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Apr 122019

Music Matters

This Illicit and Devious Business
Juggling accountancy, playing as a professional flautist, acting as fixer for orchestras and rock bands and a professorship at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, we were lucky to be able to entice Trevor Ford to come and speak about his “Illicit and Devious Business” at Music Matters.

We discovered that your basic job as a fixer is hiring and firing. The majority of musicians in this country are free-lance and, as music is a “No Vacancies” profession, every concert has to have exactly the right number of people. And you just have to trust that the right musicians turn up at the right place ready to play the right music in the right clothes! The fixer then also has to run the whole of the rest of the event from sorting out the stage, lights, seating, piano moving and often feeding hungry people in limited time.

Trevor linked music to his talk with Sibelius’ “The Swan of Tuonela” demonstrating just like swans, fixers are calm on top, whilst paddling like mad underneath! Mendelssohn’s Wedding March showed the similarity between concerts and weddings – years of preparation with lots of working behind the scenes, and then just like that, its all over in an hour or so!

Trevor’s last anecdote with Holst’s Jupiter showed what could have been a fixer’s nightmare; the first performance of The Planet Suite in 1918 was performed in the Queen’s Hall with Holst’s friend Adrian Boult conducting after only a two hour rehearsal-not bad!

Trevor Ford

Trevor Ford

‘Cellos Series Five
Mother and son, Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner, gave an intimate family concert and talk exploring the history of music for two ‘cellos.

We started with Gabrielli, who composed a canon in the 1500s which was the first piece of music written for two cellos. The players play the same piece of music but one starts a bar after the other, and it is still musical!

Then, Boccherini, in the 1700s, was one of the first people to use the left thumb position on the fingerboard thus increasing the range and versatility of the cello. Knowing this fact it was fascinating to listen and watch it being demonstrated with a lovely sonata.

We were then introduced to Mozart’s Table Music. One piece of music, two cellists on opposite sides of a coffee table – what a thing to dream up!

We shot forward to modern times with a boogie and blues number from Aaron Minsky, a rock guitarist turned professional cellist who has written copiously to inspire young cellists and really showed the versatility of the instrument.

Our evening ended with a beautiful sonata by Romburg from 1767. Beethoven had great respect for the young composer and offered to write a piece for him but Romburg told him he preferred his own compositions-the precociousness of youth!

It was a truly magical evening.

Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner playing Mozart's table music.

Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner playing Mozart’s Table Music.

We’d like to thank all the Friends of Everyone Matters and everyone who comes to Music Matters, as your donations and tickets help keep Music Matters going and what a wonderful and varied season we have had so a huge well done to Margaret for organising it all.


Music for two ‘cellos

These concerts were given by Julia Desbruslais and Tim Posner, both on the ‘cello. Julia has been working as the co-principal cello at the LMP for the past 25 years, and has recently become its Executive Director. She has a particular passion for inspiring and educating children, which has led to the production of TV workshops and compositional projects. Tim Posner, Julia’s son, is a student of Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover. He has won many awards, most recently being the Gundlach Musikpreis for his artistic excellence.

They performed a varied programme at four venues. This included the Jack and Jill Club in Croydon which is a club that provides musical entertainment and biscuits for the retired. They always love a good dance there, so the programme included some dance music for them to enjoy – and of course they danced to it! We have been asked to come again next year, so Julia and Tim were obviously a hit! Later that day, they also performed at Orford House, a beautiful care home n Sutton.

Julia and Tim were out the following day too. They gave concerts at St Cecilia’s Leonard Cheshire Home in Bromley. This is a home that provides care to severely disabled adults. They look after adults of all ages and whenever we visit there, we always have such heartwarming encounters. The final concert was at Bethlem Royal Hospital Chelsham House.

This series of concerts was supported by donations from the homes which we are very grateful for, and the Friends of Everyone Matters, which give us voluntary contributions to carry out our work. 


Conversation Pieces – Musical Menus

This was a set of concerts given in two homes in Hitchin; Highbury Rise Residential Home which caters mainly for sufferers of dementia, and Elmside Methodist Home.

Margaret was joined by Sarah Butcher on the ‘cello for these two concerts. Sarah Butcher is passionate about chamber music, and was the Artistic Director of the Chamber Players for 10 years. She has played in many orchestras and ensembles, including the London Mozart Players and Glyndebourne Touring Opera Orchestra.

At Elmisde, the concert was given in the style of Musical Menus. Margaret prepares a ‘menu’ of different pieces the musicians can play organised in the style of music, such as ‘TV themes’ or ‘A trip to France.’ The audience members can then choose what pieces they want to hear. This is often old classics that they know well, or new pieces they haven’t heard that sound interesting. It’s a great way to interact with the audience and makes it more fun for them! 


Music for Mother’s Day

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Margaret was joined by Jonathan Duke on visits to Burrell Mead care home in West Wickham and Greenhill (Missioncare) nursing home in Bromley.

They performed a variety of music, based on the theme of “Listen with Mother.” To fit with this theme, they started each of their concerts with “Are you sitting comfortably?” To which they got a delighted response of “Then let’s begin!”


Margaret and all the musicians have had a very busy month, and aren’t slowing down in April either, with lots of exciting projects planned. We’d like to thank all our funders and everyone that comes to Music Matters. You allow us to keep putting on concerts and running projects, taking music to the people who need it most.


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.

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.

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”.

Aug 062016

Margaret Archibald recalls some highlights of her day at Rutherford School where she and harpist Alexander Thomas were contributing music workshops designed to explore this year’s summer club theme of “Water”. 

It really is astonishing how much stuff I manage to take for one day of workshops!

Setting up the gear 20160801_125738.jpg

It was 1st August, there was no school-run traffic, and I arrived at Rutherford School with more than an hour and a half to spare to set up for a full day of workshops with harpist Alexander Thomas. This was already the second week of the school’s Summer Club, and we would spend the day working with five different groups of children all with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Somehow the time flew by as I unpacked lots of small percussion suitable for the school’s holiday project “water”, raided the music therapy percussion trolley, created a watery décor with water-blue silks and colourful umbrellas, and laid out the props and percussion ready in appropriate batches to be used for successive music items.

Alex and Winnie the Pooh 20160801_125624

Alexander Thomas arrived early too, having allowed plenty of time to drive from Dalston with his harp, the very special instrument chosen to be a new experience for the children. We were conscious that summer club should be fun and engaging, and we hoped that the chance to hear a harp and to feel its vibrations would be a thrilling experience for these wheelchair-bound children. We also wanted the support staff to have fun too, and the ratio of staff to children was mostly 1:1 so it was important that everyone was having a good time. Manoeuvring the wheelchairs really close to the harp was rather tricky, and we needed to be very careful not to damage the harp’s pedal box, but nearly every child was able to get close enough to be able to reach out with staff help and touch the pillar of the harp, feeling the strong vibrations flowing through as Alex played. One little girl, whose head we were told is nearly always down on her chest, lifted her head to gaze at Alex and his harp, and at the end of the workshop during our goodbye song she waved us her farewell.

Alex seen through the strings 20160801_130922

A favourite piece at each session was “Mists”, a dreamy and evocative piece for harp and clarinet that we elaborated with the sound of rainsticks, wind chimes and a thunder drum. First we explored the sounds that could be made with the percussion instruments, and then staff helped the children orchestrate the piece with imaginative, atmospheric sound effects. The opportunity to take part by adding additional percussion sounds and visual props to the music was noted by several members of staff as especially enjoyable for everyone, and by the end of each session we had added ‘seaweed’ (green plastic bag strips tied to coat hangers!), a plastic diver, ocean drums, pebble bag scrunchers, sea shells in a bucket, frog guiros, seed pod rattles and castanets to the list of atmospheric additions to enhance a deep ocean-scape, a pirates’ hornpipe, and the song of boatmen heaving on their oars as they pulled a heavy cargo up the river. Finally we invited a free choice of percussion so that everyone could join in our final goodbye song playing their favourite instrument.

As Alex and I were packing up our gear and gradually returning the school room to its former state, we reflected on how lucky we were to be able to play such lovely music, and to share it with these very special children who cannot share their thoughts in words but whose responses mean so much.

Jun 152016

Wednesday 22 June 2016 2.30 – 4.30p.m.

Lecture-Recital in the series Musical Offerings

in the Church Room

St Mark’s Church, Westmoreland Road, Bromley, BR2 0TB

Jorge’s passion for the violin and for music of the highest quality has led him to direct, conduct and lead international ensembles throughout Europe, giving stylish, authentic performances of  music from Medieval times to the 21st century.

As a soloist, Jorge has toured widely in Europe and South America playing on a 1680 Vincenzo Ruggieri made in Cremona or, as best suits the repertoire,  on a 1797 Neapolitan J&A Gagliano.

Jorge’s engagements in 2016 include guest director of Capella Cracoviensis, assistant musical director at Netherlandse Opera,  musical director and conductor of Wratislavia Cantans Festival Orchestra and Choir, and his new solo programme “Duende” at the Varazdin Baroque Evenings 2016 (Croatia).

Entry to non-subscription holders: £10 on the door

Home-made cakes, tea, coffee and biscuits will be on sale during the interval

Enquiries: Margaret Archibald, Artistic Director, Everyone Matters, 21, Stone Road, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9AX

Tel: 020 8464 1645; Mob: 07970 123105

E-mail:  margaret@everyone-matters.co.uk

Website: www.everyone-matters.co.uk

Blog: www.passporttomusic.wordpress.com

Twitter: @EM_Charity

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

Dec 122015

There are two chances to catch Lesley Schatzberger’s Klezmer presentation, at Whitgift House Chapel, Croydon on Tuesday evening 15 December at 7.30p.m. and at St Mark’s Church Room, Bromley on Wednesday afternoon 16 December at 2.30p.m.

Margaret Archibald will be playing bass clarinet to support Lesley in several performance items. The customary wine and nibbles on Tuesday and afternoon tea on Wednesday will perhaps have a Christmas flavour – well, you would expect it, wouldn’t you!

Lesley Schatzberger DSC_0260b
Lesley Schatzberger

Lesley Schatzberger pioneered historical performance alongside being involved in a broad range of music-making. She has played all over Europe, the USA and Japan, both as an orchestral player and chamber musician – often in Stockhausen’s chamber group. She teaches at the University of York and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Entry to non-subscription holders: £10 0n the door. Donations towards interval refreshments go towards supporting these lecture-recitals and helping to keep them on the road.

Enquiries to Margaret Archibald 020 8464 1645; 07970 123105; margaret@everyone-matters.co.uk

Nov 162015

Music Matters Gala Night presented by the

Shackleton Trio

Lesley Schatzberger, Ingrid Pearson and Margaret Archibald

Tuesday 17 November 2015

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

in The Chapel, 7 for 7.30 – 9.30p.m.

Music by Mozart, Stadler, Druschetzky and Abbé Vogler

on Basset Horns of the period

Entry to non-subscription holders: £20

An interval bar will serve refreshments

with Cava, Spanish wines and Tapas

Bar donations help to support our Music Matters series

Finding Whitgift House Chapel

Whitgift House stands in the grounds of Whitgift  School, but with its own gate on Brighton Road. Do not go up the hill to the school. If you are standing on the drive facing the house, you will see to the left of the house a large wrought iron gate leading through into part of the garden. The chapel is accessed by going into the garden through this gate, and then going through the very first door on your left.

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!

Oct 182015

Tuesday 20 October: Nicoline Kraamwinkel violin and Rosanna Rolton harp introduce their duo programme at Whitgift House, 76, Brighton Road, South Croydon CR2 6AB in The Chapel; doors open 7 for 7.30 – 9.30p.m.

Just to whet your appetite for Tuesday’s lecture-recital of music for violin and harp, here are some pictures of Nicoline and Rosanna in action in day centres in Kingston recently:
Nicoline Kraamwinkel, Dutch born, studied in the Hague and London. She has worked with many of the chamber orchestras in London, is a member of the London Mozart Players and works for Garsington Opera. Her performance of Brahms’ Violin Concerto in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam was televised. She is a founder member of the Chagall Piano Trio.
Nicoline’s daughter Rosanna Rolton is an advanced student at the Royal College of Music. She is a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra with whome she has toured widely throughout Europe and has won many competitions, most recently the International Harp Competition in Italy. Rosanna is currently making her first CD and has already given many recitals including in the Royal Festival Hall and at last summer’s Three Choirs Festival, and also in Italy.
If you have to miss Tuesday at Whitgift House then you might like to catch Nicoline and Rosanna in Bromley on Wednesday 28 Octoberat 2.30p.m. for Musical Offerings in the Church Room at St Mark’s Church, Westmoreland Road, BR2 0TB when afternoon tea and home-made cakes will be served.
Entry to non-subscription holders is £10 on the door and contributions towards the refreshments help to support these lecture-recitals.