Pelican Music Schools Concert 2018

Noggin and the Whale 

A children's opera by Alex Paxton

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Noggin and the Whale: A World Premiere from Pelican Music

It's Noggin's birthday!

The whole town is going to celebrate.

But will a naughty whale spoil the party?

Noggin is a friendly Viking and a much loved children's classic character from author Oliver Postgate. Now the adventure of Noggin and the Whale will be brought to musical life in a new operatic work for tenor, the massed voices of 500 children and young orchestral players from composer Alex Paxton and the teaching team at Pelican Music.

Musical composition is well underway and rehearsals will commence in the Spring term of 2017. In-school workshops will follow and performances will take place at St Peter's Church, London, W4 on 14th and 15th March 2018 in a rousing world premiere.

Created by musical genius, composer and trombonist Alex Paxton - whose most recent pieces for children include the mouth-watering Pudding Tummy and the mysterious Sound of Magic - Noggin and the Whale will tell the story of Noggin, his birthday plans and the adventures of a naughty whale through the voices of children from seven primary schools across West London and their orchestral counterparts alongside the senior musicians from Pelican Music's Saturday School. The whale will be sung by acclaimed young tenor Andrew Boushell with a special guest narrator.

The schools Eight "Pelican Music" schools from Hammersmith and Fulham - Ark Conway Primary Academy, Brackenbury School, Good Shepherd RC Primary, John Betts Primary, St Georges, St Peter's CE Primary and St Stephen's CE Primary - as well as Strand on the Green Infant School in Chiswick will take part.

The project will involve all children who receive their instrumental lessons from Pelican Music teachers who are based in each of the schools. With the youngest aged just four years old up to the Year 6s, these pupils study violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, percussion, trombone, cornet, euphonium and trumpet. They will come together to sing and play in this unique cross school collaboration lead by the Pelican Music team. Pianists will form the basis of the choir alongside their instrumental counterparts.

Each school will receive a series of four workshops, lead by the Pelican Music team, to learn the music, rehearse the piece and bring it to life, prior to two performances in March. School art departments may also get involved...

They will be joined by Pelican Music Saturday School students which includes more senior players up to and beyond Grade 8 standard, drawing from primary and secondary schools across West London.

Composer - Alex Paxton

Alex Paxton is a gifted and prolific composer of music for children alongside his chamber, orchestral, theatre and vocal music creations. Operas include For The Love Of Thorstein Shiver hosted by Helios Opera Collective and ENO, Bel and the Dragon as part of the Tête à Tête opera festival, and “The Equivocal Harriet Bowdler" for Second Movement Opera. He is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recently wrote a piece for the London Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their Young Composers Programme 2016-17 under the supervision of Magnus Lindberg. His orchestral piece Spake was premiered by Ben Palmer, subsequently played by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and has been shortlisted for the British Section of 2017's World Music Days Festival in Vancouver by International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) by Sound and Music.

Alongside his work as a composer, Alex works professionally as an orchestrator & arranger and is credited on a number of leading musicals and recordings.

He is a teacher for Pelican Music and regulars composes for school orchestras and Pelican's Saturday School Young Singers and Junior Orchestra. His recent hits including Pudding Tummy, The Sound of Magic, Muffin and Rainy Rain Rain.

The Whale - Andrew Boushell (Tenor)

Andrew has worked extensively as an opera performer in his native Ireland performing with Opera Ireland in Cosi Fan Tutte, A Streetcar Named Desire and Bastien and Bastienne. He has also worked with British Youth Opera, Rose Opera Company and Early Opera Company as well as a variety of festivals. More recently he took part in ENO's young artist programme including appearance in Jenufa.

His oratorio repertoire includes works by Puccini, Handel, Purcell, Gounod, Bruckner, Bach and Britten with credits including Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach's St John's Passion and Handel's Messiah.

Andrew teaches piano, musicianship and theory for Pelican Music.