Everyone Matters is now in its second year as a company and its first as a registered charity. As the months have flown by the journey has been exciting, constantly fascinating and sometimes frustrating but certainly never dull. Our Friends have offered us wonderful support and encouragement, giving us the courage and energy to jump through hoops and slash through red tape to get the charity up and running. Donations and standing orders from friends and well-wishers have made it possible to mount a number of informal concerts in nursing homes and clubs for retired and disabled people in addition to our main projects to date in schools for children with a wide range of learning difficulties. We completed our inaugural project in four outer London special schools thanks to the generosity of Jessie’s Fund and now, with the support of the Lucille Graham Trust, we are developing “Mood Music”, a new project especially devised for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties, taking it to schools in Croydon and Surrey.
When required by the Charity Commission to outline our objects in no more than 5000 characters the task seemed almost impossible, especially when we realised that this included spaces! However, the need to define our goals in this way proved very stimulating and it continues to inform the way that projects are devised, delivered and evaluated. One of our primary objectives is to take live music to people who would otherwise find it difficult or even impossible to access it. Collaboration is at the heart of every project and through a process of consultation each one is tailored to the needs of those taking part. Evaluation reports are completed by a project leader from Everyone Matters and by a key staff member at the host venue so that all concerned may learn from the experience. A particularly exciting development has been the introduction of our Young Artists scheme where young musicians are mentored by professional musicians from Everyone Matters to devise and rehearse an informal concert programme that they then perform together in a nursing home or day centre.
Each project and performance devised by Everyone Matters is inspired by a love of the great musical masterpieces that so enrich the professional lives of the musicians delivering them. It is our hope that everyone engaging with us will leave our projects having discovered some new piece of music or enjoyed taking part in some new musical experience.
As you can see from his comments in the next paragraph, Christopher Newport certainly seems to have had an interesting year (and by the way, it is important to note that the dressing gown in question was in fact a kimono and an important costume for performing a song from The Mikado!):
Everyone Matters – and they certainly do.
I always know that when Margaret asks me to do one of her events (they are not just concerts) I’m in for a fun time. According to the Musicians’ Union address book I play the French horn – according to Margaret’s list I play the French horn, tenor horn, hosepipe (when there isn’t a ban) and the piano. All the afore-mentioned fit into the boot of my car – N.B. the piano is electric, that is until we secure sponsorship from Steinway.
What we wear for each event is now becoming more and more sophisticated – it used to be smart casual or smart “posh”. Events are now so varied I’ve even accompanied Margaret in her dressing gown – please note, she was wearing the dressing gown, not me. What a great year – and charity status too.
Christopher Newport (Principal Horn, London Mozart Players)