“When witches go riding
And black cats are seen,
The moon laughs and whispers
‘Tis near Halloween”

Author Unknown

It’s (finally) getting to the colder weather we usually associate with October and as the month draws to a close, we’re getting in the spooky Halloween mood in the office. Have a listen to our choices (from Backstreet Boys to Saint-Saens) for a spine-tingling, sugar-coma-inducing ‘Hallow’s Eve’…

ALEX: What an absolute banger to start us off. This has a hidden bit of Bach Toccata and Fugue in the opening…

You make me feel like it’s Halloween by Muse starts with an organ and heavy rock beat, team that with a spooky Halloween themed music video and you’ve got a winner!

ANNE: As a teenager in the 90s it has got to be Backstreet Boys’ Everybody for me.  It’s Scooby-doo meets Thriller, and impossible to listen to without wanting to bust out some spooky moves.

In the video, the boy band’s tour bus breaks down near a spooky mansion where they are forced to spend a harrowing night.  Variously transforming the boys into Dracula, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Mummy, they chase around the house in Scooby-doo like escapades, finally converging in the ball room for the iconic dance scene.  In the morning, they are relieved to discover it was all just a dream – or was it??!!

DONNA: As Diwali, the festival of light, approaches, Donna has chosen a spooky piece of indian classical music, called The Himalayas.

The eerie sounds of the sitar depict the cold, snowy and mysterious Himalayas.

KIRSTIE: Two notes. That’s all John Williams needed to create one of the most iconic and well-known film scores ever. When director Steven Spielberg was presented with this theme for his film, he thought John Williams was having a laugh.

You don’t have to have watched Jaws to know what’s coming when you hear that low semi-tone ostinato as it repeats and gets faster and faster until… well, let’s leave the suspense hanging there, just makes it more intimidating!

LAURA: Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

Every year Laura tries to watch a Halloween based film but that’s quite tricky when you find all Horror films far too scary. A regular choice is the original Ghostbusters for its goofy comedy, spooky theme and of course it’s fantastic theme song!

RACHEL: Not a fan of ghosts and ghouls, Rachel has gone for this beautiful piece Allerseelen by Richard Strauss for All Soul’s Day as a commemorative piece for all departed souls.

The lyrics are set from a poem of the same name by Austrian poet Hermann von Gilm.

SU: ‘Danse Macabre‘ This ghoulish piece was originally written for voice and piano, but the composer then re-wrote it for violin and full orchestra, giving us the piece we recognise today.

In this video, you can see the legend behind the poem brought to life in cartoon form of Death appearing at midnight on Halloween and calling forth the skeletons to dance to his fiddle until dawn when they must return to their graves until next year.

EXTRA: How to make a nursery rhyme creepy… include it in a scary film called Nightmare on Elm Street. Based on the rhyme ‘1, 2, Buckle my shoe’, this music is the theme for main character Freddy Krueger, a murderer who invades teenagers dreams in the film. The nightmarish sounds of synthesizers under the chant builds up the intense feeling for the full horror film effect.

If you want to keep awake at night, this is what you should be listening to!

One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you…

It’s concert week for the MfE youth groups! The Strictly Strings, East Midlands Youth String Orchestra, Nottingham and East Midlands Youth Bands have been working hard over the Autumn term towards their New Year concert at Kingswood Methodist Church, Wollaton on Sunday 22 January, 3.30pm. Tickets are available in advance and on the door: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/new-year-concert/

The next MfE concert will be the Nottingham Festival Chorus performing Vaughan Williams ‘Toward the Unknown Region’ and featuring soloist Richard Cox on piano on Saturday 4 February at the Albert Hall, Nottingham. Definitely not to be missed! Book tickets and select your seats here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/nfc-concert/

The Lullaby Banks (in partnership with Inspire Music Hub) are back this term and looking forward to welcoming new mums and babies. If you, or someone you know, has a little one aged 0 – 9 months, the sessions are completely free and take place in Beeston and West Bridgford libraries. Booking is essential to guarantee a place as space is limited. https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/whats-on/the-lullaby-bank/

The two most popular New Year’s resolutions in the UK are to exercise more and improve fitness or improve their diet with more healthy eating.

Although we’re already halfway through January (who knows how long these resolutions last!) here’s a twist on a January diet for you… a musical diet especially for the first month of the year. Take 5 – 10 minutes each day to be an ‘active listener’ and enjoy this specially crafted playlist by The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jan/01/feed-your-soul-the-31-day-classical-music-diet-for-january-fiona-maddocks

  • Quick joke: Why couldn’t the string quartet find their composer?
    Answer: He was Haydn…

Have a great week!

Your friends at MfE.



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

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

*Support us with easyfundraiser*

#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.

Happy New Year from all of us at Music for Everyone. We hope you have had a good Christmas break.

New year, new term.

Our regular groups resume rehearsals next week with the exception of Nottingham Daytime Orchestra who start again on Thursday, and our Lunchtime Choir which also starts on Thursday. If you are not familiar with our Lunchtime Choir they meet every Thursday in the Level 4 Foyer of the Royal Concert Hall from 12:30 – 13:30.  Lead by the Dynamic Duo of Rachel Parkes and Josh Goodman, the group provides a great opportunity for city workers to take a proper break during Thursday lunchtimes and enjoy singing a range of music from folk and pop to blues and classical, in preparation for an informal performance at the end of the term.  A singing break has a host of fabulous benefits. It gives you confidence, builds teams, increases motivation and focus, develops creativity and even improves your posture and breathing. Above all, it’s a lot of fun!  This friendly and relaxed group is open to everyone who loves to sing and you don’t need to be able to read music to take part.

Blow the Dust

It was fantastic to have so many people join us for Blow the Dust at the Albert Hall last Saturday. 170 musicians gathered to perform works for orchestra, wind band and string orchestra. The final strains of Nessum Dorma are probably still ringing through the Albert Hall now!  Please click  here to hear some (Dr) miraculous playing from the full orchestra!

News from the MfE office

As you may know, with the departure of Robin Reece-Crawford, Anne Jackson has taken on the role of Adult Music Programme Coordinator.  We will also be advertising for a new-part time administrator to join the team in the next few months.

Welcome to a newly refreshed section of MfE Mondays: ‘Monday Musings’ where we bring you some interesting musical thoughts, articles, playlists and more!

In our 40th Anniversary Season we will be highlighting the achievements of women in music. Research carried out by online classical music magazine Bachtrack, based on over 27,000 listings for performances that took place in 2022, found that almost half of the world’s contemporary composers in 2022 were women. Click here for the full article on ClassicFM.

  • To welcome the new year, our youth groups will be performing a celebratory varied and entertaining concert on Sunday 22 January at Kingswood Methodist Church. Tickets are available here.

Have a great week!

Your friends at MfE.



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

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

*Support us with easyfundraiser*

#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.

November is just around the corner, that must mean that MfE Christmas and 2023 events are now open for booking!


Nottingham Chamber Singers present A Mystical Christmas at 3.30pm on Sunday 4th December at St Mary the Virgin Church in Bunny.

Christmas is Coming! On Sunday 11th December, members of the MfE ‘singing family’ come together for MfE’s annual Christmas concert at the Albert Hall, Nottingham, featuring a special appearance from Father Christmas! Children tickets are just £5 each.

Further details and ticket booking link for concerts can be found here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/whats-on/concerts/


Christmas Vocals – open to all primary aged singers, a singing afternoon on Saturday 10th December, then join the Christmas is Coming concert to perform on Sunday 11th December! https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/vocals-christmas-is-coming/

Nottingham Community Voices – Christmas. Members of Daytime Voices and Community Voices are invited to join Vocals on Sunday 11th December at the Albert Hall, Nottingham for MfE’s annual Christmas concert. Optional rehearsals from 28th November, https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/christmas-is-coming-daytime-voices/

Blow the Dust off your Instrument Saturday 7th January 2023


Nottingham Festival Chorus workshop weekend and concert 28/29 January & 4 February 2023


The Nottingham Festival Chorus will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams in their next event, a singing weekend course and concert in January/February 2023, performing the stunning work Toward the Unknown Region.

The anniversary itself is being commemorated and celebrated throughout 2022 (our celebration comes a little later than the actual anniversary!) with October being the anniversary of his birth.

A champion of music-making in the community, he was a central figure to British musical life. His work The Lark Ascending is regularly voted the UK’s favourite classical work, and he was well known for writing for most major forms of genre in music, including film and stage.

Have a listen to brighten a rainy Monday to The Lark Ascending: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR2JlDnT2l8

  • Bake Off fever has hit the office again, we’ve been enjoying some musical puns linked to baking – this one in particular made us giggle!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.



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

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

*Support us with easyfundraiser*

#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.

MfE are thrilled to be working in partnership with Inspire Nottinghamshire Music Hub on a new project as we expand the Health & Well-being programmes. (Click to find out more about other projects!)

The Lullaby Bank is for babies aged 0 – 9 months with an emphasis on post-natal well-being and bonding for mothers. There are currently 2 sessions running each week at Beeston Library (Tues am) and West Bridgford Library (Thurs am), singing lullabies from around the world. It is free to attend, but booking is essential as places are limited. The 10-week course will be running after Christmas too – booking will be open soon – if you know a mum with a new baby, invite them along! https://www.music-for-everyone.org/health-well-being/the-lullaby-bank/

Also, ONLINE BOOKING IS NOW OPEN for the adult singing and playing courses in January 2022!

Blow the Dust – 8th January, orchestral workshop day for adult instrumentalists. Find out more and book online here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/blow-the-dust-off-your-instrument-3/

Nottingham Festival Chorus: Opera course weekend and concert – 29th/30th Jan & 5th Feb, conducted by Angela Kay and featuring soloists Ellie Martin and Rachel Parkes: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/nfc-course-weekend/

With October being Black History Month, we take a look at one of the leading composers around the turn of the twentieth century – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

His best known work, a trilogy of cantatas known as The Song of Hiawatha, is based on poems of the same name by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which relate to the adventures of a Native American hero called Hiawatha and his love Minnehaha. Coleridge-Taylor made the connection between Native Americans and African Americans by modelling the main theme of the Hiawatha Overture on the spiritual song ‘Nobody knows the Trouble I’ve seen’ – see if you can hear it here: https://youtu.be/pkqaSqwHlsw

His legacy would be The Song of Hiawatha as one of the most performed choral works until the 2nd World War – rivalled only by Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Following his sudden death in 1912, a memorial concert was held for Coleridge-Taylor with proceeds going to his young family. After it was discovered just how little he had profited from the success of his works, many were appalled and the outrage led to the establishment of the Performing Rights Society.

  • Here’s a great half term activity you can try – make your own paper flute! All you need is a piece of card/paper, tape, scissors and a ruler. We made one in the office and can confirm it works! Let us know how you get on. Click this link and follow the instructions! How to make a paper flute
    Here’s our MfE paper flute, for inspiration!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.



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

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

*Support us with easyfundraiser*

#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.

IMG_8969Well we can hardly believe a year has gone by since the last Summer School, but it has! This year we’ve moved from the University of Nottingham to Trent College. We wondered if those few extra miles out of Nottingham might put people off, but no! Bigger and hopefully even better than ever. A choir of 70+ and an orchestra of 80+ meeting together for three days of rehearsals, specialist workshops, Music in the Chapel concerts by visiting professionals, and the delegates’ showcase concert on Wednesday. With Trent College offering B&B, some folk have opted to stay over even though they live locally, making a mini holiday of it. Accommodation has also enabled others to come from further afield. There’s a cooked lunch for any who would like it and plenty of parking. We hear at least one person is staying not far away in a caravan. We’ll leave you to guess who…!

DSC05077The guest tutors today were choral specialists Blossom Street. Tomorrow there is a violinist, and on Wednesday two brass players. Blossom Street, a chamber choir, formed 10 years ago when the singers were still students. They are now a London based and much praised choir, usually of 8, but sometimes 16 or even only four, directed by one-time singing member, Hilary Campbell. Another member is local Ellie Martin, who conducts one of our Daytime Singers groups. Five members gave a lively workshop that proved entertaining and informative. It improved the choir’s sound by helping singers give a more nuanced performance. Hilary spent a few minutes talking about the importance of diction, that it is part of the music, and just as the choir blends the pitch and timbre of its notes, it needs to do the same with pronunciation, matching vowel and consonant sounds not only within a section, e.g. tenors, but between sections when singing the same words at the same time. It’s all in the listening, just as it is with the notes themselves. Blossom Street also had delegates singing rounds. Not, however, a round of the same tune, rather five different tunes and from memory! Three other members arrived in the late afternoon to bring the first day to a close with a beautiful concert, picking up this year’s Summer School theme of music from the Americas. We went home uplifted and relaxed. Their interpretation and rendition of Holst’s I love my love and Whitacre’s Sleep were sublime.

owen-cox (002)And for the others… there were rehearsals for the full orchestra, string orchestra and windband with a variety of tutors. More about those groups in the coming days. Two more Music in the Chapel Concerts, open to the public, take place tomorrow and Wednesday. Tuesday, 5.15pm, Owen Cox, violin, and Hilary Suckling, piano perform a programme that includes Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Elgar’s Sonata. Owen is a great favourite at the Summer School. As a boy he played in MfE’s Stringwise, he now teaches at Cheetham’s School of Music and performs around the world. You don’t want to miss it. Nor Wednesday’s concert by two superb brass players at lunchtime 1.30pm. Click here for details. 

Link to Blossom Street’s website – hear them on Radio 3 sometimes, CDs available.

Saturday 3rd February 2018, 7.30pm | Albert Hall

Angela Kay MBE | Artistic Director

Victoria Barlow | Guest Conductor, East of England Singers

Nottingham Festival Chorus, East of England Singers and Nottingham Concert Orchestra

What’s interesting about this concert:

  • The Nottingham Festival Chorus of 220 singers is likely be the largest choir to perform a choral work of Carmina Burana’s scale in Nottingham this year. Experiencing this music (often used in films and TV) from a seat in the audience is a thrilling and uplifting experience.
  • Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, peformed by the orchestra, and Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, sung by the East of England Singers, are sensual works born of love: Wagner’s for his wife, Cosima, daughter of composer Franz Liszt, and Whitacre’s for his then girlfriend, now wife, the poet and soprano Hila Plitmann.
  • Carmina Burana, meaning Songs of Beuern, is the title of both the collected 13th century poems Carl Orff used as his text and of his composition. The choir sings words in Latin, Middle High German, Old Provencal and Old French. (We always provide translations in our programmes.) The themes of the poems are as familiar in the 21st century as they were when first written: the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the mystery of life, the joy of the return of Spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust.
  • Singing in a choir and listening to classical music have been shown to improve mental and physical wellbeing. During rehearsals our singers are learning useful Latin phrases from the poems, such as ‘In taberna quando sumas non curamus quid sit humus’, which means ‘When we are in the pub, we do not think how we will go to dust!’

Click here for further information and tickets.

benvenue-fortepiano-trio-mendelssohn-1338472770-article-0This is the splendid Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, known as Felix Mendlessohn to his friends. He is central to some of Music for Everyone’s autumn adult choral events.

On Saturday 1st October, Angela Kay will lead a choral workshop exploring the riches of Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah. There are only a few places left, so sign up soon if you’d like to come. We’re looking forward to seeing you there for a day of singing simply for the joy of it – no concert, no pressure.

The following Saturday, 8th October, the East of England Singers, also conducted by Angela, will give a concert in St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall. Their programme of religious choral music spans 400 years and will include string orchestral pieces by Mozart and Pärt.

Without Mendelssohn, whose piece Beatus Vir opens the concert, the choral music of J S Bach might have been lost for many more years, even for ever. It’s fitting then that the largest work in the concert will be Bach’s glorious motet, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a new song). After the interval the programme travels through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries with a vareity of well known and lesser known delightful motets. Something for everyone. Click here for tickets.

If you love to sing, Music for Everyone has plenty of choirs for you to join:

Daytime Voices are singing groups based in 5 locations: Southwell, West Bridgford, Wollaton, Sherwood and (new for 2016/17) Ollerton. Although they started this week, you’d still be welcome to join. Click here for info etc.

On Tuesday lunchtimes the Nottingham Lunchtime Choir meets at the Royal Concert Hall for a burst of singing fun. The music ranges from folk and pop to blues and classical.  The rehearsal is short enough to fit into a lunch break for those who work. It doesn’t matter at all if you can’t read music. There will be an exciting opportunity in December to sing in a short concert before the Halle Orchestra’s Christmas Concert. More here.

The East of England Singers (EOES) is an auditioned chamber choir and open to new members. Singers need to have good sight reading ability and time to commit to a busy concert schedule of both EOES concerts and Music for Everyone choral events, where they often form the semi-chorus. The ability to make tea is an advantage.


cropped-logo_darkblue_green-copy.jpgIf you were wealthy enough to ‘own’ an instrumental ensemble, what would you choose? A string quartet or a jazz trio? How about a wind band or an early music group? My choice would be a brass quintet. As a teenage trumpeter, I loved playing in an unconducted small ensemble and dreamt of being the first (and only, ever) female member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.

W A Mozart, 1770, by Dalla Rosa

Wind ensembles, known as Harmonie, were very popular among the rich and royal of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s time (Mozart, 1756-1791). Emperor Franz Joseph II had such a group. Prince Liechtenstein asked Mozart to both find him a group of wind and brass musicians and to compose new pieces for them to play. The groups performed at social occasions, indoor and outdoor, and sometimes played for more formal events. The music for such ensembles, known as harmoniemusik, was meant to entertain, it was often light in nature and unmemorable. The serenade was a popular musical form. Mozart elevated it into compositions that have endured. A minor key was an unusual choice and suggests K388 was written for a more formal or civic occasion.

The third programme item in the East of England Singers’ concert on Saturday 17 October, St John’s Church, Carrington, Nottingham, 7.30pm will be Mozart’s Serenade in C Minor for Wind Octet, K388, played by the New Classical Wind Ensemble. It is scored for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons.

So why Mozart the Recycler? Some years later, Mozart would transcribe the work for string quintet, keeping the same key signature, C minor.

Click here for the full concert programme and tickets.

Here is the second movement of Mozart’s Serenade in C minor, K388

If you receive the blog post by email, you might have to click through to the website to listen to the music.

cropped-logo_darkblue_green-copy.jpgSo said Igor Stravinsky.

If you hear the name Igor Stravinsky (1882-19710), what music comes to mind? Perhaps it is his ballet music, The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, or The Firebird Suite. But there are symphonies, operas, concerti, choral music and much more.

As we can hear in the opening of the Rite of Spring, his music can be melodious

and excitingly rhythmic (a little further into the Rite of Spring)


Some of these styles are to be found in Stravinsky’s Mass for Chorus and Wind Orchestra. This will be the second work in the East of England Singers’ IgorStravinsky680pxconcert, Saturday 17 October, St John’s Church, Carrington, Nottingham, 7.30pm.

Stravinsky was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church. He drifted away but returned to faith later, though by then he no longer lived in Russia. Instruments were never used in his church, so he turned to the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church and composed a Mass setting. This was deeply personal to Stravinsky, something he felt compelled to compose from his own faith, his own soul. There is something both haunting and striking about the music, music Stravinsky determined would not be overly emotional. To him, it was the words that mattered above all else. It was first performed at La Scala, Milan, in 1948 and is a challenging and exciting sing, rhythmic, at time dissonant yet with echoes of plainsong.

Click here for the full concert programme and tickets.

More about Stravinsky.