September 2017 Music Notes

Saxology Quartet

It’s amazing what can be crammed into a short period of time called summer….what with gigs, workshops, teaching and brain stimulating travel…including a (thankfully flat) bicycle trip up the west coast of Holland too! However, throughout all this nurturing and refreshing revelry, the emergent thought of a celebratory concert in Thorpe that I shared with you in July, has never left me…inevitably causing middle-of-the-night fervid creative conversations with Tricksy Fiona, bandying around the odd concept and theme to hook the concert onto…further talks led to Father Jeremy and his enthusiastic St Michael’s team coming into the frame with the offer of a venue. The twist in this merry tale also involves a benevolent charity that I volunteer with, and who have supported me and other colleagues during difficult times in our careers: “Help Musicians UK” ( More on them later.

So, with a ‘provisional’ plan in hand, (because booking musicians can be like trying to bag a clowder of cats), I have great pleasure in reporting, thus far, success in tempting a fabulously professional band of merry music makers to our village to perform this year…. and hot off the press, an important date for your Autumn social calendar has been finalised ☺. “CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF SAINT CECILIA” is all set to kick off at 8pm at St Michael’s Church on Saturday 25th November. Thorpe-le-Soken’s first festival to honour the famous patroness and muse of music and musicians, is raring to go. Further more, it is twinned with Help Musician UK’s annual Saint Cecilia event in London’s “Westminster Cathedral” as an added accolade (FYO, their concert takes place on Wednesday 22nd November).

Having bagged the musicians (or *cats if you prefer!), we are starting to sort our programme to create a beautiful flow of theme and thound…sorry, sound…my tongue got in the way there!….to thelebrate (SORRY!) the feast of our muse! The notion is to have a multifarious selection of music performed by professional and local musicians, including the superb saxophone quartet “SAXOLOGY” (Soprano Sax: Fiona Hill, Alto Sax: Me, Tenor Sax: Jeffery Wilson, Baritone Sax: Tracey Bridgeman: with the velvety voices of Fiona Baines (lyric soprano) and Andrew Bain (tenor). And supporting us all effortlessly from the piano will be the talented Peter Thorne.

Not only will the festival be hosting these top-notch musos, but also featuring the performance of TWO world premiers written especially for this occasion – how extravagant is that?! Alexander Pope’s “Ode on St Cecilia’s Day” (verse 5) is currently inspiring our accomplished saxophonist/composer Jeffery Wilson to put pen to manuscript to write “BY THE STREAMS THAT EVER FLOW” for saxophone quartet and lyric soprano….and I know at least five of you lifelong learning Thorpsters will want to delve further into the text. The second new work is under construction by our pianist/esteemed composer Peter Thorne – more on that in October. And so dear readers, lend us your support for this (spoiler alert: slight tongue twister), Thorpe’s First Festival Celebrating the Feast of St Cecilia, and get to hear stupendous music making at its best, and help 2 worthy causes to boot (funds raised will be donated to “St Michael’s Church Restoration Fund” and “Help Musicians UK”)

I’ll be back in October with more news about our Saint Cecilia celebrations…….a lot can happen in a month in my world, so watch this space, and remember to book your tickets NOW before they run out! …and please, spread the word far and wide.
(Ticket price: £10. Phone: 01255 675959 or Mob: 0795726662)

* In the 1920s world of Jazz, a “cat” was a cool Jazz Musician. Cats, like Jazz musicians, were out at night, invariably landed on their feet, resourceful, and always relied on themselves

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