KEEPING IN TOUCH – Diary Dates!

Hello Everyone

In Monday’s email I said I would let you know our plans for the coming months just as soon as they were finalised – and here they are!

We’ll be letting you have further details about timings, repertoire etc. closer to the event – but at least you have something to put in your diaries and, we hope, look forward to!

Live music making is coming back – let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the government doesn’t have to change the ‘road map’!

With all best wishes

Angela


MfE Workshops and Concert Dates – 2021/22

Those in red are for youth, those in blue for adult and those in green for everyone!

2021

  • Sunday 23 May, Albert Hall – Family Singing Afternoon
  • Saturday 19 June, Albert Hall –Youth Wind Band Playing Afternoon
  • Sunday 20 June, Albert Hall –Youth String Orchestra Playing Afternoon
  • Sunday 27 June,  Albert Hall –Festival Chorus Workshop day
  • Saturday 10 July, Albert Hall –Blow the Dust off your Instrument Workshop Day
  • Saturday 17 July, Albert Hall – Festival of Youth Workshop Day
  • Mon – Wed 9, 10 & 11 August, Trent College (venue to be confirmed) –MfE Summer School

  • Sat/Sun 9 & 10 October, venue to be decided –Festival Chorus Singing Weekend
  • Saturday 16 Oct, Albert Hall –Festival Chorus Concert
  • Sat/Sun 6 & 7 November, venue to be decided –Youth Instrumental Playing Weekend
  • Sunday 14 November, Albert Hall –Youth Instrumental Concert
  • Saturday 11 Dec, venue to be decided –Youth Christmas Singing Afternoon
  • Sunday 12 Dec,  Albert Hall –Christmas is Coming Concert

2022

  • Saturday 8 January,  Albert Hall –Blow the Dust off your Instrument Workshop Day
  • Sat/Sun 29 & 30 January, venue to be decided – Festival Chorus Singing Weekend
  • Saturday 5 February, Albert Hall – Festival Chorus Concert
  • Sat/Sun 26 & 27 February, venue to be decided –Youth Instrumental Playing Weekend
  • Sunday 6 March, Albert Hall –Youth Instrumental Concert
  • Saturday 23 April, venue to be decided –Musicals Singing Workshop
  • Sunday 24 April, Albert Hall –Musicals Concert
  • Sat/Sun 14 & 15 May, venue to be decided –Youth Singing Weekend
  • Sunday 22 May, Albert Hall –Youth Singing Concert
  • Saturday 11 June, Albert Hall –Blow the Dust off your Instrument Workshop Day
  • Saturday 25 June, venue to be decided –Festival Chorus Workshop Day
  • Mon – Wed 8, 9 & 10 August, venue to be decided –MfE Summer School

MfE’s online singing project for January – February 2021!

Brought to you by MfE’s Assistant Artistic Director, Rachel Parkes and Director of Music of St Barnabas Cathedral, Greg Treloar – these online sessions are designed to help refresh your singing voice and get it back into shape with helpful warm up tips as well as rehearsing a piece of music, chosen by our conductors.

Rachel Parkes

Greg Treloar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sessions in this 4-week course are uploaded to our YouTube channel every Wednesday, but you can watch them in your own time when it suits you.

MfE’s online singing sessions are free of charge to access, but if you feel able to make a donation to support MfE through these hard times, you can do so with a card or through PayPal here: https://www.music-for-everyone.org/donations-page/

Or if you already have an account with us, through our website here (at the bottom of the page): Make a donation

To be added to the online choir mailing list, please email admin@music-for-everyone.org and further details will be sent to you.

This morning Music for Everyone’s three-day Summer School got underway once more, but at a new venue – Nottingham High School. About 150 instrumentalists and singers arrived looking cheery, pleased to have overcome the absence of trams and the road closures. Or perhaps at the prospect of fresh coffee and pastries…

The day was filled with a rich variety of rehearsals and workshops in preparation for Wednesday’s concert performance. The repertoire for all groups has been themed to complement the 50th anniversaries of both the moon landing and Sir Robin Knox-Johnson’s circumnavigation of the globe.

Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars!

More about the wind band and strings tomorrow – today’s focus is on the choir. Angela Kay, Music for Everyone’s founder and artistic director, led the singers through warm ups and into Ola Gjeilo’s Across the Vast Eternal Sky (one of her favourites, apparently). Then she had everyone swinging Fly me to the Moon before ending the morning with a first go at Handel’s Let their celestial concerts, superbly accompanied by Richard Cox. 

Lunch was followed by a recital and workshop with mens’ vocal quartet Scaramella. They entertained us with snatches and glees from 18th century gentlemen’s clubs – as you might imagine, the lyrics featured much wine and were at times on the naughty side! The workshop stretched the singers physically and vocally, and everyone enjoyed exploring Pearsall’s poignant Lay a Garland.

After a cuppa, Jane McDouall, fresh from the south, returned to a warm welcome and led a singing technique session followed by a Q+A. Everyone will be breathing (inhaling, Jane prefers) with shoulders down and the right muscles in play tomorrow. ‘Basically,’ Jane said, ‘there’s no point trying to hold your tummy in and look good if you want to have breath for singing!’ The choir is looking forward to Tuesday’s arrival of visiting conductor and choral director, Hilary Campbell.

“Let those tummy muscles go!”

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.)