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Summer Newsletter 2019

A big thank you to all our members for your support of the society over the past year. We hope you enjoyed the last season and will continue to do so in the coming one. We also hope you will be able to attend the AGM, details below, which is your opportunity to contribute your views on the society.

Annual General Meeting – Thursday 12th September 2019 at 7.30pm
The Phoenix Centre, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne

AGENDA

  1. Chairman’s Welcome
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of AGM 2018
  4. Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
  5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors
  6. Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
  7. Any other Business

 Light refreshments will be available, and after the meeting there will be a short musical entertainment performed by a quartet led by committee member Miles Attwell.


TICKET PRICES AND MEMBERSHIP

We do hope you will renew your membership again this year. Season tickets for this, our sixteenth season, remain at £50 giving you a saving of £10 for all four concerts. Given the high quality of all the performers, we feel this gives very good value for money and hope you agree.

If you are interested in other local Music Societies, as advertised in the concert programme notes, don’t forget you get £2 off the admission price on production of your SMS membership card. We would love to increase our audience size, so, if you know of anyone who may be interested, please pass on the extra brochure we are sending out or just spread the word by enthusing about the concerts!!

 

NEW VENUE

Please note that all concerts this season will be held at the Millennium Hall, Fulston Manor School, Brenchley Road, Sittingbourne ME10 4EG Access to the Millennium Hall is in Brenchley Road at the first roundabout from Bell Road.

We hope this will prove to be a good venue for concert goers and performers alike. It has full wheel chair access. Also the piano is of a suitable standard for professional players meaning we can extend our performer range without the very high costs of hiring a piano.

 

OUR 2018/19 SEASON

This was another year of high quality and varied music enjoyed by all who attended. Both Concert Royal and Travelling by Tuba had performed for us before and their return visits did not disappoint. Everyone who attended the concert by Borealis Saxophone Quartet enjoyed this enthusiastic group and the virtuosity of pianist Maki Sekiya made for a spellbinding finale to a great season.

 

OUTREACH WORK

One of the aims of the Society is to bring classical music to a wider local audience.

Four years ago “Travelling by Tuba” gave a funny and gripping session to junior school pupils which was very enjoyable, so we were very pleased when they offered further sessions prior to their concert in February. This time they visited Minterne Junior School and Meadowfield School. In both cases they were very well received with the students thoroughly enjoying their enthusiasm and the wonderful range of instruments.

This season we have the added advantage of offering two outreach activities; Manus Noble will be working with young students from the area and soundSPARK will also be performing in schools

 

OUR NEXT SEASON

We again anticipate a season of wonderful music covering a range of performers and genres over the four concerts on offer for this, our sixteenth, season. Our first concert features the young talented violinist Alexandra Lomeiko, accompanied by pianist Ana Gogava, who will be playing music by Beethoven, Ravel and Grieg. The young wind quartet soundSPARK are set to give an exciting performance covering a variety of styles from classical to contemporary. In February we welcome back the popular young guitarist Manus Noble and the season will end with The Barbican String Quartet, a young chamber group who made their debut in 2017. Their programme will include works by Haydn, Bartok, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.

 

THANK YOU

We would like to thank all our members for supporting the Society and those who kindly add a donation when paying their subscription. Gift aid can be claimed on donations we receive which obviously helps our funds even more.

We also want to thank all the organisations who supported the Society financially last year. Grants were given by KCC Combined Members Grant Scheme for our outreach work and Making Music subsidised the concert by Borealis Saxophone Quartet.  Queenborough Fishery Trust gave us a grant that allowed us to hire a concert standard baby grand piano for the highly successful final concert with Maki Sekiya.

We would not be able to continue without these grants and donations however great or small.

Internet users – If searching for information, try using www.easysearch.org.uk  – and if shopping register with www.easyfundraising.org.uk and nominate Sittingbourne Music Society. Each purchase will generate a small donation at no extra cost to you and we can claim gift aid as well. We thank all of you who have used this service in the past.

Thank you all once again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the coming season’s concerts.

Summer Newsletter 2018

Welcome to the Sittingbourne Music Society’s Annual Newsletter.

We thank all our members for their support of the society and hope you enjoyed the last season and will continue to do so in the coming one. We also hope you will be able to attend the AGM, details below, which is your opportunity to contribute your views on the society. Please note the change of venue from the last few years; we hope that by holding it in Sittingbourne more of you will feel able to attend.

Annual General Meeting – Friday 14th September 2018 at 8 o’clock
The Phoenix Centre, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne

 

AGENDA

  1. Chairman’s Welcome
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of AGM 2017
  4. Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
  5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors
  6. Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
  7. Any other Business

The meeting will be followed by light refreshments and a short musical recital by committee member Miles Attwell and three of his advanced violin students, Laura, Joely and Freya.

 

TICKET PRICES AND MEMBERSHIP

We do hope you will renew your membership again this year. Season tickets for this, our fifteenth season, remain at £50 giving you a saving of £10 for all four concerts. Given the quality of the performers, we feel this gives very good value for money and hope you agree.

If you are interested in other local Music Societies, as advertised in the concert programme notes, don’t forget you get £2 off the admission price on production of your SMS membership card.

We would love to increase our audience size, so if you know of anyone who may be interested please pass on the extra brochure we are sending out or just spread the word by enthusing about the concerts!!

No doubt you have all heard of the new General Data Protection Regulations; if you wish to continue to receive next year’s brochure and newsletter please fill in the enclosed form and send it with your membership renewal and rest assured the details will never be passed on.                  

 

OUR 2016/17 SEASON

This was another year of high quality and varied music enjoyed by all who attended.

The Emily Sun and Jennifer Hughes recital, which replaced the original planned concert, was outstanding and gave us our largest audience.

Special mention should also be made of The Bingham Quartet who also
gave us a brilliant concert. They included John McCabe’s  ”Summer Eve’s Quartet” which they had learned especially for us, and which players and audience alike greatly appreciated.

 

OUTREACH WORK

One of the aims of the Society is to bring classical music to a wider local audience.

Last season The Marylebone Wind Trio, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, spent the day playing in local schools prior to their evening concert. They gave performances to the boys at Borden Grammar School and to two Junior Schools at Minterne School. The presentations were very different; the boys asked questions about the instruments, while the younger ones enjoyed several short and exciting items. Both were well received.

Three years ago “Travelling by Tuba” gave a funny and gripping session to junior school pupils which was very enjoyable; we have asked them back again this year to give two sessions during the daytime before the evening concert, one each to junior and secondary pupils. They give examples of musical styles and strange instruments over a thousand years and four continents.

 

OUR NEXT SEASON

We again anticipate a great season of music with the four concerts on offer for this our fifteenth season.

Two of our concerts feature performers who have entertained us in previous years. The Concert Royal Quartet with their period instruments gave a very enjoyable performance, although the programme this time will not include a singer. Travelling by Tuba provide a wonderfully entertaining and informative evening and the sheer number of strange and wonderful instruments that this duo play is incredible.

The second concert is a “Sittingbourne first” – we have not had a saxophone quartet before and are looking forward to it.

The last concert is a young Japanese pianist who some of you may have enjoyed listening to when she played for one of the Saturday morning recitals at St Michael’s church.

 

THANK YOU
We would like to thank all our members for supporting the Society and those who kindly add a donation when paying their subscription. Gift aid can be claimed on donations we receive which obviously helps our funds even more.

We also want to thank all the organisations who supported the Society financially last year. Grants were given by Swale Borough Council for our outreach work and Making Music’s Selected Artist Subsidy sponsored Emily Sun.

We would not be able to continue without these grants and donations however great or small.

Internet users – If searching for information, try using www.easysearch.org.uk  – and if shopping register with www.easyfundraising.org.uk and nominate Sittingbourne Music Society. Each purchase will generate a small donation at no extra cost to you and we can claim gift aid as well. We thank all of you who have used this service in the past.

Thank you all once again for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the coming season’s concerts.

 

Summer Newsletter 2017

Welcome to the Sittingbourne Music Society’s Annual Newsletter.

We thank all our members for their support of the society and hope you enjoyed the last season and will continue to do so in the coming one. We also hope you will be able to attend the AGM, details below, which is your opportunity to contribute your views on the society.

Annual General Meeting – Friday 22nd September 2017 at 8 o’clock
The Midwinter Room Tunstall Church

AGENDA
1. Chairman’s Welcome
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Minutes of AGM 2016
4. Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors
6. Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
7. Any other Business

The meeting will be followed by light refreshments and a short musical interlude; Shostakovitch’s beautiful 5 Duos for piano and violins will feature violinists
Miles Attwell and Laura Marshall.
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TICKET PRICES AND MEMBERSHIP

Unfortunately, due to increased costs, we have had to put up our prices for this season. The cost of each concert will be increased from£13 to £15 although under 18s can still attend for £1. Hopefully you will agree this is still very good value for the quality of concerts on offer, especially if you think of the cost of attending a concert in London or even in Canterbury.
Renewing your membership for the season will cost £50 giving you a saving of £10 for all four concerts. We do hope you feel able to do this.
If you are interested in other local Music Societies, as advertised in the concert programme notes, don’t forget you get £2 off the admission price on production of your SMS membership card.

OUR 2016/17 SEASON

This was another year of high quality and varied music enjoyed by all who attended. As well as music performed on a variety of instruments, flute, harp, viola, violin, cello, piano and guitar, playing music

from many composers from Baroque to modern, we had the Apollo 5 vocal ensemble who gave us a memorable performance of classical to pop with their festive programme providing a good prelude to the Christmas season.

OUTREACH WORK

One of the aims of the Society is to bring classical music to a wider local audience. Last October the Charlotte Ashton Flute Trio ran a workshop for young chamber music groups who then performed a short piece within the evening concert.
Next year The Marylebone Wind Trio, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, will spend the day playing in local schools prior to their evening concert.

OUR NEXT SEASON

Again there are four concerts on offer for this our fourteenth season. As you can see from the enclosed brochure, there is, as usual, a variety of performers, instruments and composers including John McCabe’s “Summer Eves” string quartet – a special request being played in our November concert by the Bingham Quartet.
A change of programme: since printing the programme, there is a change to our third concert in February when Michael Foyle will be unable to play for us. He has received an invitation to play with the Baltic Philharmonic in Gdansk which is an excellent career opportunity for him. We agreed to release him from his contract with SMS and will welcome Emily Sun, who was the 2016 Gold Medal winner of the Royal Overseas League Competition, in his place. The programme will contain Sonatas by Debussy, Faure and Schumann and the Rosenblatt-Bizet Carmen Fantasy. She will be accompanied by pianist Jennifer Hughes.
The guitarist for the first concert has also changed; Ahmed Dickenson Cardenas will be performing instead of Joseph Warwick.

Ideally it would be great to increase the size of our audience; if you know of any way of spreading the word, please do so. With this in mind, we are sending you two of our brochures; if you could pass one on (maybe someone new has moved into your neighbourhood?) it would be much appreciated.

THANK YOU

We would like to thank all our members for supporting the Society and those who kindly add a donation when paying their subscription. Gift aid can be claimed on donations we receive which obviously helps our funds even more.
We also want to thank all the organisations who supported the Society financially last year. Grants were given by KCC and their Combined Member Grant Scheme helped towards the outreach work. A grant from the Queenborough Fishery Trust supported the concert by Apollo 5. We would not be able to continue without sponsorship of this kind.

Internet users – If searching for information, try using www.easysearch.org.uk – and if shopping register with www.easyfundraising.org.uk and nominate Sittingbourne Music Society. Each purchase will generate a small donation at no extra cost to you and we can claim gift aid as well. Thank you to all those who have used this service in the past.

Thank you all once again and we look forward to seeing you at the coming season’s concerts.

Summer 2013

GENERAL NEWSLETTER
Summer 2013

Annual General Meeting – Friday 13th September 2013 at 7.30
The Midwinter Room Tunstall Church
(PLEASE NOTE NEW VENUE)

AGENDA
1. Chairman’s Welcome
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Minutes of AGM 2012
4. Reports: Chairman – Secretary – Treasurer – Adoption of Accounts
5. Retirement and Adoption of Directors
6. Election of Officers: Chairman – Company Secretary – Treasurer
7. Any other Business

Please join us if you can; we appreciate your interest in and support of the Society and its progress. The meeting will be followed by light refreshments.
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INTRODUCING TWO NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS:-

Mairi Moulton
My qualifications for joining the committee of Sittingbourne Music Society are modest, but my support for the society is based on a great love of chamber music.  I am an enthusiastic supporter of local live music of many kinds and a long-standing audience member and friend of Oare String Orchestra and Maidstone Symphony Orchestra.  My performing skills are limited to choral singing.  I am a member of East Malling Singers and, since 1978, of Rochester Choral Society, of which I am vice-chairman and orchestra secretary.  I hope to be able to bring something useful from this experience to SMS.
Marilyn Austin
I work in the Science department at Fulston Manor school and live in Sittingbourne. I am married to Keith who also enjoys music and supports SMS. Unfortunately, having little musical ability, I do not actually participate in music making, I simply enjoy listening to a fairly wide range of music, especially piano works, string quartets and church choral pieces. I appreciate the opportunity to listen to the diverse programmes provided by the Music Society.

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JOHN McCABE

You are no doubt aware that John has been battling with illness which has involved frequent hospital visits for consultations and treatment. It has been a difficult time for him but he still managed to continue with his composing, fulfilling his commitments, including a piece for this year’s Proms. He has, however, had to cut back on his involvement with SMS; he is now Artistic Adviser rather than Artistic Director. We appreciate all he is doing and the enormous input he has put into the Society since its formation.

OUR NEXT SEASON

Sittingbourne Music Society’s 10th Season promises to be as interesting and varied as the previous nine. All 4 concerts will be held in The Bourne Hall, Sittingbourne Community College starting at 7.45 pm.
On Friday 11th October 2013 the international prize winning Carducci String Quartet will start our season with a programme that includes our own John McCabe’s new Quartet as well as works by Haydn and Beethoven.
On Friday 22nd November 2013 the Eblana String Trio, who are rapidly establishing themselves as an ensemble of immense versatility and talent, will be performing a varied programme with works by Schubert, Finzi, Beethoven and Mozart.
On Friday 7th February 2014 the young Chinese- American pianist Jessica Wei Zhu, who is a post-graduate
student of Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music, will be playing pieces by Brahms, Haydn, Schubert and Listz.
Our final concert, on Friday 21st March 2014, features the entertaining Early Music Group “Galliard”. Their programme is called “A Tale of Two Cities” with music from the courts of Louis XIV and the Kings in London, and will include witty readings and demonstrations of some of their instruments.

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SIR RICHARD RODNEY BENNETT

We were deeply saddened over Christmas to hear of the death of one of our Patrons, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, in a New York hospital. Born in 1936, he had a truly remarkable career, from opera, symphony, instrumental and vocal music of all kinds to film music and jazz – an ex-pupil of Boulez for composition he was also a star of night-club cabaret in New York and London! He sprang to prominence in the late 1950s at a very young age with already supremely accomplished chamber music for the concert-hall and film scores – the ability to be a brilliant all-rounder was already there. It led to performances by all the major symphony orchestras, La Scala, Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and success with the Oscars.

His output was enormous in all forms. In recent years he softened from the more hard-edged “modernism” of the 1960s to a more “accessible” approach – though this “modernism” has always been tempered by his elegant lyricism and a natural rhythmic flow derived from jazz influences. Many of his works have become available on CD, including his fine first full-length opera The Mines of Sulphur, which has also been successfully revived. We in the SMS are glad we were able to programme his lovely Missa Brevis last season.

On a personal note, I might add that he was a deeply valued friend for 60 years, as well as admired colleague whose music formed an important part of my repertoire. It was always fun for his “Chums”, as he called us, to spend time with RRB – he will be truly missed.

John McCabe

Spring 2013

As many of you will be aware, with great regret we have had to change the programme for the concert on February 8th, John asked that we include this explanation of the reasons for that decision.

It was with much sadness that I made the decision to cancel my recital for the SMS in February – it was done on health grounds and proved to be a wise decision, but I did it reluctantly. My health problems bring into train one or two other career decisions which will affect my work for the SMS – I really do have a lot of musical work to do and ought perhaps to concentrate more fully on that.

Apart from anything else, I desperately wanted you to hear the programme I had chosen. However, we have been able to secure the services of a brilliant young pianist I’ve been fortunate enough to hear courtesy of the Park Lane Group. James Kreiling, naturally, cannot be expected to take over the same programme, but has chosen instead a magnificent array of some of the greatest piano classics: virtuoso masterpieces (Ravel’s formidable Gaspard de la nuit, and Beethoven’s majestic final C minor Sonata, Opus 111), some of Debussy’s glittering Images, and Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, so familiar to many pianists (and so much more difficult to play than we all think!).  It makes a feast for any piano-fancier, and will I’m sure be a memorable and exciting evening.
As far as I am concerned, we will all have to work out how to tackle the future, but it does seem to me at this time that it would be better for me to act as an advisor on artistic matters rather than a formal Artistic Director. Our Committee has energetically taken up the reins in various ways already, and as the New Year starts we can make our plans. We will need all your support, though – we have come so far, and done so much good, that we must continue!
John McCabe 14 December 2012

This leads us into a timely message from our Chairman,  Peter Morgan:

Chairman’s Message

As Members may know, I am deeply concerned about the level of our Membership. One thing I have learned about voluntary organisations is that one must persist in recruiting new members or the organisation dies. We must not let that happen to our present Music Society. There are three things which I would encourage you to do to help in this matter.
Please would you go out of your way to invite friends, relatives and acquaintances to attend our concerts.
I am continuing to look for more distributors to deliver Letters of Invitation to their neighbours. I have composed such a letter, printed several hundreds of them, enveloped them and put them into bundles of 100 letters ready for delivery. If anyone is willing to help me with this would you either contact me by phone (01795 423215) or a note through my door at 65 Park Road.
We have a local population of about 60,000 people and many do not even know that we exist.
We are looking for more poster sites to advertise our concerts. If you have a poster site or know of one, please email  HYPERLINK “mailto:magsbroughton@hotmail.co.uk”magsbroughton@hotmail.co.uk or speak to a Committee Member at the concert.
Peter J. Morgan.

It was with deep regret that we heard of the death of one of our patrons Sir Richard Rodney Bennett on 24 December 2012, we hope to include an appreciation in a later newsletter.

We welcome comments and suggestions from members of the Society and from the audience, each of the last two concerts has been reviewed by a member of the audience and we thank them for the time spent.
Review of Cameo Opera’s Concert on 19th October 2012
The Music Society’s 2012/13 season began with an enthusiastic and energetic evening given by the ever-popular Cameo Opera.
“A Night At The Opera” gave us staged and costumed scenes from three operas- “The Magic Flute”, “Cosi Fan Tutte” and “The Barber of Seville”.
All three were well sung and acted, and the costumes were very good. However, at times the voices were a bit unbalanced, I felt, particularly in “Cosi Fan Tutte”.
The singers, furthermore, are to be congratulated for managing to keep going without batting an eye-lid through leaking ceiling and collapsing scenery!
With this in mind, a special mention must be made of Monica, who nobly spent the second half of the concert holding up the collapsing scenery!
As we have come to expect from Music Society concerts, this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Dot Mill

Review of The Korros Ensemble’s Concert on16th November 2012
The Society’s November concert provided an enthusiastic audience with yet another feast of fine music, given by an unusual group of talented young players, the Korros Ensemble.  The setting of the drama studio, although arranged for quite other reasons, was well suited to the combination of flute, clarinet and harp.  Not a single work in the programme was originally written for this combination, though Villa-Lobos’s Choros No. 2 for flute and clarinet, beautifully performed, gave harpist Camilla Pay a brief rest.  Everything else had been arranged, to a greater or lesser extent, by clarinettist Nicholas Ellis.  The team was completed by the immaculate playing of flautist Eliza Marshall.
Perhaps the most obvious candidates for this treatment were the Rawsthorne Suite and Bax’s Elegiac Trio, both originally scored for flute, viola and harp.  Here the clarinet easily replaced the mellow tone of the viola and, in the Bax particularly, the beautiful writing for harp was allowed its full effect.  More surprising were the arrangements of piano works.  The Haydn Sonata in E which opened the concert was remarkably effective, giving the impression of a vocal duet with harp accompaniment. The familiar Debussy Arabesques and the less well known Stanford Prelude no.10 which was given as an encore both seemed to gain in colour and brilliance from their arrangement.
Of the arrangements of orchestral pieces, perhaps the most successful was the Dances from Falla’s La Vida Breve where the clarity of the folk rhythms was strongly maintained.  In Turina’s Danzas Fantasticas and Saint-Saens’ Tarantella, even though the latter is originally scored for flute, clarinet and orchestra, the harp struggled to convey the full orchestral sound.  However, both pieces were still very enjoyable and added to the variety of an imaginative and stimulating programme. Mairi Moulton
Still to Come
We can look forward to two exciting concerts to complete this season’s programme, John has written about James Kreiling’s piano recital on Friday 8th February 2013 which we anticipate will be popular with our members and, hopefully, a wider audience. Please bring any budding pianists you know to listen to this talented young pianist.

Our last concert of the season is on Friday 15th March 2013 when the Kaunas String Quartet will perform Grieg’s F major quartet, Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet and Four Consolations for Sad Cello and Song without Words written by Vidmantas Bartulis who is the cellist’s brother. I am told this is a charming and witty piece despite the title! We are lucky to have booked this superb quartet from Lithuania as part of their UK tour so try not to miss this concert.
Both concerts will start at 7.45pm at the Bourne Hall, Sittingbourne Community College. Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne ME10 4NL.

Finally Finance!
Once again I would like to thank those of you who add a donation to your subscription, not only does this help us to book talented musicians but we have been able to claim gift aid on these donations so they are worth even more to us. Thank you.
Another way you can help the Society is by using  HYPERLINK “http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/”www.easyfundraising.org.uk
when you shop online, it is always worth checking as a very wide range of websites do donate to the nominated charity at no extra cost to you.

See you at the next concert on 8th February!

Completing with Communications
In an attempt to keep expenditure at an absolute minimum this newsletter has been emailed where we have an email address. We would like to use email whenever possible

if you do not want to receive communications by email please reply accordingly to my email at  HYPERLINK “mailto:magsbroughton@hotmail.co.uk”magsbroughton@hotmail.co.uk

if you receive a paper copy of this newsletter and are happy to receive communications by email please let us have your email address.

If more than one member lives at an address and each member would prefer their own copy of the newsletter please ensure we have both email addresses.

We will never pass your email address to any other organisation, it will be used solely by Sittingbourne Music Society

Summer 2012

NINTH SEASON 2012-13

PROGRAMME

Download Booking Form
Patrons:      Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, CBE   Pauline Panton, LGSM

 

First Concert: Friday 19th October 2012

CAMEO OPERA

The ever-popular Cameo Opera presents scenes from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and
Cosí fan tutte
, and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Performed in costume, with keyboard accompaniment, this will be an enchanting evening of music from some of the greatest operas ever written.

 

Second Concert: Friday 16th November 2012

KORROS ENSEMBLE (Flute, Clarinet and Harp)

Eliza Marshall, Nicholas Ellis, and Camilla Pay
An outstandingly talented young trio perform a wide-ranging programme of music specially arranged for their ensemble, including Bax’s lyrical and romantic Elegiac Trio, with its hints of Irish folk music, Spanish music from Turina, Falla and the Brazilian Villa-Lobos, plus delightful miniatures from Debussy, Haydn, Stanford and Saint-SaënsTarantella. Lots of lovely melodies to warm an autumn evening!

 

Third Concert: Friday 8th February 2013

JOHN McCABE (piano)

Our Artistic Director returns to the keyboard to give a recital of music from the era of Jane Austen – she might even have played some of it herself! Sonatas by Beethoven, Haydn and the English prodigy Pinto, who died at the age of 21, Mozart’s C minor Fantasia, and three of the beautiful Nocturnes by John Field.                                          

 

Fourth Concert: Friday 15th March 2013

KAUNAS STRING QUARTET

A superb quartet from Lithuania (the home of great string-playing), the Kaunas Quartet will perform Grieg’s lovely F major quartet (his “Unfinished”), the supreme A minor Rosamunde Quartet of Schubert, and a charming and witty work by Vidmantas Bartulis (the cellist’s brother), Four Consolations for Sad Cello and Song without Words.

This concert is being given in association with the Lithuanian Embassy in London.

Download Application Form here

 

Spring 2012

WELCOME BACK,  after a mild, wet and very windy Christmas and New Year. Writing, as I am, in early January, the festive period already seems to have been blown away in the wind….Anyway, the reputation of the SMS continues to spread, with an article about the first seven seasons in BMS News 132, the December 2011 issue of the British Music Society’s newsletter. Read more →

Early Ripening

Review by Don Goodsell.

Two consecutive recorder events took place in Kent back in April, unrelated but for one vital link – recorder virtuoso John Turner, a presence to awaken many a composer’s muse. The first was staged by Sittingbourne’s forward-looking Music Society – rescued from the doldrums not so long ago by composer John McCabe and his wife Monica, encouraged by music-loving Kent councillor Peter Morgan, and violin teacher Miles Attwell.

Read more →

Winter 2011

MALCOLM BINNS – CHOPIN RECITAL

Friday 11 th February, 7.45 pm, Sittingbourne Community College

Something really to cheer our hearts in a cold, cold winter! Not only is Malcolm Binns one of the foremost interpreters of Chopin’s music, world-wide, but he is generously donating the recital to SMS as a fund raiser. To boost this gift, one of our Society members, John Penry, is generously lending his Steinway piano for the occasion. What a great way for us to start the Year. Read more →

Autumn 2010

SBC SPONSORSHIP

We are grateful that Swale Borough Council have given a generous donation to help fund our first concert this season by ‘Fine Arts Brass’, at Kemsley Village Hall, on Friday October 15 th, 7.30 pm. We take heart from this support and hope for more opportunities in the future to collaborate with SBC in the musical life of Swale.

Text Box:

And for our second concert…

PAVAO STRING QUARTET

Friday 12 th November, 7.45 pm

Sittingbourne Community College

 

SOME REVIEWS

‘ Four finer musicians you could not come across’ (Henry Kelly, Classic FM)

‘Five Stars’ (Financial Times)

‘Sparkling performance’ (Sean Rafferty, Radio 3)

Arrangements of songs by Gershwin will be followed by two popular string quartets.

Arnold Bax’s richly melodic String Quartet No 1 was written in 1918. Dvorak wrote his lovely F Major ‘American’ String Quartet in 1893, while he was Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. The second movement has echoes of an African-American spiritual, as does his New World Symphony composed also in the USA. Dvorak supported the belief that American composers should look to African-American and Native-American music to develop a national style, just as he himself drew much on Czech folk music. Incidentally, Bax was a friend of E J Moeran (see below).

 

Composer E J Moeran’s link with Swale

Monica McCabe has unearthed a remarkable piece of local history:

Thanks to detective work by PhD student, Ian Maxwell, an intriguing story has been uncovered, linking the composer E J Moeran with the Swale district. Moeran was one of the English romantic pastoralists of the early 20 th Century and a close friend of Peter Warlock and Frederick Delius. Monica writes that she was glancing through the September edition of the British Music Society News when she noticed, in Maxwell’s article about Moeran, a mention of Gore Court, Tunstall. She succeeded in making contact with Ian Maxwell in Germany, and she has put the following story together with the help of his assiduous research, and the added help of local historian, Helen Allison, Sittingbourne Heritage Museum, and Meresborough Books.

 

E J Moeran was of Anglo-Irish ancestry and his music evokes particularly the landscapes of Ireland and Norfolk. Moeran’s grandfather was a talented musician from King’s Lynn who married Esther Smeed from Kent. Esther died two years later giving birth to a daughter, Ada Esther. When the child’s father quickly remarried, her maternal grandfather, George Smeed, made the baby a ward-in-chancery and brought her to his home in Tunstall, near Sittingbourne, where she grew up in the family mansion, Gore Court.

George Smeed’s own story is worthy of a Dickens novel, and the two could well have met since they were both born in 1812 and Dickens lived not far away at Gadds Hill, near Rochester. George is believed to have been one of the many children of a poor widow and was a millionaire magnate. He became a smuggler but made his fortune as a local brick maker, barge owner and industrialist. When he bought Gore Court one of the local gentry wrote, ‘Unfortunately Gore Court has been bought by some low fellow…’ However, George Smeed’s bricks built much of 19 th Century London, including the new Houses of Parliament, King’s Cross Station, Tower Bridge and the Victorian Underground system.

 

Ada Esther was striking, intelligent and well educated. When her grandfather died she went to live with an aunt in St. Paul’s Vicarage Upper Norwood, where she met the young curate, the Rev. Joseph Moeran. They married and had two sons, the second being the composer, E J Moeran, born in 1894. Joseph supplied the main Norfolk connection since his father, the Rev J W W Moeran, EJ’s paternal grandfather, was Vicar of Bacton–on-Sea from 1873 until his retirement in 1910 at the age of 94.

 

Moeran surely owed much to his mother, nurtured in Swale, while he himself lived for some years in other parts of Kent. Described as a quiet and lonely man, Moeran was severely wounded while serving in the First World War. We owe gratitude to Moeran as a composer, but also as a collector of many English folk songs which otherwise might have been lost forever. His music has rather fallen out of fashion. However, his highly regarded Symphony in G Minor, was last performed at the BBC Proms in 2009. Two recordings of the symphony, particularly recommended, are those conducted by Vernon Handley, on Chandos, and by David Lloyd-Jones, on the budget label Naxos, which is coupled with Moeran’s ‘Sinfonietta’. CDs may be ordered through Swade Music.

 

FROM THE AGM – 10 th September

TWO NEW DIRECTORS were elected and welcomed onto the SMS Committee. Anne Ryback has taken over from Jeane Holmes as Secretary and Margaret Broughton is our new Treasurer. Warm thanks were expressed to Jeane; she continues as Membership Secretary. Pauline Panton was also welcomed as our new Patron, joining Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.

 

THE LONG TERM FUTURE of SMS depends upon sustaining and increasing our membership. John McCabe urged all who enjoy SMS concerts to become members, whether or not they can attend all the concerts. Membership, he said, was more than buying a season ticket; it expressed a commitment. As at 24 th September membership stands at about 40. Application forms are included in the Programme for the 2010/11 season, or may be obtained from Jeane Holmes (106, College Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1LQ).