Written by Beth Edwards, 14 years old, Treble Viol Player
‘Gutted’ is a Warwickshire Music five part Viol consort of passionate teenagers who share the same love in playing the viol! Gutted consists of two treble players Kit Marshall and Beth Edwards, two tenor players, Lilly Butcher and Rachel Williams, and one bass player, Rachel Venn. We are led by the amazingly talented Jacqui Robertson-Wade and meet every Thursday for consort and cake.
On the 8th February 2016 we had great pleasure to be able to play and educate young children about the Viol at ‘Music For Youth’s’ Primary School proms in Symphony Hall, Birmingham. (Previously, Gutted had got to the finals of Music For Youth 2015 and won a prestigious award in the Chamber Music Class for Performance Practice.) Along with three other groups, Kitch-in Synch (Percussion) from Northamptonshire, Coda (Improvisation Beatboxing) from Lewisham and Youth Brass from Northamptonshire, Gutted were chosen to perform at Symphony Hall.
Backstage, the sound of 4000 chattering children sounded like heavy rain and when we walked on stage we received a huge cheer! We were slightly worried that only 5 viols would not be heard, but the whole group quickly grew to love the pure and rich sound that we created together in the vast space. The children also listened very attentively and you could have heard a pin drop. Rachel Leach, the presenter introduced Gutted and gave a very informative introduction about the viol and its history.
We did the same concert twice and the repertoire we played was greeted incredibly well by the smiling bunch of primary school children from across Birmingham and the West Midland’s. Gutted played a variety of Music from marvellous composers such as Nicholas Gistou to folk composers like Turlough O’Carolan. Afterwards we all felt extremely blessed to have educated and hopefully inspired so many young children across the county about the Viol and how it’s just as important in music now as ever! I hope Gutted and the Viol will have many more encounters of Birmingham Symphony Hall in the future as I can say it is my absolute favourite venue in which to play viol!
As a result of playing at Symphony Hall, Gutted were asked to play at the National Union of Teachers Conference in London the following week.