Making a splash at river carnival

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The Gathering Wave is one of The Music Pool’s highly visible contributions to the community, bringing together as it does 250 voices young and old from local schools and choral groups.

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First published in News

THE May Day weekend will witness a bit of a ‘splash’ on the River Wye, starting off with the Hereford River Carnival on Saturday, May 3.

The Music Pool, as part of the River Carnival, has programmed the live music for the event, including the popular Hereford Soul Choir at 11.30am, Bandemonium at 1pm, the Garrick Singers and St Martin’s Choir at 2pm, and some of the best of Hereford’s young talent on stage from 4pm, with a range of extraordinary dancers in between.

Organising special events like this is another of the key roles of The Music Pool, who are also longtime collaborators with Dancefest in the biannual Jigsaw project for able-bodied and disabled children, teenagers and adults.

Jigsaw integrates dance, live music and multi-media performance, allowing able-bodied and disabled individuals of all age groups to work creatively together in a way which benefits both.

The live music is a key element as the musicians build directly on the movements of the performers, who inspire the music from the start, so that the music and dance elements unfurl together in a completely unique way.

“It’s a lovely concept which gives a great many people a great deal of happiness, on both sides of the curtain,” says Rob Strawson, artistic director of The Music Pool.

Since 2003, another special event organised with the help of The Music Pool is the Gathering Wave. Initially commissioned as a community element to be added onto the Three Choirs Festival, the Gathering Wave turns out to be aptly named as it has gathered momentum to become a regular feature of the main festival.

Thanks to Arts Council funding for the past four Gathering Wave outings, The Music Pool has been able to commission new musical works as part of a wider programme, and professional soloists for each, but the key element has been the bringing together of all the schools and choral groups in the county for a concert featuring 250 voices, which has, says Rob, become “one of the most important events in Hereford’s musical calendar.”

In 2015, The Music Pool will have a double role in the Three Choirs Festival, both in helping to orchestrate the Gathering Wave and in contributing to the programme for Three Choirs Plus.

But with funding for 2015 still unsecured, The Music Pool is asking for support from the local community to ensure the future of this unique event.

It's not just the final performances of both The Gathering Wave and Jigsaw that are important. Equally important is the collaboration that goes on behind the scenes, but none of these projects would be possible without the invaluable talent and expertise of The Music Pool.

For further information about The Music Pool’s programme for the River Carnival or to make a donation to help support The Music Pool’s Splash! Appeal to ensure that these kinds of events continue into the future, please visit .musicpool.org and press the ‘donate’ button.

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