Hereford Fantasia was conducted by Dominic Wheeler and performed by soloists Michael Bochmann, Sam Ellis Kuhermann (violin solo) and Alison Bell (soprano), ESO (English Symphony Orchestra), Academia Musica Choir and Orchestra, the resident semi-professional ensembles at Hereford Sixth Form College, and pupils from the following schools: Walford Primary, Weston-under-Penyard Primary, Bishop of Hereford Bluecoat, Stoke Prior and St Paul's C of E Primary.

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The Song of the Millenials | Programme Notes

A "Millennial" is a western person born between 1975 and 1994. Since joining "Facebook", I have become fascinated with the differences between generations and their characteristic attributes: in particular, with Millennials' innate ability to use all things digital. Therefore, inspiration for 'The Song of the Millennials' comes from the subject of screens and Internet usage in addition to the Youtube video entitled "Social Media Revolution 2", Sir Ken Robinson's talk entitled "How Schools Kill Creativity in Children" and a book by Amy and Frog Orr-Ewing entitled 'Millennia's reaching and releasing the rising generation'.

This work is called "The Song of..." because I aim to give Millennials a voice by setting some of their experiences (I) and words (II & III), followed by a message of encouragement and affirmation to Millennials through experience (IV) and words (V) all the while using harmonic schemes, gestures and rhythms derived from music that Millennials are familiar with.

I  Together Alone

A syndrome called "Together Alone" has recently been identified where individuals report feelings of isolation and loneliness even when they are in a group of people. In addition, many young people today report that they find it easier to send a text or email message than to speak on the phone or in person. In a world where much entertainment and information is delivered via screens, this condition is sadly increasing with the rise in daily screen time. The words "alone" and "together" act as both foreground and background during the first movement in conjunction with the ever-present keyboard sounds that are becoming increasingly familiar-to the point of being constant-in our world today. The solo violin line performed by Sam Ellis Kuhermann (leader of the Academia Musica Orchestra) is the commentator present throughout the piece, representing the voice of the individual that will always be heard by those who are listening purposefully; whether through the social media platforms of the Internet or in person-to-person conversations. In a world where virtual choirs, orchestras and relationships abound, both a diagnosis and a prescription for the Together Alone syndrome is communicated. When human beings gather in the flesh and create or enjoy music as a common interest in real time, the "together, together" state of being can be experienced.

II  Page

Page is a setting of a 2011 poem written by Hereford Sixth Form College student, Douglas Watts. It describes a life framed by a screen, from which both relationships and content are delivered. Written for SATB and string orchestra, the sound world of this fun, short movement illustrates the "screenlight" described in the text. The scenario that ones popularity is measured by the number of friends or followers one has in any given platform of social media is reminiscent of the "na-na-na-NA-na" childish ditty as well as some surprises which digital natives may find perfectly normal in any setting, including a cathedral

'PAGE' - by Douglas Watts

Complete a Circle
Enhance a night
Evenings bathed
In the screenlight

Bleach your skin
Open your mind
The world's a phone at your side

Step through
Look into
Listed Friends

Click the moon
Sit and wait
Scroll down a page or
Turn around.

III  Small

Small is the setting of a 2011 poem written by Hereford Sixth Form College student, Chloe McPherson. Subtle references and quotations from Stravinsky's "Petrouchka" connect the subject "small" (who feels disconnected) to the puppet, Petrouchka, capable of real emotion. Written for soprano, Alison Bell and orchestra, it is a journey through an emotional landscape framed by light and sounds generated by machines.

'SMALL' - by Chloe McPherson

World and I aren't speaking
Beauty long escaped my memory
The heated-breeze against my face
Figment of my imagination.

This buzzing, whirring, world
Have to satisfy my eardrums.
The brightness and blurriness
Filter through my eyes
Endless printed words
Occupy my brain
The rest empty, numb.

Suddenly this world has become very small around me
And I, very small in it
The buzzing and whirring and brightness and blurring
Buzzing whirring brightness blurring
Transition complete
My sight, my hearing, my touch, my mind
Filled with white

IV  Real Reel

Real Reel is a response to living in a word awash with 'edited real' presentations of reality. Medley of two unaltered or "real" reels ("Liberty"Traditional American, "The Musical Priest" Traditional Irish) and an old American gospel tune, "0 Sinner Man". It is written for two solo violinists and accompanying strings in a continuous, enthusiastic, unrelenting "fiddling" style.

V  Millenials' Anthem

The final movement brings together all the performers of the previous movements in singing a traditional anthem inspired by a gospel hymn, "Jesus is Coming Again".

'Millennials' Anthem' - by Helena Cavan

Lift up our voices and
Loud let them ring
This generation will sing
With passion for justice
Excited to bring
Dreams for a whole new thing

Songs for our nation
Songs for our friends
Songs that our hearts desire

Connected between us
Networked and strong
We like to feel we belong
Voices united
Engaged with our song
Secure as we step along


Together, together
Empowered and free
Encouraged, supported to be
Creative, trustworthy, envisioned to see
We are community



The Herefordshire Instrumental Bursary Fund is a charity established to provide financial assistance to support young people (up to age 19) in Herefordshire and the surrounding area to receive instrumental coaching or vocal tuition. 

In order to progress to a musical career or academic course in music, success in Associated Board Examinations of the Royal Schools of Music or equivalent qualifications is vital. Individual music lessons are not fully funded by government and many families on low incomes would find it impossible to pay. 

The Herefordshire Instrumental Bursary Fund aims to ensure all students regardless of their background are able to afford the cost of lessons. £375 would provide a course of individual tuition for a year.

While seeking larger donations from business and local industry the trust is hoping to attract small donations made on an annual basis from a very large number of individuals who wish to see young people derive the many educational benefits and pleasures music-making can bring.

The Herefordshire Bursary Fund is inspired by the American legend of Johny Appleseed who planted gifts of seeds from Herefordshire across the American frontier which enabled orchards to be established across the United States. 

You can make a donation, and thus sow a seed to furnish a musical orchard in a number of ways:

  1. In cash at a fund-raising event.
  2. By post – cheques should be made payable to The Herefordshire Instrumental Bursary Fund and sent to Hereford, Sixth Form College, Folly Lane , Hereford HR1 1LU.
  3. By standing order from Hereford Sixth Form College.