February 2018 Music Notes

Catherine Shrubshall

“The first snowdrops are starting to emerge from the depths of the dormant earth to show us their beautiful white tepal forms…. like giants we peer downward towards our feet during these dark and dank days. I’m wondering what is to flow from your fingertips to the keyboard for this article dear Catherine?”

Blimey, I’d just phoned Fiona for a ‘quick chat’, but clearly she was in one of her more floral moods. This was all very entertaining (especially when she started warbling a high pitched version of Delius’s tone poem “On Hearing The First Cuckoo in Spring”), yet the clock was ticking and I had our Thorpe Mag notes to compose…..so I quietly left the poetess to her enchanting chatter, and began to leaf through my last articles with my writing task in mind…..

The final Music Notes column of 2017 climaxed appropriately with news of my Westminster Cathedral speech…..and my first 2018 contribution leapt into the New Year with heart-felt intentions. Yet something was missing…..and with this in mind I’m hoping you will allow me to rewind the tape a little (is there a digital equivalent to this?)…..with all the excitement I seem to have carelessly omitted to fill you all in on the success of our first St Cecilia Festival back in November. If you were there, then please accept our massive thanks for being part of the generously warm-hearted and gung-ho audience, some of whom arrived an hour early to bag a pew with a view! If you weren’t there, then please keep your tabs open with regards to this year’s event, so we can have an even bigger party atmosphere and raise more dosh for our local worthy causes.

So how much did we make I hear you ask……Well, I’m proud to announce that our village’s first music festival raised an epic £1300 for “St Michael’s Church Restoration Fund” and “Help Musicians UK”. Both beneficiaries were suitably delighted with the financial outcome, and the audience’s enthusiastic response certainly seemed to have made it creatively worthwhile for the 7 professional musicians, who generously gave their time and talent for free.

Many of you know the effort needed to pull together an event such as this – it’s the vision, teamwork, tenacity, sheer hard work and belief of success that makes it happen…..so I’d like to acknowledge this for myself (thank you!) and also to my esteemed colleagues who made the festival such top quality……Firstly I must mention my comrade in arms, the talented and very amusing Fiona Baines, who is possibly still whistling away to herself as I write this article. And how wonderful that “Saxology” brought a quartet of devils horns to St Michael’s for the first time, along with Jeffery Wilson’s stunning playing, composing and arranging skills. The 2 vests that our glowing pianist Peter Thorne sported beneath his jewel coloured shirt will become legendary, along with his lovely back, his incredible playing and his fabulous composing. I would also like to shout ‘Bravo’ in appreciation to Andrew Bain for reducing the audience to tears (in a good way!) with his vocal virtuosity….as well as apologising to him for my rowdy slap-tongued saxophone intro to “Nessun Dorma” (his facial expression of shock and horror was a picture to behold). Additionally, much appreciation goes out to Father Jeremy and the enchanting Carol and Marjorie for all their organisation and enthusiasm – and for providing the heavenly venue and the nourishment during rehearsals too. Hurrah for everyone and everything – we all had a ball!

Ok, so feeling an appropriate sense of closure for 2017, I dialled Fiona’s number again. We both picked up where we left off and started twittering a fragment of Delius…well, the cuckoo bit……dueting in harmony and breaking down with infectious laughter. The joy of playfulness.

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