Yesterday was the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians.

Legend has it that the devout Cecilia was forced to marry a pagan against her will. On her wedding night she told her husband she had taken a vow of virginity and had an angel protecting her. Her husband asked to see the angel as proof, and Cecilia told him he would be able to see the angel if he was baptised. He did so, and was met by a vision of Cecilia talking to the angel, after which he converted to Christianity.

Cecilia angered the Roman authorities by distributing her possessions to the poor. She was ordered to be burned, but her purity protected her. When the flames did no harm, she was beheaded and thus martyred.

She became the patron of music and musicians because it is said that she ‘sang in her heart to the Lord’ as musicians played at her wedding. Her feast day is the occasion of many concerts and music festivals, and a number of musical compositions are dedicated to her, including:

Purcell Hail! Bright Cecilia

Set to a text by Irish poet Nicholas Brady in 1692, this ode to St Cecilia is full of references to musical instruments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AGUGdLj3Vo

Handel A Song for St Cecilia’s Day

Handel’s cantata, composed in 1739, was set to a poem by England’s first Poet Laureate, John Dryden. The text is centered around the theme of harmonia mundi, the theory that music was a central force in the Earth’s creation.  Here are Cecilia Bartoli and Sol Gabetta performing What passion cannot music raise and quell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJGYTlxkCGg

Haydn St Cecilia Mass

It is believed that the original manuscript of this piece was lost in 1768 in a fire in Haydn’s hometown of Eisenstad.  The poor chap had to rewrite the piece from memory!  Enjoy this clip of the Kyrie Eleison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FkJnkd5cVQ

Britten Hymn to St Cecilia

It is no surprise that Britten wrote a piece for St Cecilia, having himself been born on her feast day (Happy Birthday, Britten!). Britten set the work to a poem by WH Auden while spending time in the US, but on his return to the UK officials confiscated his manuscripts, as they feared they may have been a type of code. He then had to re-write the manuscript, in a manner not dissimilar to Haydn – is there some sort of St Cecilia curse?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETqLiTm556Y

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

23/11/2020

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This weekend saw the celebration of Diwali, the beautiful Hindu Festival of Lights that symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”.

People across the world decorate their houses and public spaces with thousands of lights, glowing candles and colourful designs. Light has forever been an inspiration across many art forms and has certainly inspired many classical composers. Here are a dazzling selection of ‘Light’ inspired compositions:

Edward Elgar: Lux Aeterna (“Eternal Light”)

https://youtu.be/IwdeqVmXlHk

Philip Glass: The Light

https://youtu.be/XKNGLVv38sA

Josef Haydn: String Quartets Op. 20 the ’Sun quartets’

https://youtu.be/AgBdtazgGxo

String Quartet in B flat major Op. 76 No. 4 “Sunrise”

https://youtu.be/orRaxx4qerk

Morten Lauridsen: O Nata Lux

https://youtu.be/zAArA36cgWU

Max Richter: On the Nature of Daylight

https://youtu.be/rVN1B-tUpgs

Eric Whitacre: Lux Aurumque (“Light and Gold”)

https://youtu.be/0j2JRcC6wBs

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

16/11/2020

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.

KEEPING IN TOUCH

Well the country might be in Lockdown – but MfE continues with new initiatives!

OPEN VOICES

Last week saw the launch of our on-line Open Voices meeting. Some of you logged on to see what was happening and I hope you enjoyed it.  The invite link is pasted in below for anyone else who would like to come along.

HEADWAY

Led by Sally Watson and Rachel Parkes, today saw the first ‘virtual’ music session at Headway, the charity which provides support for adults with brain injuries. I’ve spoken to Rachel and it sounds as though it went really well.

RE-OPENING OF THE MFE OFFICE

And finally – because of the present Lockdown, our office has to remain closed – BUT, we have enabled the phone system to be answered remotely and so there will be someone to answer the phone on both Monday and Tuesday mornings and the answer phone will be regularly checked – a small step back to normality.

End of my news – bye for now!

Angela

Topic: Open Voices
Time: Nov 10, 2020 11:00 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/95359624671?pwd=YkNXcWNUV0hlbmloSEFBOUQzcjBQdz09
Meeting ID: 953 5962 4671
Passcode: 441474


As we enter the second lockdown in England, many music concerts and venues continue to be cancelled, postponed or closed to live audiences around the world. So we thought we would update you on upcoming performances that will be available right from your sofa!

The good news is, while it is not quite the same as the treat of going to a live performance, many groups have had the time to prepare for such a situation and have now mastered the art of streaming concerts and events online for everyone to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. So there are a lot more options now than there might have been earlier in the year.

As a taster, here is Classic FM’s Artist in Residence performing an ‘Exclusive At-Home Concert’ back in March: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEc4j-jvrZU&feature=emb_title

So if you find the coming weeks a bit quiet with colder weather, why not stay in and watch an opera? Or a lunchtime recital at Wigmore Hall? Or join a workshop?

Many of these are also free to watch, Classic FM have a fantastic page of all the available performances and details of how you can watch, if you need to book, etc. See their website here for all the details: https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/live-streamed-classical-music-concerts-coronavirus/

  • Making music with your cleaning routine! A very clever pianist, Jeff DePaoli, has composed the ‘Coronavirus Etude’ for piano and disinfecting wipe – a short piece of music which involves cleaning all the keys on a piano, watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXWiLBJdT-M

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

09/11/2020

Our ‘Folk Song Challenge’ – has been a great success with 32 videos published so far, everything from unaccompanied traditional songs to contemporary folk music, tunes played on instruments, grandchildren and grandparents performing – so much talent out there.

Now to our next challenge! Many of you will know that this coming weekend should have been our West End to Broadway course and concert. We know how much many of you were looking forward to it, so what better challenge to follow Rachel’s Folk Song Challenge than Rachel’s Musicals Challenge!  

Backing tracks for many well known songs can be found on Youtube – for example, type in Backing track for Memory from Cats and you’ll see lots of versions come up. And, of course, you can always simple sing or play a melody without accompaniment. Instrumental renditions are just as welcome as vocal performances.

In this video Rachel introduces the challenge and there’s a ‘taster’ of a musicals video created by some familiar faces (from the comfort of their own homes, of course) to set the ball rolling.

Be brave and be creative, just record yourself on your mobile phone, computer or tablet and contact angela@music-for-everyone.org to find out how to upload your videos.  GOOD LUCK!

We’re sure you’ll enjoy this wonderful video too. Ellie Martin is a great friend of MfE and the conductor of our Sherwood Daytime Voices. Here she is performing her own composition – Corona Loner – the perfect ‘lockdown’ song!

A very Happy Easter from the MfE team! We hope you have a lovely Easter weekend, whether it be holding ‘virtual Easter egg hunts’ or finding ways to celebrate at home.

KEEPING IN TOUCH
All of us at MfE are trying to keep up with imaginative ways to keep in contact with you all whilst we are unable to meet.

Our YouTube channel is constantly being updated with videos:

  • Improve your singing technique with Rachel
  • If you are a member of our Daytime Orchestra then Gill has posted videos to guide you through items in your repertoire.
  • Now it’s your turn: Take part in Rachel’s ‘Folk Song Challenge’ Record yourself on your mobile phone, computer or tablet and send clips to angela@music-for-everyone.org and we’ll post them on our YouTube channel. We’ve had quite a few already!

  • Watch Angela Kay’s appearance on East Midlands Today (2 April 2020) talking about the impact COVID19 is having on MfE
  • Listen to John Hess, chair of Music for Everyone explaining what MfE is doing to keep you all singing and playing

Just click here to see what is on offer https://www.youtube.com/user/MusicforEveryoneUK  then click subscribe to follow the channel and be notified of new videos.

Before you go

If you are looking for some entertainment, here are some suggestions of animal live streams that you can watch online for free, from penguins to elephants! 

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

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Here at MFE we are hoping that you are coping with the extremely strange times we are all experiencing at the moment. It is very odd to have no weekly groups running and we are sure, for those of you who participate in them, very sad not to be able to not have your usual musical rehearsal. That is why we are looking at ways of continuing to make music virtually with you all. We hope most of you have seen Angela’s video on You Tube, if not, here’s the link to watch it –

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQAO4RYdubNrJrXVvwUmOFQw8mtASoNVE

We will continue to update you as we produce other videos for you to watch and hopefully sing or play along to. However, we are sure some of you will be making music at home either with your families or on your own. If you’d like to send a photo of what you’ve been doing via email and are happy to share with others in MFE, we can then post them online. We feel it is really important that we try and maintain a sense of community in these days of isolation.

Monday March 30th is a date with a number of national days associated with it. Not only is it Doctor’s Day, whom we are sure everyone would want to celebrate and take a moment to thank the fantastic job doctors (and all other health workers) are doing at the moment, it is also Pencil Day!

For those of you who have been associated with MFE (or NCT, as it was originally) for any length of time you will know that the humble pencil is an essential part of any musician’s toolkit. We know that many of you prize your MFE pencils, denoting which courses or concerts you have participated in and some of you have quite a sizeable collection. We wondered who has the most number of MFE pencils and if anyone has one from the first NCT course, the Verdi Requiem in 1983? Do let us know.

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

30/03/2020

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s new weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.

Did anyone catch Angela on BBC Radio Nottingham last Wednesday? If not, you can catch up here – start listening at 2hr27.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p084lq01

As you can hear we are working on a whole host of plans to keep your spirits up and keep our MfE family connected and involved during the coming weeks.  Watch this space for more announcements.  We will not be silenced!!

Many professional musicians are taking to social media to entertain the masses while the concert halls are closed.  Yo-Yo Ma will be treating us to a series of performances which he hopes will “give musical peace amid the disruption and uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.”  Use the hashtag #SongsOfComfort to find these performances.

The streets, concert halls and opera houses of Italy may be deserted, but you can still hear the music.  We have all seen how the Italians have taken to their balconies to use singing and playing to connect to the outside world and show solidarity for those at the front line of medical services.  Click here to see Tenor Maurizio Marchini take this to the next level by serenading the rooftops of Florence with Puccini’s famous aria “Nessun Dorma”!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-X43RQM3Lc

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

23/03/2020

admin@music-for-everyone.org

www.music-for-everyone.org | 0115 9589312

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s new weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.

We know that many of you have been following the amazing journey of Robert Cleave, husband of MfE soprano Christine Cleave. He has recently completed a solo round the world cycle ride, raising money for Cancer Research UK, Traidcraft Exchange and BREAD (small charity helping a village in Tanzania)…

Follow this link to hear a selection of music recorded along the way in China, Australia, Japan and the USA : https://1drv.ms/u/s!AjHPi84UoETlh4YVbyXThnWLhAd5vQ?e=2tKLTl

Since his return to Nottingham in October 2019, a film has been produced telling the inside story of his journey. It’s to be shown at the Savoy Cinema in Nottingham… Robert’s Ride 18,000 – The Movie

World Premiere – Monday 30th March 6pm / Thursday 2nd April 1pm

For more information about this incredible adventure visit: https://robertsride18000.com/

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

16/03/2020

admin@music-for-everyone.org

www.music-for-everyone.org | 0115 9589312

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s new weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.

Sunday 8 March marked International Women’s Day – a chance to celebrate social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women whilst encouraging awareness of equality.

There are too many women in music that have made important contributions to the industry to name in one MfEMonday, but here are just a few that you may or may not know about!

“The first female composer” is known to be Kassia of Constantinople, born around the year 805. A Byzantine composer and hymnographer, Kassia is one of the first composers whose scores are able to be interpreted by modern scholars. Moving through the years takes us past notable names such as Clara Schumann, a trendsetter in her own right as one of the first pianists to perform from memory, which is now considered standard practice for most professional pianists. In the 20th century, Delia Derbyshire became a ‘heroine of British electronic music’, she is particularly well-known for composing one of the most recognisable electronic tv theme tunes – Dr Who!

Female conductors are making history with their achievements, many are now in high demand for prestigious events such as the Proms. But as Marin Alsop says, she is “shocked that we can be in this century and there can still be ‘firsts’ for women.” See some of the greatest living conductors here: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/instruments/conductor/best-women-conductors/

And for a laugh, check out these ridiculous reasons why women ‘can’t’ be conductors – we think Angela and Gill might have something to say about these! No offence intended, enjoy a giggle! https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/latest/women-cant-be-conductors-because/

  • The East of England Singers present a concert on Saturday 14 March at St Mary’s Church, Clifton – Simply Voices – exquisite a cappella music as part of their Music is Quiet Places series. Tickets are available at a discounted price if bought in advance, full details on our website: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/music-in-quiet-places/
  • Coronavirus – MfE is fully aware of the current situation and is following the guidelines set out by the chief medical officer and therefore all MfE activities will continue as normal until such time the situation changes and we are advised otherwise.

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

09/03/2020

admin@music-for-everyone.org

www.music-for-everyone.org | 0115 9589312

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s new weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, so we’re sure to be hearing a lot more about the great man over the next 12 months. Interestingly, Beethoven’s exact date of birth is unknown. Many historians claim that his actual birth date is 16 December 1770. They stumbled on this date as his official baptism occurred on the date of 17 December 1770 and German laws and customs insisted that babies be baptized within 24 hours of their birth. Despite this evidence, Beethoven himself claimed that he was born in the year of 1772!

Test your Beethoven knowledge with this quick quiz.

  • Welcome back Su! Our General Manager, Su Evans, returns to the office this week after maternity leave and we’re all delighted to have her back!
  • Ideas month – Thank you to all those who responded to last week’s call for ideas. Please keep those ideas coming in! We’ve had some really interesting suggestions that we are following up on including holding a music amnesty. If you have any MfE music that you’ve been meaning to return and just haven’t got round to it, now’s your chance – no matter how old the music is, no questions asked! We will have music amnesty collection boxes at all Daytime Voices rehearsals and in all 3 Bookwise shops throughout March.

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

02/03/2020

admin@music-for-everyone.org

www.music-for-everyone.org | 0115 9589312

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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#MfEMondays are Music for Everyone’s new weekly emails designed to keep you up to date with MfE events & to circulate interesting finds, special features, and motivational moments for your Mondays! We are aiming to send out something new each week.