Jun 202015
 

Coloma Court Care Home welcomed us back for a second year in a concert celebration of National Care Homes Day. Young musicians from Hayes School, Bromley took part alongside Margaret Archibald clarinet and Ian Fasham trombone from Everyone Matters. All morning was spent in school rehearsing a varied selection of repertoire that included arrangements for full wind ensemble of Washington Post, Dambusters and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, brass consort pieces from the 16th century contrasted with Razzamajazz, a movement of a Trio Sonata for flutes by the Baroque composer Johann Ludwig Krebs and an arrangement for clarinets and saxophone of a Purcell Air, and a spectacular version of Tico Tico for euphonium solo. Our two Mozart Divertimento movements saw the ensemble with the widest age range, led by amateur clarinet player Rosemary whose 80th birthday is in September, with 13 year old Aisling from Langley Park School for Girls on second clarinet.

A retired priest who is now resident at Coloma Court told us of his first encounter with Washington Post when, aged just four, he followed the band for such a distance that his mother had to alert the local constabulary to find him! Another lady, resident in the UK for many years but originally from Germany, became very emotional on hearing the Dambusters March. As the concert came to an end Maria, Manager of the Home, thanked all the performers for their hard work and presented Margaret with a gorgeous bouquet.

A summer bouquet for a summer event
A summer bouquet for a summer event

Joy Corbett, Coloma’s super-energetic Activities Organiser, had ensured a generous supply of cream scones for sharing by performers and audience after the concert, and there was much lively conversation between the generations as fingers became sticky with jam.

This event was supported by Waitrose Bromley South through the  Community Matters “green tiddlywinks” scheme, and by Coloma Court and the Friends of Everyone Matters.

Jun 242014
 

Friday 20 June was National Care Homes Day 2014. Coloma Court Care Home was celebrating in style, kicking off in the morning with a junior school art group sharing its enthusiasm for painting with like-minded residents. Meanwhile, a few miles away at Bishop Justus C of E School, Katie Clemmow , Christopher Newport and I were starting an intensive morning of rehearsals with a group of wind players and singers from year 9. With some ten or a dozen items to rehearse we used the morning to the full. Our programme had been chosen to show off the group’s strengths, and featured a number of songs from the shows…

Singers serenadingSingers Lucy, Jess and Sophie serenade residents at Coloma Court

… interspersed with a medley of short instrumental items. These  included  Handel’s “Ouverture” from the Fitzwilliam Museum and adapted for oboe, clarinet and horn by Katie, Margaret and Chris from the original for two high clarinets and hunting horn,  and special items featuring the brass section and the woodwind section that included some old English jigs and reels.

Joy Corbett,  Activities Organiser  at Coloma Court, had been in touch with Everyone Matters months in advance, to request a return visit by young musicians from Bishop Justus School following our previous visit there during our project “Conversation Pieces – words and music uniting young and old” that had been supported by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. It is always good to make new friends, but even better to revisit old ones, and we were greeted in the upstairs room by a most welcoming audience on this return visit.

“The national care home open day concert which was on friday 20th June was an enormous success!” wrote Joy afterwards. “The combination of the professional musicians from ‘Everyone Matters’ and the students from Bishop Justus school worked beautifully. The variety of the pieces played and the high calibre of all the musicians created a highly enjoyable concert.”

Katie conducts English jigs and reelsKatie conducts English jigs and reels

 “Our residents were amazed by the talents of all concerned and had a thoroughly marvellous time listening to them all,” Joy continued. “The room was packed to capacity and many positive comments were made afterwards by our residents. Comments such as; ‘how good it was to see the two generations playing so well together’, ‘how lovely that they came here and gave their time for us’, ‘I wish I had learnt to play like that’ and ‘will they come again, I really loved it’. These were just a few of the comments said, there were many others! I would just like to finish by sincerely thanking both the students from Bishop Justus for taking the time to practice and play for us and special thanks to Margaret for all the time and effort she puts into these events as without her professionalism and dedication to giving back to others this concert would not have happened!”

A song before teatimeA song before teatime

This one-day project was the third collaboration between Everyone Matters and Bishop Justus, bringing professional musicians into school to work alongside different groups of young musicians in order to perform at local care homes and day centres. The group of year 9 students who took part on this occasion were the youngest yet, and they worked hard to rise to the challenge of putting  a programme together so quickly. They entered with good humour into the spirit of working efficiently with a group of unknown professionals pushing hard to get the results that they wanted, and as the morning turned into afternoon one or two players seemed to think that lunch would never come!  Nonetheless it was impressive to see the way the more secure players gave support to their friends whose instrumental skills were less advanced, and the programme gradually pulled together. Before we knew it the rehearsal time was up, we were packing music, piling music stands ready for the minibus, and double checking that none of the percussion was left behind.  Afterwards Gemma Sheppard, the Subject Leader for Music, wrote “Friday’s workshop was another fantastic experience for a different group of our students from Bishop Justus.  They got so much out of rehearsing with the pro players and it was brilliant the level of detail Margaret went into.  It really pushed some of our top end students.  The performance itself was very gratefully received by the residents of Coloma and it is so worthwhile for students to perform in the community. It is so brilliant that we have been able to work with Everyone Matters for a third time and create such a top quality, well thought out performance together.”

The woodwind and the voices keep in timeThe woodwind and the voices keep in time

The climax of the concert, and an item that had been given great attention during the rehearsal, was the three movement “Toy” Symphony, long considered to have been the work of Haydn but now believed to have been written by Mozart’s father Leopold, himself a professional violinist and composer as well as an incredibly proud dad. We were performing an arrangement created especially for the assembled forces, and our young lady vocalists agreed to join the percussion section on warbling canary (rescued from a Christmas cracker), rattle (taken from an old pram set) and triangle (from the Bishop Justus percussion trolley). Christopher excelled on toy drum, forming an excellent trumpet and drum team with Alex, and Emma gave the whole ensemble a firmly rhythmic and characterful bass line from her trombone.

Year 9 Brass players take the lead in Leopold Mozart's "Toy" Symphony while Christopher, our professional horn players, forsakes his instrument for the toy drum.

Year 9 Brass players take the lead in Leopold Mozart’s “Toy” Symphony while Christopher, our professional horn player, forsakes his usual splendid instrument for a brightly coloured plastic drum.

Apr 302014
 

How exciting! Sitting here with Jean starting a blog…

Everyone Matters is passionate about bringing music to people who can’t get out to hear it or to play it themselves.

We visit nursing homes, schools for children with special needs, day centres, etc. We have projects especially devised for groups of all ages, including tots under 5 and people diagnosed with dementia.

Our professional musicians are committed to sharing great music with every group they visit. They turn up with anything from a ‘cello and a clarinet, to a van load of exciting large percussion.

Young violinists, who performed alongside our professionals, see the funny side in post-concert chat with older people at Day Opportunities Chislehurst, Age UK Bromley and Greenwich. This intergenerational project was funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.Young violinists, who performed alongside our professionals, see the funny side in post-concert chat with older people at Day Opportunities Chislehurst, Age UK Bromley and Greenwich. This intergenerational project was funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

 

Choreographer Lauren Potter leads a circle dance with students aged 16+ at Priory School for young people with severe learning difficulties and on the autistic spectrum.

 Choreographer Lauren Potter leads a circle dance with students aged 16+ at Priory School for young people with severe learning difficulties and on the autistic spectrum. 

 

“Big Chief” Scott, having just performed “Red Indian War Dance”, supports the weight of his antique bass drum to give this learner a closer encounter with its powerful “boom”...

 “Big Chief” Scott, having just performed “Red Indian War Dance”, supports the weight of his antique bass drum to give this learner a close encounter with its powerful “boom”.

 

Young musicians from Bishop Justus School perform alongside Everyone Matters musicians in Bromley nursing homes.

Young musicians from Bishop Justus School celebrate their success as performers alongside professional musicians in Bromley nursing homes. 

I hope you enjoy our new blog, and I look forward to keeping in touch! Please let me know your thoughts and ideas for our music making!

Margaret Archibald

Artistic Director