Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra
Principal percussion: Graeme Kay
Graeme Kay large.jpg
A retired pharmaceutical chemist, Graeme Kay has played with The Alderley Edge Orchestra since 1965.
For the first five years he played the flute, changing to the bassoon later to fulfill an ambition to play an instrument that had long fascinated him.

In recent years, Graeme has developed an interest and proficiency in the field of percussion.

Graeme likes all types of music with a particular relish for modern works, and his musical interests extend to arranging music for wind quintets and larger wind groups. Some 40 works have already received the 'Kay treatment', beautifully printed out using the latest computer technology, and he receives requests for his arrangements from all over the country.

Outside music, Graeme is a keen botanist. His expertise has been recognised by his appointment as the Recorder for Cheshire for the Botanical Society for the British Isles.

The range of disparate instruments that fall within the responsibilty of the percussion section are truly astonishing. To mention some (but by no means all) they include bass drum; cymbals; triangle; tambourine; snare drum; gongs; tam-tam; castanets; bells; wood block; whip; rattle; tubular bells and cowbells; glockenspiel; and many more. What these have in common is that they are instruments that are aither struck or shaken. Most have indeterminate pitch, with the exception of tubular bells and glockenspiel.

Early symphonies of the classical period used percussion only occasionally and for special effect (as in Haydn’s Military Symphony No 100), but in the romantic era it was used to provide greater sonority or to provide brillance in climaxes. Modern composers tend use percussion extensively and in all sorts of jingenious combinations.
The Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra
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