You did it! THANK YOU for all your votes for our Aviva Community Fund bid, Sound Waves. Because of you, we are through to the next round – the judging panel. We’ll hear their decision at the end of January and will let you know.

image1So HAVE A BISCUIT – baked by EOES alto, Karen – at the jolly East of Singers concert, ‘A Village Christmas’ in St Mary’s, Bunny, 7.30pm Saturday 2 Dec. There will be carols spanning 600 years, a wassail cup and biscuits, readings, and carols for you to join in singing. Tickets online here today and tomorrow, or by phoning the office on 0115 958 9312  From Saturday, tickets on the door only, so book early to secure a seat.

MfE 2Music for Everyone is supporting the CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL at All Saints Church, Steeple Row, Loughborough.  Pop along to visit the stunning church, decorated with over 130 trees, plus craft stalls and the all important coffee and cake stall! Ends this Sunday. You’ll find a warm welcome, and we hope we’ll inspire more folk join our Loughborough Daytime Choir on Mondays 10.00-12.00, or our Daytime Orchestra, Tuesdays 10.00-12.00. For more information on these groups please visit our website

And talking of SINGING, why not come to the Market Square – the steps of the Council House – to sing traditional carols and entertain the city? 10.30am-12noon on Saturday 9 December. There will be no need for you to bring Carol books as you will be provided with the brand new MfE Carol Collection! All singers welcome, bring your friends. Angela Kay will be conducting – perhaps with the help of a grandchild or six. The fair leaves us to entertain customers and kindly turns off its own music. Nothing stops us, so wrap up warm!




peter-kleinau-424349We are delighted to announce that the winner of the first Music for Everyone writing competition is Christine Cleave, with her beautiful poem, Lorica. All entries were works inspired by the East of England Singers’ October concert ‘Southern Suns, Northern Lights’.

A Lorica, taking its name from the Latin for a shield or armour, is a prayer for recitation before battle engraved into the shield or breastplate of a knight. The story goes that St Patrick and his followers evaded ambush in a forest by reciting such a prayer, which miraculously led to their foes not seeing them as knights passing by but as a doe and twenty fawns, hence this Lorica’s other name, The Deer’s Cry, which the choir performed in a setting by Arvo Pärt.


I had thought content a warm thing,
As I sat at the back, fresh from the colour of carnival.
But, in the place where music severs the kite string,
I was caught in the sway of sound
And rode the wave that stretched across the sanctuary.
I heard the eerie bird call in the gloom, saw the rush of the sea with scarcely visible glint,
And the shiver of sea pebbles relaxing against one another.
It was all there in the hearing.

Then I was a deer moving among the straight forest trees,
Each step crisp, then suddenly freezing,
In safety when I should have been afraid.

At the end I watched a stone drop near the lake’s edge.
Knew the long hush, the slow exhalation,
As the ripple spreads, reaching the shore
At the very moment when it is no more.

I touched all these things in my soul.

To lose oneself in the cooler harmonies – that too is serenity,
The calm of a Northern soul’s content.

Christine Cleave, 2017 ©

The judges were impressed by Christine’s imaginative response to the various contemporary pieces comprising the Northern Lights section of the programme. They particularly liked how her words captured the chordal structure and alternating sung and silent passages of Pärt’s The Deer’s Cry, likening them to the trees of the forest, and the movement then sudden stillness of the deer. The effect of Christine’s poem is similar to that of music itself – it carries the reader, the listener, beyond the moment to be uplifted and changed. Many congratulations, Christine.

Heather Hawthorn, with her pictorial poem Memories Return, is awarded a runner-up prize. The many locations of the concert’s programme transported Heather back to holidays past, which she captured in both words and pictures, showing how ‘music brings back memories’.Memories Return by Heather Hawthorn

Heather Hawthorn, 2017 ©

This will be very short because we’d love you to hop over to the blog of Open Wings and discover what Open Voices means to their amazing community. Take a tissue with you.

But before you go… Have you voted to enable us to form more Open Voices groups in other locations, to take music into the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, QMC, and for other music for wellbeing projects? Thank you if you have, but if you haven’t you have ONE DAY left! Voting for the Aviva Community Fund closes first thing Tuesday. So vote, vote, vote.  CLICK HERE to do it now. Ask your family, your friends, your cat (who just needs an email address) etc to do it too.

Voting done? Fly off to Open Wings.