Five Days to Christmas!

It’s nearly Christmas! And what a wonderful season of music making we have enjoyed at MfE! Another big thank you and well done to everyone who has participated in all the many groups, courses, events and concerts this term. We can’t wait to kick off 2022 with Blow the Dust on 8th January (still time to sign up – see our website!) and then welcome old and new faces to our regular groups.

LAST CHANCE to vote for us! If you haven’t already, please follow the link below and complete the short survey (takes less than 2 mins) to nominate Music for Everyone. For 12 days between 6 and 21 December, the Movement for Good are donating £1,000 to ten different nominated charities.

Our charity number is 1153412.  Please select ‘Community’ from the drop down menu of charity types.

https://movementforgood.com/12days/


Did you know that the popular Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” has an unusual history?

Although probably based on a medieval French folksong, the famous words were first published in English in 1780. But it was English composer Frederic Austin who wrote the tune down for the first time in 1908. Unlike most folksongs and carols, this tune has irregular meters – meaning some bars are in four, some in three, some in two… very unusual!

Austin also claimed copyright for the melody of the ‘Five Gold Rings’, whilst admitting that the rest of the tune was an existing folk melody. This has led to many composers and publishers creating their own tune for that line, to avoid copyright infringement.

All kinds of interesting previous lyrics are available on the song’s Wikipedia page – so why not tantalise your Christmas guests with some nuggets of music history this yuletide?


  • *Piano in need of a new home* The piano is a 1934 Hopkinson upright in good working order. Please contact Cath Sutherland to discuss or arrange to see the piano: cathsuth533@hotmail.com or 07766294745.
  • This is the last #MfEMonday of 2021… wishing you a very Happy Christmas and Happy New Year, from everyone at MfE… hope to see many of you at Blow the Dust on 8th Jan!

Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

20/12/2021

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.

Congratulations to all who took part in yesterday’s Christmas is Coming concert at the Albert Hall! Everyone had a great time – even Father Christmas was impressed!

*BOOKWISE* Our bookshop in Nottingham (10 Goose Gate, Hockley) is open through December for all your book-buying-last-minute-present-shopping needs, including SUNDAYS! For December only, the shop will be open on Sundays from 11am – 3pm in addition to the usual opening hours (Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm)


Did you know that today is Saint Lucy’s Day?  Also called the Feast of Saint Lucy, it commemorates Lucia of Syracuse who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle lit wreath on her head (do not try this at home) to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible.

Her feast day, which coincided with the shortest day of the year prior to calendar reforms, is widely celebrated as a festival of light.  Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucy’s Day is viewed as a precursor of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar on Christmas Day.


  • Here are some truly awful Christmas jokes to get you in the mood for those Christmas crackers! Enjoy….

What is the Three Wise Men’s favourite Christmas Carol?
Oh Camel, ye Faithful.

What is a snowman’s favourite song?
Freeze a jolly good fellow.

Why did the choir have to cancel their carol concert?
They caught Tinselitis.

What’s the best present a musician could ever receive?
A broken drum.  You can’t beat it.

What do Baroque musicians do if they don’t like their Christmas presents?
Hand them Bach.

Why are sopranos so good at Christmas shopping?
They always manage to get descant prices.

What is a duck’s favourite Christmas Carol?
In the Beak Midwinter


Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

13/12/2021

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.

About 6 months ago, MfE was contacted by the Nottingham Young Musician of the Year Competition chair to see if we would be willing to give a performance opportunity to the winner of the competition’s voice class.  We are always delighted to be able to support young musicians and so we obviously said ‘yes’!

Benjamin Staniforth, an 18yr old baritone from Nottingham, was the winner of the class and on Sunday 21 November, Angela Kay and Rachel Parkes went along to the Djanogly Recital Hall to listen to the Grand Final concert where the winners of each individual class (piano, voice, strings, woodwind and brass) performed to see, after adjudication, who would be crowned the Nottingham Young Musician of the Year 2021. We were delighted when Benjamin was announced as that winner!

Benjamin is delighted to be paired with MfE and we are very much looking forward to him singing at one of our forthcoming concerts.


As we enter the season of advent, we thought we should let you know what festive musical treats MFE has on offer over the coming weeks.

Countdown to Christmas – December 5th, Kingswood Methodist Church, Wollaton NG8 1GR
Our youth groups hold their annual Christmas concert at 3:30pm. Lots of festive music complete with mince pies!

Vocals – December 11th, 1:30pm Nottingham Trent University, Clifton NG11 8NS
A fun Saturday afternoon workshop for primary aged children singing Christmas songs and fun seasonal music including hits from the well-known film, A Muppets Christmas Carol and Roald Dahl’s entertaining version of Cinderella!

Christmas is Coming! – December 12th, 3:30pm Albert Hall, North Circus St, Nottingham NG1 5AA
A traditional afternoon Christmas concert for all the family, with well-known carols and seasonal songs featuring the Nottingham Chamber Singers, Nottingham Community Voices, Vocals Youth Choir & New Classical Players.

A Mystical Christmas – December 18th, 7:30pm St Mary the Virgin Church, Bunny NG11 6QT
Nottingham Chamber Singers present a programme of atmospheric choral music and exquisite projected images.

Tickets for all events can be booked via our website – www.music-for-everyone.org We hope to see you at one of our Christmas events over the next few weeks.


The Advent season focuses on expectation and is an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. Many people celebrate the season of advent with a wreath.

The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.

The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace.

Perhaps you might like to have a go at making your own advent wreath this Christmas? Here’s a simple how to guide –

What you’ll need

  • 12’’ wire wreath frame
  • Soft greenery garland
  • Purple poinsettia flower
  • Advent candle set
  • 4 candle holders
  • White Christmas ribbon
  • Greenery ties
  • Glue gun

First, take your garland and wrap it around your wire wreath until it is completely covered. Use your hot glue to hold it in place.

Next, you’ll take your white ribbon and wrap it around until you’ve found your desired placement. Secure it with a small dab of hot glue.

Using a little bit of floral wire or greenery ties, space out the candle holders as evenly in place as possible and secure in place.

Fill in empty areas of your wreath with your purple poinsettia flowers and use a little bit of hot glue to hold them in place.

Add your candles and voila, you’ve made a super simple advent wreath. we all have and to receive a thank you card from our members.



Have a good week!

Your friends at MfE.

29/11/2021

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.

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

admin@music-for-everyone.org

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

10 Goose Gate | Hockley | NG1 1FF

Like us on Facebook

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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.

cropped-logo_darkblue_green-copy.jpgThis was Phil Smith’s suggestion to the East of England Singers (EOES) when singing Bruckner’s Sanctus from his Mass No 2 in E minor on Saturday. The acoustic of St John’s Church, Carrington, helped the choir to achieve a soaring sound. Thank you to Phil for rehearsing and guest conducting EOES for this concert, and welcome back to the tenor section from now on.

EOES_36x24cm

Freed from conducting, Angela joined the altos, she also sang a duet in the Stravinsky with her soprano daughter, Sarah. The New Classical Wind Ensemble was in fine form, and the audience expressed much appreciation of the programme. It was great to see familiar and new faces, thank you for supporting us and we hope you enjoyed the concert as much as we did.

Our next concert date is Saturday 5th December, St Giles Church, West Bridgford. The programme will include Bach’s glorious Magnificat in D with the Christmas interpolations, Vaughan Williams’ very English Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Torelli’s Concerto in forma di pastorale, per il Santo Natale. What better way to bring brightness to December days? Warming mulled wine or juice and mince pies will be served during the interval. We look forward to seeing you there. Click here for tickets.

Here are eight of the Ensemble playing Mozart’s Serenade in C minor, K388, conducted by Phil Smith.

P1110452

cropped-logo_darkblue_green-copy.jpg “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a prolific composer: ballet scores, e.g. Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, concerti for the shviolin and piano, six symphonies and other orchestral works. He wrote songs, instrumental music and opera, the best known of which is Eugene Onegin. He was a troubled man from a young age until his death. Whether he died from natural causes or suicide remains a point of conjecture. He wrote music of passion and deep emotion, but by no means all melancholic. Music, it’s good for the soul.

The original version of Legend (Легенда) (also known as Crown of Roses), which we will be singing on Saturday, appeared first in Tchaikovsky’s 1882 collection, 16 Songs for Children.  He arranged it for SATB chorus in 1889. The words tell a legendary story of children meeting with Jesus. The verses foreshadow the Easter story, yet the piece is often sung at Christmas, perhaps because it begins “When Jesus Christ was yet a child”.

No doubt we will be looking at how to make the oh so important opening of Legend sound beautiful. ‘When’ is not an easy word to start on, it can easily sound from too far back, in the throat and a bit strangled. The soft and breathy consonants of ‘wh’ can be lost. A further problem is that the note for both ‘When’ and ‘Je-‘ is the same, and  whenever a note is repeated, there is a risk that the second occurrence will come out a shade flat. This can be compounded by a descending phrase, which is just what the sopranos have. Preventing the tuning slipping downwards comes by supporting the breath with the body – firm up those abs and support the diaphragm folks – and the mind. The mind? Yes! Think up and hold up, and all being well the notes will stay in tune. See what you think of the opening in this version:

 

This is the final Simply Romantic blog post before the day itself, but you might like to take a look at these videos in the meantime. See you all on Saturday, we’re looking forward to it. There will be a review entry of the day itself and then news about the East of England Singers’ concert on the 17th of October at St John’s, Carrington – Purcell, Mozart, Bruckner and Stravinsky. Voices, drums, woodwind and brass. Not to be missed!

(If you are reading this blog post in the emailed format, the video of Legend may not show. Click through to the website to watch it.)