The Wish-Artistic Team
The Wish was developed from an original idea 'The Orchestral Machine' by Claire Henry.
The script was developed by Claire Henry and John K Miles and the Music was composed by John K Miles.
Claire presents the concert in an interactive way with John, who also conducts the orchestra.
Claire and John are both run bespoke accompanying workshops depending on requirements.
John K Miles
Photo Maisie Hill
John K Miles has composed numerous scores for film and television (BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4, Channel 5, ARTE, WDR, & various independent film production companies), and written prolifically for theatre, jazz groups, world music ensembles, and the classical concert hall.
Concert commissions include On Golden Cap, written for the opening of the Olympic Sailing in 2012 for 180 voices, vibraphone, strings and percussion, The Choice written to open The 2014 Bath International Music Festival for Choir and Band, and Carnival Suite & Carnival Variations written in 2015 for The City of London Sinfonia, 19 Luton schools, and a range of flagship ensembles from Luton Music Hub. Carnival Suite was recorded for Charanga and published by Music Sales in 2015. In 2017 John scored The Wish, a brand new young person's guide to the orchestra. In 2019 the piece was nominated for 'Outstanding Classical Music Education Initiative' in the prestigious Rhinegold awards. To date the piece has been performed to around 5000 children and counting!
Current commissions include The Spark a four year collaboration with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and writer/presenter Claire Henry, for the Commonwealth Games celebrations in Birmingham UK 2022 and River and Ash - Play a Mighty Groove for Jazz South, subsequently recommissioned for theatrical production at The Little Angel Theatre in July 2021.
John K Miles' music could be described as where 'jazz, world, popular and aural traditions meet classical development' and aims to make immediate and deep connections through an eclectic range of influences and musical traditions that come together in a unique, personal style and voice. He believes in the power of music to transform lives and communities, to bring people together, as well as the benefits for personal well-being.
John has led many creative music workshop projects and collaborations, facilitating composition and performance for a range of clients including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia Viva, English National Opera, The Roundhouse, B Sharp, New Dimensions, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Southbank Sinfonia, Spitalfields Festival, Jazzlines THSH, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Anvil Arts, La Folia, Create, Bath Festivals, and City of London Sinfonia.
He was professor on the Leadership Masters course at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama 2008-18.
Before John studied as a composer at Trinity Laban and the National Film and Television School, he studied classical flute with Pat Lynden and Judith Hall and gained a place at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a post graduate aged 19. He then studied jazz saxophone with Jean Toussaint and Don Rendell. As an instrumentalist he’s worked and recorded with a range of artists including reggae star Maxi Priest, UK jazz musicians Tim Garland, Gerard Presencer & Alan Skidmore, classical luminary Howard Moody, master Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale, soul legend Geno Washington and American trumpet virtuoso Terell Stafford, as part of a collaboration between Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning & Jazz at Lincoln Centre in New York. He's released two instrumental albums under his own name, The Enchanter and Trane Ride.
In 2020 John was awarded a 2020/21 Jazz South Radar Commission to write the words and music for an accessible reimagining of the Orpheus in the Underworld myth for 8-12 year olds. The resulting work, River and Ash - Play a Mighty Groove is a story about friendship and the power of music. The audio track will be released in April 2021 alongside a 2 Degrees West podcast and has subsequently been recommissioned by the Little Angel Theatre for theatrical production in July 2021.
John recently completed The Spinning Wheel a fantasy novel for young adults. It’s 'The first instalment of an epic adventure, set across three divergent parallel worlds, linked by the hidden subconscious realm of ‘The Unseen.’ Technology is at odds with the natural world, as a deposed witch queen and her gifted orphan daughters strive against demonic forces, on their perilous journey towards being reunited and reclaiming their rightful place in the universe.’
Photo Paul Coghlin
Claire Henry is a writer, presenter and song writer with a passion for working with young children. She specialises in supporting a child and audience led approach to the creation and performance of concerts.
Claire has relationships with many organisations including Orchestras Live, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Wigmore Hall.
She writes and presents the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's early years concert series, regularly leads and presents creative projects with young children for CBSO and has been part of the core team of musicians on Wigmore Hall's Music for Life project for over 10 years.
As Animateur in residence for City of London Sinfonia between 2012 and 2018, Claire brought many successful projects to the orchestra. In collaboration with Orchestras Live she has been project leader for the Lullaby series of concerts which have taken place every year since 2008 in Suffolk and Essex. This particular project was recently short-listed for the "Excellence In Early Years" award at the 2018 Music Teacher Awards. There have also been very successful Key Stage 1 projects in Tower Hamlets and Harrow and inspiring work at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Some personal highlights of her time with CLS include performing in Mexico City in 2015, a trip to Japan in 2017 supported by the British Council where she presented concerts alongside Michael Collins and mentored young animateurs, and in 2014 collaborating with Dame Felicity Lott on a new Christmas concert.
Most recently in 2017 Claire and composer John K Miles were commissioned by Orchestras Live to write a new children's guide to the orchestra, entitled 'The Wish', performances of which received another nomination for the 2019 Music Teacher Awards. She has also worked with Kerry Andrew creating a chamber work for the 100th anniversary of the 1st World War, the latter premiering at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in June 2018.
Future events include more performances of the Wish in collaboration with Orchestras Live, a new commission of a 4 year compositional and creative project, 'The Spark' with John K Miles and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and multiple new projects with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic including writing new early years concerts and presenting concerts for people with dementia. Claire will also be working with Alisdair Malloy devising and writing a new Key Stage 1 concert for the RLPO in 2020.
Claire has also recently devised and delivered Early Years training sessions encouraging Orchestral musicians from various orchestras to create their own content and present concerts with a specific focus on relaxed performances. This role has been developed further in collaboration with Orchestras Live and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Claire studied flute at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2003 and furthered her studies as trainee Animateur in residence at Wigmore Hall.