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Helen Blamey and Colin Blamey

Helen Blamey. Born in Lancaster, Helen began learning the clarinet at eight and was instantly hooked! She attended both the Junior RNCM and Chetham’s School of Music and completed her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music where she gained a First class Honours and PPRNCM.

Since graduating, she has combined her freelance performance work with a busy teaching schedule. Helen regularly performs with the BBC Philharmonic, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra, Lancashire Sinfonietta and Sinfonia Viva! She is also a member of the Fell Clarinet Quartet with whom she worked for Live Music Now! for many years, giving educational workshops and concerts throughout the UK.

She has also been heavily involved in the education work of the Lancashire Sinfonietta and has worked on numerous projects aimed at children aged from mere months to teenagers!

Colin Blamey. Colin completed his musical studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1999, leaving with a B. Mus (Hons), a Postgraduate Diploma and a Professional Performance Diploma (the college’s highest award).

He now works as a freelance musician, combining teaching and performance work. Currently on tour with Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Barnum, Colin is a sought-after bass clarinetist who has also played as guest principal with orchestras such as Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Concert Orchestra and Carl Rosa Opera. He is a member of the Fell Clarinet Quartet with whom he has worked for many years, giving recitals as well as delivering educational workshops and concerts to a huge range of audiences.

Colin is also very much involved in the educational programme of the Northern Chamber Orchestra and regularly works with them on both small and large-scale projects.

Clarinet and Saxophone Participatory Concert (approx. 1 hr)
Given by Helen Blamey and Colin Blamey


Coronation Street theme – clarinet solo

Introduction to performers and clarinet – woodwind family/single reed etc.

Cat theme from Peter and the Wolf – illustrates impressive pitch range

Excerpt from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (Adagio) – with piano

Lead into jazz – Rhapsody in Blue (with gliss)

Views of the Blues by Gordon Lewin (clarinet duet) – count the glisses

Demonstration of how the instruments work with drain pipes!
- longer and shorter tubes and how pitch is affected

Introduce bass clarinetElephant from Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals

Theme from Mr Benn (with piano)

Introduce E-flat clarinet and demonstrate range of the clarinet family with a scale

Excerpts from Till Eulenspiegel and Sinfonie Fantastique (to show nasty character!)

Under the Sea (with CD) and pulse clapping/actions

Sailors Hornpipe – conducting activity with group and volunteers

Introduce alto saxophoneWhen the Saints – Marching Band (a la New Orleans)

Bozza’s Aria to show ‘classical’ saxophone

Pink Panther – off-beat clicking throughout

Introduce tenor saxophone – talk about names re: choir voices

Take Five – stamping/clapping in 5! (3 + 2)

Saxophone duet - Buckland/Scott