Tag Archives: David Campbell

Clarinets coming home – Everyone Matters at Benslow Music Trust

Year after year each return to Benslow feels to me like another coming home. The house wraps round me as I walk into the hall, I promise the reception team yet again that this year I really won’t lose my room key, and it’s hugs all round as clarinet players convene for another intensive weekend of non-stop playing: clarinet choir, clarinet ensemble, clarinet masterclass, clarinet recital and, this year for the second time as part of the David Campbell Clarinet Weekend, the Everyone Matters group working towards performances in local Hitchin care homes. My clarinet colleagues David Campbell and Ian Scott are on board this year to share coaching the Everyone Matters group as they prepare to perform in the homes, and pianist John Flinders is also on hand to work through the clarinet solos that several of our group plan to perform at our Monday community concerts with me accompanying at an electric keyboard that is already stowed in my car for the care homes that don’t have pianos.

It is so easy now for me to set up the care centre concerts, as all the venues welcome us as old friends and are eager for us to return. This year it was Leonard Cheshire Disability that chose to host our Monday morning concert at Symonds House, where our welcoming audience included a number of staff and residents who had seen some of us in previous years. The intimacy of the room encouraged a very informal atmosphere throughout the concert, with lots of questions from our audience including a fascinating discussion initiated by one of the wheelchair users who asked the thought-provoking question “Why do the clarinets all sound different?” initiating a rewarding discussion in which each player was able to explain some of the details of their own reed, mouthpiece and instrument set-up as well as touching on the differences between individual approaches to tone production.

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Linda, Rosemary and Cathy have all played in Hitchin care centres previously, and at Highbury Rise following the afternoon concert Linda found a gentleman who had been born near her own Croydon home, enabling the two of them to share reminiscences of Thornton Heath ponds, leading to him telling the story of how he ran away to sea at age 15.

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Chris plays folk fiddle as well as clarinet, flute and recorder, and he offered us a welcome interlude from wall-to-wall clarinets with two Irish jigs for which he wrote out a shadowing harmony part for me as a duo accompaniment.

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It’s a big ask for a group of amateur players to come together with only short rehearsal time, as part of a densely timetabled weekend, to put together an informal concert programme from scratch, and this group managed it magnificently. The Activities Co-ordinator at Highbury Rise, where many of the residents are living with dementia, wrote afterwards, “Music has a wonderful effect on the brain and evokes memories that may have been forgotten”, and the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Symonds House summed it up: “A lovely concert for a Monday morning”.

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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