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SCOTLAND NEWSLETTER Volume 26 Issue 1 October 2011




MMS Conference Aberdeen – Chairman’s Report


A Report from the MMS Conference


Scottish Choirs in New York for 9/11 Anniversary


Meadows Chamber Orchestra’s 40th Anniversary; Solway Sinfonia


MM Conference Report – Music & Wellbeing


MM Conference Report from a First Timer


Dunkeld Ringers’ Tour; Is this a UK First?


Glasgow Wind Band’s 40th Anniversary; St Monan’s Community Choir


Edinburgh Singers’ Workshop; Peebles Orchestra


How are our Groups doing?; New Members


What does the Future Hold?; Aria Alba Charity Concert Advert


Advert for an Assistant Director; Cupar Choral Society – Vocal Workshop Advert Come & Sing; Stirling City Choir – Come & Sing


Contacts; Next Date for COPY; Financial Aid Claim Reminder

Scottish Choirs in New York for 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Three choirs travelled to New York to represent Scotland at the 10th anniversary of 9/11. InChorus from the Scottish Borders, Lothian & Borders Police Choir and Tayside Police Choir demonstrated Scotland's compassion for the lives lost and support for the rebuilding of those communities affected by the atrocities. To read about the visit please go to page 4


Making Music Scotland Annnual Meeting and Conference

Saturday 21 May, 2011 Town House, Aberdeen Main points from the Chairman's report MM Scotland Committee The Key Responsibility Groups continued to function, and would form the basis of our new structure when the time comes. The Committee had met three times since the last AGM and much of the discussion had inevitably focussed on change management and what were the most important aspects of our work. Every Committee member had had his/her list of member groups to support and all had also worked hard on various working groups and projects. Thanks in particular to Sandra Johnson, ORCAL administrator, Richard Chester both for his management of ORCAL and also his invaluable support as Vice Chair, Jean Renno and her team for continued work with our cluster groups, Janet Darling, Newsletter editor, Julie Murray, Treasurer, Hilary Stokes, Secretary and in particular Margaret Macaulay who had organised the Aberdeen aspects of today's Conference. Richard Shaw, Scotland's Development Officer, was thanked in his absence. He had, as always, put in many more than his contracted hours, working both with the membership and with Committee members on various projects and applications. Although changes to Making Music structure would see the demise of the Committee in name, we hoped that all of our volunteers would continue to play their part in the ongoing work of Making Music Scotland. Membership Membership currently stood at just over 230 groups, just under a quarter of which could be classified as nontraditional - in other words not choral societies, classical orchestras or music clubs. Hopefully, as the membership grew we would be able to encourage different genres to work together and encourage audiences to cross the divide and experience more than one type of music. Congratulations to the University of Strathclyde Chamber Choir, who had applied successfully for the 2010 Adopt a Composer Scheme, and a consortium of groups in Paisley which had applied successfully for funding under Music Nation!, the cultural Olympiad programme. Members were advised not to ignore Breaking News, the ebulletin, and to circulate it at least to their committees. Often the items would cover issues which would have an impact on groups and the publication also highlighted external funding opportunities and advertised events and workshops. The new Making Music Scotland website was also there for members to use and the onus was now on the members to upload a profile for their group and details of their concerts. Funding First of all, Making Music's position - Arts Council England had halved the amount of the grant for which Making Music had applied for 2012 onwards. What did this

mean for members? From the point of view of the services they received for their subscription - absolutely nothing - it will be business as usual. There might be an increase in the subs at the end of the year but weigh that up against the very reasonable insurance and the PRS reduction, not to mention all the other free membership benefits and it's a drop in the ocean. Some of Making Music's planned programmes would have to be pruned or put on hold, but on the plus side it has encouraged the organisation to be much more pro-active in seeking funding from other sources. Also, there were still lots of opportunities for those members who want to go the extra mile. Here in Scotland we hoped to access some external funding to run Learn to Sing courses next season and also put together a new Young People's Programme, and other plans had been unveiled in the Development Officer's report. Making Music Scotland was still in negotiation with Creative Scotland. Our initial application last year had failed, principally because at the time all of the available funding seemed to be targeted towards support of the professional sector. We had had a continuing dialogue ever since and a number of new funding streams had just, or would shortly, come on tap. The one certain thing was that the 2010-11 season would be the last in which there would be guarantees against loss for concerts. Some might say, “If there's no money, why are we paying our subscription?” Groups should remember that your subscription does not buy you into funding, but rather into Making Music's ever increasing range of services. The funding was a matter of geography - Scotland was fortunate where other parts of the UK were not that extra money was provided by SAC for that purpose. When delegated funding was withdrawn in England a number of years ago, no group went to the wall and doubtless our groups in Scotland would be equally resourceful and resilient. Where do we go from here? There were big changes afoot within Making Music which would have an effect on the way things were managed in Scotland. In England, a number of the regions would be paired into larger areas, while Wales would remain as a single unit as would Scotland, though we would also have responsibility for Northern Ireland. Each of these enlarged areas would have a paid Manager and a team of volunteers (former Committee members plus, hopefully, a large number of new recruits), with collective responsibility for supporting the membership and delivering Making Music's programme of activity. A whole new process was being developed for the recruitment and support of volunteers to bring Making Music into line with other charities which were largely dependent on volunteers in order to function effectively. Some Volunteer posts would be long-term, others might


Cont’d on p3

Main Points from Chairman’s Report cont’d be 'as and when' for specific events or projects and others might be one-off e.g. carrying out a piece of research. Here in Scotland, of course, we await the news of funding from Creative Scotland to enable our new manager to be appointed following Richard's retiral, but in the meantime he and I continued in partnership to keep things running. The new volunteer programme would be launched at the UK Conference in Glasgow on 10-11 September. Mindful that the membership should still have access to the Board and input into future planning for the organisation (previously achieved mainly via the Committees), Making Music planned to establish a new, 50-strong Council, representative of all parts of the UK and all types of MM member. The first meeting was planned for the UK Conference weekend. The 2011 UK Conference would be held in the RSAMD in Glasgow on 10 - 11 September. The theme would be Music and Wellbeing and a large number of interesting sessions had been planned. There was inevitably some regret about the demise of the Committee, but then it was just a name. It was the people that were important and what they did - and in fact a lot of folk who would like to 'do' things were completely turned off by the idea of having to be on a Committee and sit through

meetings. We should look at this positively, as an opportunity for those that were involved to continue and for those that wanted to be involved to become active volunteers. there would certainly be a members' gathering of some description in the spring of 2012, with the attraction of a whole day without an Annual General Meeting!! Why wouldn't you be there? (The full text of the Chairman's report and the Development Officer's report can be found on the Making Music Scotland website

Photographs Top R - Chairman & Secretary with Lord Provost Bottom L - The orchestra performs

and What Happened during the Rest of the Day and brass. There was a large number of bassoon players, but I was the only horn player, so Lesley played the 2nd horn part on her bassoon, coping brilliantly with a range of transpositions. Meanwhile, in another hall, around 48 singers had a session on vocal technique and breathing taken by Edward Caswell who then went on to rehearse the singers in Brahms' Schicksalslied, with David Findlay at the piano. The morning session ended with what was, as a result of the re-organisation of Making Music, the last AGM of Making Music Scotland followed by a Civic Reception and Welcome from the Lord Provost of Aberdeen. There was an excellent buffet lunch provided by Aberdeen Council and the opportunity to do some 'networking' with fellow delegates. The day ended, as most of these one day workshop events do, with informal performances The third week in May was a busy one for me, working the length of 'as is'. The orchestra played for the choir and the Outer Isles from Monday to Thursday, and a concert on Friday the choir sang for the orchestra. It is quite remarkable just how good performances can be evening, so I had to travel to Aberdeen by train early on Saturday on so little rehearsal. morning, 21st May, for the annual Making Music Scotland bash being held in the Town House, knowing that any delay would mean I returned home on the train, happy after an I would miss the start of the event. There were, however, no delays enjoyable day of music making organised by and I was taken up in a classic lift to the orchestral rehearsal. Peter Making Music Scotland, wondering what delights we can all take part in next year! Stark conducted 24 of us in Mozart's Symphony No 40, with Brian Tom Ferguson, St James Orchestra. Dargie leading the orchestra and Lesley Wilson coaching the wind


Scottish Choirs in New York for 10th Anniversary of 9/11

of the public who were visibly moved by our singing. And the choir members felt the emotion themselves, which injected passion into the singing.” oldest of these choirs was only formed three years ago,” explained Andrew. “Everyone understood fully why we were there, and the passion in their singing was almost visible. At the end of the trip we decided to follow a romantic notion and record our Gift Song at a wellknown New York recording studio, and the result can be viewed on YouTube at” As well as their Gift Song, the choir sang Lean on me, Nella Fantasia and other numbers that were appropriate

The choirs InChorus, Lothian & Borders Police Choir and Tayside Police Choir spent a year fundraising for the special trip. As well as singing in a number of well-known locations, they presented their Gift in the form of a brand new arrangement by Musical Director, Andrew Russel, that combines The Star Spangled Banner with Amazing Grace. Andrew said, “It was a genuine privilege to contribute to such an important and sensitive anniversary, and the message we took from Scotland was one of true empathy.” The choirs performed at a number of official events including The September Concerts in Central Park, New York Public Library and Union Square, a Commemorative Service at the British Garden at Hanover Square and an NY Police Department Commemoration Concert. In addition they gave free outdoor and indoor ‘flash’ performances in various locations across Manhattan. “We were incredibly well received wherever we went,” says Andrew. “The British Garden at Hanover Square was set up to commemorate the 67 British people who died in 9/11, and we were singing for those families. We'd prepared well, and from our street performances to the theatres where we performed for the NYPD, and the British Garden where we sang to the families of the British victims, we were always approached by members

and selected for the occasion. Information about the choirs can be found at:, and InChorus, Peebles Photographs: Top L - The British Garden Bottom R - Central Park


40th Anniversary of Meadows Chamber Orchestra

Edinburgh's Meadows Chamber Orchestra will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary this season. Its fifty or so members come from many walks of life, including professional musicians, music teachers and students. Professional conductors and soloists are usually employed but the orchestra is amateur and no member receives a fee. Peter Evans has been, and remains the Orchestra's principal conductor and musical adviser since its foundation and as a result of the many concerts Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh presented in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland, the MCO has been described (in the words of Conrad Wilson in The Herald) as “Edinburgh's much loved chamber orchestra”. Programmes normally combine contemporary and classical music and new work is commissioned regularly. Since 1972 it has performed over forty contemporary compositions including seventeen world premières. The Orchestra has received several 'Awards for Enterprise' from the Performing Right Society in recognition of its numerous performances of new music and, recently, it participated in the PRS/Making Music/SPNM 'Adopt a Composer' scheme with Ian Mathieson. The Orchestra was among the first to recognise the talent of Helen Grime, commissioning an oboe concerto that won a 'British Composer Award'; a recording of the première was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Since 2005, the MCO has performed five world premières, including Mesh by Jonathan Pitkin which also received a broadcast on BBC Radio 3. During the 2011-2012 season, three world premières will be performed: Les Soldes du Printemps by Gregor Forbes, Tomnaverie by James Clapperton and Jazz Big Band Suite by Richard Michael.

As an incentive to young musicians, the MCO promotes an annual Composers' Competition. Edinburgh children of secondary school age are invited to compose a new work for the Orchestra and the winning submission, chosen by a panel of distinguished musicians (previously including James MacMillan, Sally Beamish and Lyell Cresswell) receives a public performance. (This enterprise was helped recently by a Making Music Scotland Development Grant.) Four concerts will be presented in Edinburgh during the Anniversary season, two of them with guest conductors David Watkin and Robin Page. Peter Evans conducts the remainder and is also conductor/soloist in Mozart's D minor Piano Concerto (K 466) a work he first performed with the Orchestra in its inaugural season. Michael Tumelty writes in The Herald: “It is the sheer quality of playing they produce, exemplified again on Sunday night throughout their imaginative programme.” “Concerts by The Meadows Chamber Orchestra are events to be anticipated eagerly.” David Rimer, Chairman CONGRATULATIONS!

The Solway Sinfonia is based based 'Neverland'. The house, when restored, will become in Dumfries and draws its a centre for children's literature and for children's players from a 100-mile radius gatherings, with the garden replanted appropriately. around the Solway Firth. Its The orchestra's 'SInfonietta' has given such concerts for main concerts are given twice several years, to raise money for good causes and, at a year, in November in the the same time, to give the players the opportunity of Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries, performing smaller scale works not possible in the with a professional soloist, and orchestra's normal programme. This November's concert in the Spring elsewhere in the region, to take orchestral (on the 20th) will be an exciting one, with Walton's Spitfire music to places in Dumfries and Galloway that rarely, Prelude and Fugue and his Henry V Suite beginning and if ever, have orchestral concerts. This summer a small ending the programme, with Grieg's Piano Concerto and group of players from the orchestra gave a concert in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in which the orchestra will support of the newly launched Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust be joined by one of the region’s favourite performers, (Patron Joanna Lumley) which has bought the house J. Murray McLachlan. M. Barrie played in as a child and on which garden he Helen Keating (Librarian and bass player)


Making Music Annual Conference 10 -11 September 2011 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

Music and Wellbeing Evidence and Funding Anecdotal evidence has a part to play, but where serious funding of treatment programmes in long-term illness was to be established, only scientific, statistical evidence would make the point. However, this did appear to be gradually happening. We do need to do whatever we can to highlight and promote the evidence there is, particularly when organisations are experiencing difficulty in raising funds resulting in projects having to be stopped. An interesting statistic quoted was that the annual NHS budget for the care of one chronically ill patient in a care programme is in the region of £30,000, but where active music is introduced to the care package, the total was reduced to £14,000. How hard does evidence have to be to convince the authorities of the value of funding of music therapy projects? There was more in the conference than can be written into a few paragraphs ... a reunion of previous contacts and the making of new friends, a buzz of camaraderie, thanks given to our out-going Chairman - Andrew Potter, a welcome to his successor - Peter Lawson and Linda Young Vice-Chair The conference was well rounded up by Professor Lord Robert Winston. In his presentation he illustrated brain changes in reaction to sounds and smells! He illustrated, by film clips, the obvious effect music had on the masses - old footage of a Nazi rally, but with close-ups of faces in the crowd, swayed by the music. By complete contrast, one man, Glenn Gould, playing his piano with the right and conducting himself with the left hand - totally immersed in the music. The pictures shown replaced a thousand words. A special note to end on is perhaps Professor Winston's own experience when participating in a therapy project. At the end of his saxophone piece, one grumpy elderly gentleman mumbled to him, “Don't give up your day job”! - so don't be disheartened. Liz Wight, Secretary, NoStringsAttached Community Wind Band (formerly Phoenix Wind Band)

Making Music Annual Conferences are always exiting, exhilarating and exhausting and to report on one, at any level, is no facile task, so this, relatively speaking, is very brief. A rushed review of the given statistics shows that around 105 music-making or music-related organisations were represented. Some 150 members, delegates and speakers participated: that is from amateur choirs, orchestras, bands, opera companies, ensembles and individual musicians from all over the UK, European and World Federations of amateur orchestras - from Belgium to Japan, Singapore, Taiwan. Also represented were Trusts, instrument suppliers, medical organisations and Local Authorities - educationalists and therapists amateur and professional. What a Programme! Music and Wellbeing proved to be well-explored with statistics of projects and case studies providing evidence that music, and in particular, live participation in music, does, in fact, create wellbeing in all areas. (Is being well not being ill?) Interestingly it was stated that although sales of recorded music are going down the attendance at live music festivals is going up! Live Music Rules OK! Music in Healing - restorative/creative: Examples were given showing how symptoms of depression, chronic illness were lessened when music was introduced into treatment programmes with accident recovery speeded up. This should provide motivation for more musicians to become involved in the provision of live and participatory music in hospitals, day centres and homes for the elderly. Whether involving singing or 'hands-on' instruments (e.g. small percussion) the participation raises spirits of patients and families and even creates a generally better working environment for staff. In this area we must be mindful of the sensitivity of 'patient care' remembering that there must be consultation and agreement between the medical professionals and the participating amateur musicians in bringing music into the treatment or palliative care environment. Music in Education It was noted, with sadness, that economic cuts are still curtailing teaching of music in many state schools - music often the first casualty. Yet, it has been demonstrated that children who learn to play a musical instrument fare better in their academic work. There is strong evidence (some anecdotal) that mathematicians and scientists are frequently very competent musicians with children playing instruments usually doing well in these subjects. Social Change In the equally important area of social ills, participation in music making has a place in aiding the repair and recovery of offenders of all ages and types.

Professor Winston with Peter Lawson speaking to Delegates


Music and Wellbeing from a Conference First Timer’s Perspective I recently attended my first Making Music Conference in the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. As a member of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, my interest in the subject matter of the conference was sparked as soon as our representative in the choir, Janet Darling, publicised the event. The programme certainly stimulated my desire to know more about the individual topics on offer. I therefore made a booking and found that this was refreshingly simple. On arrival at the Conservatoire, my first trip so I found the directions supplied useful, I was met with a very pleasant welcome and the efficiency of the retrieval of my booking allowed for a swift registration. I soon started to realise how little I knew concerning Music's contribution to human wellbeing as I met a few other delegates who had varying degrees of function within this field. Voluntary choir, band etc. leaders from grant aided government sponsored organisations to people who had simply asked the question “Why don't we get together and ?…” The degree to which voluntary organisations/people actually do work in the community and the health sector was beginning to unfold. This was before I had attended any of the presentations or workshops.

I feel I need to highlight certain aspects of the Conference content which, for me, quintessentially justified the title adopted. I was interested in finding out more about Sistema Scotland so I had to forgo Health and Wellbeing through Song. (If I had a criticism about my two days it would have to be I couldn't attend everything.) Nevertheless I couldn't help but feel warmth inside on leaving this presentation to see the transformation music had made in the lives of people. I adjourned to a song workshop eagerly awaiting my Introduction to Music Therapy. It is perhaps this presentation that will endure the longest as the two case studies presented left no doubt in my mind as to the therapeutic effects music can have. My impressions that the various moods found within music would be used from the vastness that is music were soon replaced by marvelling at “on the spot” improvisation as the therapist met with the patients. As with any therapy the results speak for themselves and the results certainly were impressive. In more general terms I would like to thank all those involved in organising such an interesting and stimulating conference from the house keeping to the ‘music keeping.’ I feel the conference did exactly what was ‘on the label’. William Davidson Edinburgh Royal Choral Union.

Polyphony Percussion Workshop

The names and details of speakers and their particular disciplines are available at Some of the presentations can be found at Photgraphs courtesy of Nick McGowan-Lowe


Reverberations from Dunkeld Ringers’ Tour Exactly two years after visiting Orkney members of The Parish of Dunkeld Handbell Ringers set off on their travels again, this time to the west. They were to enjoy a week of lovely weather, beautiful scenery, good company and four highly successful concerts in fantastic locations. First stop was Kilmore & Oban Church where, not having experienced a handbell concert before, mouths were agape at the number of handbells (2 + 3 octaves) and the amount of equipment involved. Early next morning we sailed to Mull and, on approaching the island, passed Duart Castle where our next performance was to take place and which is the ancestral home of the Chief of Clan McLean. Sir Lachlan McLean was there to welcome us who, having helped us to carry all our equipment into the Great Hall, swept a mass of beautiful, and no doubt invaluable, silverware off the long table at which we were to ring. We rang twice through our concert programme with visitors continually entering the Hall. Some listened for a while with others staying all afternoon! Day three we were in Iona Abbey where we had rung four years ago. The start of our performance, a processional round the cloisters and then down the aisle, was a surprise to the audience packed into the nave and we were greeted with much enthusiasm. At the end, we were surprised by the mass of people who came to have a closer look at the bells and to ask questions. Our final concert, was in Tobermory Church. As well as being famous for its colourful houses along the sea front, its beautiful bay where, supposedly, a sunken galleon with a hold full of gold still lies at the sea bottom, Tobermory

is famous for its Les Routier accredited Fish and Chip van. No debate about where to eat before the concert. It had to be sitting in the sunshine on the steps around the Clock Tower eating fish and chips - definitely the best meal of the tour! At this last concert we were delighted to find fans (yes fans!) who had heard us ringing in other locations and had come along to hear us again. Generous contributions were made to the collections taken for various charities at some of our performances. The total amounted to £1,028, including a generous donation from Sir Lachlan to the group. The charities which benefited were Kilmore & Oban Church Organ Fund, Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Few in any of our audiences had seen handbell ringers in action before and all our performances were received with much enthusiasm. Tours such as this and the encouraging sales of our 3 CDs and 2 DVDs (15% of sales benefiting Cornhill Macmillan Centre in Perth) help to promote the art of handbell ringing which is one of the aims in our Constitution. Members of the public, who thought handbells were a bit of a novelty only to be brought out at Christmas, suddenly realised they are a musical instrument requiring skill to produce music which is enjoyable to listen to, with the added bonus of an intriguing visual performance. At each venue we were asked to return but this is unlikely as tours are costly to organise, especially to the islands, and we also feel that each tour should introduce handbells to new audiences. Heather I. McLean, Photograph: Ringers in Oban

Was this a First for the UK? The Parish of Dunkeld Handbell Ringers have a routine of going on tour every other year. To raise funds for transporting all our equipment on the 2011 tour (the ringers pay all their own expenses) it was decided that I would do a Sponsored Solo Marathon in Dunkeld Cathedral. People could sponsor the event itself, the number of pieces actually rung or could choose, from a list provided, a piece of music which I would ring for them when they came to the Cathedral. My target was 35 pieces of music, perhaps more if I wasn't too exhausted! I was surprised at the size of the audience - some stayed all the way through, others for about half an hour before wandering off for a walk but returning later to hear more music and see how I was getting on. Large cards displayed the mounting total as I worked my way through the list. I managed 38 pieces and it took me 2h 35 min. I wondered

if I should have carried on longer in case people arrived late expecting a marathon to go on for a long, long time but I was tired and decided that the marathon aspect was really the number of pieces I rang rather than the length of time. The total amount raised was just over £800 – amazing! This was more than needed for transporting the equipment and so the surplus was shared between the three charities benefiting from the tour and listed above.

What we would like to know – Was this the first sponsored solo handbell ringing marathon in the UK?


Heather McLean

To Celebrate 40th Anniversary with a Commission The award winning Glasgow Wind Band plans to celebrate its 40th anniversary in style next year, by commissioning a major addition to the Wind Band repertoire from leading British composer Philip Sparke. The Glasgow Wind Band was formed in 1972 to provide an opportunity for senior school pupils, students and adult members of the public to participate in a symphonic wind band of the very highest calibre. The current membership numbers some 60 or so instrumentalists from varied backgrounds and professions. The members of the band range in age from 16 to mid-40s, with the majority in their 30s.The band is entirely self-supporting: financed through membership subscriptions, fundraising and concert ticket revenue. The Glasgow Wind Band regularly takes part in music festivals organised by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles and the National Concert Band Festival and has enjoyed an unparalleled level of success in both, having amassed an impressive haul of 11 Gold Awards and one Platinum at the NCBF Scottish festival and two Platinum Awards at national festivals. The band is rightly regarded as one of the UK's finest symphonic wind ensembles. The GWB performs a regular programme of concerts each year, including a formal concert at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and performed for Her Majesty The Queen during her Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002. The band is no stranger to Philip Sparke's music, having played many of his works in both concert and festival

settings across the UK. Indeed the composer was present when the band played his impressive Music of the Spheres to great acclaim at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2010. Recalling that performance and others, the composer said, “Having heard the brilliant performances of the Glasgow Wind Band, I am delighted to have been approached by them with the brief to add a major work to the wind band repertoire.” The band is equally delighted that Mr. Sparke has accepted the brief and looks forward to giving the world première of the new piece at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, on 9 June 2012. If you would like to hear the band perform before then, its Christmas Concert is at Hyndland Parish Church, Glasgow on Monday 19 December 2011 and their album Glasgow Wind Band at the Movies, along with Music of the Spheres can be downloaded from Napster and iTunes. For more information on the Glasgow Wind Band, visit and for more information on Philip Sparke, visit Hugh Levey, Bass Clarinet CONGRATULATIONS!

B St Monans Community Choir

St Monans at the daily Menin Gate ceremony. A tour to Krakow in Poland is now in the planning for April 2012. St Monans' third Community Arts Festival took place in September, and the community choir performed A Fife Cantata, a piece especially written for the occasion. It is a setting of five poems in Scots dialect by local poet John Brewster set to music by Brian Craib, one of the choir's musical directors. The piece formed the first half of our festival concert on Sunday 18th September in St Monans Church with the second half being devoted to a selection of popular songs. Ruth Craib

goes from strength to strength!

From a small start of some 10 members in October 2009 when the idea of a Community Choir for the East Neuk village of St Monans was introduced by local musicians Ruth and Brian Craib, the choir has more than tripled its membership and, as well as meeting weekly for rehearsals throughout the year, has performed around 20 concerts around the east of Fife and beyond. A highlight in April 2011 was a trip for 25 members of the choir to Belgium where, as well as performing in a church in Ghent and a residential home in Brugges, we visited WW1 battlefields and laid a wreath on behalf of


The Edinburgh Singers, Helped by a Development Grant, Holds a Successful One Day Workshop The Edinburgh Singers The morning consisted is a medium sized choir of two sessions which of about 60 singers who were taken by John have been performing Gormley and Emily in and around Mitchell and were Edinburgh for almost designed to increase the sixty years, with an awareness of exciting programme underlying metrical lined up for next year's dynamics; these ran anniversary celebrations. simultaneously with the Under the direction of choir split into two their Music Director, sections. One group John Gormley, the choir participated in a session are known for the on rhythm and pulse excellent quality of their while the other focussed singing as well as their on musicianship and full and varied concerts techniques to improve throughout the year. voice production. In the afternoon the groups joined up to put all their new-found skills together. This was done To maintain and improve standards, the choir tries to by applying these skills to pieces of music that involved run technical workshops every couple of years. These complex cross-rhythms and cross metres, especially usually involve an intensive two – three day workshop to repertoire from the 14th century, with some interesting refine specific aspects of their skills and explore new and rather entertaining results! techniques, as well as fun evenings of entertainment to keep spirits high. Such sessions are always helpful, but Louisa Stewart, an alto with the choir said, “The day was it takes a commitment from the choir of a number of thoroughly enjoyable and a great experience. I feel that days, which is not always possible. with these techniques I can better understand and increase my skills in rhythm, and use the techniques to improve Thanks to a Development Grant from Making Music my quality of sound.” Scotland, the Edinburgh Singers were able to organise and run an invaluable one day workshop for its choir Always looking for ways to improve, the choir hope to members St Philip's Church, Joppa, on the outskirts of run more one day workshops in future with courses such Edinburgh. This was a great success, both for developing as music theory, dancing for improved rhythm and sightand improving the skills of their singers, as well as thinking reading made easy proposed, and with many other useful outside the box with the hope of holding more bite-size techniques possible. The Edinburgh Singers development workshops. if successful.

Peebles Orchestra Goes Windy Even in our 34th season Peebles Orchestra still comes up with new programming ideas and this spring, conductor Robert Dick's new concert format of the 'Beethoven Sandwich' was most successful. An overture by Beethoven opened the concert which ended with his fourth symphony. Between them the orchestra divided, the strings playing Lennox Berkeley's Serenade while the wind section performed a Serenade by Strauss. The winds rehearsed under Lis Dooner from the SCO in the rural setting of Manor Village Hall, which they enjoyed so much that they met again in September to play the Dvorak Serenade, again under Lis Dooner's direction, the day ending with an informal performance to a small but very appreciative audience. Claire Garnet


Peebles WInd

How are  our  Groups  surviving? Richard  Shaw,  Development  Officer, finds  out  how The  Strathendrick  Singers  are  faring. We are living in financially challenging times. Not only is the national economic position causing us a number of challenges, but Making Music groups in Scotland have also been hit by the withdrawal of financial support from the former Scottish Arts Council. Apart from the impact this decision is having on Making Music, the largest proportion of the funds were used to offer financial support to Scottish member groups either through the financial scheme for concerts or through a Development Grant, which offered a sum of money to go towards a project a group wished to implement. I wanted to know how our groups who had been in receipt of funding to support their activities were managing. Recently I met June Thomas, President of The Strathendrick Singers, a rural group whose 50 members come mostly from the villages in the valley of the River Endrick west of Stirling. They rehearse in Balfron Church and employ two professional staff, their conductor Mark Evans and accompanist Chris Baxter. The group were awarded a Development Grant in 2010 to set up a web site - their first. I was interested to know how the award helped them, and June was of the opinion that having access to such funding was critical. She said, “Without Making Music Scotland's financial support, we would not have been able to employ a web designer who looked after everything that we had specified, and made suggestions to improve our specification. We have finished up with a site displaying what we wanted, and in a format that was simple and easy to use for our members and our site visitors.” When I asked June how the website had supported the choirs activity, she was in no doubt. “It has given us a presence on the web which is useful in marketing the group and our concerts. We have recruited new members through the website, we advertise our concerts and other

activities and although at present most of our tickets are sold through members and local outlets, we also have the option of offering tickets to buy online. The website also supports our communication with members, through the members only pages, to keep members up to date and provides an invaluable link to rehearsal aids - not everyone is a good sight singer! We are getting 'hits' from all over the UK.” We went on to talk about the effect of the loss of funding supporting the choir's concerts. June was quite adamant that the loss is devastating and explained, “The money we received made a difference, supporting in particular costs of music hire, professional orchestra and soloists keeping our concert losses to a level that our reserves could cope with.” I asked June what steps the choir was taking to cover these costs in the future, and she described their fundraising including coffee mornings with light entertainment from the choir and talented individuals, increasing subscriptions, weekly donations for coffee and tea, etc. She added “We will need to redouble our efforts to recruit more members and to sell more tickets, otherwise at our current level of expenditure and with no added income we could be bankrupt within 5 years. This cannot happen, as singing in a choir is so important, adding to people's wellbeing, mental and physical health, providing important social activity and pleasure and live music to our rural communities. Making Music provides vital support to us and long may it continue to do so.” It was good to hear that June was very determined The Strathendrick Singers would overcome these hurdles, and has reinforced why I and my colleagues must increase our efforts to seek new investment in Making Music Scotland.

WELCOME! To the following groups who have joined Making Music in recent months – Aria Alba Opera for All Balerno Music Festival Deveron River Brass Doune The Rabbit Hole Helensburgh Ladies Barbershop Choir Markinch Community & District Choir

Music in Lanark Shetland Community Orchestra The Mackintosh Choir @ Queens Cross Toccata Zawadi Alba


SCOTLAND What does the future hold? Of the many changes that are taking place in Making Music Scotland at present, probably the one that generates the most comment is about our funding position with Creative Scotland, formerly Scottish Arts Council. Currently, we have no funding in place. Creative Scotland has now overhauled the various programmes they have for investing in the arts in Scotland, and Making Music Scotland is eligible to apply for funds from this source. I have regularly been in touch with Creative Scotland to see how these funds can best be used for Making Music Scotland's purposes and, amongst other things, I am in the process of applying for funds to support the ongoing development of our ORCAL orchestral programme and to develop a programme in which Choral Singers can take part. I know the loss of funds that we made available to performing member groups has been keenly felt causing many groups to re-appraise their activity. Our application to Creative Scotland also includes providing for an availability of money to enable member groups to carry out challenging projects – whether they be part of their concert programme or one-off training or development programmes. We must not believe, however, that our world has ended! Making Music Scotland is alive and thriving despite the setback. Members still enjoy a package of services, including insurance and access to advice and

support that is unrivalled by any other umbrella organisation. Details of these can now be accessed directly on the website. In addition, there are a number of national Making Music projects for members to participate in such as the Making Music Overture and123sing. Do look at the website to see what is available to you. Meanwhile, in Scotland we have just heard that we have received some funds to run a pilot ‘Learn to Sing course' introducing people to singing in groups and encouraging participants to join local vocal groups. Look out for more news on this. Furthermore, with the changes to how we are organised in Scotland1, I am sure there will be openings for many of you to volunteer to work with us to develop ideas, projects and new opportunities for supporting further development of Making Music Scotland, the voluntary sector and, most of all, our 240 member groups. We have much to celebrate and look forward to over the next year, and you can rest assured that I and my colleagues will continue to work hard to ensure a bright future for us in Scotland. Richard Shaw Development Officer Scotland 1Chairman’s Report ‘Where do we go from here?’ pp2 - 3

Aria Alba Opera for All is a new charity that aims to bring all the passion and music of opera to new audiences, and to provide a platform for young and emergent singers. Our members come from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Linlithgow, Dundee, and as far away as Finland. They don't need to be expert singers to start with - though that's what they become! So far, we've put on seven varied performances this year, including our Fringe show Aria in an Italian Garden, which was well supported. We are already rehearsing Mozart's Marriage of Figaro for next year... This autumn we are supporting the wonderful work that the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) does by putting on an especially brilliant and cheerful benefit concert in Edinburgh. We've invited the City of Discovery Brass Band Quintet to join us, and these fantastic instrumentalists have volunteered to play alongside our members, who will sing choruses and solos from well-loved operas. The audience, too, will be invited to join in some of the choruses! We hope that lots of people will help us raise funds for CHAS by coming to our concert and joining in the singing! 12 November at 7.30 - 9.30 pm Bruntsfield Evangelical Church, 70 Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4JU Tickets £8 (£5 conc.) in advance T: 07593316284 and at the door Charity number SC042322


Scenes from Aria in an Italian Garden

Rolling Hills Seeks  an  Assistant  Director Rolling  Hills,  a  male  Barbershop  Chorus based  in  Edinburgh, is  seeking  to  appoint  someone  who  possesses:                                  •  boundless  enthusiasm                                  •  a  strong  and  engaging  personality                                  •  a  high  level  of  musical  knowledge  and  ability                                  •  an  interest  in  a  cappella  harmony                                  •  a  track  record  in  vocal  coaching An  important  element  of  the  role  will  be  to  work  alongside and  in  parallel  with  the  current  Director. This  is  an  excellent  opportunity  to  demonstrate  and develop  directorial  skills  with  an  enthusiastic  chorus  of just  over  30  men. As  a  not-­‐for-­‐profit  organisation  it  is  an  unpaid  post. Rehearsals  are  held  at  Fairmilehead  Church  in  the  South Side  of  Edinburgh  on  Tuesday  evenings  from  7.00  to 9.45pm. If  you  are  interested  and/or  wish  to  obtain  further information,  please  contact  Ian  Kinghorn  on  or  0131  555  2296 or  visit Scottish  Charity  No:  SC035891

Vocal Workshop directed  by

Edward Caswell …develop  your  skills              …meet  like-­‐minded  people …enjoy  good  music!

Saturday 29th  October,  2011

10.30 a.m.  -­‐  4.30  p.m. St  John's  Church  Hall,  Bonnygate, Cupar    KY15  4BY …warming  up  your  voice …developing  breath  control …good  vocal  practice

Bookings must  be  made  IN  ADVANCE Cost  £10  (£9) Visit for  booking  information

Come and  Sing Handel's    Messiah with

Invites you  to ‘Come  and  Sing’ Handel's    Messiah Saturday  26th  November,  2011

Saturday 29  October  2011

St John's  Church,  Bonnygate, Cupar    KY15  4BY Musical  Director:  Bruce  Fraser Accompanist:  Kate  Doig Bring your own score if you have one

Church of  the  Holy  Rude,  Stirling Conductor:    Gillian  Craig Accompanist:  Ian  Boulter Registration  from  1pm Rehearsal  2pm  Performance  7.30pm Singers  £12.50  (includes  tea  &  coffee) Score  hire  £2.50 Audience  £5.00  payable  at  the  door For  a  booking  form  please  go  to Further  information  from

(preferred edition Watkins Shaw, but not compulsory).

Scores will be provided if required

Registration from  12  noon Rehearsal  1.00  –  5.15  pm Concert  6.30  pm Singers  £10  (£9);  Score  Hire  £1;  Audience  £5 Please  visit for  booking  information or  email 13

Contemporary Music-making for Amateurs

A Reminder of the

COMA encourages amateur musicians of all abilities and backgrounds to take part in contemporary music-making by • providing opportunities to perform new music • creating a repertoire of innovative contemporary music for amateurs • building links between professional and amateur musicians and ensembles to further these aims If you wish to become involved in COMA or require further information, contact: Chris Shurety, Director Contemporary Music-making for Amateurs RICH MIX, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA Tel: (020) 7739 4680 e-mail

31 October Deadline Groups due to claim the final instalment of their guarantee for 2010/11 are reminded that the deadline for receipt of S2 Forms, accompanied by a copy of their independently examined and signed accounts, is 31 October 2011. If you have a problem please contact as soon as possible.

or Steve King, Co-ordinator COMA Scotland Tel: (0131) 451 3705 email:

COPY for the NEXT ISSUE should reach the EDITOR by 15 January 2012.


Any views or opinions expressed in contributed articles may not necessarily represent those of Making Music or the policy of Making Music.

The publication time of the next issue will be February 2012



The position regarding printed copies of the Newsletter continues to be under review. If you would be interested in subscribing to a printed colour copy for the cost of production and postage, please contact the Editor

Newsletter Editor, Making Music Scotland Miss Janet A.B. Darling E: Web Site, Making Music Scotland Mrs. Linda Young E: Membership Inquiries, Making Music Scotland Miss Hilary Stokes E:

ADVERTISING Please contact Janet Darling, the Editor.

Recruitment, Making Music Scotland Mrs Karine Davison E: Development Officer, Making Music Scotland Mr Richard Shaw E:

ACKNOWLEDGMENT The Making Music Scotland Committee would like to record its gratitude to Creative Scotland for its support.

Making Music The National Federation of Music Societies, 2 - 4 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3NW T: (020) 7422 8280; F: (020) 7422 8299 E: Making Music Scotland

Making Music, the National Federation of Music Societies. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 308632 Registered Charity in England No. 249219 & in Scotland No. SC038849


© Making Music Scotland 2011

Making Music Scotland Newsletter  

The October issue of the Making Music Scotland Newsletter.

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