Tag Archives: music

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

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

New music for new venue

From this September Doncaster will have a brand new performance venue. CAST boasts a 600-seat theatre, a smaller flexible auditorium, workshop spaces and a café and bar.


A while ago we were approached by the people behind CAST to work with them on a project for the building’s opening season. They wanted to do something new, something unique and something that was for everyone that at the same time kept its heart in high quality classical music. Shadow Game was born.

Shadow Game is a brand new work that’s been written by the incredibly talented composer Charlotte Bray who, according to The Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners, has already “emerged as one of the outstanding composing talents of her generation”. Her time is much-in-demand so we’re delighted and very lucky that she’s found the time not only to write the piece but also to join us in Doncaster for the premiere performance.


The piece is in Sinfonia Concertante style for four members of Ensemble 360; Naomi (horn), Matt (clarinet), Juliette (flute) and Gemma (cello) and a chamber orchestra of amateur musicians. We’ve received such positive reactions from local groups and are delighted that the Boyce Chamber Orchestra and the Beechfield Youth Orchestra are joining forces with Ensemble 360. The two groups will also have the opportunity to work with musicians from Ensemble 360 and Charlotte in advance of the performance. 

The World Premiere of Shadow Game, plus other music by each of the groups, will take place CAST on Saturday 8th February 2014, 7.30pm. Get the date in your diary now!

We still have £5,000 to raise towards the cost of this project and sincerely hope that you’ll support us and Ensemble 360, not only by joining us on 8th February (and bringing all your friends with you!) but also by buying your very own bar of the work. Watch out for more news on our Buy a Bar scheme or how to make a donation in the autumn on our website.

By Tracy Bryant, Project Manager (@tracymitr)