Magical Children's Story Brought to Life by 65-piece Orchestra

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Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra will bring to life a magical children’s storybook, illustrated by a University of Worcester lecturer, next month.

The 65-piece orchestra will tell the story of the Magic Bojabi Tree through music composed by Peter Davis, Head of Music at Oakham School in Rutland.

The Magic Bojabi Tree is written by Dianne Hofmeyr and illustrated by Piet Grobler, Joint Course Leader for the University of Worcester’s Illustration degree.

It tells the story of a group of wild animals in a drought-stricken land who come across a beautiful tree laden with fruit. But a huge python is coiled around the tree and won’t budge until the animals tell him the name of the tree. To find the answer the animals have to undertake arduous and dangerous journeys to find a grumpy lion. Will they ever get to eat the wonderful fruit?

photo courtesy of Phil Portus

Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor, Keith Slade, said: “The story lends itself very well to an orchestral performance. Peter has composed some really excellent music and the various animals from this traditional African folk-tale will come to life in music. 

“We will also have the illustrations projected behind the orchestra and Piet will be narrating. At the end we hope all of the children and parents will be joining in the Magic Bojabi Tree theme.”

“This is a really exciting project for the Orchestra,” Keith added. “We are sure that it will be a magical experience for all the families who come to share this event with us.”

Piet Grobler added: “The Magic Bojabi Tree is really a fun project from an illustrator’s perspective. It has wonderful characters and a quirky little plot. No wonder that it begs to be performed as well.”

There will be two performances on Saturday, November 8 at 2pm and 4pm. In addition, children from five local schools have been invited to design the concert poster and to take part in two workshops before the concert. These are on 23rd October and 6th November, both at 7pm. Performances and workshops take place at St Martin’s and St Peter’s Church on London Road, Worcester and tickets cost £1.

Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra was founded over 100 years ago with the help of Edward Elgar. Keith Slade is a dynamic young conductor with extensive experience as an orchestral musician and has worked with orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the BBC Philharmonic. He regularly tours with London Festival Opera which has taken him as far afield as Zimbabwe (HIFA Festival), Barbados (Holders’ Festival) and, most recently, La Fenice Opera House, Venice. As a soloist, Keith has performed concerti by Mozart, Finzi, Weber and Copland in venues throughout the UK.

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