Shrewsbury School

Music Workshop with Christian Forshaw and the Sanctuary Ensemble

Wednesday 22 May 2013

A number of Shrewsbury’s outstanding young instrumentalists, singers and composers attended a fascinating and inspiring workshop on Friday 17th May led by saxophonist Christian Forshaw and the Sanctuary Ensemble, who performed in Chapel later that evening.

The Sanctuary EnsembleChristian Forshaw is one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Professor of Saxophone at the Guildhall in London. He founded the Sanctuary Ensemble in 2002 and has released four albums to widespread critical acclaim.

In addition to Forshaw on saxophone, the Ensemble is made up of three other musicians: Grace Davidson, singer and member of ‘The Sixteen’; Rob Farrer, percussion and for many years drummer with pop group ‘The Divine Comedy’; and Alex Mason, organ and Director of Chapel Choir here at Shrewsbury.

During the workshop Christian demonstrated some of the unique timbres of saxophone and ensemble and illustrated many of his compositional processes. Almost all of the music performed by the Sanctuary Ensemble is composed or arranged for the group by Forshaw, so it was of considerable interest to staff and pupils alike to hear about his compositional fusion of ideas as diverse as mediaeval music and Elton John!

The concert in the evening was attended by an appreciative audience, many of whom came not knowing quite what to expect! By the end of the concert Forshaw had certainly won a new band of fans.

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