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.

Lorica

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.

 

aviva-community-fund-banner-600x160Voting is open!

We have applied for £5000 for our SOUND WAVES  – music for wellbeing – programme, now we need your votes to (hopefully) bring that money to Music for Everyone:

  • more Open Voices (singing groups for adults with learning disabilities)
  • music sessions for teenagers with cancer in the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, QMC
  • and other projects currently in the planning stages

Hogarth-nurse-base210 votes are allocated to every registered email address. We hope you’ll use all 10 (which you can) for Sound Waves and share your love of music-making.

Click on VOTE and, well, vote. Vote in less time than it takes to make a cuppa. Persist if the site’s busy, or try again later.

DSC04631Ask your friends, relatives, colleagues, fellow dog walkers, shop assistants, the postman, anyone you can think of, to vote, vote, vote for SOUND WAVES! Let’s share the joy of music-making! And copy and paste this link https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4115  into an email, send a ’round robin’ to your entire address book asking them to vote too. You get the picture.

 

 

Never mind the nights drawing in, come to a glittering afternoon concert of choral and orchestral music associated with coronations and fireworks, Sunday 29 October 2017, 3.30pm, Nottingham’s Albert Hall. Tickets: (Green button at bottom of link page)

The concert features the Nottingham Festival Chorus, East of England Singers and Nottingham Concert Orchestra, and four very special soloists, all of whom were once singers and players in Music for Everyone’s youth groups and events. They are now all professional musicians.

We are delighted to welcome them back, particularly in this our Year of Youth. Huge efforts are going into offering music making to younger people, many of whom have fewer opportunities for music in schools compared with some years ago, when instruments were loaned, lessons were free, and there was time in the school day for many musical activities. THANK YOU to everyone who has kindly donated so far to help us with this work.

Ruth Provost copy

Ruth Provost, soprano

Emily Hodkinson

Emily Hodkinson, mezzo-soprano

AT-18 copy

Adam Torrance, tenor

Geoff Williams copy

Geoff Williams, baritone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth was a cellist Stringwise participant and later a member of the youth string orchestra. Whilst reading music at Cambridge, she decided to pursue a career in singing. As well as solo performances she has worked with leading choirs – The Sixteen and The Tallis Scholars, to name but two. She is a ‘local’, living in Southwell.

Emily recently graduated from the University of York, where she was awarded the highest Finals Recital mark in her year. She has a career in opera as well as oratoria and  solo performances. She sang in MfE Nottingham Youth Voices and East Midlands Youth Voices when a choral scholar at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham.

Adam is currently a fellow at Guidhall School of Music and Drama, where he also studied. He performs operatic roles with a wide variety of companies and is also an accomplished song and oratorio singer. Additionally he is an assistant director. He, along with Geoff, was one the first members of MfE’s Youth Choir, which he enjoyed very much.

Geoff is an accomplished soloist who sings with some of the top London choirs, including Westminster Cathedral, and also enjoys operatic roles. He received a Masters with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. He has fond memories of his membership of MfE’s Nottingham Youth Choir, where he enjoyed the ambitious and varied repertoire chosen by their then conductor, Jane McDouall.

But back to the concert: The first half is devoted to George Frideric Handel, who was granted British citizenship by act of parliament in 1727. His sparkling Music for the Royal Fireworks is a great concert favourite. Two of his jubilant Coronation Anthems, including Zadok the Priest, will be conducted by another special guest, Jakob Grubbström, who recently conducted the much praised East of England Singers’ concert. The second half opens in the baroque period with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto 3, which has what must be the shortest second movement in the entire classical repertoire – two chords, and if you’re lucky, a short improvisation! This is followed by Mozart’s joyful Coronation Mass, complete with MfE alumni soloists and conductor and MfE Artistic Director, Angela Kay.

Tickets: (Green button at bottom of link page)

 

angelakayHello everyone

As many of you know, this coming Saturday there is gong to be something ‘rather special’ happening at St John’s Church Carrington!  A very rare opportunity to hear a rich variety of both thrilling and soothing music performed by a leading chamber choir, interpreted and conducted by a Swedish conductor, Jakob Grubbström. Do come along if you possibly can, it should be a great evening, and if you feel like letting your creative juices flow during the evening, then why not enter the very first MfE Writing Competition!

Concert information and tickets here until Friday 4pm, and on the door, subject to availability. Doors open 6.45pm.

Angela 
Artistic Director, Music for Everyone
Writing Comp p1 Writing Comp p2

DSC03287Stringwise bookings are flying in from people catching the earlybird price. This offer ends tomorrow, places will be £1.50 more from Thursday 5 October. Ann-Marie Shaw is Artistic Director of Stringwise, a playing experience for youngsters aged 7-18.  Whether you have only recently started playing the violin, viola, cello or double bass, or have been playing for years, there will be music you can play. You’ll practise in both a small group and DSC03198the big orchestra. All the music will be within your ability, whether you can play opens strings only or are up to Grade 6 (or more!) There will be plenty of people there to help you in every way. We’re sure you’ll have fun, and perhaps make new friends.

We send the music and a CD to you so you can look at your part and play along at home. There are then two days of rehearsals at Bluecoat Academy, Aspley, 4 & 5 November 2017. The following weekend you’ll have the amazing experience of performing in a concert at Nottingham’s Albert Hall, Sunday 12 November. All your family and friends can come to the concert, and no doubt give you a huge round of applause.

Click through for futher information and the booking button 

Did you know, Music for Everyone also has regular groups for young string players? There’s Strictly String for Grades 2-4 and the East Midlands Youth String Orchestra for players of Grade 5 and above. New members are always welcome.

 

angelakayA message from Music for Everyone’s Artistic Director, Angela Kay MBE

Hello everyone

As many of you know, last year we were raising money for a project to provide music making opportunities for adults with learning difficulties.

Our first meeting of Open Voices (the name we have given the group) took place on Friday 29 September in Sherwood and I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that about 18 people came along (this number included some carers). Everyone enjoyed a morning of music making and they all say they’ll come back next week!

Looking to the future – our plan is to start a 2nd group (probably in West Bridgford) in January and then a 3rd group (probably in the Beeston area) after Easter – the idea being that all three groups come together for a performance in July.

Please do keep spreading the word about this new initiative.

Angela

Open Voices Sherwood

 

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!

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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.

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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.