Today marks Mozart’s 264th birthday! To celebrate, MfE’s Nottingham Concert Orchestra will be performing his Exsultate, Jubilate motet this coming weekend at the Albert Hall in Nottingham as part of the Nottingham Festival Chorus performance of Brahms German Requiem – there are still tickets left, find out more here!

We are also opening the doors to our youth instrumental groups this week and hosting Open Days where interested players can come along for free to see what it is like to play in a band or an orchestra. If you know a young instrumentalist that is looking for a group to join, why not let them know? We have groups for all abilities!

  • Today, Monday 27 January, is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day! Whilst the ‘official’ use of bubble wrap is to transport goods securely (they first attempted to market it as insulation but it wasn’t successful, eventually the perfect purpose was discovered!) I can imagine you will all agree that it is an excellent stress relief method (and perhaps a bit addictive) so why not celebrate tonight with a sheet of bubble wrap and see if you can pop every single bubble! How very satisfying…

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

27/01/2020

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If you had been walking past the Albert Hall in Nottingham yesterday you would have been forgiven for thinking the National Brass Band Championships had come to town! In fact, it was the the culmination of two weekends of Bandwise, our annual event for young brass, wind and percussion players from Grades 1 – 8. However, the standard of playing within the concert was second to none and would have been well placed in any national competition! There was great variety in the programme, ranging from a 16th century Flemish dance, Battle Pavan,  an arrangement of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana and  a foot tapping version of Tequila by all our percussionists. The concert finished with all three Bandwise groups coming together to play Instant Concert, a remarkable piece which contains 30 well known melodies in just over 3 minutes! So well done everybody!

With Christmas now feeling a very long time ago, some of you may already be making plans for summer. Well, why not come and join us for three days of splendid music making at our annual Summer School? This year’s event is going to held at Trent College in Long Eaton (our venue in 2018) between the 10th & 12th August. Plans are well underway for the 2020 event school with music being chosen around the theme ‘A Grand European Tour’. Guest artists include Hilary Campbell, Chris Swann and Sam Sweeney. Booking will open very soon so watch this space.

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

20/01/2020

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Did you know that January is Brainteaser Month?!

Brainteaser Month aims to raise awareness about the types of mental stimulation that can help boost overall brain activity and reinforce memory power. Keeping your brain active can also improve concentration, brain processing speed and help you tackle complex challenges by breaking them down into smaller tasks.

Experts suggest that you engage in one mentally-stimulating challenge each day.  This could be anything from a brainteaser, a crossword, a sudoku puzzle, a quiz or a game of scrabble.  However, it is not a good idea to develop a habit of doing the same thing as it can slowly get your brain accustomed to that specific task and you’ll start looking for shortcuts in problems.

At Music for Everyone we take your wellbeing very seriously so here’s a musical brainteaser to keep you on your toes:

https://www.classicfm.com/lifestyle/quizzes/composer-picture-puzzles/composer-riddles/ (Don’t scroll down until you’ve had a guess as it gives the answers away!)

And a musical sudoku for a challenge! https://www.alfred.com/blog/music-sudoku-activity-students/

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

13/01/2020

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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.

Hello again and Happy New Year to you all! Here is a fun fact about celebrating the New Year to get us started!

Did you know that new year is celebrated 39 times in different time zones during the span of 26 hours around the world? If you want to be the first to say Happy New Year on dry land though, you will need to make your way to the Kiritimati atoll in Kiribati… or to be the last 26 hours later, Baker Island is the place to be!

2020 is off to a musical start at MfE with our first Blow the Dust off your Instrument event of the year taking place this past Saturday. Over 150 string, wind, brass, percussion and recorder players came along to the Albert Hall in Nottingham for a superb day of music-making, all rounded off with a fantastic concert for family and friends! Here are a few pics from the day…

           

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

06/01/2020

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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’ll keep it simple this week and just say ‘thank you’ for your support over the last 12 months and wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

Click here to see how we’re celebrating in the office! Just follow the link and click play, it’s a rather accurate depiction of MfE office life…! (Joking of course!)

https://elfyourself.com?mId=74079813

  • We would like to say a huge thank you to Pip Flewitt and the Landlord of the Plainsman Pub Mapperley, for arranging for local choir ‘In Accord’ to sing Carols in the Carpark on Wednesday 18 December. Congratulations to all who turned out, despite the driving ran, and helped raise over £100 for our Open voices groups. If you have any fundraising ideas or would like help in organising an event in 2020 please let us know!
  • Finally… a note from us to say the office will be closed after today until Thursday 2 January for the Christmas break. Emails will be checked intermittently for any urgent enquiries and all other messages will be managed when we return.

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

23/12/2019

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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.

Christmas the MfE way! December is flying by with Christmas concerts by all of our regular rehearsing groups, culminating in the spectacular festive event at the Albert Hall yesterday with the Vocals youth choir and Nottingham Community Voices! There was even a special visit from the big man himself…!

A huge congratulations to all the singers involved yesterday, the singing was wonderful and the Christmas outfits and headgear were outstanding! We’ll let the photos speak for themselves… more to follow on the blog page!

        

In other news, each December celebrates World Choral Day – an international choral event initiated by Alberto Grau with the main aim to extol the values of solidarity, peace, and understanding through choral music. Singers across the globe take part in events throughout the month with each concert beginning in a proclamation available in 27 different languages.

“It is time to show, with more power and strength, that our choral family contributes, through music to break down the artificial barriers product of politics, different ideologies, religious differences, and racial hatred that separate human beings. We must be able to show that MUSIC, the divine art, is more than the mere search of formal perfection and interpretative beauty” http://worldchoralday.org/

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

16/12/2019

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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.

Well, what a festive weekend of music making that was! Two sell out concerts by the MfE youth groups and East of England Singers, also carolsinging on the Council House steps, bringing festive cheer to the good folk of Nottingham and raising over £120 towards Open Voices! But… it’s not too late to enjoy the festivities, our Albert hall Family concert on Sunday still has some tickets available, but they’re selling fast! Get in touch 0115 9589312 to book tickets.

     

Continuing with the Christmas theme, last week we gave you John Rutter, ‘The Man Who Owns Christmas’.  This week we bring you ‘A very Brief History of the Christmas Carol’!:

The word Carol actually means a dance or song of praise.  Carols were originally pagan songs. The earliest reference to a carol being sung specifically for Christmas is by a Roman Bishop in AD129 who decreed that a song called Angel’s Hymn should be sung at Christmas services in Rome.  One of the oldest printed carols is the Boar’s Head Carol which dates from 1521 and was traditionally sung at Queen’s College Oxford as the Christmas meal was carried in.

The idea of groups of carollers assembling in public spaces was a 19th-century one.  Originally called ‘waits’, these collections of singers used to gather to perform for passers-by, who traditionally thanked them with offerings of drinks or figgy puddings!  It became known as wassailing and continues today.

The Carol writing tradition is alive and thriving today with many living composers including John Rutter, Arvo Part, Eric Whitaker and Bob Chilcott having written beautiful contemporary Carols.

  • As well as some traditional Christmas Carols, you will be able to hear some wonderfully uplifting Christmas music performed by our massed choir and the vocals Childrens’ choir at the Albert Hall on Sunday 15 December (more information here).  If you’re unsure as to what defines ‘Christmas music’, here are the basic elements:  stirring melodies sprinkled with minor and diminished chords, and nostalgic lyrics (think White Christmas whose lyrics, according to Classicfm, are ‘doused in more nostalgia than your nan puts sherry on her Christmas pudding!’).  Have a go at writing your own Christmas song with this handy song lyrics generator!
  • And finally sleigh bells.  No Christmas music is complete without sleigh bells!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

09/12/2019

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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.

Which composer do you most associate with Christmas?  As one of the most celebrated composers of Christmas carols alive today, John Rutter’s carols have become as synonymous with Christmas as a mulled wine-stained jumper!…and for good reason, here are 5 festive facts about John Rutter’s Christmas music:

  • The popularity of John Rutter’s Christmas music lead him to be dubbed ‘The Composer Who Owns Christmas’ by the New York Times.
  • He composed his famous Shepherd’s Pipe Carol while still at school.
  • David Willcocks heard the carol when Rutter was a student at Cambridge and requested a copy of the manuscript. Before Rutter’s student days were up, the carol was published and recorded by EMI!
  • Willcocks went on to invite Rutter to join him as co-editor of the hugely influential Carols for Choirs anthologies that still largely determine what is sung at this time of year in churches worldwide.
  • 100 Carols for Choirs is Oxford University Press’ most-hired music in the lead up to the festive period. In 2018, two of Rutter’s Carol’s and a two of his arrangements appeared in the OUP’s ten top-hired carols and Christmas pieces.

“Christmas is still very dear in my heart,” Rutter says. “It’s kind of the world as we all wish it could be, for just those precious few days each year. A time of stillness and yet of rejoicing. So Christmas will always be very special in my heart and it’s always been celebrated in music.”

Come and hear some of Rutter’s most popular carols performed at MfE’s Christmas is Coming concert at the Albert Hall on Sunday 15 December.  The programme will also include performances of Christmas music by the Nottingham Community Voices, East of England Singers and the ‘Vocals!’ youth choirs.  Tickets are available online here or by phoning the office on 0115 958 9312.

  • Saturday 7 December is going to be a busy day for MfE: our Community Voices will be ‘carolling’ in Market Square from 10.30am – 12 noon (all welcome!) while MfE’s youth wind and string ensembles will be performing their Christmas concert at Kingswood Methodist Church at 3.30pm, and the EOES will be performing a Festive Baroque Christmas concert at Beeston Parish Church at 7.30pm. Tickets for all concerts are available on our website or by phoning the office on 0115 9589312.
  • And for those of you who feel it is still too early to be thinking about Christmas, next year marks John Rutter’s 75th birthday so we’ll be likely to hear a lot of his music throughout the year, perhaps even including this well-meant spoof!… https://www.classicfm.com/composers/rutter/choir-sings-john-i-cant-believe-its-not-rutter/

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

02/12/2019

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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.

Have you noticed how many people are coughing and spluttering at the moment having succumbed to the dreaded winter lurgy?  We at MfE think that laughter is the best medicine.  Amongst other things, laughter can act as a natural pain killer, improve breathing, improve sleep and decrease stress.  We want to keep you all fit and healthy for the coming season so we hope this video will make you giggle!  The makers of this video thought it would be fun to see what a good laugh would look like transcribed as music, and the result is infectious:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-domaindev-st_emea&hsimp=yhs-st_emea&hspart=domaindev&p=Kathy+Jensen%27s+signature+laugh+-+transcribed#id=1&vid=d57f58c9934776f6702dad22320dea9c&action=click

And who can forget the iconic Laughing Policeman, written by……….? Charles JOLLY of course!  We challenge you to listen to this and not smile.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI1nPd7hezM

  • Things are getting busier in the MfE office at the moment! We’re looking ahead to our events in 2020, so if you haven’t signed up for Blow the Dust or the Nottingham Festival Chorus course (both in January) now’s the time! We are also keen to hear from young wind, brass and percussion players for the next Bandwise! which will take place in January as well – get signed up! https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/bandwise/

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

25/11/2019

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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.

A big THANK YOU to the Nottingham Girls High School

Every now and then the pupils of the High School for Girls have a non uniform day to raise money for local good causes.  Pip Flewitt, one of the leaders of our West Bridgford Open Voices project and ex head of 6th form at the school thought she would put a good word in for the Open Voices project and especially highlighting the need of the Ash Lea Special School. This school regularly sends a minibus of eager teenagers to our Tuesday meeting but find it hard to cover the transport costs. This morning we have just heard the good news that the High School for Girls has raised £300 to help us subsidise those costs.  Thank you to all those ‘non-uniformed’ girls and to Pip for putting a good word in for Open Voices.

EOES have the final word!

Yesterday afternoon the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra gave a wonderful performance of Holst’s Planets.  Those of you familiar with the work will know that the final movement, Neptune, requires an offstage ladies choir – enter the sopranos and altos of EOES to provide 3 mins of atmospheric, ethereal singing which is meant to fade into the distance!  Situated out of sight in the stairwell of the Albert Hall, the choir, on cue, started singing the extremely challenging choral score and the fade was achieved by gradually walking down the stairs into the foyer whilst still singing. The effect – magical!

  • And finally…
    Just under a hundred young string players had a great time at our Stringwise course and concert last weekend! Amongst the rehearsals, the younger ones also enjoyed some clapping games while the older ones had a great workshop on Bhangra music with Ann-Marie Shaw.

   

More pictures coming soon!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

18/11/2019

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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.