Today we received this email from Italy, from a 56 year old first-time ocarina-player who has never played a musical instrument before:
Dear Christa and David, last week I received my splendid ceramic ocarina and the greatest fool-proof music theory book ever conceived – and dived into it immediately. Your book makes everything easy – and ocarina playing is so easy – in the past music was always presented as a sacred language for the initiated. Thanks a lot – I know I can always consult you for assistance with my playing. Thanks for your labour of love.
In recognition of the first 100 years of Kettering Music Eisteddfod and the popularity of ocarina classes in recent years, Ocarina Workshop has donated the Ocarina Workshop Ocarina Award for most promising ocarina player in the Junior Key Stage 2 Music Class.
David Liggins presented the trophy, a silver star, to Louisa, its first winner, and congratulated all the young players from St Peter’s School, Kettering who performed so well individually and in groups, accompanied by their music teacher, Julie Cruickshank.
Well actually there’s only one camera… and a very busy cameraman!
Tommy Relph has filmed in the Arctic and in Afghanistan: his mission today, to “capture” ocarina-playing children in Kent.
He found children at St Lawrence’s CE Primary in Seal and at Sevenoaks Primary all playing their Oc® and demonstrating their skills to intrepid news reporter Nick Thatcher.
ED Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, introduced an Ocarina to the House of Commons yesterday. The Guardian Newspaper reported:
“The schools secretary struck a musical note at question time by producing an Ocarina. But he stopped short of playing a tune, opting instead to hold the yellow plastic instrument aloft and declare: ‘That, Mr Speaker, is an ocarina.’ He was responding to an unrelated question from Tory Philip Hollobone, whose Kettering constituency is the centre of the UK’s ocarina industry.”
Figures just released by Government show that ocarinas formed 8.6% of all musical instruments bought in 2007/2008 using the New Instrument Purchase Fund.
The Fund was set up to enable every primary school child in England to learn to play a musical instrument free of charge.
In 2007/08, the first of four consecutive years of £10Million investments provided nearly 100,000 musical instruments at an average price of just over £100 per instrument.
Our Brazilian friend, Marcia Contador, wrote to us from her home near Sao Paolo about twelve ocarina concerts that she presented in 2007. She commented:
“the acoustic inside the church was heavenly. My Bass Ocarina filled the whole church and echoed beautifully, especially when played on the rear balcony”.
The National Festival of Music for Youth 2005 involved over 100,000 young musicians. Of the many groups taking part, a few were invited to perform in the finals, where Outstanding Performance Awards were made for the most exceptional performances.
Our Ocarina group of fifteen players, aged 8 to 12 years, were surprised to be selected for the finals, and completely amazed to receive the Outstanding Performance Award in the Junior class. Their performance was captured on the day from a distance, and rehearsals show how they prepared for this peak of achievement.
In 1995, the BBC featured school assemblies in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and asked to include ocarinas. We sent them to Edinburgh and the resulting song is below. All other songs in the programme were accompanied by sixth form students and professional musicians. This song was entirely accompanied by nine and ten year old children on ocarinas. The main tune is played on 90 plastic school ocarinas whilst the five harmony parts are played by a small group on Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass ceramic ocarinas.