Hello! If you thought January and February were cold and dormant months, then you’ve obviously never been in the office at MfE!

We’ve already had a busy and exciting Blow the Dust day and the youth groups fantastic New Year Concert, whilst our daytime groups have been up and running in full swing for two weeks. This week in particular is a special one for us, as it sees the culmination of the massive hard-work and effort that goes into the Nottingham Festival Chorus weekend. Part of the unique selling point of MfE is that we are able to give people the chance to be part of a large-scale musical event, accompanied by our fabulous full orchestra, without asking for vast time commitment in the run-up. Singers have been busily learning their notes from our carefully curated ‘CD practise tracks’, whilst some came along in person to our friendly sectional rehearsals in deepest darkest January. This past weekend saw the massed chorus meeting at NTU Clifton to look at their notes in detail with Angela Kay and Rachel Parkes, and we can tell you that the results were stunning. Much fun was had, and many different muscles – singing, brain and body (!) were stimulated. There were also many biscuits consumed!

We thought they sounded magnificent, and if you’d like to hear the results for yourself, make sure you book your ticket for Saturday 4th Feb 7.30pm at the Albert Hall this week. **10% discount available for MfE members and all singers on the course.**

https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/nfc-concert/

We hope to see you there!


As part of our varied programme of musical delights on Saturday, the choir and orchestra will be performing some of the spirituals from Michael Tippett’s Child of Our Time. These immensely moving works take their origins from African-American songs dating from the slave-trade. As we near Oscar season, we thought we’d leave you with some incredible examples of how these tunes have been used over the decades in movies on the big screen… perhaps you have some more examples for us, we always love hearing them!

  • O Brother Where Art Thou (2000) — “Down to the River to Pray
  • The Apostle (1998) — “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord,” “Nearer My God to Thee,” “There Is a River,” “In the Garden,” “I Love to Tell the Story,” “Victory Is Mine,” “There Is Power in the Blood”, “I’ll Fly Away”
  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) — “Oh Happy Day,” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow”.
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013)
  • Selma (2014) ‘Take my hand precious lord’
  • Harriet (2019)


Have a great week!

Your friends at MfE.

30/01/2023

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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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.

What an amazing concert yesterday to end such a Christmassy week for MfE! A great big WELL DONE to all the singers in Vocals and Nottingham Community Voices for a great performance and a special thank you to Santa for taking the time to drop by.


We have been getting into the festive spirit with this great playlist of classical Christmas favourites – perfect for tree decorating, present wrapping and anything else that requires an alternative to Chris Rea!

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/occasions/christmas/best-festive-classical-music/


  • There are still a few places left for Blow The Dust Off Your Instrument! If you are looking at that cello in the attic, clarinet in the garage or trumpet in shed (don’t keep trumpets in sheds please) you have just a few days left to sign up for our 7th January BTD! All the info and how to book online is here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/blow-the-dust-off-your-instrument-3/

Stay warm and have a great week!

Your friends at MfE.

12/12/2022

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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

Concerts

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/

Workshops/Courses

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

https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/blow-the-dust-off-your-instrument-3/

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

https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/nfc-course-weekend/


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.

24/10/2022

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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We had a great 3 days of music making at Summer School last week. You can find out what we got up and see pictures of the sessions and amazing guests we had on our blog page, there is a post for each day of Summer School: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/about-us/blog/

Announcing 2022/23 dates!

Details of courses, workshops and concerts are now available on our website for the 40th Anniversary season. Information for regular groups (Daytime groups, etc) will follow soon including advance booking.


The rain has finally arrived, bringing some much needed freshness to the air after the most recent heatwave. We decided to look at music inspired by rain, hoping a rain-dance would open the heavens sooner than expected!

Chopin’s Prelude Op.28 (‘Raindrop’) with it’s repetitive pulse through the texture is thought to sound like raindrops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVau-JRGirg

An appropriately named piece The Welcome Arrival of Rain by Judith Weir, inspired by verse from the Hindu text ‘Bhagavata Purana’ – catching the sense of sudden rain and the renewal and growth that follows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU4PBYjDtkw

And something a little different to finish, here is a choir making the sounds of a rain storm using their hands and feet, impressive! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29qaN0M0o0s



Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

15/08/2022

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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.

From little alien Bumblesnouts saving the planet, to trekking through the jungle, to sailing across the ocean with Moana and Maui, Saturday’s Vocals concert had it all!

Conducted by Alison and Rachel, accompanied by Angela on the piano and Alex on the drums with fantastic narrator Mark, the children showed off their hard work from the weekend before and put on an amazing performance. Here are some photos from the concert…

Coming up next… for the adult instrumentalists and singers, Blow the Dust is on Saturday 11 June and Celebrate the Jubilee with Nottingham Festival Chorus on 25/26 June, places are still available on both courses! Find out more and book on our website: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/


Occasionally there are days when we struggle for inspiration for our Monday Motivation, so this week we thought we would hand it over to you, our lovely MfE family! We would love to hear from you about what musical moments have inspired or motivated you. Email us with your heart-warming, funny or even embarrassing stories and we will share them over the next few weeks!



Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

23/05/2022

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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.

We had a great weekend at VOCALS on Saturday and Sunday. Over 80 children from across the East Midlands came to NTU in Clifton for a weekend of singing songs about the jungle (Yanamamo), saving the planet (with help from the Bumblesnouts!) and the Disney film Moana.

Here are a few photos from the busy weekend, Vocals 1 even found time to make Bumblesnout masks!

The Vocals children will be meeting again this coming Saturday, 21st May, to perform a concert in the Albert Hall, more details here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/vocals-concert/


Has anyone else caught Eurovision fever this weekend? From costumes to staging, it’s always entertaining. The UK were victorious after the jury vote, before finishing in 2nd place behind Ukraine’s entry, which proved popular with the public, in the final result.

This is the highest the UK have placed since a win in 1997! The entry this year, ‘Space Man’ by TikTok and social media star Sam Ryder, also won the Marcel Bezencon Press Award, a first for the UK in Eurovision history. You can hear the UK entry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udsMTb2NIak

Interesting fact about Eurovision… do you recognise the theme tune when Eurovision opens each year? The Prelude to Charpentier’s ‘Te Deum’, composed in the late 1600s, has opened Eurovision for over 60 years, since it’s beginning in 1956. Here is the Prelude in full: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwU37osOkQA



Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

16/05/2022

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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.

Greetings after yet another wonderful weekend of MfE music-making!

Saturday and Sunday saw the massed forces of the Nottingham Community Voices (featuring singers from our various daytime voices groups plus members from the Lunchtime Voices, Nottingham Chamber Singers and various other community choirs around the county), combining in a truly stunning ‘chorus line’ for our West End to Broadway musicals course.

Our singers worked hard on their renditions of the romantic and sumptuous scores of My Fair Lady and The King and I, along with smooth and sensual excerpts by the legendary Irving Berlin, before rounding it all off with their riotous rabble of revolutionaries in Les Miserables! They were accompanied by the stunning Nottingham Concert Orchestra, who serenaded us with a string of Broadway hits, including a heart-rending suite from Bernstein’s West Side Story. It was an absolute treat. Adding a little extra shimmer and sparkle to all of this, were the fantastic talents of Simon Theobald and Kate Taylor, whose performances left us simultaneously rolling in the aisles and weeping into our programmes. It was a triumph – huge congratulations to everyone involved!

   

Our Vocals weekend is next. With expert tuition from Alison Bennett and Rachel Parkes, this is an absolute steal at only £15.00 for the entire event (two workshop afternoons and a concert afternoon). Please tell all the young people (of primary school age) in your lives that it will be a wonderful chance to learn some new and entertaining music, as well as some well-known Disney tunes from Moana. These massed musical events tend to be formative in our experiences and memories, so help us to spread the word. We know you will want to come and support them in their concert on Saturday 21st May – tickets are available on our website.

Finally for those instrumentalists amongst you, our Summer Blow the Dust day is fast approaching. Tell your friends, or even bring someone along from out of town … it’s a wonderful day to relax, enjoy and bond with other like-minded orchestral players out there! If you fancy an extended chance to waggle those clarinet keys or refine your ‘ricochet’, then our Summer School is for you. More details available at www.music-for-everyone.org


With the sun shining, our minds at MfE are turning to our Summer School. We are really looking forward to returning to Trent College and hopefully enjoying their lovely grounds in the sunshine.  If you haven’t yet decided whether to come along, let us motivate you with a few facts about Vaughan William’s, who’s music we will be exploring to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth:

  • He was well connected; His great-uncle was Charles Darwin, and ceramics magnate Josiah Wedgewood was his great-great-grandfather.
  • During the Second World War, he is rumoured to have done a stint of cleaning at the local public toilets in Dorking.
  • The composer never took his privileged background for granted and worked all his life for democratic and egalitarian ideals. He viewed music as being part of everyone’s everyday life, rather than being the preserve of an elite. Something we wholeheartedly agree with at MfE!

  • As the French Presidential Elections closed yesterday, we found it fitting that the French national anthem was composed on this day in 1792, here is Berlioz’s arrangement ‘La Marseillaise’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZWabwLPUXc

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

25/04/2022

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 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.

The MfE groups are taking a well-deserved break for Easter after a busy Spring term.

While the groups are off, the artistic and office team are busy prepping for a wonderful summer term full of music – all the details can be found on our website, below is a quick overview of what is coming up!

  • Musicals course and concert – 23/24 April
  • Vocals course and concert – 14/15 & 21 May
  • Blow the Dust playing day – 11 June
  • NFC Jubilee workshop and concert – 25/26 June
  • Summer School – 8/9/10 August

https://www.music-for-everyone.org/


We’re sure you are all familiar with the traditional Easter Egg (painted/decorated/chocolate/etc!) but we’ve found out some interesting facts about the ‘other’ type of easter egg… the ones that double as secret or hidden messages in music.

One of the first composers to do this was J.S. Bach and he hid one Easter Egg so well, it wasn’t discovered for 250 years in his Mass in B
Minor
!

He would often sign his name into his music B A C H as an ‘easter egg’ (in German notation, the letter H is used for B natural, and B is used for B flat). Whether these were always intentional will never be known, but it seems to most experts that he would add them to the beginning or end of a piece as a ‘signing off’.

Do you know of any others that he hid his name in?

Bach: Mass in B Minor – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FLbiDrn8IE

And for Easter, here is Bach’s St John Passion, composed in 1724 for the Good Friday Vespers service in the same year – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMf9XDQBAaI&t=4s

Happy Easter from the MfE Team!



Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

11/04/2022

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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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.

A wonderful time was had by all on Saturday at our Family Sing day! It was a great turn out, in spite of fears that the glorious weather may tempt people away from singing and into the garden! A huge thank you and well done to all the children, parents, grandparents, friends and families who came along. We hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did!

Daytime Concerts!

This week our fantastic Daytime Orchestras are both giving informal concerts under the baton of our Principal Instrumental Animateur Josh,

to mark the end of the Spring term. Do come along to All Saint’s Church, Loughborough to hear music by Dvorak, Coates, Strauss and more on Tuesday 29th at 11am, and to St Martin’s Church, Sherwood, to hear works Schumann, Sibelius, Mendelssohn and more on Thursday 31st at 11am.

Beethoven lovers – Bookwise still has the Beethoven Book list available and the CD list is now also available from the donation of the gentleman lover and devotee of Beethoven who is terminally ill. Please email Jane McDermott at jachmcd@gmail.com and she will email you lists – available on a first come, first served basis.


As the end of our Spring Term nears, and we complete our regular groups’ end-of-term concerts this week, we are reminded of our favourite Leonard Bernstein quotation:

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”


  • Tomorrow, 29th March, marks 120 years since the birth of celebrated British composer William Walton (1902-1983). We are delighted to be including his rousing Agincourt Song in the programme for our summer school, for which places can be booked here. In case you need a bit of get and up and go this Monday, here’s his equally rousing Spitfire Prelude and Fugue — guaranteed to help you attack this week’s to-do list!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

28/03/2022

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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.

On Saturday afternoon, the MfE youth bands put on their end of term concert, Bandtastic! at West Bridgford Methodist Church. All 3 groups performed individual items as well as joint pieces they had been working on throughout the term and the result was a brilliant concert enjoyed by all!

   

As part of the concert, MfE’s Instrumental Animateur Josh Goodman arranged a piece especially for the adult player helpers who give their time each week to support our young players.

The chosen piece, Melodia, was written by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk and recently featured as an encore by the CBSO in concert. Here is a recording of our performance on Saturday on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/n9yPun9pN10

This week, we are preparing for the Family Sing, taking place this coming Saturday 26th March at Kingswood Methodist Church in Wollaton.

We still have spaces left for families to attend – children, mums, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents – bring everyone! More detail and how to sign up here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/event/family-sing-workshop/


We love a playlist at MfE, so here’s one to help you celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Johannes Brahms – Lullaby

Perhaps the most recognisable piece associated with mothers, this gentle little number has been soothing babies to sleep since its first performance in 1869.

Richard Strauss – Muttertändelei

This rapid-fire tongue twister captures the joy of a new mother who would not give her child away ‘for all the coins in the world’.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – O Zittre Nicht, Mein Lieber Sohn

The aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute is a comforting song from mother to son that translates as “Tremble not, my dear son / You are innocent, wise, pious.”

Anton Dvořák’s – Songs My Mother Taught Me

A song of love spanning generations. A young woman recalls hearing a lullaby from her mother, and then completes the cycle by singing it to her own child.

Schumann’s – Frauenliebe und Leben

The song-cycle chronicles a woman’s experience of finding love, marrying, and having children. An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust (On my Heart, on my Breast) is a dance-like, joyous expression of the mother’s joy over her newborn.

Edvard Grieg – Grandmother’s Minuet

Don’t forget Grandma! Grieg certainly didn’t with this piano piece. It’s unclear whether it was written specifically for his own grandmother, but we still think it deserves a place on this list!


  • Click here to have your say in the battle of the coluratura!  Our money is on Diana Damrau for full-on Queen of the Night drama, or (for the Harry Potter fans amongst you) Kathryn Lewek for channelling pure Bellatrix Lestrange vibes!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

21/03/2022

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

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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.