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Recent Projects - 2012

December 2012: Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra in BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, performing Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.

November 2012: Royal College of Music's Symphony Orchestra performing Richard Strauss's Dance of the Seven Veils and William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.

October 2012: Alun featured in the New Perspectives concert at the Royal College of Music. The programme included the world premiere of William Dougherty's Acrid Dance, conducted by Marcio da Silva and Peter Maxwell Davies's Trumpet Concerto, conducted by Timothy Lines with soloist Ryan Linham (winner of the RCM Concerto Competition).

August 2012: Alun travelled to Italy with the Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra. The tour took in Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Perugia; Terme Tettucio, Montecatini Terme and Auditorium Santo Stefano, Florence. The Orchestra performed Gareth Wood's "Cardiff Bay Overture" and Rimsky-Korsakov's Symphonic Suite "Scheherazade" under the baton of the Musical Director Eric W.Phillips.

July 2012: Residential course and tour with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. The course and tour enabled Alun to work with Carlo Rizzi, one of the leading conductors of his generation, and orchestral percussionist Grahame King. The demanding programme included the world premiere of Celticity by Judith Bingham; An American in Paris by George Gershwin and Daphnis et Chloe [suite No 2] by Maurice Ravel was taken on tour to Trinity St David, Lampeter; Brangwyn Hall, Swansea; Three Choirs Festival, Hereford; BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff and concluded at the Fishguard International Festival, St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.

July 2012: Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra in BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff performing Gareth Wood's "Cardiff Bay Overture" and Rimsky-Korsakov's Symphonic Suite "Scheherazade".

July 2012: Alun featured in the RCM's Percussion Showcase and RCM Festival of Percussion, performing:

◊ Clockwork (world premiere) by Rick Wakeman

Clockwork is a suite of three pieces written solely for percussion instruments. The Hunter is written to emulate the precision and timekeeping of the famous pocket watch that bears it's name. The Music Box is based on the classic French music boxes of the 19th-century and the final piece, Clockwork Soldiers, is reminiscent of the composer's childhood collection of tin clockwork soldiers.

◊ Pelota Ritmica by Dani Howard [student at RCM]

Pelota Ritamica aims to be a comical interaction between 2 athletes, exploring the interesting changes in pacing, direction and dynamic throughout a sports game. The graceful yet aggressive Spanish sport 'Pelota' involves a certain theatrical element to its performance and the piece includes ideas literally being thrown between the players.

◊ Speed Samurai by Hiro Kawamoto [student at RCM]

Speed Samurai was written for the Japanese marching snare drum group Stabilizer Power Post. It involves 5 marching snare drums and electronics on a backing track. However this isn't a normal snare drum piece as it involves stick tricks, battling samurais and finally the infernal 'hellish merry-go-round'.

◊ Police Line - Do not Cross! (world premiere) by Pete Handley [student at RCM]

Police Line - Do not Cross! was written specially for the RCM Redhocks to perform at the 2012 Percussion Showcase. The piece starts with a showdown between a Scots and an American drumline before being interrupted by a pesky drummer. It incorporates a number of motifs from songs by the Police (including one red herring) as well as flying sticks and spinning cymbal players.

◊ Grease arranged by Steffan Ciccotto (student at RCM)

This percussion medley of songs from the 1971 musical Grease featured the whole RCM Percussion Faculty.

June 2012: This month saw Alun supporting the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra. The programme, conducted by Robin Browning, included Shostakovich Festive Overture; Brahms Double Concerto featuring Savitri & Indira Grier on violin & cello and finished with Rachmaninov Symphony no. 2.

June 2012: Alun featured as part of the RCM's "From the Soundhouse" contribution to The Exhibition Road Music Day in the British Science Museum. He performed Javier Alvarez's Temazcal on the Maracas.

Maracas - Frank Zappas no 12

The title of this work comes from the Nahuatl (ancient Aztec) word literally meaning 'water that burns'. This is a piece heavily influenced by the Venezuelan flatlands where the role of the macaras surpasses that of mere cadence and accent punctuation to become a soloistic instrument in its own right. The piece involves mastering short patterns and then combining them with great virtuosity to construct larger complex rhythmic structures which are then juxtaposed against similar passages on tape (involving harp, folk guitar and bamboo rods) creating a dense polyrhythmic web.

May 2012: RCM's Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Peter Stark, Robert Hodge and Marcio da Silva. The programme took in four popular short orchestral works including Britten's Four Sea Interludes, Bridge's Dance Rhapsody, Delius' The Walk to the Paradise Garden from his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet, and Walton's Portsmouth Point.

March 2012: Alun has been out and about across London supporting various amateur music groups:

◊ The Trinity Buoy Wharf's music spectacular "What the river sings" creating the portrait of East London's 'Water City' and the 500 years of trade and migration that have made it to the gateway to Britain and engine our prosperity. The event was part of BBC's Music Nation weekend and included a range of musical cultures and included Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade and Sir Henry Wood's much-loved Sea Songs.

◊ The Camden Chamber Orchestra performing Sibelius's Karelia Overture, Ireland's Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

◊ The I Maestri Orchestra performing Lyadov's Enchanted lake and Baba Yaga, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2, Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and Shostakovich's Symphony No.6. The conductors were George Hlawiczka, Saskia de Groote, Iain Helle and Luke Cleghorn.

February 2012: Alun joined with other members of the RCM percussion department to support Swedish Percussion Superstar Anders Astrand in a lively concert of Anders' own demanding and exciting compositions.

February 2012: Alun performed with the RCM Symphony Orchestra performing World Premieres of orchestral arrangements by Robert Orledge of Debussy's Prelude from Rodrigue et Chimene Act 1 and Diane au bois. The concert continued with Debussy's Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, Ravel's Le gibet from Gaspard de la nuit and Debussy's La mer. The conductor was Jonathan Darlington. The solists were John McMunn (tenor) and Louise Alder (soprano).

February 2012: Alun supported the Watford Symphony Orchestra in a programme of favourites: extracts from Bizet's Carmen; Weber's Clarinet Concerto No 1 (soloist - Jordan Black); and Ravel's Bolero.

February 2012: Alun performed with the RCM Brass Ensemble in an all-British programme under the baton of Nigel Black. The Best of British Brass featured Tippett's Fanfare no 5 from 'The Mask of Time'; Walton's (arr Elgar Howarth) Spitfire Prelude and Fugue; Vaughan Williams' (arr Byron Fulcher) Variations; and Elgar's (arr Roger Harvey) Serenade in E minor op 20.

January 2012: Alun appeared in the RCM's Percussion Showcase performing Ney Resauro's classic duet Toccata and Divertimento on marimba with Richard Cartlidge on vibes. He also played a supporting role in John Cage's Living Room music.

January 2012: Alun performed in the RCM's New Perspectives featuring Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians. This masterpeice of minimalism was written back in 1976 yet still remains fresh today with its eleven strong pulses and chords and unusual line up of cello, violin, two clarinets, four pianos, three marimbas, two xylophones, metallophone and four women's voices. The performance was produced by David Hockings, Micaela Haslam and Timothy Lines.

January 2012: Alun supported the London Mahler Orchestra's performance of Das Lied von der Erde.