Sunday, 4 November 2012

Abbey Brass in Concert!

Come and join Abbey Brass for our November concert
 The School of St Helen & St Katharine
Abingdon, Oxon, England

We will be playing a mixture of classic brass band pieces, music from the musicals, and more modern pieces. There will be both whole band and small group pieces, including some solo numbers. 

Everyone is most welcome, whether or not they have ever heard a brass band before. 

Come and support our band, and help us encourage more people to enjoy the joys that music can bring.

Will you be coming?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

ODBBA Training Band Concert

Got back a few hours ago from the Oxford and District Brass Band Association Training Band Concert. This was a rather nerve-racking concert for me as it was the first time I'd conducted Abbey Brass Training Band (and the first time I'd conducted in public at all). But I have to say that it was a great event.

5 training or youth brass bands took place, covering a wide-range of standards and approaches. It was lovely to see youngsters with great tone and more confident players enjoying themselves. The highlight of the event had to be the mass band though.

All the groups played Northern Festival March together! A fantastic sound, especially after only 1 hours rehearsal together (thanks Nicky for that). 3 drum kits plus a cymbal playing at once was particularly impressive. I never tire of mass bands, they are a great idea and something to behold!

Thanks to all who organised and attended the event (especially Rob). I'm already looking forward to it again next year!

Mamma Mia!

5pm last night.
I arrived home tired but happy, buzzing but relaxed.
What brought on these feelings? Mamma Mia with Jo Sercombe of course!

It was a strange feeling to walk into my own church hall and be confronted by almost 30 strangers (plus a few people that I knew). We had all gathered together to learn how to sing the songs of Abba. Having attended two of Jo's courses before, I was parrticularly excited.

After a day of singing what resulted were two wonderful songs out of a bunch of (not all) musical people, a great feeling of friendship, lots of smiles, and plenty of money for charity.

If you haven't been to any of Jo's courses before then I highly recommend them.
Just check of Jo Sercombe Vocalist on Facebook. 
I've only been home an hour and I've already booked my next one!
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Music for Disability

I recently heard about Sunbeams, a project supported by Children in Need that helps disabled children. They aim to improve quality of life and self esteem through music.

I just love these sort of groups. I really feel that music can speak to people with disabilities. It can help children to vocalise, interact with others, or simply enjoy themselves. Playing music can also help many gain a small amount of control over their lives which is often missing.

I'd love to hear more about other groups out there that do similar things. Please do let me know if you know of any.

For more about Sunbeams click here

Thursday, 4 October 2012

50 years of Love Me Do

Today marks 50 years since 'Love Me Do' by the Beatles was released.
So let's celebrate by hearing it once again:

When was the first time you came across The Beatles? 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Music in Writing

Today's Topic Suggestions:
  • Share a quote from a book that talks about music
  • Write a passage about music

Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor
A bonfire was lit: a carriage disgorged four Gypsies- a violin, a viola, a czembalom and a double-bass- who assembled under a tree... Their strings and their voices kept us company all the way downhill, the through the gates and along the grass path through the trees.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Music in Writing

Today's Topic Suggestions:
  • Share an extract from a book talking about music
  • Tell us about how music influences your writing
  • If you listen to audio-books, tell us about how their soundtracks does or doesn't affect your experience of the text

Extract from 'The Folklore of Discword by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson'
But  nobody can deny that the fauna of the Discworld is particulary rich in species which other worlds have dreamed of. Not for nothing does the old song run:
All beasts bright and beautiful
All monsters big and small
All things weird and wonderful
The Discworld has them all

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bookish Music Parody

Today's Topic Suggestions:
  • Write your own musical parody with a bookish theme and then post the lyrics and/or a video
  • Post a link to a song which parodies a book or reading in general
  • Tell us what you think of music parodies in general

A Harry Potter Parody (found on YouTube)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Music in Writing

Todays Suggested Topics:
  • Share with us a passage from a book that mentions music
  • Post the video or lyrics of a song mentioned in your current/favouite read
  • Tell us about the role of music in your favourite read

From 'The Folklore of Discworld' by Terry Pratchett & Jacqueline Simpson

Each clan [of the Feegles] keeps a bard and musician, called a gonnagle, with a repertoire of heroic lays, laments, and martial music played on the mousepipes. Such performers are invaluable in battle, for terrorizing the enemy. When Tiffany Aching and the Feegles of the Chalk are attacked by a pack of fairt grimhounds, the venerable William the gonnagle takes out his pipes:
'I shall play,' he announced, as the dogs got close enough for Tiffany to see the drool, 'that firrrm favourite, "the King Underrr Waterrr".' As one pictsie, the Nac Mac Feegles dropped their swords and put their hands over their ears. William out the mouthpiece to his lips, tapped his foot once or twice, and, as a dog gathered itself to leap at Tiffany, began to play... The dog in front of her went cross-eyed and, instead of leaping, tumbled forward. The grimhounds paid no attention to thhe pictsies. The howled. They spun around. They tried to bite their own tails. They stumbled, and ran into one another. The line of panting death broke into dozens of desperate animals, twisting and writhing and trying to escape from their own skins. [The Wee Free Men]
What had happened was that William had played 'the notes of pain', pitched too high for human ears, but agonizing to dogs. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Music That Makes My World Go Round

Today's topic
Post /leave a comment about one of the following:
  • Your favourite band/solo artist
  • Your favourite music genre
  • The role of music in your life
  • Music that can be heard in your household
 Don't forget to leave a link in the comments, and that every 'Music Through The Pages' post you make qualifies you for an extra entry in our giveaway (link in the sidebar).

The role of music in my life

Music really does help my world go round. Whilst I don't listen to many CDs nowadays, I spent a large majority of my time making music.

I play with Abbey Brass band and also enjoy singing at my local church. Its rare that a moment doesn't go by without me humming to myself (something my family really hates)- I just can't help it since there's always a tune in my head.

When I'm driving I love nothing better than to have the radio on. If Rdaio 2 doesn't provide a programme that I enjoy then I usually put on a CD instead. Depending on where I'm driving (and how I''m feeling) this can be Take That, music from the musicals, Brian May, or the Beatles.

I couldn't imagine a world without music, just as I couldn't imagine one without books. Surely that would be a boring world indeed!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Music Through The Pages Giveaway (International)

To celebrate our month long Summer Special entitled 'Music Through The Pages' I'm giving away a bundle of music and book related prizes. And what's more, it's international!

To enter simply fill in the rafflecopter below. You can also gain extra entries for each day that you answer a post question by coming back to this page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Music Through The Pages Schedule

Welcome to 'Music Through The Pages', a 'Summer Special' August event!

Throughout August, I'll be bringing you a series of posts linked to all things music and book-related. I'd love it if you'd join in through your own blogs, facebook, twitter, or comments on my posts.

There will be a giveaway running throughout the event, entry entries for which can be gained for each daily topic you post about.

To help you find these topic posts (which will be spread over all my blogs) and to allow you to schedule your posts wheree possible, here's a schedule of where posts will be hosted each day:

Wednesday 1st August- Introduce Yourself
Thursday 2nd August- Music To Our Ears (Giveaways launch date)
Friday 3rd August- Music That Makes My World Go Round
Saturday 4th August- Favourite Authors
Sunday 5th August- Music Book Review

Monday 6th August- Music That Inspires Writing
Tuesday 7th August- Stories That Inspire Music
Wednesday 8th August- Music That We Listen To Whilst Reading
Thursday 9th August- Writing Music
Friday 10th August- Music In Writing
Saturday 11th August- Writing in Music
Sunday 12th August- Journalling a Personal History of Music

Monday 13th August- Book Soundtrack
Tuesday 14th August- Story of a Song
Wednesday 15th August- Hymn Books
Thursday 16th August- Bookish Music Parodies
Friday 17th August- Music in Writing
Saturday 18th August- Writing in Music
Sunday 19th August- Character Interview: The Music Edition

Monday 20th August- Setting the Scene
Tuesday 21st August- Books, Music & Craft
Wednesday 22nd August-  Matching Music To Reading
Thursday 23rd August- A Culture of Music & Literature
Friday 24th August- Music in Writing

Saturday 25th August- Writing in Music
Sunday 26th August- Marking the Ocassion

Monday 27th August- A Musical Argument
Tuesday 28th August- Music of the Moment
Wednesday 29th August- Characterising an Attitude to Music
Thursday 30th August-  The Final Party
Friday 31st August- Wrap-Up Post

As yet we have no banner or button for this event. If you (or anyone you know) is able and willing to create one I'd much appreciate it. Plus, as a thankyou, I'd like to offer you the chance to win a book. Click here for details.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Pre-event giveaway (international)

I'm the first to admit that I'm not particularly artist, so I need yor help to create banners and buttons for my summer event.
As a thankyou all who provide a banner/button for use during 'Music Through The Pages' will be entered to win a copy of 'What A Performance' by Reginald Frary, as well as getting an extra entry into the main event giveaway.
One banner and one button will be chosen for use during the event, and I'll select one of these to receive the book prize.

To enter, simply design a banner or button, post it somewhere where I can see it, and then fill in the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Announcing 'Music Through the Pages'

Throughout August I will be running an event across all my blogs entitled 'Music Through The Pages'.

This 'Summer Special' will be all about the relationship beween books and music and will include:

  • Extracts from books mentioning music
  • Reviews
  • Videos of songs about books
  • Music inspired by specific books
  • A giveaway
  • Daily topics for discussion on your own blogs/in the comments
I'm also planning to have author/blogger interviews and guest posts if I can get enough interest (forms will be available to fill in later this week if you wish to be involved). 
Any other ideas are, of course, always welcome.

The blogs involved will be:

That's all for now, more about this throughout this week.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Abbey Brass at Appleford

This morning, shaded from the heat by a canopy which the wind threatened to blow away, Abbey Brass entertained the visitors at Appleford Fete.

It was a simple, but good event, with local fruit and veg on sale, tea & coffee, cake, charity stalls, local information and bootsale-style tables. But the highlight of the event had to be the traction engines, which ocassionally made circuts of the field.

It was great to have an opportunity to practise the marches that the band intend to use a Whit Friday, as well as to play in such picturesque conditions. Thanks to all that attended- we hope you had a good time!

You can next see Abbey Brass at Blenheim Palace on Tuesday the 5th of June (or, of course, at the Whit Friday marches this Friday).

Monday, 21 May 2012

Booking the Songs: Crusade of Tears 2

From Crusade of Tears by C.D. Baker
"I'll sing a song of the women of Brabbia." He hummed a few notes before he began, and it was plain that he'd been blessed with a voice well suited for his calling:
 I met once a maid 
Whose touch stole my soul.
A beauty indeed,
An angel aglow.
Silk hair, golden braids,
Shaped hips, eyes of blue
Her smile lit the heavens,
Her kiss was sweet dew.
Red lips like spring roses.... 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Booking the Songs: Crusade of Tears

This is where I share a song that has been mentioned in one of my reading books. Sometimes it will be a real song, other times a fictional one. I will also include a video where possible.

From Crusader of Tears by C.D. Baker

Schonster Herr Jesu / the Crusader's Hymn:

Fairest Lord Jesus,
Ruler of all nature,
Son of God and Son of Man.
Thee will I cherish,
Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul's glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows,
Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
And all the twinkling, starry host:
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heav'n can boast.

Beautiful Savior.
Lord of all nations.
Son of God and Son of Man.
Glory and honor,
Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore by Thine.

"Pieter squeezed his eyes closed in desperate prayer but his pleadings had barely left his lips when, as much to his own surprise as to others', he began singing. There was no reason for such a thing, no known purpose whatever, but his raspy voice had become suddenly clear and miraculously resonant, and he crooned the children's favouite hymn with the vigour of a man half his age."

Friday, 4 May 2012

Abbey Brass at Abingdon Air Show

Come over to the RAF base near Abingdon this Sunday to join in the fun and hear Abbey Brass playing some of their tunes. We will be playing twice- at around 10.30am and 2pm.
(see links in sidebar for more info)

A great day out for all!