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How CoMA puts contemporary music at its heart • PAGE 10

A SPECTACULAR DEBUT WSO takes to the stage at Bridgewater Hall • PAGE 6

Musical minefield Practical tips for sourcing music scores• PAGE 12

2 Free recordings of Oxford’s new carols, anthems, and partsongs

Sometimes it only takes a few bars of a piece to think, ‘I really like this’ or ‘That’s an interesting new voice’. Listen to wonderful new music by



Download complete performances FREE from

I’m a violinist and Help Musicians UK helped me financially and emotionally when I had cancer. Your support means we can help more people like Mandhira. Help us help musicians. 020 7239 9100 Help Musicians UK is the new name for the Musicians Benevolent Fund. We help musicians of all genres throughout their professional lives. Registered charity No. 228089


As you read this, we will be putting the final touches to the new website.


5 In brief 6 Around the UK FEATURES

8 Untangling the web 10 Modern times 12 Musical minefield

We hope you will find it user-friendly, enabling you to find what you need more quickly and easily. It will also make it possible for us to put more information and services online, so you can access them 24/7 from wherever you are in the UK. We look forward to introducing it to you over the next few months!


14 Membership and services 16 Opportunities 18 Volunteers MEMBERS

19 Corporate members 20 Blow your trumpet 22 Readers’ page

Meanwhile, we have also moved offices, so please note our new contact details: 8 Holyrood Street, London SE1 2EL, and 020 7939 6030.

If you have suggestions or would like to contribute to Highnotes, please contact the Commissioning Editor, George Acock, on 020 7939 6041 or

Finally, Sharon Moloney’s work on how Making Music engages with its members is drawing to its conclusion with the new Making Music Council meeting in Sheffield on 7 November. You can stand as a named representative (see or attend as the Making Music representative of a member group (book your place at

The copy deadline for Highnotes Spring 2016 (published 1 January) is 30 October Any views or opinions expressed by external contributors may not necessarily represent those of Making Music Highnotes is the official journal of Making Music, The National Federation of Music Societies, 8 Holyrood Street, London SE1 2EL 020 7939 6030

Come and tell us what you need Making Music to do for you! The day also includes a session on PRS and is a great opportunity to meet other groups.

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Cover: Inside Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall Photo: Mark Carline

Photo: Damien McFadden

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IN BRIEF Left: Arts Council England’s Chief Executive Darren Henley, who joined in April

Darren Henley The former Classic FM boss became CEO of ACE in April. What has he achieved so far? On his first day at Arts Council England, Darren Henley posted a blog noting the “tremendous contribution” that art and culture make to the country and gave assurance that he would do everything he can to “get that message across to everyone who needs to know it”. So how’s he getting on? Perhaps his most welcome promise so far has been to increase the ratio of spending outside London to at least 75:25 by 2018 – recognising the vibrant art scene that exists beyond the capital. He has argued against cuts to arts funding, highlighting areas in which government support saw positive results, such as the £18 million increase for music

education hubs and the tax breaks for orchestras. Speaking at the British Library in June, Henley said that “libraries epitomise the intrinsic value of the arts”, although he made no specific reference to music libraries and the threats they face through funding cuts: an issue he should address. He continues to champion music education — important as the government considers introducing a list of compulsory GCSE subjects that excludes arts subjects. So it’s still early days for Henley, but he is clearly committed to the creative sector and obviously drawing on his music background to make strong arguments for the value of arts as a whole. Time will tell how effective that argument is.

Harry Whitham We were saddened to hear of the passing of Harry Whitham in June. A former chairman of Leeds-based St Peter’s Singers and recipient of the inaugural Making Music President’s Award, Harry enjoyed a long relationship with Making Music, joining when we were still the NFMS and remaining with us for

Colin Bennett, Chairman of the British Association of Barbershop Singers, has contributed a chapter to Winning in Life and Work, a best selling self improvement book designed to help people to cope with the stress of modern life. Telling the story of his own journey from young choir boy to chairman of a national singing organisation, Colin’s key message is that anyone, regardless of perceived ability, can reap the benefits of singing — that’s certainly a message we can get behind. Available from A HELPING HAND

“We firmly believe that investing in arts and culture is just that – a real investment which delivers real dividends to individuals; to society; to national wellbeing” Darren Henley

almost 20 years. Even after retiring from the Yorkshire Committee Harry joined our campaign to prevent the breaking up of the Wakefield Music Library collection in 2011. He is remembered as a passionate and hard-working supporter of amateur music and will be missed by many.


The Concert Promoters Group, a group of volunteers from Making Music’s promoter membership, organises the selection process for the Making Music Selected Artists guide, which helps members programme and engage professional artists. Now two of them, Kumi Smith-Gordon, (Breinton Recital Society) and Stephen Leeder (Rhyl Music Club) are offering themselves as buddies or mentors to new or struggling promoters. If your group could benefit from a helping hand or if you are another promoter who could offer such support, please contact and we will put you in touch.

Giving it some welly Over 100 Latitude Festival-goers received a rock-star reception in July when they were invited on to the main stage to sing with choir master Gareth Malone. The amateur singers, who ranged in age from children to pensioners, had just three days to rehearse together before performing to a crowd of thousands.

Autumn 2015






Simply Mahler-vellous Wrexham Symphony Orchestra recently made its debut at one of Europe’s most iconic venues North Wales-based member group WSO took to the stage of Manchester’s stunning Bridgewater Hall for the first time in May to perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.2, ‘Resurrection’. Three years in the planning, this performance at Bridgewater Hall was just one concert in the orchestra’s long term Mahler project, which it began in 2010. By performing one Mahler work in each season, the WSO is raising funds in support of the work of the Alzheimer’s Society in North Wales and the Welsh borderlands. For its Bridgewater Hall debut the orchestra was joined by a chorus of 140 voices. Mark Lansom, the orchestra’s in house conductor described the performance as “the biggest day in the history of the orchestra and of course the best” adding that “the feeling of pride throughout the orchestra was one


HIGHNOTES Autumn 2015

I’ll not forget. It made the three years of planning well worth the effort”. From small beginnings in 1969, WSO now has over 70 members and regularly attracts professional conductors and outstanding soloists. Its next Mahler performance will be in July 2016. Find out more at

Côr World One of the largest choirs ever assembled will perform at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, next year. Côr World brings together 20,000 voices from around the globe for a spectacular celebration of song, conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes. The performance takes place on 21 May 2016, with a rehearsal that same day. The deadline to join the choir is 18 Jan 2016 and application details can be found at

Above: Wrexham Symphony Orchestra at Bridgewater Hall Photo: Mark Carline

Flautists from all over the world will come together at Queen’s University, Belfast, on 26 September for the Big Flute Challenge. Returning for a second year after its successful debut in 2014, the event has been extended into a two day fluting extravaganza with performances from world famous flautists Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway. Other highlights of the weekend include a flute beat boxing workshop, a collective performance of a specially commissioned work and a Guinness World Record Attempt to give the largest tin whistle performance in the world. To download a registration pack go to SOUTH WEST

There are two opportunities for members to develop musical skills coming up. Nailsea Festival (21 November) offers classes in piano, singing and music composition, while St Austell Festival (25 November – 5 December) also has classes in woodwind, string and brass. Both competitive events give amateur musicians the chance to be assessed by highly qualified adjudicators. More details about how to apply, as well as competition rules, are available online at and SOUTH EAST

Oxford Bach Choir has set itself the challenge of performing Thomas Tallis’ complex and demanding Spem in Alium as a Come and Sing event on 7 November. With entry open to all, participants have just one day to rehearse the work before performing that same evening. Find out more at



After the success of its first community opera last year, member group Herne Hill Music Festival will present The Peasant’s Opera, on 14 October. This three act work, newly written for the occasion by the group’s musical director Alan Taylor, centres around the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt — a major uprising that took place across large parts of England, in response to the government’s decision to impose high taxes to pay for the war in France. The work is designed to be sung by secondary schools and amateur opera companies, with roles for four professional soloists. Costs for this production will be covered in part by crowd funding donations and a grant from Dulwich Community Council. For further info see

Did you know? 2014 saw our largest membership increase in half a decade


Andante Chamber Choir celebrates the life of pioneering ScottishAmerican naturalist John Muir in a special concert held in the town of his birth, Dunbar, on 23 October. The a cappella programme will include the song cycle In Nature’s Realm by Antonin Dvořák and Peter Bird’s John Muir Suite, with proceeds going to the John Muir Birthplace Trust. More details at

East Radlett Music Club presents Classic FM’s star presenter John Suchet at the Radlett Centre on 21 October. John will be discussing the work of Beethoven and taking a look at the life of the man behind some of classical music’s greatest works. Musical interludes will be provided by The Purcell School, a boarding and day school for young musicians and Britain’s oldest specialist music school.


Never a dulcimer moment Part festival, part conference, the Dulcimer World Congress comes to the UK for the first time this year Since its beginnings in Hungary in 1991 the Dulcimer World Congress has travelled the world, taking place in a new location every two years. Held in the UK for the first time this October, the weeklong event will host around 220 residential attendees from 18 countries. Professional musicians, teachers, students, musicologists, instrument makers and other people interested in this family of instruments will enjoy a varied programme of performances,

lectures and demonstrations. While the dulcimer might not seem like the most common of instruments, it actually has an important role in British musical history and can be heard in the some of the most iconic scores including The Ipcress Files by John Barry and Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore. The Dulcimer World Congress takes place at Malvern St. James School from 26 to 30 October. To register your place visit


Kazoo’s who? Harrogate Symphony Orchestra tripled in size for one night in July, as audience became players It has been described as “the most democratic instrument in the world”, so what better way to bring people together than by turning your audience into a kazoo orchestra? That’s exactly what Harrogate Symphony Orchestra did at the Royal Hall in July at its interactive performance for schoolchildren, which formed the climax of the BBC Ten Pieces project. Designed to encourage youngsters to listen to classical music and attend concerts, BBC Ten Pieces invites schools to get involved with a variety of workshops exploring ten popular classical works. Harrogate Symphony Orchestra’s 100 musicians blasted through dramatic works including Mars, the Bringer of War from The Planets by Gustav Holst and Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain before being joined by 52 school children, each with their own instrument, for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 and Stravinsky’s Firebird. Making sure everyone had a chance to join in the music-making, all members of the audience were issued with a kazoo for the finale performance – creating what may be the largest kazoo band ever to play in Harrogate. The performance of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, especially arranged for orchestra, choir and kazoo, was met with calls of ‘encore’ and described by one reviewer as “so much fun and probably the strangest sound ever heard in the Royal Hall”. What finer praise could anyone wish for?


Untangling the web Thinking of creating a website for your group, or redesigning an old one? Making Music’s web guru Ollie Mustill has some tips to get you started Our new website is almost ready to go live. It’s a labour of love that has taken us almost a year to complete, and we’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way. If you’re thinking of creating a new website they might be useful to bear in mind.

want; open source platforms like are free (though you might choose to spend £20–30 on a theme from somewhere like and have endless add-ons and plugins for virtually anything you might need, but rely on you setting things up yourself.

Stop. Look. Listen. It’s tempting to jump in immediately and start building, but before you do anything, you need to work out exactly who will visit your site, and why. If you want to draw in different people you can’t assume they think like you, so talk to your Board, members, friends, pets and strangers to find out what they would want. Then write down: 1. Who your website is for (it can help to invent three or four detailed ‘characters’ based on all the feedback you’ve received) 2. Why they will come to your website (thinking about joining, looking for concerts, trying to pay subs etc.) 3. What they need to help them achieve that objective (listings, booking info, members’ tools, videos and copy to give a taste of the group etc.)

Build your site around your ‘characters’ The most important thing about any website is how easy it is for users to find what they need (something we’ve suffered from with the old Making Music website!). Go back to your ‘characters’ and ensure you build your main menu (‘navigation’) around them: when you have a structure worked out, test it against each of your characters – can they see where to go quickly? Is what they need there? For the new Making Music website, we have structured the main navigation around the 4-5 things that we found most users come for and relegated other elements, like our history, to less prominent areas.

Choose your platform wisely You should now have a good idea of who might visit your site, and what they help they need once they arrive. Now you need to find the right solution to tick all (or most) of those boxes. Usually, the more time you can invest in building your site the less money you’ll need to spend: paying a professional can be costly but low effort; custom web-development platforms like are cheaper and have great outof-the-box features, but might not be able to do all you


HIGHNOTES Autumn 2015

Keep it alive Finally, when your beautiful new website is finished, don’t just sit back and forget it for a year! Make sure that ‘news feed’ you included has new content added regularly, look for ways to build on new features (could you add a booking widget into the concert page rather than just a phone number?) and use tracking tools like Google Analytics to find out how your site is being used and what improvements to make: clarify a piece of copy here, re-name a menu label there and so on. That way, your site will stay fresh and useful for the long run. We have two Information and Advice events on websites coming up, see page 14.

Above: The new homepage of

“The most important thing about any website is how easy it is for users to find what they need”

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FENELLA HUMPHREYS violin Take one talented young British violinist, inspired by the solo violin music of J S Bach, and mix with some of the best British composing talents of today and the result is the Bach 2 the Future project. First release includes new works by Cheryl FrancesHoad, Gordon Crosse and Piers Hellawell.

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“a golden tone in all registers with the utmost sensitivity to where every phrase is moving…” The Strad Over the last 15 years, The Music Room at Champs Hill, a private 160-seat concert hall in the West Sussex countryside, has become a venue of choice for recitals and chamber music, recordings and live broadcasts. David and Mary Bowerman founded Champs Hill Records – an independent label dedicated to recordings made at the hall, young artists and underrepresented repertoire – five years ago. Champs Hill Records is proud to support young performers and ensembles as they develop their professional careers.

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Modern times Contemporary Music for All turned 21 last year. George Acock learns more about its commitment to new music and how our members can get involved Incorporating new work into your repertoire can be a daunting task. Finding the right composer, securing the costs and organising extra workshops can take time, and then there’s the job of convincing your audience. Even a cursory look back at musical history shows how new work falling on unfamiliar ears can produce less than favourable results - Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, booed at its Paris premiere; Alban Berg’s Altenberg Lieder, barely audible at its first performance due to calls from the audience for the composer to be committed to a lunatic asylum. The list goes on. Time, of course, heals wounds and those works are now safely installed in the canon of classical music. Audience tastes adapt, ‘lunatic’ composers become forward-thinking geniuses and what initially seems alien soon becomes a vital part of our cultural history. Integral to that process are the musicians willing to turn a composer’s untested scribbles into sound and help new work find its audience today, so that it might live in the future. One organisation that has dedicated itself to this is Contemporary Music for All (CoMA). Established in 1993, CoMA’s UK-wide network of ensembles enables musicians of all abilities to actively participate in new music by bridging the gap that can exist between composer and musician. That commitment is obviously seeing rewards — CoMA’s vast repertoire now includes over 1,000 new works composed especially for the organisation by the likes of Diana Burrell, Jonathan Harvey and Per Nørgård. This makes it easier (and less costly) for other orchestras — not just CoMA ensembles — to access high quality contemporary music through its

10 HIGHNOTES Autumn 2015

comprehensive library, which is available for anyone to browse online. Perhaps one the biggest obstacles to an amateur orchestra wanting to perform contemporary work is the choice of instrumentation. Many scores call for instruments that are beyond the reach of most groups. CoMA’s ground-breaking Open Score project, now in its tenth year, aims to remedy this by encouraging composers to write flexibly-scored works that are not instrument-specific. Instead, the composer specifies the range of the instruments (for example, high, medium and low) and it is up to each ensemble to distribute the parts to suitable players. Open Score “challenges and changes” the traditional relationship between composer, conductor and performer, says CoMA’s Howard Jones; “the old hierarchical relationships give way to a new paradigm, which is collective, consensual and co-operative in nature” he says. Making Music members have the chance to learn more about the Open Score project early next year at CoMA’s weekend workshops, which take place in five cities around UK. These workshops are open to musicians of all abilities and aim to help orchestras find ways to incorporate new compositions into their existing repertoire. Perhaps your group will fall in love with a future classic (and, fingers crossed, your audience too). Tickets for the London workshop at King’s Place on 4 and 5 March will be available from For details about workshops in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester in February and March, see

Above: CoMA musicians perform James Weeks’ 2014 work Olympic Frieze Photo: Gillian Cargill

“CoMA’s Open Score project encourages composers to write flexiblyscored works that are not instrumentspecific”

London Symphony Orchestra LSO SINGING DAYS AUTUMN 2015 Sun 4 Oct 2015 10.30am–4.30pm LSO COMMUNITY SINGING DAY


Music by Copland, Bernstein & Gershwin David Lawrence conductor Ghislaine Morgan vocal coach

‘ is a joy to sing with other people’

Sat 14 Nov 2015 11am–4.30pm LSO CHORAL SINGING DAY

Previous Community Singing Day

HAYDN: THE SEASONS Simon Halsey conductor

For Community Singing Days, you do not need any previous experience in singing or sight-reading.

‘This Rolls Royce of choirs’

LSO Sing is generously supported by Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement.


020 7638 8891 |

ROYAL CHORAL SOCIETY Would you like to sing with one of the UK’s most prestigious choirs? The Royal Choral Society sang at the opening of the Royal Albert Hall in 1871 and still performs there regularly.

Handel’s Dixit Dominus Full of virtuosity, vibrant colour and dynamic energy, The Sixteen present a programme of some of Handel’s most majestic works. The Sixteen choir and orchestra Harry Christophers conductor

You could follow in the footsteps of RCS members who sung under the batons of Elgar, Verdi and Gounod. You’ll need to pass a very straightforward audition before one of the Monday rehearsals in London, and you could be singing with the choir that same evening. For more details visit

Tour dates and locations 4 February 2016 – Coventry Cathedral 5 February 2016 – Derby Cathedral 6 February 2016 – Peterborough Cathedral 8 February 2016 – Cadogan Hall, London 24 February 2016 – Worcester Cathedral 25 February 2016 – Chichester Cathedral 26 February 2016 – Rochester Cathedral 27 February 2016 – Saffron Hall Book now National Box Office: 01904 651485


Musical minefield Finding the score you’re after and securing permission to use it can be a headache. Barbara Eifler has some tips The exciting bit is done – the musical director has proposed a thrilling programme for next season, the committee has approved it, group members are ready to get going… now someone ‘just’ has to procure the sheet music for the agreed pieces, at an affordable price, in time for the first rehearsal. If that someone is you, then you will be familiar with the sinking feeling in your stomach this expectation can induce! While the duties of this rewarding role remain the same as they have always been, there are differences in how you carry them out compared to 20 years ago. In some respects it’s harder: libraries are not as well resourced and arriving at affordable rates nowadays requires advanced negotiation skills, not just a calculator and a hotline to your treasurer. In compensation, there is the internet. Online is a great place to start for the second task of a librarian – the first one being the extraction of information from the Musical Director as to exactly which edition or arrangement is required. Then you have to find out who publishes it. Whether through Making Music’s Music Bank or the websites listed to the right – the information is yours online. You’re fully informed, but where to get the music? • Start with Making Music’s Music Exchange which

12 HIGHNOTES Autumn 2015

allows you to borrow from other Making Music members, with only the postage and a small admin charge to pay. Find out-of-copyright material on Petrucci, the International Music Score Library Project, or Choral Public Domain, for free. Look to music libraries, still an affordable source for a vast repertoire.

But there be dragons there, which Making Music has been trying to tackle on your behalf: • How do you find out which library has what? A database called Encore brings together data from music libraries but is of limited use as it struggles with resources and needs a redesign to make it useful for both librarians and end users because... • You can no longer rely on your local library having dedicated or specialist staff who know where to source the music you need, so it would be good to be able to do all this research yourself… • And it would help if you could find out which libraries will lend directly and which ones only operate via the Inter Library Loans system, so that you could learn how to access stock

Inside the Community and Youth Music Library, north London


yourself, wherever it might be. Again, Encore could be the answer, but currently isn’t, so Making Music has compiled as much information as it can (see Info Sheet No.2)

“Arriving at affordable rates nowadays requires advanced negotiation skills, not just a calculator and a hotline to your treasurer”

Assuming you have not succeeded in wrestling what you need from the public library system or hiring it directly from the handful of libraries which allow you to do that, your next step is to hire or purchase directly from a music publisher. That may be pricey, but we all understand that composers and those who nurture them need to make a living, it’s just that amateur groups often simply can’t afford the rates. Most music publishers are sympathetic to your plight — many are amateur musicians themselves — and they know the amateur market is where the works they distribute are likely to be most frequently performed. You may be small, but there are lots of you! So, negotiate. Some publishers offer special rates to Making Music members and others tell me they are prepared to discuss rates with amateurs. There are also now, thanks to technology, cheaper deals on offer such as licenses to download and print a number of copies. Librarians, therefore, find your voice and make sure you ask, and ask again! I have barely scratched the surface of a topic that consumes a lot of your time (and ours at Making Music). We offer practical support, through the Music Bank and our information sheets: we have recently updated the No.2 sheet on Music Sourcing and No.8 on the Music Exchange. We also continue to work on long-term solutions for music libraries, to help these valuable resources become financially sustainable and survive public service cuts.

WHERE TO GET MUSIC 1. • • • 2. • • • • • •

3. • • • • • •

At /resources/music-bank-programmingresource /our-services/discounts-for-members /resources/information-sheets (No.2 and 8) Some libraries which hire directly: Community & Youth Music Library Kent Liverpool Surrey Westminster Yorkshire Music Library Online research Zinfonia Musica Net Orchestral Music Petrucci Choral Public Domain Encore

Autumn 2015



MEMBERSHIP AND SERVICES Helping you get the most from your membership Left: Our new website makes it easier to find what you need, meaning less time waiting for pages to load and more time for you to get on with making music!


Our autumn event programme is shaping up nicely with three expertled training courses, including a brand new fundraising course and speaker, and no fewer than 16 Information and Advice events: Training events • Reaching new people 14 November, Leeds •

The countdown begins...

Simpler, slicker and so much faster — we launch our new site this autumn You can expect to see increased speed and more clearly organised resources, which make it easier to find what you need. Plus improved membership tools to help you manage your group, and much more. As with any new website there may be frustrations as you get used to the new layout so please

feel free to contact us in the usual ways if you have any trouble finding anything. We would also like to say a big thank you to all those who completed the survey and helped with user testing and feedback along the way. We’ll email all members when the site goes live.

MM Reps We have revised the role description for the Making Music Representative (MM Rep), to give a clearer idea of how your group can best engage with us and use our services to really get the most out of Making Music membership. The MM Rep is the primary link between Making Music and your group, providing a great way to find out about new opportunities, access the many types of support

that Making Music can offer, and find out more about what is included in your membership and how that can benefit your group. Find out more The new role description is on our website and information sessions on MM Reps will be included in our autumn programme of events.

“The ideal MM Rep is someone who really wants to contribute and make a difference to your group, who can use our resources to maximum effect and discover new opportunities” Info sheet 34

Raising funds for your group 17 October, London 24 October, Newcastle

Information and Advice events • Good practice for committees 12 September, Cambridge 3 October, Salisbury 24 October, Crewe 21 November, Darlington • Ingredients of a good website 6 September, Hitchin 19 September, Guildford • Focus on marketing and promotion 5 September, Preston 30 September, London 4 October, Lincoln 8 November, Hereford • Tips on applying for funding 10 October, Stafford 18 October, Canterbury 24 October, Ipswich 22 November, Hull • Music hire at Plymouth Library 10 October, Plymouth • Getting to grips with PRS 29 October, London Making Music Council meeting • 7 November, Sheffield

CONTACTS Ben Saffell, Membership and Services Manager: • Katie Calvert, Membership Events and Office Coordinator: •

14 HIGHNOTES Autumn 2015


MEMBER NEWS Bearsden and Milngavie Youth Orchestra is looking for new members, particularly woodwind and brass players. Entry is open to any child aged eight to 18 who has been playing an instrument for a year — no audition required. If you know a keen young musician who’d like to get involved, visit to find out more. Crouch End Festival Chorus collaborates with the London Mozart Players for the first time at in October, playing Mozart’s ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor followed by Britten’s quirky, colourful Saint Nicolas. Tickets are available at or by calling 020 7638 8891. Two local schools linked up with Rhyl Music Club during the summer for a percussion workshop taught by prize-winning percussionist Delia Stevens. Some of the older pupils showed off their new skills in a concert at Rhyl Town Hall that same evening. Woking-based promoting group Soireés at Breinton begins its seventh season of recitals in September, with highlights including violin and piano duo Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins and current BBC Young Musician of the Year Martin James Bartlett (among many others). Ticket prices include light snacks and drinks at the interval — a great deal! Clarification: Birmingham Symphonic Winds’ concert at the RSC (Highnotes issue 28) was an independent event, and not organised by the RSC. We apologise for any confusion.

93% of survey respondents said they’d be likely to try something different as a result of our training courses

Making Music staff Barbara Eifler Executive Director Workineh Asres Head of Finance Ben Saffell Membership and Services Manager Sally Palmer Projects and Membership Coordinator Katie Calvert Membership Events and Office Coordinator Alexandra Scott AYCA Administrator Ollie Mustill Marketing and Communications Manager Gabriella Sloss Marketing, Communications and Sales Executive

George Acock Publications and PR Manager Peter Uwhokori IT Manager Sharon Moloney Member Engagement Manager Abby Charles Manager – Wales Alicia Chapple Manager – Scotland Laura Shipsey Member Engagement Coordinator Xenia Davis Youth Engagement Manager Call us 020 7939 6030 Email us We are here Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm.

Join the Making Music Council The next meeting of the Making Music Council is in Sheffield on Saturday 7 November and there is still time to apply for Council membership. The Making Music Council is a forum for discussion and consultation between members, Board and staff. It acts as a valuable advisory group for the development of policies and services at

Making Music, and is a mechanism for staff and Board to keep in touch with the wants and needs of members. The deadline for applications to join the 2015 council is Tuesday 15 September. Further details and an application form can be found at community/making-music-council

Featured Corporate member: Rayburn Tours At Rayburn Tours we have 50 years’ experience of organising bespoke performance tours for all kinds of ensembles. It’s a common myth that overseas tours only suit standard ensembles such as bands, choirs and orchestras, but over the years we have proved our expertise by delivering successful tour experiences for gamelan orchestras, recorder choirs, rock bands, jazz groups, performing arts ensembles and percussion groups, among others. One such group is the Krupa percussion group from St Benedict’s School in Ealing. Performing an exciting and vibrant set on a variety of percussion instruments, this is no ordinary school ensemble. But, as with any other group, we took their requirements in our stride when planning their tour. Following a successful tour to Germany in 2013, Krupa are now looking forward to their tour to the Costa Brava in Spain this summer. Our staff are also musicians and they really want to understand what each and every group is all about. They’ll even come and watch you rehearse to be totally sure that they understand your group before we start talking to our extensive network of performance venues. No matter what kind of ensemble you lead, give us a call and start talking to us today about how we can help you realise the dream of performing on an international stage. Autumn 2015



OPPORTUNITIES Keeping you up to date with our national projects and programmes

Music Day 2015

Left: MD Thomas Coltman leads the Vision Choir at our concert in London as part of Music Day UK Photo: Sharon Moloney

Our first Music Day was a great success. Laura Shipsey tells more This year we got involved in International Music Day for the first time with a morning of performances by member groups covering everything from choral to jazz to handbell ringing and culminating in a STOMP style body percussion workshop led by Ollie Tunmer, artistic director of Beat Goes On. Music Day is an international celebration of live music held on 21 June every year. It was first celebrated in France in 1982 and aims to bring live music performances into public places and make them available for free! This year as part of the network of free public events that is Music Day, we held a morning of performances in Victoria Embankment Gardens London. This was a great way to kick off our involvement with Music Day and give members a chance to perform in such a beautiful setting. We hope to extend our participation in coming years and would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s event for their brilliant contributions. Find out more about this year’s event on our projects pages online. ARION AND THE DOLPHIN Performances of Jonathan Dove’s fantastic new score will be reserved exclusively for Making Music members until 31 August 2016. The publishers are also offering reductions on scores for both Arion and the Dolphin and Carmina Burana until August 2018. You can find full details, peruse the vocal score and listen to a recording from our workshop at We very much look forward to attending many premieres in the coming year so do get in touch to let us know if your group is planning a performance.

Music is enjoyed all over the world and is something we believe anyone can enjoy participating in. Music Day is a fantastic initiative, celebrated in over 100 countries. We hope it will continue to grow in coming years, bringing live music to more people by providing opportunities to enjoy playing, listening to, and creating music together. Music Day is a great thing to be part of and as it always takes place on the same day each year it’s easy to plan for. In 2016 it will fall on a Tuesday, so why not make a note in your diary and have a think about ways your group could get involved. Speaking from experience it really is worth it!

Three of our members have already programmed the piece for next season, these are: •

Waltham Singers 16 March at King Edward’s Grammar School, Chelmsford, conducted by Andrew Fardell Portsmouth Choral Union and Southern Pro Musica 25 June at St Mary’s Church, Portsmouth, conducted by David Gostick with countertenor Joe Bolger Ely Choral Society and Ely Youth Choir 9 July at Hays Theatre, Ely, conducted by Andrew Parnell

CONTACTS: Sally Palmer, Projects and Membership Coordinator:

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“Music Day is a connected set of free public music events taking place each year on the 21 June in over 100 countries and 700 cities around the world” Music Day UK

Adopt a Composer Our Adopt a Composer 2014–15 project came to an end this year with half a dozen fantastic premieres happening in some very remarkable locations. Each of the six Making Music member groups was paired with an emerging composer, who then spent around nine months creating a new piece of music specifically for them. The premieres took place in locations as diverse as a cathedral, a school and an underground bunker. They were recorded by BBC Radio 3 and will be broadcast next year, so look out for them in early 2016! The pairings for the 2015-16 project will be announced on 19 September.

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Nicholas Ward violin, Susan Milan flute, Matthew Jones viola, Sebastian Comberti cello, Ieuan Jones harp John S.Cronin:

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VOLUNTEERS Interested in volunteering for Making Music? Visit BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

VALERIE TAYLOR Trustee When did you join the Board? In June this year. Tell us a bit about your application process I didn’t wait for the position to be advertised, I just got in touch with Barbara Eifler to say it was something I was interested in doing. I gave a bit of background information about myself and what I could offer and she and Peter Lawson, the Chairman, encouraged me to apply once the applications opened in March. All the applications get circulated to members, and I was one of three who were voted in. What do you do outside of Making Music? I’m a lawyer by profession so that’s one part of my life but music is also a big passion. I started my own women’s choir in 2010 and that’s when I joined Making Music as a member. Why Making Music? I feel like I’ve met my perfect match! I’ve had so much personal growth and fulfilment from being in a choir but also running one, so I know how important it is for people. I hope that by being a board member I can help spread the name of Making Music even wider and encourage more people to take up singing or playing an instrument. How long have you been singing for? My mother was an opera singer so encouraged me from a young age and my school was very musical, but I stopped it all when I went to uni. The first office I worked in after graduating happened to be opposite the Royal Choral Society, so that’s what got me back into singing, and I sang with them for five years. What was the last piece of music you listened to? Robert Palmer Addicted to Love!


DEE FRY Digital Media Volunteer How long have you been volunteering with Making Music? Since February 2013. What does your role involve? I contribute as one of the team of DMVs who connect and engage with our members and wider online community through social and digital media. What inspired you to get involved with Making Music? I had been volunteering with other arts charities, where music was sometimes on the peripheries. Since music is my core interest, I was actively looking for a volunteering role with such an organisation. Supporting voluntary music making with Making Music seemed ideal. What do you feel you get out of volunteering? It’s provided me with a rewarding voluntary role where I can focus on music and sharing that with others, while simultaneously it fits around my time which can be limited (I have ME and my role allows me to helpfully work from home.) Further, I get to constantly keep up with what’s going on in the voluntary music sector. What do you do when you’re not volunteering? Primarily I am ‘mum’ to 5 year old Alexander who has autism. I enjoy song-writing and also sing with Mike King’s community choir in South London. If you could invite three people, past or present, to dinner, who would they be and why? Sister Rosetta Tharpe, because she’s such a pioneering musician, I would love to find out more about her life. Malala Yousafzai because she is inspirational and Dorothy Parker because she’d liven up any awkward moments!

Orchestral repertoire courses for advanced players  London weekends spring & autumn  Edinburgh Festival summer week Follow us on Facebook Twitter @RehOrch The Rehearsal Orchestra does invaluable work on the quiet and with the minimum of fuss. Sir Simon Rattle

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BLOW YOUR TRUMPET Epic achievements

Photo: Graham Galloway

Winning two Epic Awards earlier this year put member group DD8 in the spotlight. Graham Galloway tells us more about the group’s work with young musicians

DD8 Music was set up in 2005 by some young musicians in the town of Kirriemuir, in the county of Angus. They were keen to find a safe, secure and nurturing place to develop their musical skills. At the time there was little to do in the way of musical activities in the area, and the only dedicated rehearsal facilities were a long bus trip away in Dundee.

The group has grown over the years and now runs a community recording and rehearsal studio which offers free sessions to the youth of Kirriemuir. We also run a variety of successful music festivals throughout the year, and support other community groups at their events. We are run by a dedicated team of volunteers and the young people who use our studio. Young people are encouraged to get involved with all aspects of running the group, including taking up positions on the committee. Our initial funding to set the studio up came from the Rural Tayside LEADER with matched funding from the Angus Council Community Grant Scheme. This year we also received funding from the Young Start scheme and this

has allowed us to employ a full time development worker. Daily running costs are covered by hiring out our studio and from ticket sales and fundraising at our music festivals. Winning two Epic awards this year was a huge boost for the group and off the back of it DD8 has been mentioned in speeches at both the Scottish Parliament and the House of Lords. This has been hugely inspirational for both our volunteers and young people. We would encourage any other young people out there with any similar dreams to go for it. It’s a lot of hard work, but with a good team and dedication anything can be achieved.

Clearing cobwebs The Cobweb Orchestra is an openaccess music charity based in the English Northern Counties. Now in our 20th year, we have grown from a 10 week evening class of 15 players to an organisation with 240 paid up members and nearly 1,000 people on our mailing list who take interest in our activities and occasionally join in our residential courses, study days, concerts and foreign trips. Central to Cobwebs’ programme is the determination to include players of all levels of experience regardless of which instrument they play (yes, we really do have events with 12 flutes and 12 clarinets), and if players want to switch to a different instrument or begin playing from scratch, we have an instrument bank available so that they can borrow one to

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get started. In addition to our regular activities, we undertake special projects: Recently, we created The Underground Orchestra, which has seen members of Cobwebs rehearse and perform unique programmes in tunnels, mines and the Cold War Bunker in York. Our adopted composer, Michael Betteridge has written a new piece for each of these performances. Michael’s work is very much in the spirit of the organisation, tailoring works specifically to both the venues and the people playing in them. We have a team of composers and arrangers who, over the years, have adapted works and written new ones that allow players of varying abilities to

Photo: Peter Simms

12 flutes and 12 clarinets in one orchestra? Andy Jackson explains the Cobweb Orchestra’s open-access approach

participate in the orchestra’s activities. This special “Cobwebed” repertoire makes up a significant proportion of our extensive library, though the bulk of our performances feature standard repertoire. Some players have now been participating for many years, and though they might have been rusty returners or beginners when they started, they are now accomplished performers who play at high profile events and take part in concerts in major venues such as the Sage Gateshead.

14 - 29 November 2015 “The kind of artist list you would only expect to find at one of the world’s great festivals such as Lucerne, Edinburgh, or Salzburg” Robin O’Neill, Professor of Conducting, RCM

The Brodsky Quartet András Schiff Mahan Esfahani The Emerson Quartet Piers Lane Mark Padmore & Paul Lewis Mikhail Rudy The Philharmonia Orchestra

New Choral Series Russell Hepplewhite

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BANKS MUSIC PUBLICATIONS GENESIS CHORAL LIBRARY NEW & VIBRANT SATB CHORAL TITLES! Russell Hepplewhite: O magnum mysterium O Sing unto the Lord The Everlasting Voices (Three Yeats Settings) Thomas Hewitt Jones: Christmas Bells, On Christmas Morn, Where is the Child?

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More titles to come…

Alex Patterson: Ave Maria and Bonum est confiteri For more information call or email: 01653 628545

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READERS’ PAGE This is your page and we’d love to hear from you: Could you be an occasional or even our resident cartoonist? Would your group like to feature in a 60 second interview or send in an anonymous column?

Barbara Eifler reviews Theo Wyatt’s Through the Rear Window These are the memoirs of a lifelong amateur musician who started in a choir, on the cello and with the recorder while at school in the 1930s, and carried on musical activities of sorts while serving as conscientious objector in the Non Combatant Corps during the Second World War. Theo really got going once he’d found his future wife, who was, literally, auditioned for the job: love blossomed following her sight-reading a difficult Haydn Quartet. Both chamber music and recorder playing and teaching formed a large part of Theo’s life for many decades alongside his civil service career. Well-known to many from the Oriel Consort, as Chairman of the Kingston and District Chamber Music Society and of the London branch of the Society of Recorder Players, amongst others, and as the convener of many recorder courses, following early retirement in the 1970s Theo discovered publishing. Until recently, Theo ran Oriel Library and then Merton Music (now Ourtext) from his house, on basic equipment, providing amateur players the world over with affordable recorder and chamber music parts. These memoirs, written on the eve of his 95th birthday, will touch you and tell you much about amateur music making in the UK in the last 80 years. Available to read at To purchase a copy for £3 including postage, contact Theo Wyatt at

It’s Grim Up North London BY KNIFE & PACKER

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I’ve been a member of a string ensemble for many years but recently I defected to a new group. Why? Because all the politics associated with it were so time consuming. I love music and enjoy giving much of my personal time to it but I didn’t love the constant hassling emails, letters and meetings that came with my previous group. Good governance should maximise members’ time and resources efficiently, and avoid all the squabbling and ego management — leave that to Westminster and let me just enjoy my music! Anon Learn more about good practice for running committees at Making Music’s Information and Advice events this autumn (see page 14 for details). A READER RESPONDS

‘For the love of amateurs’ (Highnotes, issue 28) has my full agreement and complete support. I take it a stage further. As a life-time musician (yes, OK, professional!) I have always encouraged music makers whether amateur, semi-professional or fully professional to value the fact that they can express their talents and abilities together. My key message always is that regardless of your status, we work together to the highest standards possible, and I freely use the word professional at point. But, yes, let’s hear it for amateur musicians because without them, there would be far less interest in and far fewer audiences for professional performers. Music is for making!  Graeme Wilson Reproduced by kind permission of PRIVATE EYE magazine/Knife & Packer

Memoirs of an amateur musician

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Highnotes, Autumn 2015  

Highnotes is the membership magazine from Making Music, the UK's leading organisation for voluntary music.

Highnotes, Autumn 2015  

Highnotes is the membership magazine from Making Music, the UK's leading organisation for voluntary music.