Bill’s Blog ~ 2012 so far, and to come

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We had a concert in St Peter’s Coggeshall on the 21st of April – Travelling the Road to Freedom. This was such a special occasion for us – a ‘first’ in so many ways.

We did a Quire in Education Session – first at Drummonds, a residential home for 35 people with complex disabilities run by Scope, the national disability charity. Then at Coggeshall Primary School. More about those events in the Quire in Ed section of this site.

The concert programme itself emerged from the original Olympic idea as a set of songs from around the world reflecting the four main continents and the areas from which the volunteers and staff from Drummonds were drawn – so there was music from central and southern America, from Eastern Europe, Asia and so on. What made this so special for us all was the sight of 20 or more wheelchairs in the front row, with residents and helpers of Drummonds bopping away to the music, and the sound of their joy as we sang songs they had heard in the workshop. So many members of Quire remarked that it had been immensely rewarding for us as much as for the people from Drummonds and the audience members too.

Our summer event will be Roots of Gospel on Saturday June 30th at St Teresa of Lisieux Lexden Colchester. The idea behind this concert is to trace gospel music from its beginnings in the music of the European settlers in America, through the music of various sects – representing black as well as white Christian singers, to the 20th century when major composers emerged and, of course, singers of world standing like Mahalia Jackson and   Yolanda Adams. This should be a popular programme so let’s be hopeful of a large audience.

For our Christmas Concert I am working on a programme that reflects the wonderful book by Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World) which he called ‘The Christmas Mystery’. Called Advent Calendar the concert will reflect the journey of a group of travellers who go back in time from the 21st century, and back geographically across Europe to the time of the Nativity in Palestine. I know we can do justice in our songs to reflect this magical journey.

Of course there are many other ideas in the pipeline for musical excursions between now and the end of 2012 but more news of those when they come to fruition.

Octavia and Towering Angels
Towering Angels and Octavia have taken on a life of their own! They are in demand for events in and around Colchester – performing 20 minute sets both at Slack Space at other local events. For example, TA recently did a set at a church way out in the Tendring Peninsula. I guess we will get a report when the travellers return!

I gave a talk at St Mary’s Peldon on Wednesday May 16th on West Gallery Music. TA and Octavia provided the musical examples. At least I could keep tabs on their burgeoning activities on this occasion!