EVERYBODY’S doing it – showing the film of The Snowman with an orchestra playing live music. The Hallé have it on December 22 and 23 (twice each day) at the Bridgewater Hall, alongside a new piece by Steve Pickett for audience and orchestra called Dinosaurumpus.
And, in many other places in the north of England, The Snowman will be shown by Carrot Productions, run by Glossop-based freelance bassoonist Rachel Whibley (managing director) and BBC Philharmonic double bass player Daniel Whibley (artistic director and presenter).
Last year they showed it to over 15,000 people at 27 venues. This time it’s got even bigger, with 33 performances including Halifax, Southport, Chester, Blackpool, Sheffield, Bolton (Victoria Hall, December 15), Hull, Bradford and Warrington (Parr Hall, December 20), school shows in Buxton, Derby, Chesterfield, Burton-on-Trent and Matlock, plus a special free one for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Sunday December 6. Conductor will be Steve Magee.
In the Carrot Productions’ tour of the film there’s an extra novelty – one by a Manchester musician. He’s Tom Scott, brother of Bridgewater Hall resident organist Jonathan Scott, and a visual artist as well as a musical one (he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University and is now a lecturer as well as piano soloist).
Tom has created an animated film to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. He has already transformed The Carnival Of The Animals in the same way, and his animations have been used in classrooms and live concerts all over the world.
Tom says: “In the Nutcracker Suite, most movements represent different characters and objects. So, as the Chinese Dance has lots of pizzicato string sounds I imagined this could be tea pickers plucking tea leaves; and the tambourine in the Arabian Dance became the hiss of a snake, while the musical flourishes in the March became decorations flying up into the air and landing on a Christmas tree.
“There are also instruments played by the animated characters which represent the actual instruments played by the orchestra.”
The Scott brothers are a remarkable pair. Each has a career of his own, and they also appear as The Scott Brothers Duo. Born in Manchester, they studied at Chetham’s and the RNCM. Both were brass players, too – Tom did trumpet as his second study at Chet’s, and Jonathan played trombone.
There’s a film on YouTube about the making of the Nutcracker Suite film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQ6ebA1QB8