Jan 012014

Margaret Archibald’s 65th birthday
Monday 3 February 2014

Concert photo

More than 150 people turned up to support Margaret, Julia, John and Everyone Matters. It was quite a party! The musicians gave their services, the composers of our two premières donated their works, the refreshments were all gifted, and after paying for the venue hire (less an unexpected special birthday discount) a magnificent sum in excess of £500 was raised for work in special schools, nursing homes, day centres and the wider community.

St Sepulchre without Newgate

Margaret Archibald clarinet
Julia Desbruslais ’cello
John Flinders piano


Première: from Suite“To my Father” Nick Planas
for basset clarinet and piano
Nick’s “Suite”, twenty years in the planning and written in tribute to his father Ted, is played tonight on the first instrument made by Selmer in discussion with Ted after he created his pioneering basset clarinet for Alan Hacker’s legendary Mozart performances.

Sonata in C, Op.119 2nd movement, Sergei Prokofiev
for ‘cello and piano

Première: You Could Hear the Olive Trees Groan Michael Omer

for clarinet and piano
Michael ‘s new work, especially written for the occasion, is inspired by themes of re-growth and re-birth, and in particular by a lithograph by Colorado Springs artist Richard Mello; it pictures a gnarled olive tree that has endured all kinds of weather and survived.

Trio in A minor, Op.114 Johannes Brahms
for clarinet, ’cello and piano
Enquiries regarding Everyone Matters to Margaret Archibald: 020 8464 1645; 07970 123105; margaret@margaretarchibald.com

Profits from this event went to Everyone Matters for its concerts and music-making workshops in special schools, nursing homes and day centres.

Apr 212013

A Pageant of Dance

Our links with Priory School started in 2012 when teacher Monika McIvor invited Everyone Matters to provide a short performance for the Post-16 Centre during Arts Week. In response Julia and I tucked an extra concert into our “Mood Music” project that we had already devised for presentation at three other schools, and the Priory students, young people with severe learning difficulties and on the autistic spectrum, wholly engaged with the music that we played. In particular they had fun dressing up in tails for conducting and in silly hats for our Rondo game and enjoyed participating alongside us using percussion, interactive features that inspired Monika to request a full project from us this year in which students could access elements of movement and costume. We decided to collaborate in a dance project and invited Lauren Potter to lead it.

Choreographer Lauren Potter (in the brown hat) has a background in contemporary dance; she was a member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre for many years and was a founder member of Siobhan Davies Dance. Her response to the three groups of students whom we met at Priory School was truly inspirational; she was always ready to change emphasis to catch the mood of the moment, constantly moving around the group in order to engage individual students in a way that would be accessible to them, and yet maintaining the momentum of the session so that we easily covered the full range of activities, flowing effortlessly from one style and mood to the next. Props such as long lengths of vibrantly coloured silks, dyed feathers, percussion instruments and a huge crate of hats, resources that Julia, Lauren and I had all pooled in advance, gave the different activities an added focus, and Monika McIvor, the teacher at the school with whom the workshops had been set up, identified the use of props as one of the features that particularly engaged the students.

We were struck by the freedom with which these young people moved, responding to the varied programme of music, some fast, some slow, some sad, some exhilarating, that we chose for our dance sequence. When Julia and I started playing an Allegro by Stravinsky one young man immediately leapt from his place in the circle of chairs to take centre stage with a spontaneous Cossack dance.

It was good to know that our workshops were building on a regular programme at school called “Step into Dance” and we were especially delighted that the teachers and teaching assistants were happy to join in the activities alongside the students, enabling them where necessary and also simply sharing the fun.

I feel very strongly that the power of great music is one of the most important gifts that Everyone Matters can offer during workshops, and for our “Pageant of Dance” Julia and I had identified and adapted music mostly from the early 20th century, including short pieces and fragments drawn from Stravinsky, Bartok, Gershwin and Satie. As the music’s energy shifted from fast to slow, from energetic to hypnotic, Lauren was able to lead the group from bursts of activity to moments of repose, from a march to a seated yawning dance, from a percussion band to silent creatures gliding through the jungle. Lauren here describes the use of chairs as an anchor, and the patterning of moods that shaped each session :

The semi-circle of chairs [was] an anchor point for the students, so they could return to the ‘safety’ of their seat as each ‘event’ unfolded then concluded.

As Monika wrote in her evaluation of our first full day of workshops at Priory:

One Teaching Assistant made a comment about one of our students that she hasn’t seen him move so much in years! At the end of the session some students were asking me if they were going to do it again. The students have enjoyed it so much!


A project led by choreographer Lauren Potter. Live music played by Julia Desbruslais, ‘cello and Margaret Archibald, clarinet.

Supported by the Lucille Graham Trust and the Red Socks Charitable Trust, with contributions from the schools.


Jan 092013

Mozart, Mellow Jazz and Metal at The Green Dragon

Perhaps it should be expected that an organisation calling itself “Everyone Matters” should embrace a wide range of musical tastes. This was certainly the case at our fundraiser on Saturday 15 December when we took over the room upstairs at the Green Dragon pub in Croydon’s High Street. It has to be said that some of our audience flowed to and fro between the downstairs bar and the upstairs music venue as the night progressed from classical elegance through mellow jazz to heavy metal and the decibel level increased steadily. The raffle was popular with some great prizes including several donated by Lush of Croydon and by Time Bomb to add to those generously contributed by our trustees who did a magnificent job twisting arms in the sale of the ubiquitous cloakroom tickets.

The evening started promptly at 7.30 with Mozart’s sublime Quintet for clarinet and strings, followed by the “circus music” finale of Weber’s Quintet in which Margaret Archibald was joined by Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Janice Gillard, Mickey Posner and Julia Desbruslais. After much shuffling of gear, including setting up of amps and shifting a mightily heavy keyboard into place, Jazz & Dave treated everyone to a string of old favourites including The Girl from Ipanema, All of Me and, in tribute to Dave Brubeck who passed on to the jazz band in the sky in early December, Take Five. The line-up included on keyboard Rob Archibald, Margaret’s son and a huge supporter of Everyone Matters, with James Wilde on guitar,  Simon Fitzpatrick on double bass doubling bass guitar and Sam Rhodes on drums. After another pause for further shuffling and distribution of earplugs to those experienced in such events (by no means a reflection on the quality of the music!!) the audience joined in head-banging with Profane and the Sacred, a Southern-tinged metal group of blood and thunder who had most generously leapt into the breach at less than twenty-four hours notice when a member of the previously advertised headline band suffered a disastrous kitchen injury that put paid to any playing in the short term.

The serious business of the evening was to raise funds for our work with children at The Children’s Trust in Tadworth where we are currently engaged in delivering a project to explore textures in a quest to make and perform on simple percussion instruments. The project is about to start in January at The Surrey Teaching Centre and we hope to raise sufficient funds also to deliver it at The School for Profound Education where we presented “Mood Music” last year. Thanks to the generosity of Esther, Manager of the Green Dragon and a wonderful hostess for our event, we raised £255 on the night from bucket donations and the raffle and further donations are arriving from those who would have liked to join us but were unable to do so. Above all thanks are due to Laura Allen, whose idea it was to hold this event, who booked the bands, designed the poster, liaised with local businesses and got the news out there via Twitter and Facebook, altogether a noble effort.


Dec 102012

We are holding our Christmas Fundraiser this Saturday and we’d love to see you there!

With music from all genres, there is something for everyone!

Celebrations kick off at 7:30pm on Saturday 15th December at the wonderful Green Dragon Pub in Croydon (http://goo.gl/maps/12SQI) . Entrance is a donation of £2.00, and you will be getting a lot of BANG for your BUCK.

See you on Saturday!


Saturday 15th December 2012