A room full of saxophonists at Mouth Feet Sound

Workers Union & Mouth Feet Sound

Workers Union was a performance project that culminated in a concert as part of The Series at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham in March 2004. It featured stunning solo contemporary pieces played by BCMG soloists, together with works written for flexible ensemble by ten of Europe’s leading composers including Philip Cashian, Colin Matthews, Gerald Barry, David Sawer, Luciano Berio, Louis Andriessen and John Woolrich;These pieces involved BCMG musicians playing alongside over 100 young non-professional musicians; aged 9 – 22. Through a series of coaching sessions and rehearsals with Peter Wiegold and BCMG musicians. Workers Union provided a wonderful and unique opportunity for young people in Birmingham to work with and perform alongside some of the world’s leading contemporary musicians. The concert was broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Hear and Now in August 2004 and interviews with participants were used as an interval feature for BBC Radio 3’s Listen Up festival. The project brought together education relationships that had been nurtured and developed over a number of years.

A second similar but even larger concert was staged in January 2006. Over 300 performers, professional and non-professional, gathered together for BCMG’s extraordinary Mouth Feet Sound concert in Hall 3 of the ICC conducted by Peter Wiegold. Musicians were drawn from Birmingham Schools Wind Orchestra, Telford New Symphony Orchestra Winds, Birmingham Conservatoire, the National Saxophone Choir Birmingham University and Birmingham Symphonic Winds who performed alongside musicians from BCMG. On the programme was Bruno Maderna’s glittering Serenata per un Satellite written for the European Space Operations Centre to celebrate the launch of a satellite, Luciano Berio’s Accordo for four wind bands with an unlimited number of players, evoking the atmosphere of an Italian village festival and Salvatore Sciarrino’s The mouth, the feet, the sound, scored for over a hundred saxophones, led by saxophonist John Harle.