Anticipation of the evening concert built throughout the day. It wasn’t possible for all the groups to play every piece studied during the School at the concert, but they enjoyed playing or singing through them for one last time. The orchestra waltzed its way liltingly through Strauss’s Blue Danube.

IMG_5552Baritone Marcus Farnsworth was Wednesday’s guest professional musician. As a local born boy, he sang as a chorister in Southwell Minster.  In 2009 he won first prize in the International Song Competition, and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier competion. Marcus arrived fresh from playing Ned Keene in a highly praised staging of Britten’s opera Peter Grimes at the Edinburgh Festival. Five folksongs arranged by Benjamin Britten opened his lunctime recital programme, followed by Gerald Finzi’s song cycle Earth and Air and Rain. The audience was delighted by Marcus’s skilful characterisation of the narrator of each movement. His synthesis of word and music appeared effortless in interpretation and disclosed the true art of performing the musical form, the song. Stefan Reid, who had played for the choir throughout the week, accompanied him with great sensitivity and style.

After a short break, Marcus led the singers in a choral workshop, helping them to develop their technique. A notable point was made about singing consonants. Consonant must be pronouced to convey the lyric, but not in a manner that chops up the phrase. He suggested thinking of consonant as little pegs on a continuous line to anchor rather than break up.

DSC04412Delegates, tutors and staff made their way to the Great Hall in the University of Nottingham’s Trent Building in the late afternoon. After a short break following a final rehearsal, the audience arrived and the singers and musicians took their places. The choir sang such a variety with delicacy and exuberance, including Rutter, Bartok and three songs by our very own Guy Turner. The windband played Old Castle and, combing with the strings, one of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances. The string orchestra and Owen Cox gave a stunningly beautiful performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. You could have heard a pin drop in Owen’s closing cadenza. Haydn’s The Heavens are Telling, played and sung by all the Schools’ delegates and conducted by Angela Kay, MfE’s founder and Artistic Director, made for an exhilarating end to a wonderful few days of making both music and new friends.

How fitting that the concert took place on the day Nottingham announced its bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023. Catherine Hocking, the University’s Head of Music, Lakeside Arts, said how well the Summer School fitted this brief. As does all the work of Music for Everyone, with its inclusive policy of arts for all.

We are enormously grateful to the University of Nottingham for their generous hospitality. More photographs of the Summer School can be found on Music for Everyone’s Facebook. Summer School will return in 2018!

IMG_5612

 

DSC04309 (1)The singers began the morning with exercise! MfE’s Vocal Animateur, Victoria Barlow, helped the participants discover the right muscles to engage for good breath control and a supported, rich sound. It certianly did the trick. Notts TV came along and recorded the Windband and interviewed various people. More to follow.

In the afternoon, all who wished to, instrumentalist or singer, attend an open rehearsal with the Cox Quartet. Owen Cox, a former Stringwise participant, his wife Katie Stillman, violist Joe Ichinose and cellist Vanessa Lucas-Smith are world class players, playing with both top orchestras and in smaller ensembles. The session was enthralling as the shaping of the piece, with explanation and discussion, progressed. A rare and privileged insight for the delegates. Owen will be playing the solo in Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, one of the items in tomorrow’s Showcase Concert. This will be a public concert in the Great Hall, Trent Building, University of Nottingham at 6.30pm. Tickets £6. All welcome.

IMG_5515A busy day of rehearsals for all groups – orchestra, string orchestra, Windband, choir – ended with the Cox Quartet performing Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 18, No 6, followed by the contrasting Ravel Quartet in F major. The rich and varied sound qualities of each instrument, the agility and finesse of the players produced electric performances of emotional variety, with that magic that’s made when musicians find something beyond the sum of their individual talents to touch something deep within the listener. A most memorable 45 minutes.

DSC04261140 singers and instrumentalist arrived at the Music Department, University of Nottingham, for the first day of the three day School, now in its third year. After a welcome to all, the players went off to rehearse, and the singers began with a brighten-the-day burst of Haydn’s The heaven’s are telling the glory of God, from his oratorio Creation. Later the strings rehearsed separately, working on Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, while the windband made a great sound with their own repertoire.

The rain dampened the coffee preparations but dried up in time for to the morning break to happen outside, as didIMG_5435 drinks and nibbles followed by lunchtime picnics. John Hess, Chair of Music for Everyone, gave a short talk to begin the afternoon – more about that to follow.

In the afternoon, choir and orchestra put together the instrumental and vocal parts of The heavens are telling. This was a new experience for some of the players, accomapanying asks for different listening and sensitivity skills. There were a few empty chairs in the orchestra as the flute choir – 15 in number – attended a separate workshop with one of the School’s guest musicians, flautist Rachel Holt. She helped them to focus on the detail to be found within the music, sometimes not by actual markings but by what can be felt as the composer’s intention. She highlighted technical aspects of pitch for certain tricky to tune flute notes, articulation and expression.

IMG_5442

After further rehearsals, the day ended with a short concert given by Appasionata, flute and harp duo Rachel Holt and Anna Christenson. Both have played for leading professional orchestras, and the programme included pieces that showcased each instrument. They delighted us all with music from the baroque Benedetto Marcello to the more modern John Marson, himself a renowned harpist.

Rounding off the splendid 2017/18 MfE season was a Festival of Summer Music. Groups of all ages took part: Nottingham Youth Band, East Midlands Youth Windband, Girls Voices, Young Voices, Nottingham Youth Voices, Stictly Strings, East Midlands Youth String Orchestra, Adult Flute Choir and Swing Band.  (Apologies if I’ve missed anyone!) There was a relaxed atmosphere and the audience enjoyed stawberries and cream while the music played on. Spot the clothes pegs securing music to stands! It was a windy day, but the challenge of hanging on to the copies added to the fun.

panorama-1

Thank you to everyone who made a donation during the season to enable MfE to set up new singing projects for people with learning difficulties. It was much appreciated. The 2017/18 focus will be The Year of Youth. We want to make it possible for as many youngsters as poosible to experience the joy and friendship that comes from making music together. More to follow.

The Music for Everyone Summer School begins at the University of Nottingham tomorrow and ends with a concert on Wednesday evening. We’ll be blogging about it each day. Also catch the news on our social media @mfenotts #mfesummerschool

Music Background.

Do you play a musical instrument or recorder? Then join this summer’s Blow the Dust off Your Instrument on Saturday 10 June for a day of ensemble playing – string orchestra, windband, full orchestra, recorder consort. An addition to the programme this year is guidance in the Alexander Technique to ease the aches of practising and performing. We know we’ll all find it beneficial. Music for the day is sent out in advance and we make sure there are parts for players of all abilities between Grades 2 (or equivalent) and 8 and above. Click here for more information and to book your place. An informal concert for family and friends begins at 5.00pm.

If you’re a singer, then  sign up to be part of the Nottingham Festival Chorus (NFC) for a weekend. Perform a range of works accompanied by the Albert Hall’s mighty Binns organ. This is a rare and not to be missed opporunity. Singing Parry’s ‘I was Glad’ will be a spine tingling, exultant experience. Workshops take place on Saturday and Sunday 24/25 June culimating in a splendid concert of music performed by the Festival Chorus, conducted by Angela Kay, the East of England Singers, with guest conductor Jakob Grubbström, and organist Michael Overbury. There will be an informal and unticketed concert at 3.00pm on Sunday 25 June (note the earlier than usual start time).

Our annual, popular and praised Summer School for adult singers and instrumantalists is now open for booking. This rich three-day experience includes workshops, concerts and masterclasses from visiting professionals, and social events. It takes place in the easily accessible and pleasant surroudings of the University of Nottingham and University Park. Each year the School has been greatly enjoyed by participants both local and from as far afield as the US and Australia! Take a look at the programme and book your place. We look forward to seeing you there. Accommodation for delegates from further afield is not part of the package but the luxury Orchard Hotel located at the other end of the campus is currently offering great rates – £189.60 for THREE nights bed and breakfast.

Follow us and join in the conversation on Facebook @mfenotts, Twitter @mfenotts and Instagram @mfe.notts #mfenotts

Adult advanced string players, that is players of Grade 8 standard and above, are welcome to attend. Players come together twice a year for weekend string orchestral courses that create the ensemble known as the East Midlands String Orchestra. There are rehearsal workshops on the Satuday and a public concert on the Sunday. New players are most welcome. This year’s first course is Saturday May 13th at Bluecoat Academy Aspley, and the concert is in St Peter’s Church Ruddington on Sunday 14th.

Richard Howarth BH 1 smallMusic for Everyone is privileged to have on its staff musicians of exceptional quality. The weekend will be led by Richard Howarth, a distinguished violinist and conductor with a wealth of orchestral playing and conducting experience. He has chosen Verdi’s String Symphony and Nordgren’s Portrait of Country Fiddlers Op26 as repertoire for May. Richard also conducts our East Midlands Youth String Orchestra, younsters Grade 5+. They perform in concerts of their own and accompany choral groups including Nottingham Youth Voices and the East of England Singers.

More information about the course can be found here.

Tweet us on twitter @MfENotts, follow us on Instagram @mfe.notts or join us on facebook

MfE-9839Tickets are still available in all seating areas for Saturday’s concert of exciting music: Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and Te Deum, they’re just no longer available online.

You can buy tickets at the Albert Hall during Saturday afternoon – just ask for Music for Everyone’s ‘Phil’, or from the Box Office from 7pm onwards. Come early and choose a good seat to enjoy the Nottingham Festival Chorus, Nottingham Concert Orchestra and six outstanding soloists conducted by Marcus Farnsworth. Click for additional information. 

P1110860 copy No, that’s not the translation, it’s ‘We praise thee, O God!’ and comes from an ancient Christian Hymn known as Te Deum. Its joyful words are still in use, mainly at the service of Morning Prayer. Unusually, Dvorak didn’t compose his setting of Te Deum for church use but for the concert hall – Carnegie Hall. He had been commissioned to write a work befitting the 400th anniversay celebration of Columbus’s discovery of America, which is also why Dvorak added words of blessing to the end of the text.

The two hundred and twenty singers of the Nottingham Festival Chorus spent today polishing both Te Deum and Haydn’s beautiful yet striking Nelson Mass. Along with Dvorak’s P1110863 copyCarnival Overture these form the programme of a concert next Saturday, 4th February at 7.3opm, at Nottingham’s Albert Hall. All the music is music to lift the spirits, lighten the heart and gladden the soul – what more could be wanted in the middle of winter (and other unmentionables)? Click here to buy your ticket(s) . If you’re in the choir, buy them for friends and family at tomorrow’s rehearsal.

Sometimes translations are included in published music but sometimes not, as with Te Deum, so here are the words the choir has been rehearsing in Latin along with the English translation. The subdivisions of the text are those chosen by Dvorak.

 

1.Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum patrem, omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli: tibi caeli et universae potestates.
Tibi cherubim et seraphim, incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein.
To thee cherubin and seraphin continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia:
Patrem immensae maiestatis;
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.
The noble army of martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee:
the Father of an infinite majesty
thine honourable, true and only Son;
also the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

2.Tu rex gloriae, Christe:
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.

Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man,
thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,
thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our judge.

3.Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te:
et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

Make them to be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people and bless thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
and we worship thy name, ever world without end.

4.Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos:
quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.

Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu;
Laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula. Alleluja.

Blessed be the Father and the Son with the Holy Ghost;
Praise and exalt Him for ever. Alleluia.

English translation: The Book of Common Prayer.
Extracts from The Book of Common Prayer, the rights in which are vested in the Crown, are reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press 

We’re delighted that Christmas is Coming, this Sunday’s concert with Vocals, Daytime Voices, East of England Singers and the New Classical Players, has SOLD OUT. There won’t be any tickets available on the door on the day. We’re sorry if you were hoping to come along and are disappointed.

Put a note in your new diary to book next October/November for Christmas is Coming, 2017.

What has Music for Everyone been up to this December?

img_0385-1First there was carol singing in the Market Square on the morning of Saturday 3rd December, and later an East of England Singers and New Classical Brass concert of music for brass and voices. Then on Wednesday there were performances by the East Midlands Youth Windband and Nottingham Youth Voices at the Nottingham Maggie’s Centre Carol Concert – compered by John Hess, who sings tenor in the MfE Nottingham Festival Chorus. Yes, that is a cuddly toy one of the lads is holding in the photo – choir and band did their own version of the John Lewis ad, complete with ‘bouncing’ dogs! The contribution by the youngsters and John was hugely appreciated by Maggie’s. The East of England Singers concert audience also raised £200 for this wonderful charity that supports people affected by cancer, including families and friends.

And what’s still to come?

Coming up on Sunday is the Christmas is Coming concert by Vocals, Daytime Voices, East of England Singers and the orchestra. There are only three, yes three, tickets left at the time of writing!

On Friday 16th December the Girls Voices, Boys Voices and Nottingham Youth Windband perform at their We Wish You a Merry Christmas concert. And finally, on Sunday 18th December, the second and FREE taster sesssion of Strictly Strings, for young string players Grades 2-4 or 5 takes place at Bluecoat Academy from 2.00-5.00pm. Contact the office for details.

Phew! And then it really will be Christmas.