Tag Archives: Music

Benslow – bringing musicians together

Seven musicians, amateur and professional, met as a group for the first time on Monday evening 31 October. By Wednesday afternoon they were performing in local nursing homes. Where could this happen? … at Benslow Music Trust, of course!

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Bill Bates, our percussionist, had made arrangements of popular standards exactly to suit the line-up. Clarinets were in the majority, with course leader Margaret Archibald joined by Craig Maxwell who featured especially on bass clarinet, Sue Young doubling on B flat and E flat alto, and Chris Timmis holding the principal clarinet part. Judy Wang had brought her flute all the way from Taiwan especially to take part in the course at Benslow, and ‘cellist Jane Richardson doubled on voice and keyboards in an ensemble that was remarkable for its flexibility.

20161103_1224470As always, coping with the luggage was a problem. Percussion for audience participation in the Latin American number added several bags to the total on this occasion…

20161103_122435…and getting Bill’s kit from Benslow to each nursing home made it necessary to allow at least half an hour before and after each concert for setting up and taking down.

Concerts at Elmside Methodist Nursing Home, Symonds House (Leonard Cheshire Disability), St Catherine’s Nursing Home and Benslow Nursing Home completed our tour. All the care centres are now old friends, and we were given a warm welcome at each one. Thanks to Benslow’s collaboration with Everyone Matters our concerts seem now to be well established in Hitchin care homes as an annual event. “It was a brilliant experience”, wrote the Activity Coordinator after the performance at Elmside, “and we loved the way everyone interacted with the residents”. The response from Benslow Nursing Home was simply “Thank you so much to all for a magical afternoon”.

John’s Project – Part 2

John Morris, to whose memory we dedicated our July 2016 “Conversation Pieces – Words and Music uniting the Generations”, gave many hours of administrative time during his retirement years to the Croydon Performing Arts Festival. He was a passionate advocate of the Festival’s Asian Music section, and I think he would have been especially delighted that the second phase of our memorial project this year featured a 14 year old veena player, Malathy Nithiyananthan.

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Malathy was able to come and play just at our last performance at Woodcote Grove House, and we were all thrilled to see this large and beautiful instrument at close quarters as she carried it round the room to show everyone before playing a beautiful raga-inspired piece.

Our other two young musicians for the full two-day project on 19 and 20 July were 15 year old Carol Leader who played flute in the ensembles and a Chopin Nocturne as piano soloist, and 16 year old Joseph Mackley, who played mostly alto saxophone in our programme but who also played his French horn, played a piano solo, and truly enchanted everyone when he sang “Some Enchanted Evening”.

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Ian Fasham, just emerged from an intensive run of Garsington Opera, was able to join Margaret Archibald to lead the rehearsals and to give a sonorous bass to the ensemble numbers flexibly scored for flute, clarinet, saxophone or horn, and trombone. Given this line-up we needed to create some of our own arrangements and to make imaginative use of pre-existing ones. We put in a solid three-hour rehearsal at Red Court Nursing Home, where we were offered free use of a spare lounge all morning to prepare for our concert there that same afternoon. By the time we were eating our picnic under a garden sunshade we had come up with a programme ranging from a Marenzio Madrigal and a Monteverdi Canzonetta to favourites from the West End, film and TV.

We had picked two of the hottest days of the year for these concerts, and after a short rehearsal and morning concert next day at Beth Ezra Trust we were once again grateful for the offer of a shady patch in the garden to eat our picnic. Then it was just a short drive round the corner to Woodcote Grove House, where a few residents from Orford House across the lawn were able to join us in the elegant lounge for the last concert of the series.

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“I had hoped that the project would be fun and different”, wrote Carol, “and it certainly was! As well as playing music, I particularly enjoyed talking to the elderly residents at the 3 care homes to learn about them and their story”. Joe had offered us a wide selection of choices from his repertoire and we particularly wanted him to share two of the most popular items. Later Joe wrote “Your choice of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ provided great joy and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ put big smiles on everyone’s face. My expectations were exceeded as we made them happier than I had anticipated. Talking to the residents following our concerts was a wonderful opportunity to find out what they enjoyed and hear about the very interesting and varied lives that they have had. It was a very enjoyable two days and it really made people happy”.

Thanks to the generosity of John’s many friends, over the four days of our project two separate groups of young musicians from the Croydon Performing Arts Festival have rehearsed with their professional colleagues and performed alongside them in six of Croydon’s care centres for older people, and we very much hope that this year’s collaborative project will be the first of many.

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A view of the trombone from the bottom

 

Wednesday 25 May 2.30 – 4.30p.m.

Lecture-Recital in the series Musical Offerings

in the Church Room

St Mark’s Church, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, BR2 0TB

 

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“…all that tubing”

Ian Fasham started off his musical life as a tenor trombone player at the age of 11. From the start he was fascinated by the look of the bass trombone (with all that extra tubing) and the sound of the low notes that it could make. He joined Kent County Youth Orchestra at the age of 13, and was loaned his first real bass trombone! He developed an early passion for opera, and now  works regularly with Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Garsington Opera.  He has been the bass trombone player of the London Mozart Players since 1985. Away from the trombone, Ian has a wife (also a professional musician) and two school age children. When they get the chance, as a family they like to enjoy the outdoors and countries with warm climates!

Entry to non-subscription holders: £10 on the door

Home-made cakes, tea, coffee and biscuits will be on sale during the interval

Enquiries: Margaret Archibald, Artistic Director, Everyone Matters, 21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX

Tel: 020 8464 1645; Mob: 07970 123105

E-mail:  margaret@everyone-matters.co.uk

Website: www.everyone-matters.co.uk

Blog: www.passporttomusic.wordpress.com

Twitter: @EM_Charity

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

Klezmer Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December

There are two chances to catch Lesley Schatzberger’s Klezmer presentation, at Whitgift House Chapel, Croydon on Tuesday evening 15 December at 7.30p.m. and at St Mark’s Church Room, Bromley on Wednesday afternoon 16 December at 2.30p.m.

Margaret Archibald will be playing bass clarinet to support Lesley in several performance items. The customary wine and nibbles on Tuesday and afternoon tea on Wednesday will perhaps have a Christmas flavour – well, you would expect it, wouldn’t you!

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Lesley Schatzberger

Lesley Schatzberger pioneered historical performance alongside being involved in a broad range of music-making. She has played all over Europe, the USA and Japan, both as an orchestral player and chamber musician – often in Stockhausen’s chamber group. She teaches at the University of York and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Entry to non-subscription holders: £10 0n the door. Donations towards interval refreshments go towards supporting these lecture-recitals and helping to keep them on the road.

Enquiries to Margaret Archibald 020 8464 1645; 07970 123105; margaret@everyone-matters.co.uk

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