The most observant visitors to the MEMF site may have already noticed that there is a new page under “Events”. We are hoping to start posting more photos of events, an old tradition which should be easier to uphold in these days of digital everything. To have a peep at some pictures of the Messiah workshop follow this link.
If you have your own photos of workshops and would like to contribute, Facebook users are very welcome to upload on the MEMF Facebook page. Or you can email them to one of the Committee.
A good turnout for the (slightly experimental) Messiah workshop with Steve Davis on 5th December. We had quite a well balanced chorus and band, complete with 2 trumpets and 2 oboes plus our Chairman on the theorbo adding colour. A longer review will appear in the next Newsletter.
Although this is a familiar work to most, there are still a few of us who rarely get the chance to sing it. Steve Davis took us through the most popular choruses but also a selection of the lesser known items for variety. It’s just such lovely, well-crafted music to sing and play, so descriptive. Steve was an energetic and encouraging conductor.
The festive energy was enhanced by a break for mulled fruit punch and mince pies before a final run through.
I’m sure the attendees will agree this was a great start to the Christmas season. If you have suggestions for future, similar events, do let the committee know!
Baroque instrumentalists are invited to a workshop on 3rd October with Tutor Kate Fawcett, exploring music by Purcell, Blow and Scheidt and Philip Thorby makes a welcome return in November with a now familiar double act: a workshop on Saturday and Master Classes on Sunday. The workshop is on the music of Andrea Gabrieli, Giovanni’s uncle, who was organist and composer at St. Mark’s in Venice and whose music is considered to be more subtle and expansive than his nephew’s.Then in December everyone is welcome to sing or play in choruses from the Messiah. Bring your friends and family to join in – there will be punch and mince pies too!
The Kerll workshop was an excellent day. David Hatcher is a superb tutor who knows just how much to rehearse without becoming tedious and can get the best out of singers and players alike. The music is quite complex and was apparently much studied – and copied – by Bach and Handel. We had to work hard, but it was all very rewarding.
We have a break for the summer, but look forward to Will Dawes of Stile Antico introducing us to music by Giaches de Wert on September 19th.
Who has heard of Johann Casper Kerll? …………… neither have I, but David Hatcher clearly has. Come to Rugby on July 11th and explore his Missa in Fletu Solatium – some of the music with which he made a name for himself in Vienna in the 1640s and which influenced many composers such as Bach and Handel. All singers, string and wind players (pitch A440) welcome. See events page to book.
March brings an fascinating look at three 16th century composers – Palestrina, Victoria and de Padilla – with Nigel Short, director of Tenebrae. Following in April we commemorate our late Chairman Edwin Griggs with a workshop on Three Generations of the Bach family tutored by Paul Spicer. This not only has a reduced fee but also a free buffet lunch to celebrate! Then in May we have an informal half day singing Madrigals one, two or more to a part according to taste. Come and join in!
The New Year Revels having sadly been cancelled, the first workshop in 2015 will be for Baroque instrumentalists in February, tutored by Martin Perkins,Head of Early Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Singers can look forward to exploring Palestrina, Victoria and de Padilla in March with Nigel Short, Director of Tenebrae.
In the depth of winter, on January 17th, why not head to a warm village hall in Dorridge for our annual Revels! The excellent David Hatcher will tutor an afternoon workshop for singers and Renaissance instruments- to include a 12 part Magnificat by the Polish Nicolai Zielenski – and lead us later in dancing. At 7.15 we will enjoy traditional hot punch and a ‘bring and share’ supper and the evening will continue after the dancing with informal performances from MEMF ensembles.
We look forward to singing parts of Dido and Aeneas and the Fairy Queen at our next workshop with Steven Devine who has a busy career as a keyboard player, both solo and continuo, and Music director, working with many prestigious Ensembles such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Baroque.He is known to be an excellent and humorous Tutor so do come and join us at Selly Oak Methodist Church in Birmingham on 15th November.
The leaflet and booking form are now available for downloading for this exciting workshop with William (Bill) Hunt. Well-known for his work in London Baroque, Fretwork and the Dunedin Consort, he has also taught at various conservatoires and run workshops and residential courses across Europe. He founded Fretwork Publishing and now devotes much of his time to this enterprise, and to researching the Verse Anthem.
This musical form arose from the principles of the Reformation, which demanded clarity of the text in sacred music. Many of the greatest names in English music before the Civil War composed in this form and the workshop will be concentrating on Tomkins but also touching on Gibbons and/or Byrd.
Put 27th September in your diary now and don’t forget to book, all you singers, violists and recorder players!