Updated: Jan 26, 2019
This is an exciting year at Fortismere School and Fortismere Music Centre.
As we celebrate ten years of Fortismere Music Centre, the scale and reach of our work grows at every level. Our two community ensembles are playing music of greater diversity and ambition than ever before, while our instrumental lessons continue to provide high-quality tuition to people of all ages and backgrounds. At Fortismere School extra-curricular opportunities and one-to- one lessons offer students of all abilities the chance to transform their lives by discovering music.
In recognition of out first decade, this year’s season of concerts and events is the most ambitious and wide-ranging in the Centre’s history. We begin by inviting people of all ages and experiences to come and sing Fauré’s Requiem with Fortismere Community Choir at St. Andrew’s Church. The chance to get to know this popular classic in a friendly one-day rehearsal is the perfect way to get to know the ethos and spirit of the ensemble, whose reputation for friendliness and ambition is well-known in the local area.
This year the Community Choir will perform, for the first time in the Centre’s history, music composed by women. As well as showcasing some of the finest and most neglected music in the choral tradition, the Choir’s Christmas concert will also feature the world premiere of a new piece, commissioned especially for the ensemble’s anniversary. Phoebe McFarlane’s Women’s Rights sets the text of suffragette poet Anna Louisa Walker alongside a speech by Malala Yousfzai in what promises to be a thrilling addition to the Choir’s repertoire.
Similarly, there are great things in store for Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble begins the season with an explosive concert featuring Berlioz’s opium-inspired Symphonie Fantastique as well as two perennial favourites, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Debussy’s Clair de Lune. In the spring the Orchestra will welcome back Jess Hoskins, Fortismere alumnus and now rising soloist, composer and conductor to perform Koussevitsky’s Double Bass Concerto alongside classics from Wagner and Dvorák.
The Choir and the Orchestra will come together twice this year, first to perform Beethoven’s epic Missa Solemnis, and then as part of FMC's first opera, a semi-staged production of The Marriage of Figaro. Beethoven’s large-scale work is arguably the most daring and ambitious piece these ensembles have ever attempted and it looks to be a thrilling evening of transcendent music. Staging our first opera is a chance to introduce this wonderful form to new audiences as well as to allow seasoned fans to revel in the sheer joy of Mozart’s classic love story.
We are proud to be linked with Fortismere School, and to share a platform with their events. This season brochure also includes information about the wide variety of concerts produced by Fortismere Music Department, from popular band nights, and sublime classical concerts, through showcases of emerging instrumental and vocal talent, as well as young composers at the school.
Ten years of wonderful music, made in this extraordinary community is a great achievement and something worth marking. At such a milestone it is fitting to reflect on the Music Centre’s mission statement: “Our work is bound together by a belief that community music making should be bold and ambitious, tackling the most exciting themes and composers, with a flair for the theatrical and a sense of fun. We aim to be entertaining and engaging for both audiences and performers alike. Above all else, our music invites everyone to join in. We believe that it is in such an experience of joining in, either as an instrumental student or a singer, as an orchestral player or an audience member, that the truest sense of our community flourishes.”