert, before (with the aid of some very exacting helpers!) teaching everyone more about improvising, pitch, tempo and volume.

There was then about 45 minutes for Ben and the Ambassadors to work with Year 5, and come up with a whole new version of “Hottentot”, with lyrics featuring pizza, anchovies, aubergines, and a pusheen!   (And if, like me, you don’t know what a pusheen is, then the song would have taught you that “it’s just a big fluffy cat”!)

There was great work from the ukulele players, the percussionists, and the singers, and it’s safe to say that when the rest of the school came back in for the final performance, everyone was amazed at what had been achieved in such a short time.

Many thanks to Angela Quick for organising the visit, and to the staff and pupils at Kilmington for their welcome. And a special thank you to Harry, Dodie, Will, and Ben – a small group, but what they lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in talent!

And here’s a photo of Harry (who’s off to Leeds College of Music in September to study Jazz) grooving away, and keeping the children in groovy time!

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