Almshouse Street Blues

In 2007 Philip Sparke was appointed composer-in-residence to Monmouth School, situated on the Welsh/English border. The school, which has a venerable history dating back to 1614, has a thriving music department which boasts two concert bands, in co-operation with the nearby Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls, and a brass band.

This exciting and innovative appointment involved three visits by the composer during the year as well as the commissioning of a new piece for each of the bands, all of which were premiered in a concert at the end of the year.

Almshouse Street Blues was written for the brass band, whose members were allowed to vote for which type of piece they would get! Monmouth School is based in Almshouse Street and the town has a thriving summer festival which, alongside blues bands, features a wide variety of music including jazz, soul, rock and bangra.