Summer 2013

Summer 2013

Annual General Meeting – Friday 13th September 2013 at 7.30
The Midwinter Room Tunstall Church

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.


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.



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.


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.



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

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