Judging the Marching Bands competition with Dr Reed Thomas at the Corazon Verde Festival of Music in Paraiso

Thank you to all the students, musicians and organisers of the Corazon Verde Festival of Music (the Green Heart Festival) in Paraiso, Costa Rica. I had a fantastic time working with you all and of course giving the world premiere of my ‘Old World Overture’ – a special thanks to Mauricio Solano and Dr Reed Thomas who made the whole week world-class!!! Many new friends (Manuel, Adrian, Gabriel, Jose, Evelyn, Sol, Jo, Valeria, Presilla, Fiio and of course Mauricio plus many others ) and many great memories from Costa Rica!!!!!!

27 marching bands took part in this year’s marching bands competition in the Corazon Verde Festival, and a one-week music course was organised bringing together students to form the Corazon Verde Festival Wind Orchestra under the direction of Dr Reed Thomas (Director of Bands at Middle Tennessee State University). Much of the landscape of Costa Rica is covered by spectacular rain forest which is also home to 5 percent of the world’s total bio-diversity. To highlight environmental concerns, the entrance fee for each band wishing to participate in the festival was 5000 aluminum drink cans which were to be re-cycled after the festival.

Dr Reed Thomas conducting in the Paraiso Town square

Dr Reed Thomas conducting in the Paraisio Town square

I wrote a new work called `Old World Overture’ which was written as a musical gift from the Old World to the New World and is dedicated to Mauricio Solano and the musicians and organisers of the Corazon Verde Festival. I based this piece on traditional Balkan folk music heard while holidaying on the banks of Lake Ohrid in Macedonia in the summer of 2013.`Old World Overture’ is energetic and dance-like in style, with contrasting moments of eccentricity and humour. I look forward to ‘passing forward’ my positive experiences in Costa Rica by writing a work based on their musical culture gifted to another part of the world in the future!



From left to right – Mauricio Solano, Nigel Clarke, Manuel Monge & Dr Reed Thomas



Nigel conducting the premiere of `Old World Overture'

Nigel conducting the premiere of `Old World Overture’



One of the marching band from the competition

One of the marching bands from the competition


The world Premiere of `Old World Overture’