The main event of this month was the glorious Midsummer Music on the 21st June.
Prior to the big performance at Ripley Arts Centre, Margaret and her troop of musicians; Maya Magub, Jonathan Duke and Clara Heffes, gave concerts in three different care homes. On the Thursday, after a morning of rehearsals, they travelled to Lavender Oaks Care Home in Sutton to give a performance, followed by their usual tea and chat. On Friday, they visited Bertha James Day Centre and Coloma Court Care Home.
The big evening then began with drinks and nibbles in the beautiful gardens of Ripley Arts Centre. Over 70 guests then settled down to a varied programme in the elegant music room.
Margaret, Maya and Jonathan opened with Suite Op.157b for violin, clarinet and piano after the incidental music Le voyageur sans bagage by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). Milhaud was one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century composing incidental music for plays and films and this suite comes from the music he wrote for the play Le Voyageur where a WW1 soldier returns home suffering from amnesia – the missing baggage represents his lost memory.
The Lakeside Clarinet Quartet with Charlotte Bartley, Clare McEvoy, His Lam and Julia Raga Pascual then treated us to the Histoire Du Tango by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). This was one of his most famous compositions, originally for flute and guitar but works brilliantly with 3 Bb clarinets and 1 bass clarinet. The music gives the evolution of tango from the bordellos to cafes and nightclubs up to the concerts of today.
Maya and Jonathan then gave us Sonatina in G, Op100 for violin and piano by Anton Dvorak (1841-1904). Dvorak wrote this piece during his time in the USA. He wanted his 15 year old daughter and 10 year old son to be able to play it and wrote “ It is intended for youths, but even grown ups should be able to converse with it….” There is inspiration from Indian melodies and Negro spirituals and it has a nostalgic last movement where he longs for home.
To end the first half of the night, Margaret told us about the work of Everyone Matters with some very moving pictures, before everyone refreshed themselves with drinks and summery bites.
The musicians then entertained us once again: Margaret and Jonathan with Fantasy Pieces Op.43 by Niels Gade (1817-1890), a Danish composer from the mid Romantic period influenced by Mendelssohn and Schumann, yet stays true to his Scandinavian roots by bringing in Nordic folktales.
Maya’s daughter Clara will be a name to look out for in the future as she is an assured performer at just the age of 10. She first entertained us on the piano with Bach’s Minuet in G, Burgmuller’s The Little Party, and Bartok’s Children’s Game before switching to the violin to play the Concertino in the style of Mozart by Millies arr. Magub with her mother.
The Lakeside Quartet gave us a lively Rumba Sequence by Kazuhiro Morita (b.1952) a Japanese composer and arranger who enjoys reworking pieces and arranges anime scores.
Finally the whole ensemble assembled and gave us a rousing finale of Joshua fought the Battle of Jericho which ended a magical evening on the longest day of the year.
Thank you to all of you who attended and made this a very special evening.
Carnival Performance Workshops for St Giles School
On the 12th June, Margaret with her clarinet and Martin Smith on the violin embarked on a day of workshops at St Giles School, a school for children with very complex needs. There were four workshops, each an hour long, with 6 or 7 children in each.
Before any of her projects, Margaret always plans meticulously so that she can play as much music as possible, including listening and interactive pieces. For the interactive pieces, she will come with a big box or two of percussion and hand out maracas and shakers and bongos etc so that there is plenty for the children to hit and shake and really immerse themselves in the experience. The theme was Carnival, so the repertoire included songs and dances inspired by the Latin traditions of ‘Carnival’ and the percussion instruments used are typical salsa instruments of the Afro-Spanish-Caribbean music.
These projects in special needs schools have so many benefits for the children they are taken to. They allow children with sensory deprivation to experiment with exciting sounds and new tactile experiences, and encourage them to engage in social interaction and maintain eye contact. They allow the children to escape their mundane daily routines and enter a new, exciting world full of music, even for just an hour or two.
We’d like to say a big thank you to the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation for supporting this project and the rest of the series. These projects can make such a vast difference, and our work wouldn’t be possible without your financial help.
If you would like to help contribute to our work, please send a cheque made payable to:
Everyone Matters c/o Margaret Archibald, 21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX.
Alternatively, you can make a direct bank transfer. Please phone, text or email Margaret for details – tel: 020 8464 1645; text: 07970 123105; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any donations would be put to such good use and help give music to those who often need it most but can’t easily access it.
Make sure to follow our Twitter, @EMCharity, and Facebook, Everyone Matters, to keep up to date with all that we’re doing.
Alice Britton is a former pupil of Margaret’s and has worked with Everyone Matters as a young musician for a few years, helping organise and give concerts with other young musicians in special needs schools and care homes. After learning about all the amazing work Margaret and Everyone Matters does, she wanted to help spread the word and so is now the Social Media Manager for the charity, running the Twitter and Facebook pages, and doing the monthly blog.