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Highnotes Issue 17 • September 2011

Join me for 123sing! By John Suchet

Like many people my first experience of music making came when my enthusiastic father insisted that I learn the piano and violin. Of course I started out as a reluctant pupil but now I am so grateful to him for introducing me to the world of music.

choir or group could win the chance to have your concerts promoted on Classic FM. And don't forget that your group can keep 25% of whatever you raise. I do hope you can join us.


Jonathan Ray

Page 4 To find out more about 123sing!, visit Tune in to John Suchet on Classic FM every weekday from 9am to 1pm, on 100 – 102 FM, digital and online at

Superact health and wellbeing project manager talks about their music in hospitals programme

As a broadcaster with a passion for classical music, I was delighted to be invited to join Classic FM last year. I count myself very lucky to be able to bring my favourite music to such a large and appreciative audience. I love to receive messages from listeners who have been touched by the music; there isn't anything as powerful as music for stirring emotions. That's probably why so many of us enjoy making music, whether alone or as part of a group. Kathryn Deane

I am a proud supporter of the work Classic FM does in the community through its charity, The Classic FM Foundation. Recently, I was invited to see the work that the charity has funded through Nordoff Robbins' music therapy centre in north London. Here, specialist music therapists use their classical training to help disabled and disadvantaged children. By using call-and-response techniques, they can teach an autistic child how to take turns; strumming on a guitar can show a toddler with cerebral palsy how to organise their movements; singing together can help a child who has never spoken to say their first word. It's an incredible and inspiring centre. This year, The Classic FM Foundation is hoping to raise enough money to provide over 4,000 Nordoff Robbins music therapy sessions for children across the UK. To help reach that target, Classic FM has joined with Making Music to organise an exciting nationwide fundraising event for singers. 123sing! is the UK's biggest celebration of singing and takes place from Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October. By dedicating a performance or rehearsal to 123sing! or inviting friends to your home for a sing-along, you can make a real difference to disadvantaged children. As well as benefitting from the pleasures of singing – and sharing it with others – your

Page 7 Director of Sound Sense announces a new project to create ten new communitychanging choirs

Andrew Potter

Page 8 and 9

The Classic FM Foundation helps disadvantaged children through music education and therapy

Retiring Making Music Chair shares the Making Music story and invites you to help spread the word


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In brief

As we go to press many of us will have been having a summer break from our music making, and will be anticipating with growing excitement getting together with our groups in the new season, By Karen Cardy and enjoying the Marketing Director musical challenges that lie ahead. We will meet old friends and make some new ones; for many of us the social side of participating in music, or listening to it, is as important as the music itself. Volunteering also helps connect us with different people. And, for many, music can help us create some sort of balance in our busy lives. This issue of Highnotes coincides with Making Music’s annual gathering, this year in Glasgow and dedicated to the important area of music and wellbeing; so if you can’t get there, turn to page 5, or visit our website. Music directors and committees will have their current season plans in place. In this Highnotes you will find additional opportunities to take part in the BBC’s Music Nation weekend (a countdown event for London Festival 2012, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad), and in Classic FM’s 123sing! (an annual fundraiser) later this month. Over the past six years the Making Music Board has worked hard under the excellent stewardship of Andrew Potter to improve communications with our members, and we devote the middle spread to telling the Making Music story and thanking Andrew for his patient leadership. Andrew has a natural empathy for people, and great listening skills. Long may that continue! Karen Cardy Editor and Marketing Director If you have any suggestions for articles or you would like to contribute to Highnotes, please contact the Commissioning Editor, Sarah Hayward on 020 7422 8291 or Copy deadline for the next issue of Highnotes, January 2012 is 30 September 2011 Any views or opinions expressed by external contributors may not necessarily represent those of Making Music

Perform the Making Music Overture Making Music is working with the BBC on Music Nation, a spectacular weekend of music all around the UK, as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Live music events will take place on 3 and 4 March 2012, involving over a hundred member groups. Music Nation will include the première of the Making Music Overture, a piece commissioned by Making Music, written by Orlando Gough and John Agard that is suitable for all performing groups. The piece is available for performance until the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The Making Music Overture is part of the Cultural Olympiad in its own right, so groups who perform it will be supporting London 2012.

The Choir with No Name is one of 15 members running their own project for Music Nation

You are invited to apply now to perform the piece yourself. Spaces are also available for participating MDs on free training sessions with Richard Frostick, Orlando Gough and the BBC Singers in London and Salford in November. Applications must be received by Friday 7 October to secure a space at the training sessions. For further information and application forms visit The music will be available to download from the website in September

How has music affected your life? In July, we asked all of our member representatives to tell us how music has affected their life – in no more than two sentences! We did this to help us build a collage of what music really means to the people of the UK. We had a wonderful response, with around 300 entries. Taken together they reveal a nation with live music making woven into its fabric. We will publish some of the best entries on our website soon, and use this remarkable and moving testimony to persuade government and funders to support more music participation projects next year.

Wilton's Music Hall saved! Wilton's Music Hall, the world's oldest surviving music hall, will remain open despite uncertainty following the Heritage Lottery Fund's decision to reject its £2.25 million funding bid to help pay for essential building work in May of this year. Wilton's has been putting on events since 1858, but following the HLF decision the venue announced it would be closing by the autumn. There was an overwhelming response to the 'Save Wilton's' fundraising campaign, including one significant match funding donation, which means they now have the money to start urgent repairs. More money is needed to complete repairs and for ongoing maintenance.


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Why I volunteer for Making Music By Jean Renno, Making Music Scotland volunteer I started my musical journey aged six when my unmusical mum sent me to piano lessons. Music has been an integral part of my life ever since. From those school sessions throughout my working life, I've always had music. I've joined a choir wherever I've been, and have started up choirs too, and I can't imagine life without listening or participating. Jean Renno

I'm on the committee of Making Music member Fife Festival of Music because I am very keen to support young singers and players in the region. They produce fantastic results every year during the festival, and the joy of hearing the players progress from beginners scraping and tweeting to a Grade 8 performance standard – albeit a good 15 years on – is so

worthwhile. My volunteering runs from stewarding at classes, assisting adjudicators, or just going along to the sessions and concert to listen. I also help out at a couple of schools playing for choirs, and there too it's working with youngsters and watching them grow in confidence and skills that makes it for me. I can't say that I decided to volunteer for Making Music – rather I became Making Music Representative for my own choral society in 1980 after my return from working overseas. Shortly after that, I was invited to join the Making Music Scotland Committee, becoming Chair in 1998 and serving in that capacity until 2007. I thought that I'd probably done my bit for the organisation at that point, but I'm still around, working with the Scottish Development Officer on setting up the Scottish members' 'clusters' initiative – all as a volunteer, of course. I've never considered any of my time with the organisation as a chore – in each case it was a job that needed doing and I was interested in what it offered me in terms of worthwhile involvement. I enjoy interacting with others, and the roles I have had with the committee certainly fulfilled that purpose. I've met lots of people right across the musical spectrum, from a well-organised orchestral group which shared innovative ideas about involving youngsters and increasing audiences, to a small promoting group keen to involve the local school in their programming, to choral groups seeking advice about working with other groups in their area. As Chair I reported to the Scottish Arts Council annually. Nowadays in my position as co-ordinator of the clusters in Scotland, I never know what we're going to be asked at meetings, so that keeps me on my toes! I can't promise you would have the same range of opportunities if you volunteered with Making Music in your area, but your skills will be used, whether people skills, organisational expertise, legal knowledge, working with youngsters, contacts with other agencies, fundraising – the sky's the limit. And I can promise that you will be involved with the development of music making, locally and/or nationally, and that whatever you give in terms of time and energy will be returned immeasurably in satisfaction and in the knowledge that you've made a difference. To find out more about volunteering for Making Music, please visit

Young Scottish Jazz Musician, The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Kevin Garrity

The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, one of the Scottish members Jean and the volunteer team helps to support

Making Music Council Making Music is currently establishing a formally constituted Council (to be called the Making Music Council) to provide a means of interaction between the Board, the executive and the volunteers who represent Making Music. The Council will be made up of the Board, Chief Executive, senior management team, the national and regional managers, volunteers representing Strategic Action Groups, volunteers representing different genres, and volunteers representing the regions and nations. Appointments to the Council will be announced before the inaugural Making Music Council meeting at our conference in September. In future, you will be able to raise issues and communicate your views through council representatives, and we will also use council representatives to consult and communicate with you.

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Jean volunteers because she loves supporting young talent

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Music makes us happier and healthier

Realising the power of music At Making Music we feel passionately that the more music people make together, the healthier and happier we all are; that applies to everyone, and is supported by a growing body of research. We plan to contribute significantly to the development of music and health through our national network of members, who are in a unique position to bring music to others within their communities. Our conference in September explores the many opportunities for voluntary music groups within this area. Taking music into hospitals is one such possibility we will be considering, and which may form part of our strategy; Superact – introduced here – represents the kind of partner we are working with in this field. By Jonathan Ray, Health and Wellbeing Project Manager, Superact Working with North Bristol NHS Trust, Superact has devised a 15-month programme, taking live music performances to the wards and waiting rooms of Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals. The programme was launched in January 2011 and runs until early 2012. It features a variety of musicians including a guitar and violin duo, accordionists, singers, storytellers and a harpist. The music programme was created to entertain patients and staff, provide a focal and talking point, help to create a more relaxed atmosphere and a positive healing environment to support the recovery process, and to inspire and support wellbeing for both patients and staff. Musicians visit the hospitals once a month and spend three hours at each site. They are accompanied during their performances by Ruth Sidgwick, North Bristol NHS Trust's Arts Programme Manager. During the first six months of the music programme, there have been many positive and powerful responses that go some way to demonstrating the influence of music and performing arts within a healthcare setting. The programme has helped create upbeat and relaxing atmospheres, provided a distraction, created a talking point for patients, carers and staff and has supported the medical staff in their work. It has provided many memorable and affecting moments as well, not just for the recipients but the performers too. So far, the music programme has been positively received by patients and staff, with some wards requesting further visits, and general awareness of the programme is building. Superact and Making Music are currently working together, exploring ways to help voluntary music groups and volunteers. Superact’s musicians are experienced in performing in various areas including hospitals, residential and care homes, prisons and other settings. Their experience as performers in these areas allows them to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to volunteers who wish to perform in community settings. Come and hear Jonathan Ray and Ruth Sidgwick speak at ‘Music and Wellbeing: the opportunity for volunteers' on Saturday 10 September at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire. Book at

Superact will be talking about their music in hospitals programme at our conference on 10 and 11 September

Making Music's music & wellbeing survey We had a terrific response to the Making Music music and wellbeing survey, showing how many voluntary music groups across the UK are actively involved in using music to enhance wellbeing. One such example is Resound Choir in the North West, which aims to improve its local community through the shared enjoyment of singing. Congratulations to its Chair Sarah Monteith who wins our £50 Amazon voucher drawn from all survey respondents. From our survey we have developed a number of case studies which are now available on our website. We will be adding to these as we hear of more programmes and initiatives, to help inspire you if you are considering undertaking music and wellbeing activities, and to share ideas and advice about how to go about it. If you know of a good project that we could share with other groups, please get in touch. Find out more at

Spread the music & wellbeing message

Download Information sheet 74: The benefits of music on wellbeing in the Resources area of our website

Trevor Hilton

Have you thought about how what you do in your group has a beneficial impact on those who take part? Ask anyone what they get out of making music in a group and you will hear a wide range of answers; but amongst those will almost certainly feature a feeling of wellbeing, a sense of community, more energy and positive thinking. Take a look at our new information sheet on the benefits of music on wellbeing to help your group highlight the benefits to others. North West-based Resound Choir aims to improve its local community through singing

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Getting groups involved

Inspiring projects for Music Nation Making Music is representing the voluntary music sector at the BBC's Music Nation event. The weekend of live music on 3 and 4 March 2012 is one of a select group of countdown events for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. Here we share two of the 15 member projects that have been selected to showcase the quality and creativity within the sector across the weekend.

Spirit and Steel By Andrea Encinas, Arts Manager, British Gospel Arts and Terry Noel, leader of BT Melodians Steel Orchestra British Gospel Arts and the BT Melodians Steel Orchestra have come together to create Spirit and Steel as a partnership project for the Making Music part of Music Nation. Spirit and Steel is a celebration of children's gospel voices blended with the unique sound of steelpans performing an original piece promoting the spirit of the Olympics. Both the steelpan and the gospel voice were tools of revolution during the slave trade. Spirit and Steel honours our ancestors who, through their personal resilience, encouraged great Olympians, such as Jesse Owens.

Performances will take place at the Waterfront Studio in Belfast and in Walthamstow, London, on 3 and 4 March 2012. Performance days will include free afternoon workshops in gospel singing and steelpan playing, as well as evening concerts with celebrity guests.

The new work, to be created by members of the children's choir and the adult pan players, will reflect the rhythms and voices of Africa that resonate throughout its diaspora; welding artistic excellence, crosscultural friendship and inter-generational respect, all ideals and values promoted through the Olympics. We think Spirit and Steel is an ambitious project that speaks of a faith that goes beyond hope. Faith is what the Olympics give us: faith to dream; faith to achieve. The project raises the bar for both the children's choir and the steel orchestra as it will be our first song-writing project.

Exploring Wiltshire's historical musical routes By Iona Hassan, Assistant Artistic Director, Superstrings Superstrings is a vibrant music club for young string players based in Wiltshire, and provides after-school orchestras and holiday courses for children regardless of age or ability. This autumn we are embarking on an ambitious musical project to engage local children in their own local history and heritage. The Superstrings Folk Project, part of the Music Nation weekend, will see young string players from across Wiltshire learn to play and explore folk music alongside outstanding English folk duos through a series of workshops. Participating children will also prepare for the world première of a commissioned collaboration with award-winning folk super group Bellowhead. Composed by Pete Flood and Paul Sartin of Bellowhead, the new piece is inspired by the life and work of hammerman, renowned folksong collector and local hero, Alfred Williams. Born at South Marston in 1877, Williams toiled long hours for the Great Western Railway whilst avidly pursuing his passion as a writer and collector, publishing six volumes of poetry and books describing his world; most notably Life in a Railway Factory, the most important social document in Swindon’s history. Making Music has offered Superstrings support and advice, helping to develop and enable more children to experience the joy of music making. The première performance will be at STEAM Swindon on Sunday 4 March 2012; it promises to be a spectacular event.

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From zero to hero By Valerie Taylor, conductor, Vocal Dimension Vocal Dimension is a womens' a cappella close harmony chorus based in Redhill, Surrey. Started a year ago, we have grown rapidly from a handful of members to a 22-strong, award-winning chorus. Members are from all walks of life, of varying ages and singing experience. We have a diverse repertoire including traditional barbershop material, show songs and modern classics such as Valerie, all in four-part harmony. Being part of Making Music has given us the opportunity to take part in exciting events like the Voices Now festival at London's Roundhouse last March and has also provided a wealth of information and support that enabled us to flourish as a group – to the point where we won the silver medal for small choruses in a national competition held at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in May. As one of our members said recently, 'It's a great place to be on a Tuesday night!'

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Getting more people involved

Community-changing choirs By Kathryn Deane, Director of Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community musicians Singing is great, right? It makes you feel good, it enables you to express emotions, it can bring communities together. Except that, singing tends not to bring different communities together. Many choirs appeal only to the middle-classes; and because of that, many people don't get a chance to take part. There are exceptions, of course, of which the most famous are the South Oxhey Choirs, initiated by TV's Gareth Malone. There are many other examples, led by community musicians, but their value in community development terms is not widely understood and they don't often develop an autonomous life beyond that of their original vocal leader.

As a choir becomes more confident in itself and in its community, Making Music steps in to support it with all it needs to know about taking on a life of its own: how to form a committee, raise funds, hire its own vocal leader. Here's where other Making Music members in the vicinity might help, offering the hand of friendship. Because singing is great – and it can even bring communities together. Look out for more details about the locations of these new community choirs and how your group could help – coming soon on our website and in our enewsletter iNotes.

In the first wave we're setting up some ten new singing groups, funded by the Hedley Trust and others, based widely across the UK, and including rural and urban locations, working in villages and housing estates, with a broad mix of the population or with a community of interest such as refugees and asylum seekers. Sound Sense members will be pounding the streets, using their contacts with local development workers and making new contacts with community leaders to recruit people who want to sing, and who wouldn't normally have the opportunity. They'll also check to see what other singing is going on locally, and ensure they're not stepping on any toes. Then they'll do the fun bit: the singing.

Sue Lacey

This gap has sparked a new collaboration between Sound Sense and Making Music. Sound Sense members have huge skills in community development through music, and know all about working with people who don't normally get chances to participate. Making Music knows all there is to know about how music groups should be run. Put the two together, and you have the best chance of setting up a choir in a deprived area, and then empowering it to become self-sustaining. In the process we will all learn more about ways of developing communities through the use of music – knowledge we'll share so that others can also set up similar groups.

South Oxhey Choirs famously turned a failing community around

New to folk By Alice Little, Regional Development Officer, Making Music South East Last autumn, 40 players of various instruments, abilities and backgrounds gathered in Oxford for a course entitled 'Form a Folk Band'. By the end of the 12 weeks six bands had been formed, and they all went on to perform at the Oxford Folk Weekend in April. The aim of the course, created by Making Music South East, was to provide an opportunity for 'musical networking' between people interested in playing in an ensemble but who didn't have many opportunities to meet like-minded musicians.

Seven tutors taught repertoire, led exercises and advised the ensembles on arranging their music. Some of the groups stuck to traditional tunes and songs, whilst others incorporated unusual instruments in music that ranged from traditional to popular. Overall the course helped more people make different kinds of music, whilst at the same time bringing six new folk groups in to Making Music.

DID YOU KNOW A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in August has found that adults diagnosed with depression who were given music therapy sessions showed fewer symptoms of depression than those who received standard counselling. The clinical trial involved 79 people aged between 18 and 50. 46 received anti-depressants, psychotherapy and counselling and the remaining 33 were also given 20 music therapy sessions. The one-hour sessions led by a music therapist got subjects playing an African djembe drum and a digital mallet instrument. Prof Christian Gold said: 'Music therapy has specific qualities that allow people to express themselves and interact in a non-verbal way – even in situations when they cannot find the words to describe their inner experiences.' Find out more at

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Wider advocacy

Bringing the Making Music st

Retiring Chair Andrew Potter shares the Making Music story and looks back over his six years to illustrate it with his fav will help to spread our story in their own communities so that Making Music can help more people to flourish in their m

Music is everywhere, enriching lives. As the UK's number one organisation for voluntary music, we feel passionately that the more music people make together, the healthier and happier we all are. By Andrew Potter Chair, Making Music

That goes for the youth of today and older people alike.

At Making Music, we thrive on encouraging all kinds of voluntary music groups – bands, festivals, orchestras, music clubs, choirs – and individuals to be part of our vibrant multi– cultural music scene. With our volunteers, we work hand in hand with communities all over the UK. From remote villages in the Outer Hebrides, across the tarns of Cumbria and river valleys of Northumberland, from the coastline of North Wales, farmlands in Suffolk and Devon, and from the heart of London and many city centres, our members come to us for the expert help they need to set up, run and grow music in their communities. Being there for our members – 3,000 and growing – in person, on the phone or online is vital. We make sure our services are kept up to date and are readily available for newcomers and more experienced users. Creating inspiring opportunities for music makers everywhere to push boundaries; helping music groups with local funding applications, audience development or providing them with insurance, putting people in touch with their local music community, as well as getting our voice heard in the right political circles – are all part of a day's work for our dedicated team of 22 staff and 150 invaluable volunteers. Since 1935, the spirit of our organisation has been to share a passion for voluntary music. We are here to support everyone to flourish in their music making. It all starts with having a go.

Katura Jenkins

Creating inspiring opportunities Voices Now was a celebration of all things singing which attracted 7,000 people to London's Roundhouse last March. Some of the best choirs in the world came together to perform, for the first time on one stage over one weekend. Making Music ran the Open Stage, where an amazing variety of voluntary choirs took to the platform. One of the most memorable of these was one formed by people brought together by loneliness. Singers with any or no experience joined Gareth Malone in our Come and Sing event. Over 450 people at this session had never sung in a choir before! Voluntary choirs enjoyed performing to new audiences at London’s legendary Roundhouse

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Spreading the Making Music story

ic story to life

ate it with his favourtie examples from our work and the activities of our 3,000 members. Andrew hopes that members and volunteer ambassadors ourish in their music making.

Music making for a healthier and happier community In Making Music, we all know from our own experience that music is good for you and there is a growing body of evidence to back this up. A number of members run music and wellbeing projects, some working alongside Sing for Your Life, a charity aiming to improve quality of life, health and wellbeing for older people through musical activities. They promote Silver Song Clubs and there are now over 50 of these. Similarly Silver Sounds (pictured left) is a flourishing group of older musicians in Brighton keeping young by playing samba and maracatu music. In the Midlands, volunteer musicians from Harmonie Wind Band worked in partnership with Making Music and the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull to play music with patients, their families and carers. The Board has formed a strategic Music and Wellbeing Group and is now developing a national strategy to realise members' potential to become a major promoter and supplier of music and wellbeing.

From remote villages... In far flung areas, Making Music members provide an especially vital ingredient for a healthy community. Earlier this year we welcomed a new member operating half way between London and the Arctic – the newly formed Shetland Community Orchestra (pictured left). Recruited from a population of just over 22,000, the orchestra aims to provide local audiences with a diverse and high quality programme of classical music. One of the leading lights, Donald MacDonald, says, ‘Music at its best brings people together. It is hoped that the orchestra will provide a supportive environment for players to hone their instrumental skills whilst enjoying the experience of rehearsing and performing great music.'

Getting our voice heard Our response to the recent Henley Review of music education is an example of the force with which we get our messages across. We were one of a few organisations asked to a face-toface interview. The review acknowledges the importance of community musical activities, and we are to be consulted by the Department for Education about the process of constructing the National Music Education Plan.

Being there for our members Twickenham Choral Society (TCS) approached us last year following HMRC's rejection of its Gift Aid claim, on the grounds that membership subscriptions were perceived as securing tuition for members. This raised a wider issue about rehearsals and tuition, which we addressed with HMRC with the support of an expert solicitor. We reached an agreement with HMRC and developed revised guidance notes for members. Like other groups in their position, TCS has now had its claim honoured, bringing them an additional £8,000 in income and avoiding a hefty repayment for previous settled claims.

To learn more about the Making Music story visit

Goodbye Andrew: we will miss you

Robin Osterley, Making Music CEO, pays tribute to Andrew Potter, retiring Chair The six years have flown by. Thanks for working so hard. Thanks for having the courage to confront some of the serious internal issues we have had to deal with over the years, and the determination to see through the changes to fix them. Thanks for leading, encouraging and improving the Board and for having faith in and support for the staff. Thanks for sticking with us while you were seriously ill. Thanks for nurturing our volunteer force, realising its potential, and taking steps to maximise that potential. Thanks for maintaining a cool head when all around were in danger of losing theirs … Thanks for everything in other words … We will really miss your guidance and leadership, and the voluntary music sector is hugely grateful for all you've done.

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Musical musings

What gets my goat … traditionalists As I get older it seems that I am turning into a variation of the ‘grumpy old woman’ beloved of television commissioners – it happens to everyone, doesn’t it? In my case I am irritated by people who stand at the top of the entrance or exit to the tube station, map in hand trying to work out where to go next – excuse me guys but a few steps to one side would make all the difference! Then there are those people who sit on the outside seat in the bus with their By Susannah Simons bags on the inner seat seemingly oblivious to the fact that the rest of us are having to stand as a result – maybe it’s the fact that they are all listening to their iPods that seems to cut them off from the world around them.

interval? Why so much reluctance to celebrate the new? No wonder so many new compositions are so short – the line of least resistance perhaps? And why these endless comparisons with performances and performers of yesteryear when so many new interpretations of familiar works are so thrilling today? And let’s try as many new venues as possible – and new programme shapes and themes, early concerts, late concerts, mixed media events, making us think afresh about the familiar. One of the greatest pleasures I find is precisely the shock of the new, challenging my old grey cells, keeping the grumpy old woman at bay for as long as possible! Susannah Simons is the BBC’s Project Executive for the London 2012 Festival. She is responsible for Music Nation – a nationwide celebration of the richness of the musical life of the UK on 3 and 4 March 2012.

Going to a concert then is a blessed relief – away from all the trials and tribulations of the world outside – and many of the things that used to irritate me there are thankfully things of the past: no more handbags on stage for instance, giving the impression that the members of the orchestra can’t wait to get away. No it’s not the players who get my goat by and large but more often than not it is the audience! I have long since ceased to be irritated by those who read scores all the way through, as if waiting to spot the least mistake, or those who read the programme notes rather than listening – but I am irritated by the traditionalists who want everything to be just the same as it has always been. How often do we see people arriving late when a new work has been programmed at the top of a concert? Or worse still, making a quick getaway to the bar when a new piece is programmed just before the

German Chancellor adopts youth orchestra

We love the idea of politicians, individuals or businesses 'adopting' their local orchestra, choir or band. Why not try this approach with your local MP, wealthy individuals or local businesses?

Alex Rumford

In the midst of the Eurozone crisis, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown her personal support for the Baltic Youth Philharmonic (BYP) by sponsoring the orchestra's entire fourth season. BYP, founded in 2008 by the Usedon Music Festival and Nord Stream AG, brings together the most promising young musicians aged 19 to 30 from the entire Baltic Sea region. Each year around 90 young musicians from music academies in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany are selected and challenged to overcome cultural differences to forge, in record time, an orchestra that tours the Baltic region and beyond.

Oh no, not again CEO Robin Osterley's next fundraising challenge Well I've finally recovered from walking 200 miles across the Swiss Alps in 2008. My legs have regained their strength and my feet have stopped hurting. But wait, what's this? I appear to have signed up to do the London Marathon in April 2012! How did that happen? Surely I can't train for four days a week for seven months? Surely I can't raise the £5,000 to be split between Making Music and our charitable partners CLIC Sargent, can I? Oh no, this can't be happening … I thought I was a sane and sensible person … Support Robin in his stupid brave endeavour at

Christmas cards We are selling our popular Christmas cards once more this year. Raise money for your group and help us do more to increase participation in music making around the UK by choosing our musically-themed designs for your Christmas cards this year. Baltic Youth Philharmonic

Download an order form from

Highnotes • September 2011 • 11

91448 MM__ 26/08/2011 17:51 Page 12



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Residential Courses Day Courses Saturday Talks Summer Schools and Concerts

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Classified section

!% (' • Meeting your choral needs

motets, carols and anthems for upper voice and SATB choirs

))) #

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Great Choral Works Scored for Reduced Orchestra

• New music for strings

including music for beginner to intermediate level ensembles & three string quartets contact: Chris Wiggins, Tilsdown Lodge, Dursley GL11 5QQ Phone: 0796-266 8098 e: Web:

Joseph Haydn's 'The Creation' and 'The Seasons' are available for hire


Haydn's 'The Creation' uses nine fewer wind players and has been successfully performed by choral societies throughout the country Now Haydn's ' The Seasons' using ten fewer wind players is also available for hire Mozart's Requiem Mass - 2 trumpets and 3 trombones reduced to 1 trumpet and 1 trombone is available Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' will be available in 2012 More details from Ian Bauers


Telephone: 01502 714061


Would you like to see your advert in a future issue of Highnotes? Making Music members benefit from a discount on display and classified advertising. Please contact Sharon Maslen at Space Marketing directly on 01892 677740 or email: for reasonable rates and bookings

Making Music event Saturday 24 September, 10.00 to 5.00pm, Rutland

Making Music East and abcd

Conductors Course Led by Keith Orrell and Nick Thorpe Oakham School, Rutland Costs £65 for non members, £55 for members of Making Music or abcd Includes full day of tuition, music hire, light refreshments and afternoon performance. Full details and booking form available from Becky Stickland on or 07980 915 660

London Symphony Orchestra Living Music

Bring your choir closer

Come and see how a professional choir works: attend exclusive behind-the-scenes London Symphony Chorus rehearsals, get discounted tickets for LSO & LSC concerts at the Barbican and be in with a chance of meeting some of the world’s most esteemed conductors, including Marin Alsop and Sir Colin Davis. Email or call 020 7382 2522

Lin Ireland, soprano

Highnotes • September 2011 • 15

91448 MM__ 26/08/2011 17:52 Page 16


choirs r fo s e h c n u la n o ti c e ll o Kirby C

ming Arts Library Librarian, Surrey Perfor l choirs gathered at the ncil’s Library Service and loca Music, Surrey County Cou king Ma possible by a £135,000 of s e tive mad nta ion, rese lect In August, rep the Making Music Kirby Col ch laun to king Dor in ary Surrey Performing Arts Libr king Music’s first Chair. legacy from Alan Kirby, Ma s such choral favourites as ying orchestral sets contain pan om acc ir the and ris res sco of vocal porary pieces such as Ave Ma The collection of thousands ’s Requiem, as well as contem uflé Dur and siah Mes re. s itac del’ Wh Eric the Brahms Requiem, Han anna Panufnik, and music by the Westminster Mass by Rox Stella by Cecilia McDowall, , months in advance in person and can be booked up to six ry, libra the . to ng too ice belo serv in Surrey who via the interlibrary loan a first-call system to choirs to borrow them from Surrey These scores are available on ld can ask their local library afie her furt from irs Cho . by email, or via an online form the library. n about the collection and brary for more informatio tsli gar min for per uk/ Visit By Peter Baxter, Senior


New Chair and ... Vice Chair Peter Lawson, Chair It’s a delight to have been elected Chair of Making Music. Over the years, I’ve sung with choirs, played with orchestras, served as a musical director and chaired a concert club: I hope this gives me an insight into the immense opportunities and challenges of our members. If our member groups flourish, then everyone in the UK will have an opportunity to make music, and share the benefits and joy of music making that many of us have enjoyed throughout our lives. Working with our wonderful Board and management team, I hope we can make that happen.

Linda Young, Vice Chair I can't call being ViceChair my 'new' role as I've been there before, but certainly Making Music has moved forward dramatically in the past 12 years and I look forward to supporting Peter's aspirations as the organisation grows still further. In particular, having always worked closely with Making Music's dedicated volunteer force, I will be excited to see how our volunteering programme develops, with its potential to raise Making Music's profile in all parts of the UK.

Conductor & accompanist vacancies noticeboard Are you searching for a new conductor/musical director or accompanist for your group? Are you a conductor or an accompanist looking for opportunities in your area? If so, visit the new vacancy noticeboard on our website where you can post a vacancy or find out which voluntary music groups are in search of a new conductor/musical director or accompanist.

The noticeboard is open to the public to browse, but to post a vacancy you need to be a registered user and logged in to the website. Visit ‘Conductor & accompanist vacancies' in the Community section of our website.

If you need us to make any of this information more accessible, please call Making Music on 020 7422 8280 or email To subscribe please contact us directly. Highnotes is the official journal of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies 2-4 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3NW Tel: 020 7422 8280

16 • Highnotes • September 2011

Dear Making Music I am delighted to tell you that HMRC has concluded their investigation into our choir's Gift Aid position and we have now received cheques in excess of £8,000 for our outstanding claims. As you know, we were first contacted by HMRC in December 2009 in respect of our outstanding claims and also settled claims going back to 2002. We were very concerned when HMRC indicated that in their view our member subscriptions did not qualify for Gift Aid and that we may be liable to repay over £18,000 of Gift Aid and interest. We were therefore very pleased with the outcome that Making Music secured, which means HMRC's new position on Gift Aid will only be applied to future claims made after 1 September 2011. I think Making Music has achieved the best result that could have been expected. The support we have received on this issue alone makes the Making Music member subscription excellent value for money. Yours sincerely Jo Underdown ACA Treasurer, Twickenham Choral Society Send your letters to

A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 308632 Registered Charity in England no. 249219 and in Scotland no. SC038849 Advertising by Space Marketing 01892 677740

Highnotes, September 2011  

Highnotes is the tri-annual magazine from Making Music, the UK's number one organisation for voluntary music.

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