Mar 072019

Margaret’s birthday party
We enjoyed such an amazing party in honour of Margaret Archibald’s 70th birthday. Not only were we served a delicious dinner inspired by South African dishes, prepared by the wonderful Rory Baynes but we were also treated to some beautiful musical performances. Margaret herself, Julia Desbruslais and John Flinders opened the evening with Beethoven’s Trio Op. 11 which they had been playing last month in Care Homes for Everyone Matters. After the excitement of that piece, we had a lighter but just as entertaining piece set to the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Troll. This was such a fun number that was really brought to life by Rob Archibald who narrated the story and Margaret, David Campbell and Peter Nichols, who represented the three Billy Goats Gruff on their B♭ clarinets and Ian Mitchell as The Troll on the bass clarinet. And then to finish off the first half of the evening was an absolutely incredible performance of Il Convegno by Ponchielli by Margaret, David Campbell and John Flinders. I think all the guests were in awe at their performance of such an amazing piece of music. After dinner and of course cake, Rob Archibald’s rap group entertained us, performing their numbers. It was certainly quite a contrast to the music at the start of the evening, but no less entertaining. My favourite is still definitely baked beans rap!

It was certainly quite the party and the perfect way to celebrate all that Margaret has achieved in her fulfilled life!   

Julia, Margaret and John perform Beethoven’s Trio Op. 11

Julia, Margaret and John perform Beethoven’s Trio Op. 11

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Troll and the Narrator!

The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Troll and the Narrator!

Margaret, John and David performing Il Convegno

Margaret, John and David performing Il Convegno

Happy birthday Margaret!

Music Matters
We have had two more of our lecture recitals in this term’s series. They are always so interesting and so informative about aspects of music you never normally get to hear and learn about. This month, we were definitely treated to two amazing evenings of music!

Weber’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
Margaret didn’t draw breath after all her birthday activities but gave us a wonderful evening taking us through this beautiful Quintet with her friends Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Martin Smith, Michael Posner and Julia Desbruslais. Margaret has enjoyed the challenge of this piece since her school days, where she first started studying the clarinet. She found it no less of a challenge in her last month of being 69!

Not only did Margaret challenge herself with the repertoire, but she also challenged herself by putting together a slideshow to complement her exploration of the piece in the first half – no mean feat for a 69 year old and well done to Rob teaching her lots of new tricks! She managed expertly and entertained us all with snippets from the instruments and analogies to Mickey Mouse, the Lone Ranger and William Tell. 

Before we settled down to a wonderful performance of the quintet, we were treated to her 70th birthday cake, made and decorated by Julia and a glass of cava or elderflower!

It was lovely to see the Chapel packed as so many people came out to celebrate Margaret’s birthday once again.

And I’m sure it was a lovey end to the musicians’ day, as they had given a concert of the piece to the residents of Whitgift House earlier that day!  

Happy Birthday Margaret!

Happy Birthday Margaret!

A wonderful performance of Weber's Quintet for String and Clarinet by Margaret and her friends

A wonderful performance of Weber’s Quintet for String and Clarinet by Margaret and her friends

All that was left of Margaret's birthday cake!

All that was left of Margaret’s birthday cake!

Learning from the Past: Building the Future
Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, gave us an enthralling talk about the history of the College and its astounding historical collection and performed different pieces on period clarinets and chalumeau. The chalumeau is a single reed instrument, used in the late Baroque and Classical period and one of the predecessors of the modern clarinet. 

Colin Lawson playing a classical boxwood clarinet

He started with Donizetti’s Study No. 1 – intriguingly named as he never got round to writing a second then we learnt a little about the Royal College of Music.

The College was bought in 1884 by the great grandfather of Edward Fox and was soon being left all kinds of objects. They now have the oldest known stringed keyboard in the world circa1480; the oldest guitar circa1581; Elgar’s tenor trombone which he largely taught himself to play; and a wonderful score of Mozart’s 1785 Piano Concerto where he had decided to write all the other instrument parts first. However, this meant he had to try and cram sixteen notes into a bar that was meant for just four – a complete mess and how the pianist ever read it is a thing of wonder. The museum re-opens in November.

With a finale of various pieces of music on period instruments taking us through the evolution of the clarinet we certainly had a memorable evening. The sounds these instruments make is captivating and wonderful to think we have a member of the Guild of Game Calling Devices to thank for the clarinet mouthpiece-its a wonder we don’t attract ducks from far and wide when we play!

Music Matters is a great way to learn more about music and to hear from some great professionals in this business. Tickets are £12 on the door (unless otherwise specified), and all money goes to running the series, or funding the many projects Everyone Matters runs throughout the year, offering music to the people that need it the most. They are every other Tuesday in The Chapel and Whitgift House, Croydon. More details can be found on the Music Matters page.


I’m looking forward to all March has in store for Everyone Matters. Follow us on Twitter, @EM_Charity, and Facebook, Everyone Matters, to get regular updates about all our work.


Alice Britton

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.

Feb 022019

We’ve now had two of our lecture-recitals in our Music Matters series. These are lovely evenings, where we are given an informal lecture about a specific area of music from an expert on that topic. Music, both recordings and live, is also always incorporated into the talk, which makes it so much more of an experience rather than just a talk.

David Juritz gave the first lecture, in which we were brought the music of the tango from South America. Not only did we learn about some of the techniques used in the dance and its musical accompaniment, especially those used on the violin and bandoneon, but we also had extracts played for us, both recordings of music from some of the most of prominent artists and composers of the tango, such as Astor Piazolla, and live performances by David Juritz himself. It was a very immersive and educational audio visual experience, and has definitely inspired me to listen to more tango, as I didn’t know much about it beforehand!

David Juritz giving us a demonstration of some of the techniques used on the violin.

David Juritz giving us a demonstration of some of the techniques used on the violin.

 Our second, with Paul Barritt, was very intriguing, exploring the use of birds and their calls in classical music. Despite the high prevalence of birds in music from cuckoos and nightingales to quails and blackbirds, many of us don’t realise they’re there. So now we know they are, and what to listen out for, we’ll be hearing the birds in all the music we listen to! This lecture-recital was a follow on concert, after a trip to the Surbiton Club for the Blind. The concert there went down a treat as well. We provided them with entertainment they don’t normally get, but as one resident said, it was ‘very illuminating and enjoyable’ which I think is a rather nice complement!

Paul Barritt enlightened us to the music of birds in classical music

Paul Barritt enlightened us to the music of birds in classical music

We have also had our ‘Beethoven and Beyond’ concerts, in which we played some great  repertoire, including Beethoven’s Trio Op. 11 and Saint-Saëns’ The Swan, in care homes in Bromley, Croydon and Kingston, with John Flinders on the piano, and Julia Desbruslais on the ‘cello. It’s great to perform music to such a receptive audience that really appreciate the music, and can’t easily access it themselves. One comment from one of the audience members was particularly lovely: ‘Thank you for such a wonderful afternoon. For many of us, the music touched different parts within us. Thank you for making it happen for us and for your kindness and thoughtfulness.’ This is why we do what we do here at Everyone Matters – music touches these people in a way words and other actions can’t. 

The coming month looks just as exciting. We are starting the month celebrating Margaret Archibald’s 70th birthday. In honour of this occasion, we are holding a gala for Music Matters, where Margaret herself, Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Martin Smith, Mickey Posner and Julia Desbruslais will perform Weber’s Clarinet Quintet. They are also performing at Whitgift House in the morning, having a chat to all the residents afterwards as well.


Alice Britton

Jan 202019

Birds and Music

IMG_0592 copyright free

Paul Barritt, a keen amateur ornithologist, invites us to share his violinist’s view

Musicians have long found inspiration for their work in the natural world and in turn music is a means by which humans can express their feelings about nature and the world in general. Join us today as classical violinist Paul Barritt, Permanent Guest Leader of the Hallé Orchestra, explores the use of birds, their image, calls and sounds in classical music in a talk complete with musical examples both electronic and live.

Wines, fruit juice, water and nibbles will be served in the interval; all donations for refreshments help to develop Everyone Matters and our Music Matters lecture-recitals.

Enquiries/advance booking: Margaret Archibald, Artistic Director, Everyone Matters, 21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX Tel: 020 8464 1645; Mob: 07970 123105

E-mail:  Website:  Twitter: @EM_Charity

Jan 052019

Fiddling in Latin

David Juritz invites us to join him on a trip through the South American violin world

8 Jan ’19 David Juritz

at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon CR2 6AB

in the Chapel, 7.30 – 9.30p.m.

Entry to non-subscription holders: £12 on the door.

Wines, fruit juice, water and nibbles will be served in the interval; all donations for refreshments help to develop Everyone Matters and our Music Matters lecture-recitals.

Enquiries / advance booking: Margaret Archibald, Artistic Director, Everyone Matters,

21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX Tel: 020 8464 1645; Mob: 07970 123105

E-mail:  Website:  Twitter: @EM_Charity

Mar 182017

Kuglhupf 20170317_165244

Just out of the oven – my “practice” kuglhupf, baked in my new fluted tin while I was practising the clarinet part of Brahms’ wonderful Quintet Op.115.

To share German and Austrian sausages, cheeses, wines and of course freshly home-made kuglhupf, and to hear this glorious music, come along next Tuesday!

Tuesday 21 March 2017, Music Matters Gala at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon CR2 6AB in the  Chapel, 7.30 – 9.30p.m.

Exploring Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet 

Nicoline Kraamwinkel and Martin Smith violins, Mickey Posner viola, Julia Desbruslais ’cello and Margaret Archibald clarinet

Entry to non-subscription holders: £20 on the door.

All donations for interval refreshments will  go towards the continuing development of Everyone Matters and especially our “Music Matters” series of lecture-recitals.

Jan 082017

Music Matters is back on Tuesday nights for its spring season in the Chapel at Whitgift House .


Paul Sherman launches our Spring series of Music Matters at 7.30p.m. on Tuesday 10 January with an exploration of the extraordinary life, music and times of the Bohemian baroque composer Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Paul, seen here in silhouette,  enjoys a busy career playing double bass in a wide range of period, modern and contemporary orchestras and as a soloist. A member and regular principal player with the English Chamber Orchestra Paul has toured and performed with them in over 40 countries and until recently coordinated the orchestra’s outreach activities.

The Music Matters Spring Season continues on Tuesdays fortnightly:

  • 24 January: Alison Hayhurst “The New-fangled Flute (1847-style)”
  • 7 February: Margaret Archibald “Birds in music”
  • 21 February: Nicoline Kraamwinkel and Rosanna Rolton “51 Strings – Music for Violin and Harp Explored”
  • Tuesday 7 March: Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner “Cellists’ Choice”
  •  Tuesday 21 March: Gala Night – Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Martin Smith, Mickey Posner and Julia Desbruslais string quartet with Margaret Archibald clarinet “Brahms Quintet in B minor, Op.115 explored and performed”
  •  Tuesday 4 April: William Carter “From the Royal Courts of Europe, Renaissance and Baroque music for the lute and guitar”

Entry on the door: £10; Gala Night 21 March £20; subscriptions available.

A couple of images from December 2016:


6 December: Margaret Archibald and Katie Clemmow packing up under the tree at the end of their December lecture-recital exploring “Imitation” from traditional rounds to retrograde canons.


20 December: Gerald Place sings an early 17th century setting of Shakespeare with Margaret Archibald accompanying on his 21st century electronic superior digital positif organ. Home-made mince pies, welcome as a seasonal addition to the interval refreshments, were quickly demolished.


Dec 152016


Music Matters 7.30 – 9.30p.m. on Tuesday 20 December 2016 in the  Chapel at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon CR2 6AB

Musical Offerings 2.30 – 4.30p.m. on Wednesday 21 December 2016 in the Church Room at St Mark’s Church, Westmoreland Road, Bromley BR2 0TB

Most of us know a couple of songs from Shakespeare’s plays, but is it the music Shakespeare himself would have known? Singer Gerald Place traces the detective work undertaken over the last century to find the truth. This fascinating talk is illustrated with Gerald’s own recordings and live performances accompanying himself on the viola da gamba.

In a varied career Gerald has sung everything from Byrd to Berio and his broadcasts range from BBC Radio Three to Radio Penguin in Siberia. He has made a special study of the renaissance composer-prince Carlo Gesualdo, including an Italia Prize-winning film for German director Werner Herzog, “Death for Five Voices”. Most recently he has edited and recorded all of Shakespeare’s songs for Naxos International with lutenist Dorothy Linell.

Entry to non-subscription holders: £10 on the door. Refreshments including home-made mince pies will be available at the break (donations invited)

Enquiries to Margaret Archibald, Artistic Director, Everyone Matters, 21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX Tel: 020 8464 1645; Mob: 07970 123105

E-mail:  Website:

Blog:  Twitter: @EM_Charity

Everyone Matters: a company limited by guarantee no. 07450130; registered charity no. 1143445

Nov 052016

Seven musicians, amateur and professional, met as a group for the first time on Monday evening 31 October. By Wednesday afternoon they were performing in local nursing homes. Where could this happen? … at Benslow Music Trust, of course!


Bill Bates, our percussionist, had made arrangements of popular standards exactly to suit the line-up. Clarinets were in the majority, with course leader Margaret Archibald joined by Craig Maxwell who featured especially on bass clarinet, Sue Young doubling on B flat and E flat alto, and Chris Timmis holding the principal clarinet part. Judy Wang had brought her flute all the way from Taiwan especially to take part in the course at Benslow, and ‘cellist Jane Richardson doubled on voice and keyboards in an ensemble that was remarkable for its flexibility.


As always, coping with the luggage was a problem. Percussion for audience participation in the Latin American number added several bags to the total on this occasion…


…and getting Bill’s kit from Benslow to each nursing home made it necessary to allow at least half an hour before and after each concert for setting up and taking down.

Concerts at Elmside Methodist Nursing Home, Symonds House (Leonard Cheshire Disability), St Catherine’s Nursing Home and Benslow Nursing Home completed our tour. All the care centres are now old friends, and we were given a warm welcome at each one. Thanks to Benslow’s collaboration with Everyone Matters our concerts seem now to be well established in Hitchin care homes as an annual event. “It was a brilliant experience”, wrote the Activity Coordinator after the performance at Elmside, “and we loved the way everyone interacted with the residents”. The response from Benslow Nursing Home was simply “Thank you so much to all for a magical afternoon”.

Sep 242016

It was lovely to see Whitgift House Chapel filling with lots of familiar friendly faces at the start of our new Music Matters season on 13 September. Nicoline Kraamwinkel and I set feet tapping with a programme of dances that started in medieval Europe and finished in New Orleans, our musical journey taking in Russian Jewish Klezmer and Argentinian Tango.

Richard Suart has chosen to call his presentation on Tuesday 27 September “Generally G&S” or “I should Ko-Ko”, a typically Gilbertian double title.  Richard has recently completed a run of performances of “The Mikado” at the London Coliseum in the latest revival of English National Opera’s hugely successful production. If you look carefully at this picture of Richard as Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner,  a role that Richard has made especially his own, I think you may be able to see the “little list” poking out of his pocket!mikado-2012-3-134

The full autumn series of Lecture-Recitals at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon, CR2 6AB in The Chapel, 7 for 7.30 – 9.30p.m. costs just £64. It’s not too late to take out a subscription, or you can simply pay £10 on the door on each occasion.

Tuesday 27 September: Richard Suart “Generally G&S” or “I should Ko-Ko” – an evening of reminiscence and song, with baritone favourites from the operettas accompanied by Margaret Archibald at the keyboard.

Tuesday 11 October: Jorge Jimenez “Contrapunctus” – Polyphony for solo violin.

Tuesday 25 October: Alan Shellard and Margaret Archibald “Two of a Kind” – costumed clarinettists in marches and much more.

Tuesday 8 November: Alan George “Beethoven’s last quartets: absolutely contemporary for ever!”

Tuesday 22 November: Stephen Bingham “Lines and Loops” – for violin, electric violin and live-looping.

Tuesday 6 December: Katie Clemmow and Margaret Archibald “Imitation” – exploring a favourite device in the composer’s armoury.

Tuesday 20 December: Gerald Place “Searching for Shakespeare’s Songs”  – Gerald sings songs Shakespeare would have known, accompanying himself on the viola da gamba.

There is a second chance to hear Richard Suart, Alan Shellard, Stephen Bingham and Gerald Place who will each appear the next day in our 2.30p.m. Wednesday afternoon series of Musical Offerings at St Mark’s Church Room, Bromley.

Details from Margaret Archibald: 07970 123105;