Monthly Archives: September 2013

Marathon Money


Hello everyone.

My marathon attempt gathers pace. 15 miles on Sunday, 18 this coming Saturday. That’s the furthest I will run before the big day. You have to leave yourself a bit of a challenge!

The CRAZY hills of Sheffield can only count in my favour in Germany. I’m not complacent, but running on the flat will be a DREAM after the ups and downs of Sheffield’s Seven Hills.

Every penny that everyone gives will help to support the fantastic work of Music in the Community in bringing inspirational music to as many people as we can possibly manage.

You can donate now! Please follow this link and help put a spring in my step!

THANK YOU to you all! More updates to follow.

Fraser, Learning & Participation Manager

@frasermitr (click this to follow me on Twitter as the marathon approaches)

If you’d rather not pay until after the run, but would still like to promise an amount, that’s fine! Please click here to make your promise

In the running

My two great passions are music and running. Ingeniously, I’ve found the perfect way of combining the two: tackling a Marathon for Music in the Community! Thus I’ll be running the Cologne Marathon on 13 October this year. For me this will complete a trio of October runs, having previously completed Loch Ness (2009) and Amsterdam (2010).

Twenty-six miles of street-pounding. I might mention that this is about the same as Sheffield to Huddersfield (though Cologne has fewer hills – phew!). It’s also, of course, the distance that Pheidippides sprinted after the battle of Marathon back to Athens before he *collapsed and died*.

I’d love you all to run with me. If not literally (and you might just have missed the training boat now) then by donating generously and sending me on my way with a huge incentive to run well! Every pound we raise will help Music in the Community to continue and extend its wonderful work in sharing music, and a love of music, with people of all ages and backgrounds. So please give as generously as you can – remembering just how jolly far away Huddersfield is

How to pay? From 1 October you will be able to donate quickly and securely online via our website.. At any point from now on (even after race day) you may send a cheque (payable to The Lindsay Foundation) to MitR Marathon, Music in the Round, 4th Floor, Sheffield Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 1XZ. Or you could bring cash to any of our autumn concerts. Whatever and however you give – THANK YOU! You’ll spur me on to run as fast as I possibly can!

Keep in touch!

More on Music in the Community and its work is only a click away.. In the lead-up to the big day I’ll be blogging about it here, and once I leave on the Friday you’ll be able to follow my progress and send general messages of encouragement on Twitter.. You’ll find it’s just like being there, only without the Bockwurst or trainers. Or the 26-mile run.

Fraser    @frasermitr

CAST: Glittering!

CAST outdoor perfs

Friday night saw the opening of CAST, Doncaster’s new purpose-built venue, and Music in the Round were lucky enough to get an invite.

The evening began with outdoor performances in Sir Nigel Gresley Square in front of the venue. The atmosphere was electric. There was music, dancing, and even pyrotechnics!
Crowds gathered to watch, listen and even join in with an anthem specially composed for the occasion by local duo Rita Payne.

Opening night - 6th Sept 2013

There was a wonderful feeling that this is a space for everyone as CAST Director, Kully Thiarai, announced the building open and the crowds flooded, or conga-ed, in.
The fun didn’t stop there as we took our seats for the first production ever to grace CAST’s main stage; The Glee Club. An entertaining song-filled play written by Doncaster-born playwright Richard Cameron, it tells the story of a group of miners from Edlington – a superb performance and incredibly fitting for Doncaster.

The night closed with Kully taking a photograph of the audience present for this momentous night and a few inspiring words from the Arts Council who have shown such great commitment to the project throughout its development.

Opening night, Matt Bugg playing on the roof - 6th Sept 13
Sheffield–based musician Matt Bugg plays the violin from the roof

A programme of events continued over the whole of the opening weekend; most of it free and open to all, inviting the people in to have a look around their new space. There was storytelling, music, a chance to try Indian dancing, create a piece of art, join in a Music Box workshop with Polly and Tim, and much more. Local artists, professional, student and amateur, filled the spaces with creativeness as thousands of people came in to take a look around.


There was a lovely vibe throughout the whole weekend; a real sense of occasion and of this being something really special.

After exploring the venue we’re really excited for our concert at CAST on 8th February next year with Ensemble 360, Beechfield Youth Orchestra and Boyce Chamber Orchestra. It would be great to see you there!

Kathryn, Project Co-ordinator


A carnival of animals!

It’s been all go in the office this week. As the summer morphs into the autumn, schools go back, holidays end, we start to kick on with our preparations for the autumn season. In my first little while as Learning & Participation maestro, with the rest of 2013 in prospect, I’ve had animals on the mind for much of the time: planning and photographing for our Giraffes Can’t Dance Music Box workshops, talking to Paul Rissmann about dog-and-cat duo Stan and Mabel and whether horses really can play bassoons, or deciding whether our budget will stretch to cow onesies for that all-important press photo.


That’s all been complemented, from the desk next to mine, by Polly, creative supremo and recently appointed Learning and Participation Creative Director, who (with the “travelling the world through music” theme of Stan and Mabel uppermost in mind) has been playing the Flower Duet from Lakmé and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries in recent days. By the way, I love the twist at the end of Stan and Mabel (anyone who isn’t yet familiar with Jason Chapman’s wonderful book should look away now to avoid a spoiler): not only do they form the only animal orchestra in the world – they form the best animal orchestra in the world!!


As with all our early-years commissions, with these two pieces we aim to open up classical music to the whole family through workshops, participation, engagement, learning, and FUN! A new strand for us this year is the focus on assisting the continuing development of teachers and facilitators, and offering them resources and ideas to support their work with children, through INSET sessions, the first of which takes place in Sheffield next month. More are planned elsewhere in 2014. And, in the name of making sure that maximum fun and fulfilment can be had at every turn, there will soon be a Stan and Mabel Participation Pack available for free on our website (by the end of the month), which will enable teachers, parents, children – everyone – to learn all the songs and games before coming to one of the concerts later in the year.

As a serious hard-working journalist, I put down my tea, leaned to my left, and asked Polly for a suitable quote about all this. She told me: “Everyone can take part in music. With our world-class musicians, there’s an emphasis on quality, and our commissions from Paul enable children and their families to be part of something that’s really inspiring and accessible.” Regarding INSET sessions, she says that “the emphasis is very much on helping and supporting parents and teachers so that it becomes something they can all share in with their children.”


So we look forward to October, when the wonderful Ensemble 360 return to enliven and inspire us in the Crucible Studio and elsewhere with warm, world-class music-making – and, if all goes to plan, to don the occasional bovine suit in the name of fun…


Learning & Participation Manager    @frasermitr