Inspiring B Sharp choir premieres ‘On Golden Cap’

As part of Coastal Voices, the combined voices of B Sharp’s 180 young people from West Dorset and East Devon gave John K Miles’ ‘On Golden Gap’ its first public performance on 8th July at the Lighthouse, Poole.

You had to be there to appreciate the impact of so many beautiful voices singing in four part harmony with the gentle melody reaching higher and higher in wave after wave of sound.

Don’t despair! There’s another chance to see them performing in Weymouth on the opening day of the Olympics. You can find them at the Beach Live Site on Friday 27th July from 16.30 to 16.50 and you don’t need a ticket. Fran Williams, B Sharp Director says “Don’t miss this last opportunity to hear this very beautiful and touching piece of music.”

For anyone who has missed one of their outstanding performances over the last few years, B Sharp is a young people’s organisation based in Lyme Regis, East Devon and West Dorset that excites and inspires young people and children by providing high quality music making opportunities.

‘On Golden Cap’ by John K Miles was inspired by work with Billy Bragg and B Sharp. The choir members were drawn from Woodroffe, Colyton, St Michael’s and Mrs Ethelston’s schools with a soloist from Axe Valley College. Here’s a flavour of the lyrics:

“Step after step
Feeling the breeze
Up here I feel at ease
On Golden Cap”

John K Miles says: “The catalyst for ‘On Golden Cap’ was a B Sharp song writing project ‘Hear Here’ that ended in an emotive and poignant performance, ‘Songs of Lyme’ in October 2011. I wrote ‘On Golden Cap’ in direct response to this performance, moving from East to West along the Jurassic Coast to Lyme Regis, culminating in the ascent of Golden Cap.

Accompanied by a fantastic professional band they brought ‘On Golden Cap’ to life, showcasing explosive energy, delicacy and poise in equal measure. I was over the moon with their committed performance of the piece and deeply touched by the emotional feedback; a few tears, but mainly lots and lots of smiling from performers and audience alike”.

Elspeth McBain, Chief Executive of Lighthouse, Poole said of this world premiere performance: “The performance of Coastal Voices delivered far more than was ever dared hoped. B Sharp dispelled an image that choral music was mainly for older people when they lifted the roof, our heart rates and our pride when they performed John K Miles sublime new work ‘On Golden Cap’.”

Coastal Voices Project Manager Kate Burrough says: “Coastal Voices has worked with composers from rock, jazz and contemporary music, the commissions range from B Sharp’s stories of Lyme Regis from John K Miles and Billy Bragg, Marc Yeats’ new geological sound world. John Surman’s Brazilian infused Wind Samba and new arrangements of cult classics by Nick Cave.

Each offers choirs the chance to explore new music and the magnificent World Heritage Site coastline which will form the backdrop to the Olympic sailing and windsurfing events in 2012. Performances are planned in Poole, Weymouth and Greenwich.”

For more information about creative music making opportunities for young people with B Sharp in Lyme Regis and to register your interest in the new ensembles starting in September, see www.bsharp.uk.com or contact franwilliams@bsharp.uk.com.

Kevin Benfield, Words on Words