Jul 082016
 

A lovely picture from David in our audience last Tuesday at Cherry Orchard Centre…

David's Cherry Orchard picture colour edit

…celebrating the music in our concert for flute, clarinet, trumpet and ‘cello.

Everyone Matters is mounting a four-day project this July in memory of John Morris who worked tirelessly over many years as a volunteer administrator for the Croydon Festival of Performing Arts. The project “Conversation Pieces – Words and Music uniting the Generations” was chosen in discussion with John’s family and friends to celebrate music’s power to bring people together regardless of age or circumstance.

Our first two days took place on 4 and 5 July when 18 year-old flautist Daniel Jacob-Ormson and 17 year-old trumpeter Nick Smith, both Festival prize-winners, rehearsed and performed alongside clarinettist Margaret Archibald and ‘cellist Julia Desbruslais in concerts of Baroque, Classical and traditional music. We started our day with a full morning of rehearsal in the Chapel at Whitgift House, working up a programme of Baroque concerto and trio sonata movements by Caldara, Corelli and Reinhart, a “London” Trio by Haydn, a Church Sonata by Mozart, our own arrangement of the famous Tambourin by Gossec, and traditional tunes including the “Pugwash” hornpipe, the glorious “Danny Boy” appropriately played by Dan on the flute, and the Keel Row briefly featuring the piccolo.

Our first concert on the Monday was at the South Croydon Centre, where we offered post-luncheon entertainment to some 20 older people for whom the Centre provides support, company and hot meals. After a good chat over cups of tea all round, we popped back across the road to give our second concert in the newly refurbished and extended Community Room at Whitgift House; it was good to see so many friends from previous visits to this continuing care community in our audience, including a number who also attend our Tuesday night Music Matters lecture-recitals in Whitgift House Chapel, and a former trombonist who especially enjoyed meeting fellow brass player Nick:

Whitgift House P1030856

Tuesday morning began with a short top-up rehearsal followed by our concert at Cherry Orchard Centre that provides day opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. The 50-strong audience ranged from people in their 20’s to others in their 80’s, a lovely reflection of the project’s primary aim to bring the generations together in a shared enjoyment of music. Finally we were off to Wilhelmina House, playing in their new lounge where thankfully we started our afternoon performance just as the bulldozers outside ceased work for the day!

We asked our young colleagues what they most enjoyed about the project; for Nick it was”playing with an ensemble of such a high standard” and for Dan “the response, it was a nice surprise to see how much the audience enjoyed it”.

Whitgift House P1030853

Oct 302015
 

Nicoline Kraamwinkel and Rosanna Rolton, mum and daughter, charmed audiences during seven concerts over three separate days in late October. They performed “Conversation Pieces” in four nursing homes and day centres, entertained the guests at the Sanderstead Decorative and Fine Arts Society Annual Lunch, and gave two full-length lecture-recitals for “Music Matters” in Whitgift House Chapel, South Croydon and for “Musical Offerings” in St Mark’s Church, Bromley.

“We were very impressed with Nicoline and Rosanna playing the harp and violin beautifully this afternoon”, wrote the Administrator of Fairlight and Fallowfield Nursing Home in Chislehurst. “Our residents thought that the music was wonderful and thoroughly enjoyed it. In addition it was lovely how the musicians interacted with the residents in terms of them being provided with a ‘menu’ of music to choose from, and being told a little background to the pieces.”

“The music session this morning was a great success”, echoed the Activity Co-ordinator at Bertha James Day Centre in Bromley, ” and one I hope we can repeat”.

Here are the musicians in action in the Church Room at St Mark’s Church, performing music from Baroque to Tango, and sharing anecdotes with a delighted audience assembled for the second in our new series of “Musical Offerings” in Bromley:

Tea-time treats at Bromley South
Tea-time treats at Bromley South

The home-made tea loaf and chocolate cake seemed to go down well at the break, and the apple cake containing old-fashioned garden Bramleys seems to have been a particular success. In fact, a couple of large buckets of this year’s huge Bramley harvest taken to the church enabled quite a few of the audience to take apples home with them too!

Sep 192015
 

8.30a.m. is a cruel time of day to start a rehearsal. Nicoline, Ian and I arrived at Langley Park School for Boys on Monday in time to spend a long morning working with eight young musicians in preparation for concerts that same afternoon and on the following day for older people in local care settings. Head of Music David Bullen not only conducted, but also played the piano, played the clarinet and drove the bus, and staff violin specialist Lisa Fry coached and played to complete the ensemble. Some of the boys had only been in the school a couple of weeks as brand new Year 7s, holding their own in a mixed group of violins, cello, flute, bassoon and horn, with Nicoline Kraamwinkel playing the violin and coaching the strings, Ian Fasham playing the bass trombone and coaching the wind alongside me, Margaret Archibald, on clarinet.

Concert 1: at St Barnabas Beckenham, hosted by Father Tim Hide, with a magnificent array of home-made cakes served by a team of volunteers and enjoyed by local people including  a large contingent from the Abbeyfield flats across the road and a group of guests from Bertha James Day Centre on Bromley Common.

Concert 2: a cocktail showcase concert at Langley Park Boys’ School in the magnificent concert hall, the music enjoyed by parents and friends in a “happy hour” with Gin Giardino, Tempo and Fruit Sparkler.

Concert 3: after another early rehearsal to add a couple of extra pieces to our programme, a performance for residents at St Cecilia’s Leonard Cheshire Home in Sundridge Avenue.

Concert 4: afternoon tea at Prince George (Masonic) Duke of Kent Home in Chislehurst, where many of the residents still remembered the previous visit of Langley Boys in a noisier ensemble of woodwind, brass and percussion.

Nicoline and Lisa lead the young strings at Prince George (Masonic) Duke of Kent Home
Nicoline and Lisa lead the young strings at Prince George (Masonic) Duke of Kent Home
Jun 172015
 

Rosanna Rolton visited Raleigh House on Saturday to give a post-luncheon harp recital to the Dementia Club. “What a wonderful recital Rosanna treated us to on Saturday!” wrote Assistant Day Centre Manager Marion Caldwell. “Everyone was spellbound and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Even members who can be prone to restlessness were taken with the performance “.

 

 

Intimacy and informality charm Rosanna's audience at Raleigh House
Intimacy and informality charm Rosanna’s audience at Raleigh House.
Rosanna demonstrates the harp pedals to a captivated audience.
Rosanna demonstrates the harp pedals to a captivated audience.

Later that same afternoon Rosanna drove her harp round the corner to The White House where once again she offered items from her musical menu  and happily answered questions from those inquisitive about her beautiful instrument. As Rosanna herself explained, “there was much excitement about the harp, many people had never seen a harp close by, which resulted in many questions and stories being shared”.

This day offered the Maldens & Coombe Neighbourhood two extra concerts, thanks largely to donations from the Friends of Everyone Matters. in addition to the six concerts organised during the ’14-’15 season under the local neighbourhood grant scheme.

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