The Mustering Drum
‘To muster’ means to summon up, to gather together. The four players sometimes (at the beginning for instance) play together. At other times they split up into separate parts. Occasionally one of the drummers takes the lead and the others follow him.
John Woolrich has been writing music for BCMG since our very beginning, including his early ensemble piece Lending Wings, which described a heath-robinson machine wheezily attempting lift-off, and his major theatre work Bitter Fruit, which we staged with Trestle Theatre a decade ago. John created the programme for our first ground-breaking Family Concerts in 2006 and supplied a marvellous new work on that occasion. Ticking musical mechanisms and wrong-footing, chopped-up rhythms are ever-present in his oeuvre, which suggested we should ask him for something else for our latest family programme – a percussion extravaganza in January 2012.
Stephen Newbould, Former BCMG Artistic Director
John Woolrich’s The Mustering Drum was premiered by BCMG on 20 & 21 January 2012 at CBSO Centre, Birmingham in our Family and Schools concerts.