Category Archives: Music

Rosanna charms New Malden with her harp

Rosanna Rolton visited Raleigh House on Saturday to give a post-luncheon harp recital to the Dementia Club. “What a wonderful recital Rosanna treated us to on Saturday!” wrote Assistant Day Centre Manager Marion Caldwell. “Everyone was spellbound and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Even members who can be prone to restlessness were taken with the performance “.

 

 

Intimacy and informality charm Rosanna's audience at Raleigh House
Intimacy and informality charm Rosanna’s audience at Raleigh House.
Rosanna demonstrates the harp pedals to a captivated audience.
Rosanna demonstrates the harp pedals to a captivated audience.

Later that same afternoon Rosanna drove her harp round the corner to The White House where once again she offered items from her musical menu  and happily answered questions from those inquisitive about her beautiful instrument. As Rosanna herself explained, “there was much excitement about the harp, many people had never seen a harp close by, which resulted in many questions and stories being shared”.

This day offered the Maldens & Coombe Neighbourhood two extra concerts, thanks largely to donations from the Friends of Everyone Matters. in addition to the six concerts organised during the ’14-’15 season under the local neighbourhood grant scheme.

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Percussion Play at the Children’s Trust School

Sarah Stuart and Margaret Archibald were at the Children’s Trust on Monday 23 February before the canteen opened for breakfast, so the bacon sandwiches had to wait! Both were keen to get the large percussion instruments in place for two full days of workshops enabling children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties to explore large orchestral percussion instruments. These workshops form part of a series supported by the Lucille Graham Trust and the Red Socks Charitable Trust, their generosity enabling us to visit four schools for children and young people with special needs.

Margaret Archibald writes:

Our hello song had a Latin-American flavour, and Sarah kept the momentum going with a large guiro while I played a short riff on the clarinet as we skipped from one learner to the next, and then sang in harmony with Sarah as we greeted each learner in turn.

Sarah began her demonstration of percussion with the side drum, and we were able to involve learners and staff in joining our marching band with small percussion, and also with two suspended cymbals that hung comfortably just above the level of the tray on each learner’s wheelchair.

Claire and Tim, the resident Music Therapists, both commented that  moving  wheelchairs across the room in order to get really close to the tam-tam and the bass drum gave learners the cue that something new was about to happen. The muffled thunder resonances of these very large instruments created a palpable change to a darker mood, and when our next item came it was a relief to imagine ourselves jumping on a sleigh with everyone playing bells to accompany the clarinet and xylophone in a musical ride across the Siberian snow.

Having encountered the xylophone the learners were invited to relax and simply listen to a piece featuring the xylophone and clarinet, and then it was time to take part again in “team timps”, with groups of learners in their chairs clustering round each kettle drum  to share in creating an exciting and festive noise.

We rounded the session off with a return to our Latin-American song, this time to say goodbye, with everyone playing a favourite percussion instrument.

One of our aims was to create a sense of rehearsal leading to performance.We wanted to establish this pattern early in each session and develop it with each successive repertoire item.

There was a trade-off between allocating time to allow individuals to explore instruments, and covering the full range of musical items to give variety. At our first Monday session, perhaps because everyone was fresh, and with a smaller group of just four learners present, we covered all the items. Later in the day, especially with slightly larger groups, we found we were making choices between items, lingering more on items where learners were taking turns to play large instruments such as the tam-tam and the bass drum. By the Tuesday we found that a pattern had begun to establish itself whereby we spent a lot of time early in the session exploring sounds, and then gathered momentum towards a climax with everyone playing the timpani together.

The hypnotic effect of soft sounds on the tam-tam and bass drum, separately and together, seemed to capture many of the learners, and several showed especial pleasure on hearing the clarinet tones set against the deeper rumble of these very large instruments. Nearly everyone experienced the physical sensation of the tam-tam or bass drum vibrations, either by touching with hands, or through beaters, or from close proximity to the source of the sound through careful positioning of wheelchairs. We were told that this experiencing of vibration tied in with other resonance work that the learners undertake in school.

Wherever possible we created ensemble effects, and at the last session on Monday we discovered that we could effectively cluster groups of learners around each kettle drum, creating a very effective Indian War Dance with everyone drumming together. This was such an exciting sound that we developed this at almost every session on the Tuesday, and one of our morning sessions on Tuesday finished with especially rousing versions of La Réjouissance and the Indian War Dance, the kettle drums giving so much pleasure to staff and learners alike that we continued to use them for the ensuing Goodbye Song.

The Music Therapists told us that the learners are not used to music sessions that last as long as a full hour, but that on this occasion it was good for them to have time for a wide range of activities.

The lunch-time session on the Monday was spent playing folk fiddle music to a large group in the hall, with maximum participation from hand percussion led by the two Music Therapists Claire and Tim who were both able to give their lunch-hour to share this time with everyone. The lunch-time therapy session on the Tuesday was also devoted to folk fiddle and clarinet; we worked in a therapy room with a smaller group of learners who were mostly lying down, some on resonance boards, and for these learners staff were energetic in drumming rhythms on the boards to match the tempo of each new jig or reel.

The school has an open door policy for parents to share time with the children, and it was delightful that one of the younger boys was able to share his session on the Tuesday afternoon with both his parents who took great delight in the chance to play the wide range of instruments. It was lovely to see how much their mood was lifted by sharing in the fun.

Sarah and I were impressed throughout by the willingness of all the staff to engage with each activity;  staff help was invaluable in enabling each individual learner to access the different instruments and the different playing techniques to best advantage. We realised that it was important for us as the visiting musicians to make it clear to staff that we really did want them to take part in the music-making in their own right, and not just as support for the learners, as we wanted them to enjoy themselves too. In this way everyone in the room was contributing to the music, lifting the mood and giving greater energy to the results.

Danielle takes her harp to the party in Kingston

Danielle introduces her harp
Danielle introduces her harp

 

Danielle Perrett visited Murray House Day Centre and Bradbury Active Age Centre today, Tuesday 10 February, to perform for enthralled audiences of older people in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Audience members keen to have a go...
Audience members keen to have a go…

Everyone Matters has strong links with some twenty venues around the borough, including Tolworth Hospital Cedars Unit and Amy Woodgate House in the South of the Borough, nursing homes and day centres in Maldens and Coombe and in Surbiton, and our musicians are regular performers for audiences at the two centres visited by Danielle today.

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The full series of more than 24 concerts during the 2014-15 season is supported by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames through the four Neighbourhood Grants Committees.

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Music Matters Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 series of Music Matters lecture-recitals starts on Tuesday 6 January at 7.30p.m. The beautiful setting of the Chapel at Whitgift House is once again the venue for our fortnightly Tuesdays.
A subscription of £56 for the full spring season represents a saving of pretty much 21%. If your Tuesdays are often busy then please do come along whenever you can and simply pay on the door, £10 per lecture-recital.

MUSIC MATTERS 7.30 – 9.30p.m. (doors open 7p.m.)

– a series of Lecture-Recitals in the Chapel at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon, CR2 6AB

SPRING SEASON 2014

Tuesday 6 January: Graham Jones, MBE

State Ceremonial Music                   

Former principal conductor of the Her Majesty the Queen’s Household Division and Lieutenant Colonel, Graham Jones has an extensive career as an inspiring leader, motivator and conductor who is much in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and lecturer across the globe. Recently he has been Inspiring musicians and audiences alike in the USA, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Norway and Belgium to name but a few.

Through the medium of music and stories of his extensive career this vibrant and inspirational speaker takes you, with his boundless energy and enthusiasm, on an outstanding journey of how to lead and inspire where “failure is not an option”

Graham’s anecdotes will make you laugh but the entire experience will leave the audience with inspiring messages of innovational teamwork and leadership through the art of conducting, training and performing on stage as both an internationally acclaimed conductor and teacher.

3-week gap!

Tuesday 27 January: Caroline Brown 

The Hanover Band         

Ever since Caroline Brown founded the Hanover Band in 1980 its primary objective has been to enable audiences to gain a better feeling for what earlier music actually sounded like when heard in favourable circumstances. Historical instruments are key to this; as one prominent conductor recently put it, “they have more colour, shape and less weight than modern instruments. They are more tangy, more piquant. We can play full out with the greatest passion, and still sound like Mozart”.

Tuesday 3 February: Martin Smith and Margaret Archibald

Music for violin and clarinet 

NB: the venue for this one evening will be back of St. Peter’s Church Hall, Ledbury Road, South Croydon (across the road near Whitgift House)

Martin Smith is a member of the newly self-governing London Mozart Players and has partnered Margaret for many years giving informal concerts in community venues and workshops in schools and kids’ clubs nationwide.

Tuesday 17 February: Gary Ryan

Guitar

Gary Ryan is one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists.  He captivates audiences with his exceptional virtuosity and creative genius and has won universal acclaim for his formidable blend of flawless technique, profound musical artistry and highly varied concert programmes.  In May 2013 Gary was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Music, London, by HRH Prince Charles in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the international musical world.

Tuesday 3 March: David Campbell

Why haven’t you recorded that?…

David Campbell is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s finest musicians and was described by the doyen of British clarinettists, the late Jack Brymer, as ‘the finest player of his generation’.

His recording of Peter Lieuwen’s ‘River of Crystal Light’ was released in May 2007 and the following year ‘Reflections’ – Clarinet Concertos by Carl Davis, Gerald Finzi and Graham Fitkin with the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon. In 2010 a recording of the Septet by Welsh composer, John Metcalf, was issued to great critical acclaim and Richard Blackford’s Quintet, “Full Moon” will be released on the Nimbus label in June 2012. A recording of Roger Steptoe’s Quintet is planned for 2013.

Tuesday 17 March: Ingrid Pearson

Composer Anniversaries of 2015

Currently Research Fellow in Performance Practice, Ingrid joined the RCM in March 2005 as Deputy Head of Graduate School. Highlights from this time include nurturing the College’s doctoral programme, playing a key role in the submission to RAE 2008 and jointly authoring a new suite of Masters programmes. In July 2011 Ingrid became Research Fellow in Performance Practice and plays a leading role in integrating the College’s research and teaching across both theory and practice. Ingrid performs as a clarinettist in the arenas of historical and contemporary performance. She has appeared with the major UK period ensembles.

Tuesday 31 March: Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner

Music for two ‘cellos – a mother and son duo

At sixteen Julia Desbruslais won an open scholarship to study the cello with Florence Hooton at the Royal Academy of Music.  During this time she won many awards and was a founder member of the all-female Fairfield String Quartet.  On leaving the Quartet, she became Co-Principal Cello with the London Mozart Players, where she regularly performs with the Chamber Ensemble and has appeared as a concerto soloist. She is also Principal Cello with the London Jupiter Orchestra, with whom she has performed John Taverner’s Eternal Memory at St John’s, Smith Square. She regularly plays as guest principal with many London orchestras, including the New London Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.

Tim Posner was born in London in 1995 and began playing the cello at the age of seven, studying with his mother, Julia Desbruslais. He studied at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music with Robert Max, and is now a pupil of Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover.

Tim gave his debut recital at the age of 14 at St Barnabas Church, and his debut concerto performance later that year, playing the Hungarian Rhapsody by Popper at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. In 2011, Tim gave the world premiere of Via Crucis, which was written for him and his Mother by William McVicker. Later that year he performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations at Cadogan Hall, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Whitgift Chamber Orchestra, and was chosen to perform in a London Cello Society event, alongside eminent international soloists. This year he gave a performance of Cpe Bach’s A major concerto, and future engagements include Brahms’ Double Concerto. He has taken part in masterclasses with cellists including Maximillian Hornung, Jo Cole, Sebastian Comberti, Tim Gill and Bernard Gregor-Smith.

£10 per lecture-recital

Advance subscription: £56 for all seven lecture-recitals

Cash, or cheque payable to “Everyone Matters”, in advance or on the door. Bank transfer in advance to Everyone Matters Reg.Charity No.1143445, sort code 30-84-51, account number 34739560

If you would like interval refreshment you are welcome to bring your own tea or coffee; the pews may seem hard after a while so feel free to bring your own cushion!

Finding Whitgift House Chapel

Whitgift House stands in the grounds of Whitgift  School, but with its own gate on Brighton Road. Do not go up the hill to the school.

The gate is just north of a bus stop, opposite Choices estate agents with its bright red and yellow sign. The bus stop is more visible than the entrance!

If you are standing on the drive facing the house, you will see to the left of the house a large wrought iron gate leading through into part of the garden. The chapel is accessed by going into the garden through this gate, and then going through the very first door on your left. The Chapel does have toilet facilities.

Free on-site car park facilities are available to our group members as space allows. Buses stopping outside Whitgift House are: 407, 312, 60, 166, 466. Also buses: 119, 468, 405, 403 stop nearby at the Swan and Sugarloaf. The nearest station is South Croydon, and East Croydon station is a brisk walk away.

Everyone Matters: a company limited by guarantee no. 07450130; registered charity no. 1143445

Music Matters Autumn 2014

The new series of Music Matters lecture-recitals starts on Tuesday 9 September at 7.30p.m. The beautiful setting of the Chapel at Whitgift House is once again the venue for our fortnightly Tuesdays.
A subscription of £71 for the full autumn season represents a saving of pretty much 21%. If your Tuesdays are often busy then please do come along whenever you can and simply pay on the door, £10 per lecture-recital and £20 for our special Gala Night.

MUSIC MATTERS 7.30 – 9.30p.m. (doors open 7p.m.)

– a series of Lecture-Recitals in the Chapel at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon, CR2 6AB                                                    

 

AUTUMN SEASON 2014

Tuesday 9 September: Margaret Archibald                                                  

Carl Orff – creator of Carmina Burana and Schulwerk                    

Margaret is Artistic Director of Everyone Matters and has played Carmina Burana many times in her capacity as an orchestral clarinet player

Tuesday 23 September: Alan Shellard                                                               

The Band of the Grenadier Guards – 330 years of Music                      

Alan is Principal Clarinet of the Band of the Grenadier Guards and has made a special study of the archive at Wellington Barracks

Tuesday 7 October: Danielle Perrett                                                          

Music for 47 Strings                                                                                                

Danielle tours internationally with her harps, performing on both modern and period instruments

Tuesday 21 October: David Angel                                                                    

Their sounds in my ears – the violinists I grew up with!                      

David is a member of the Maggini Quartet and a favourite lecturer at Music Matters

Tuesday 4 November: Charlotte Bartley with fellow students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama                         

Music for recorder consort

Tuesday 18 November: Gala Night – Chamber Music Special    

Clarinet Quintet in A, K.581 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart          

Margaret Archibald joins four members of the London Mozart Players,  Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Martin Smith, Mickey Posner and Julia Desbruslais, to explore and perform Mozart’s late masterpiece

Tuesday 2 December: David Juritz                                                      

 Chaconnes and Caprices                                                                                        

David, violinist extraordinaire of World Busk fame, now crams his days as soloist, as leader of numerous orchestras and of the London Tango Quintet, and as Founder of the charity Musequality. 

Tuesday 16 December: Maya Magub + 1                                                            

A duo partnership                                                                                                         

Violinist Maya is re-establishing a busy freelance career in London after returning from several years living in Los Angeles and working in the film industry there. She has made several historically informed solo and duo recordings and will soon reveal who her duo partner will be this December!

 

£10 per lecture-recital (not 18 November)

£20 for the Chamber Music Special on 18 November

Advance subscription: £71 for all eight lecture-recitals

Cash, or cheque payable to “Everyone Matters”, in advance or on the door. Bank transfer in advance to Everyone Matters Reg.Charity No.1143445, sort code 30-84-51, account number 34739560

If you would like interval refreshment you are welcome to bring your own tea or coffee; the pews may seem hard after a while so feel free to bring your own cushion!

Finding Whitgift House Chapel

Whitgift House stands in the grounds of Whitgift  School, but with its own gate on Brighton Road. Do not go up the hill to the school.

The gate is just north of a bus stop, opposite Choices estate agents with its bright red and yellow sign. The bus stop is more visible than the entrance!

If you are standing on the drive facing the house, you will see to the left of the house a large wrought iron gate leading through into part of the garden. The chapel is accessed by going into the garden through this gate, and then going through the very first door on your left. The Chapel does have toilet facilities.

Free on-site car park facilities are available to our group members as space allows. Buses stopping outside Whitgift House are: 407, 312, 60, 166, 466. Also buses: 119, 468, 405, 403 stop nearby at the Swan and Sugarloaf. The nearest station is South Croydon, and East Croydon station is a brisk walk away.

 

Everyone Matters: a company limited by guarantee no. 07450130; registered charity no. 1143445

 

Back to Benslow

Everyone Matters is delighted to announce that Benslow Music will once again host a residential course for amateur musicians who will come together to rehearse a concert programme for performance in local Hitchin care homes. We piloted this new idea in December 2013 and, following the success of our first course, we have been invited to return  for a course running from the evening of Sunday 14th to late afternoon on  Wednesday 17th September 2014.

Benslow Music is renowned for the opportunities it provides for amateur musicians to make music together. In this unique course, we aspire not only to share the fun of music-making with one another, but to share it with others who live and work in four local care homes.

In 2013, we arrived on an early December evening to start our course with one of the famous Benslow dinners before spending the evening playing through a large pile of music.  Emails had been flying to and fro, and we had come armed with plenty of musical material. A possible programme began to take shape, using the line-up of clarinets, flutes, bassoon and keyboard to the full, and in addition putting the spotlight on some of the extra instruments that had been offered by our doublers, including chromatic harmonica. We rehearsed hard all next day, and it was good to change down a gear for the evening and relax while others did the work at a concert by the London Klezmer Quartet in Benslow’s Morrison Hall. Then it was breakfast, a short top’n tail, and jump into shared cars to get to our first concert, a Coffee Morning at Elmside:

Coffee Concert
Coffee Concert

A dash back to Benslow for lunch left us just about time to get out again for our afternoon performance at Highbury Rise, where Maria had promised us mince pies. In fact, her exact words when I rang to offer her a concert were “If you come here, you’ll have to have homemade mince pies”. Yes, you do see a theme emerging here, that food and drink are important on these occasions . Apart from the side benefit to the musicians, who do (honestly) use a lot of energy and get pretty thirsty when performing, there is nothing like a cup of tea and a mince pie to create an easy, sociable atmosphere and promote conversation.

Earning our mince pies.
Earning our mince pies

Two concerts down, two to go, and on our second day of concerts I decided I would take the box of percussion out of the boot of my car.  Perhaps our performance of “America” from West Side Story was not entirely authentic, but we all had huge fun playing it; every member of the audience at our morning visit to Symonds House Leonard Cheshire Disability, staff and clients alike, enjoyed choosing the instrument that took their fancy from the big red box of maracas, tambourines, drums and guiros.

All in a whirl - Margaret leads the huapanga
All in a whirl – Margaret leads the huapanga

“Thank you so much for the lovely concert that you and your fellow musicians put on for us yesterday” wrote Ros, the Manager at Symonds House. “It was thoroughly enjoyed by us all of us especially the residents. We particularly liked the way that all the musicians introduced us to all their instruments first then explained to us something about the piece of music that they were going to perform. To realize that some of the pieces of music were 300 years old is amazing.  The residents also liked the interaction with the group and the instruments they were allowed to ‘have a go’ with.”

 Finally it was back to Benslow for lunch, and then an afternoon tea at Benslow Nursing Home that would have kept a full symphony orchestra quiet, never mind our little group of seven musicians. I’m not quite sure how we squeezed even just the seven of us, with keyboard and music stands, into the living room, but we managed it somehow, and the quality of repartee throughout the concert, and the level of hilarity as the percussion came out, made the performance a lovely climax to our few shared days of intensive music-making.

Music is for sharing! As we prepared to say our goodbyes we were all in agreement that “sharing” was the watchword, the key, the essence and the whole point of the course. Music is communication, music transcends words, music opens hearts and demolishes inhibition, and the music we offered was our passport to these four most welcoming care homes.

The final word should be with the homes, and Debbie spoke for them all:

Dear Margaret

Thank you all so much for coming into Elmside to perform for us. The morning was actually very moving for many staff members here to see some Residents leave their rooms to come and listen to you, and comment on how much they enjoyed the morning. I really believe this needs to happen more in our care homes.

We received many comments from the Residents about the morning….

 “what a wonderful calming way to spend the morning”

 “I’ve had a wonderful morning”

 “really enjoyed this morning”

“It was lovely to hear classical music performed so well”

“how very kind of you all to come and play just for us”

These are a few of the comments I received during the day, but the most said comment Margaret was….

 “WHEN ARE YOU ALL COMING BACK” !!!!!!!!!

 So once again on behalf of the Residents  we all Thank You.

Here at Elmside we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Dates for 2014: Sunday 14 – Wednesday 17 September                         …the course meets for dinner on the first evening, and finishes after tea on the last day.

For full details, including course fees, and to enrol, contact:       Benslow Music, Benslow Lane, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 9RB       Tel: 01462 459446;  email: info@benslowmusic.org

 

National Care Homes Day

Friday 20 June was National Care Homes Day 2014. Coloma Court Care Home was celebrating in style, kicking off in the morning with a junior school art group sharing its enthusiasm for painting with like-minded residents. Meanwhile, a few miles away at Bishop Justus C of E School, Katie Clemmow , Christopher Newport and I were starting an intensive morning of rehearsals with a group of wind players and singers from year 9. With some ten or a dozen items to rehearse we used the morning to the full. Our programme had been chosen to show off the group’s strengths, and featured a number of songs from the shows…

Singers serenadingSingers Lucy, Jess and Sophie serenade residents at Coloma Court

… interspersed with a medley of short instrumental items. These  included  Handel’s “Ouverture” from the Fitzwilliam Museum and adapted for oboe, clarinet and horn by Katie, Margaret and Chris from the original for two high clarinets and hunting horn,  and special items featuring the brass section and the woodwind section that included some old English jigs and reels.

Joy Corbett,  Activities Organiser  at Coloma Court, had been in touch with Everyone Matters months in advance, to request a return visit by young musicians from Bishop Justus School following our previous visit there during our project “Conversation Pieces – words and music uniting young and old” that had been supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. It is always good to make new friends, but even better to revisit old ones, and we were greeted in the upstairs room by a most welcoming audience on this return visit.

“The national care home open day concert which was on friday 20th June was an enormous success!” wrote Joy afterwards. “The combination of the professional musicians from ‘Everyone Matters’ and the students from Bishop Justus school worked beautifully. The variety of the pieces played and the high calibre of all the musicians created a highly enjoyable concert.”

Katie conducts English jigs and reelsKatie conducts English jigs and reels

 “Our residents were amazed by the talents of all concerned and had a thoroughly marvellous time listening to them all,” Joy continued. “The room was packed to capacity and many positive comments were made afterwards by our residents. Comments such as; ‘how good it was to see the two generations playing so well together’, ‘how lovely that they came here and gave their time for us’, ‘I wish I had learnt to play like that’ and ‘will they come again, I really loved it’. These were just a few of the comments said, there were many others! I would just like to finish by sincerely thanking both the students from Bishop Justus for taking the time to practice and play for us and special thanks to Margaret for all the time and effort she puts into these events as without her professionalism and dedication to giving back to others this concert would not have happened!”

A song before teatimeA song before teatime

This one-day project was the third collaboration between Everyone Matters and Bishop Justus, bringing professional musicians into school to work alongside different groups of young musicians in order to perform at local care homes and day centres. The group of year 9 students who took part on this occasion were the youngest yet, and they worked hard to rise to the challenge of putting  a programme together so quickly. They entered with good humour into the spirit of working efficiently with a group of unknown professionals pushing hard to get the results that they wanted, and as the morning turned into afternoon one or two players seemed to think that lunch would never come!  Nonetheless it was impressive to see the way the more secure players gave support to their friends whose instrumental skills were less advanced, and the programme gradually pulled together. Before we knew it the rehearsal time was up, we were packing music, piling music stands ready for the minibus, and double checking that none of the percussion was left behind.  Afterwards Gemma Sheppard, the Subject Leader for Music, wrote “Friday’s workshop was another fantastic experience for a different group of our students from Bishop Justus.  They got so much out of rehearsing with the pro players and it was brilliant the level of detail Margaret went into.  It really pushed some of our top end students.  The performance itself was very gratefully received by the residents of Coloma and it is so worthwhile for students to perform in the community. It is so brilliant that we have been able to work with Everyone Matters for a third time and create such a top quality, well thought out performance together.”

The woodwind and the voices keep in timeThe woodwind and the voices keep in time

The climax of the concert, and an item that had been given great attention during the rehearsal, was the three movement “Toy” Symphony, long considered to have been the work of Haydn but now believed to have been written by Mozart’s father Leopold, himself a professional violinist and composer as well as an incredibly proud dad. We were performing an arrangement created especially for the assembled forces, and our young lady vocalists agreed to join the percussion section on warbling canary (rescued from a Christmas cracker), rattle (taken from an old pram set) and triangle (from the Bishop Justus percussion trolley). Christopher excelled on toy drum, forming an excellent trumpet and drum team with Alex, and Emma gave the whole ensemble a firmly rhythmic and characterful bass line from her trombone.

Year 9 Brass players take the lead in Leopold Mozart's "Toy" Symphony while Christopher, our professional horn players, forsakes his instrument for the toy drum.

Year 9 Brass players take the lead in Leopold Mozart’s “Toy” Symphony while Christopher, our professional horn player, forsakes his usual splendid instrument for a brightly coloured plastic drum.