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SEPTEMBER 2014

BENSLOW MUSIC NEEDS YOU


We are always looking to extend a
welcome to other amateur musicians who
are not aware of the great courses and
concerts we have on offer.
Are you able to support Benslow Music by
distributing posters or course brochures
in your local area?
Please contact Vicky on 01462 459446
or email vicky@benslowmusic.org as she
would be delighted to speak to you.
www.benslowmusic.org
My frst task today is
to offer enormous
thanks to John
Witchell for acting
as Chief Executive
here since the
Spring. His great
experience, skill
and wisdom have
had a signifcant
effect over the last
six months and will
continue to do so.
He and I have had good talks already and I
shall be very glad of his counsel in the months
ahead.
I am delighted to be joining the Benslow team
and thus to have the opportunity to lead the
excellent staff in attracting and supporting
all who attend courses, and in continuing to
develop the facilities - so well improved over
the last several years. The legacy established by
Mary Ibberson, her colleagues and successors
is huge and I trust I shall be able both to honour
and to build on that. I am greatly looking
forward to getting to know those involved
in the operation and am already benefting
from the insights of tutors, Members, Friends,
staff and trustees. Working together, talking,
communicating openly is how we can best
proceed. So, if weve not yet spoken do please
make yourselves known, either directly in
person (best) or via email/phone: peter@
benslowmusic.org and 01462 459446. Though
my post is part time I will be around frequently
so please share with me your views on both
what is good about Benslow and how you feel
it might develop. I shall be based in the offce at
the bottom of the stairs in the main house - do
drop by for a chat, coffee or both.
To me, Benslow is a jewel, well loved and
appreciated by those who know its work. A
key element of my mission is to secure the
fnancial base for the whole operation. A way
to help that is by expanding awareness of the
splendid concerts and the terrifc courses
offered. I suspect that what is done is not as
widely known and appreciated as it deserves
to be. This is an area that you, each reader,
can help with very easily, through talking to
friends and other contacts about the excellent
and enjoyable courses youve attended and
propose to attend, the inspiring people youve
met here, the music youve heard, the warm
ambience, the helpful friendliness of staff,
the range of accommodation, the plentiful
good food, the exceptional opportunities to
share ones love of music and music-making
together. We want Benslow to be even more
frmly positioned on the music and musical
education maps as the destination of choice
for short courses throughout the year.
We need to reach keen musicians everywhere,
young and old, both nationally (and
internationally) and not least locally, holding
true to the founding principles to promote
music education for social beneft through
the study and practice of music, especially in
its social and co-operative forms, amongst
students of all ages. Courses will remain
the core business, but we must also take the
opportunity to respond to the changing nature
of music provision in UK at national, regional
and local levels, perhaps diversifying a little but
always providing courses greatly relevant both
to adults and younger people.
In short, what I should like for Benslow over
the next fve years is that it looks increasingly
bright, fresh and full, sounds vibrant, innovative
and buzzing, feels happy, successful, secure,
open, active, positive, fourishing and confdent.
With your help it will be!
Peter Hewitt CEO
UZZ
THE
COURSE PLACES AVAILABLE
We still have places available on the following
September courses.
Elementary Strings
(Code 14/264, 8 - 10 September)
Orchestral Bassoons
(Code 14/265, 8 - 10 September)
Autumn Saxes (2 or 3 night option)
(Code 14/341, 12 - 15 September)
Flute Day
(Code 14/017, 13 September)
Clarinet Day
(Code 14/018, 14 September)
Everyone Matters
(Code 14/EM1, 14 - 17 September)
String Quartets with the Maggini
(Code 14/270 or 14/342, 19 - 22 September)
Group Quartets with Jonathan Trout
(Code 14/343, 22 - 25 September)
Goethes Faust and Music
(Code 14/271, 26 - 28 September)
Intermediate String Orchestra - *New*
(Code 14/ST1, 29 September - 2 October)
On most courses we can usually squeeze in a few more
so even if the course youre attracted to isnt on this list
why not ask in any case?
INFO@BENSLOWMUSIC.ORG OR T: 01462 459446 TO
BOOK YOUR PLACE
MOVING INTO
AUTUMN
With the summer
months now at an
end we are all very
pleased with the way
this years batch of
summer schools have
gone. A particular
highlight from the
past month was the
Baroque on Modern
Instruments course which was led by Lucy
Russell and her colleagues for the frst time.
This is a course which has been led by various
tutors in the past, but this year we seem to
have found the winning formula. We are
delighted with the positive feedback we have
received and we very much hope Lucy, Gail,
Peter and Nick will be back with us for next
years course.
As we move into autumn we still have spaces
available on a number of courses, in particular
violin spaces in September, and in October
were looking for singers. So if you are thinking
of booking any forthcoming courses, please
call our team on 01462 459446. And of course,
if you know of anyone who you think may be
interested please ask them to get in touch.
As you will already be aware, our programme
of courses for the Jan-Jul 2015 period was
released earlier this summer and take-up so
far has been very positive. However, we do
still have spaces for some of the high-demand
courses which were balloted to members.
Please dont hesitate to enquire if you are
interested in one of the quartet courses, or
one of the fute or clarinet spaces on our wind
chamber music courses. Even if spaces are
currently full, please dont let this discourage
you from adding your name to the waiting list,
regardless of the length, as often cancellations
are made at the last minute and occasionally a
place on the course can go to the 4th, 5th or
even 6th person on the waiting list subject to
participants availability at the 11th hour.
As planning begins for the Jul-Dec 2015 period
I once again urge anyone who has ideas or
suggestions about what they would like to
see in our programme to get in touch. During
the planning of the frst half of 2015, thanks to
suggestions from you, we were able to add a
guitar ensembles course with Steve Marsh, a
course for pianists and singers with Richard
Edgar-Wilson and a course for violinists with
Gina McCormack. All of which are recruiting
well. It is our course members who enable
Benslow Music to continue to offer our
unique programme of courses and we love
hearing your feedback and suggestions. If you
do want to get in touch please dont hesitate
to contact me fane@benslowmusic.org
and I will look forward to hearing from you.
Fane Henderson Head of Music
FAREWELL DRINKS
- PLEASE JOIN US
All members and course
attendees of Benslow
Music are cordially invited
to join us in the bar for
a drink and canaps on
Thursday 25 September
at 5.30pm to wish farewell
to Stephen Pettitt, former
Director of Music, who left us earlier this year.
Anyone wishing to attend please rsvp to The Friends
of Benslow Music at: val.campion@ntlworld.com
before Friday 19 September.
A NEW PATIO
We are pleased to say that following the recent
addition of a handrail, the work on our new
patio is now complete. We offer our heartfelt
thanks to Nona and Bernard Blay whose
kind donation has made all this possible. To
mark the occasion we are holding a tea party
with Nona and Bernard at 4pm on Tuesday
9 September at our campus. If you wish to
attend please rsvp to info@benslowmusic.org
A TRIBUTE TO SELENE MILLS
Many of you will remember Selene who was Registrar at Benslow Music Trust from 1986 until 1992
who died recently in Cambridge of cancer at 54. Selene was born in 1960 and educated at Camden
School for Girls, she came to Selwyn College with a double exhibition (classics and choral). From
there she worked successively in the libraries of the University of Essex, Duchy of Lancaster Offce
and St. Pauls Cathedral before coming to Benslow where she was one of only two permanent
members of staff (and during a period of Michael Procters illness sole member). She gained a huge
amount of experience, contacts and knowledge which Benslow has fourished and we are grateful
to her for that.
In 1992 Selene moved to Cambridge to become Chapel Secretary at Trinity College and founded
the Cambridge Early Music Summer Schools in 1993. Selene thought it would be a one-off , people
have come from all over the world to attend these courses, and a good number have gone on to be
professional performers. As a musician she was a very fne singer, player of the harpsichord, violin
and viola, and recently had taken up the viol. She was also a linguist, providing translations for many
concert programmes, CD booklets and musical publications, lately in particular with Judy Tarling on
her burgeoning collection of books on rhetoric and music, and also as Editorial Assistant and then
Acting Editor for the Theological Review journal. She also worked as a reviewer for Early Music
Review. She was also commissioned to manage, and assist with the management of four other early
music festivals, and was for a while, manager and agent for a number of early music groups including
the Parley of Instruments. Her organisational abilities even went as far as to prepare the order of
service for her funeral. She chose the readings and hymns, set the psalm and chose the music. Running
enterprises such as Cambridge Early Music takes a great deal of tenacity and sheer hard work. Selene
undertook this work (which, whatever she may have said to the contrary, took many hours as a full
time job) alongside her other, part time, job at Trinity College, and still found time to sing, and play, and
tend the garden, and membership secretary for Eastern Early Music Forum, and stroke the cat. and,
and , and All of this she did with an almost constant good spirit, and also with strong determination.
If anyone was to produce a word cloud from those communications the headline words would include
inspirational, kind, thoughtful, warm, friendly, caring. Selenes life has been about people,
music and the summer schools. I would like to end with Selenes own words. It is so hard to say
goodbye to people with whom I have made music. There is no more precious gift than making music
together, and I have based my lifes work on this principle. It doesnt have to be great performances,
or performances at all: some of the best moments have been tucked away in someones living room
with no one else listening. But those moments are no less valid or important than the times in sold
out concert halls.
I have had a wonderful fulflling life and am surrounded by love and prayers from many people; I have
no bitterness about going early (I am 54) but am grateful for the amazing times and experiences I have
enjoyed. I hope God is kind to you too.
Michael Taylor Vice-Chairman of Council
Benslow Music, Benslow Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG4 9RB
T: +44 (0)1462 459446 I E: info@benslowmusic.org I W: www.benslowmusic.org
INTERNATIONAL RECITAL SERIES
An enticing series of concerts of music given
by world class artists. Programme details are
available on our website.
SATURDAY 6 SEPTEMBER, 8PM
ORIGINAL WORKS AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR ONE, TWO AND
THREE CLARINETS AND PIANO
FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER, 8PM
HAYDN: OP55 NO2, MATHIAS: OP84 NO2,
MENDELSSOHN: OP44 NO3 - PRE CONCERT DINING AVAILABLE
FRIDAY 10 OCTOBER, 8PM
DIGBY FAIRWEATHER AND CRAIG MILVERTON ARE JOINED BY
COLLEAGUES FROM THE BRITISH JAZZ AWARD WINNING DIGBY
FAIRWEATHERS HALF DOZEN, AL SWAINGER (BASS) AND
NICK MILLWARD (DRUMS), FOR A NIGHT OF JAZZ PERFORMED IN
AN INFORMAL JAZZ CLUB ATMOSPHERE - PRE CONCERT DINING
AVAILABLE
TICKETS 12 I BOX OFFICE: 01462 459446
FREE ENTRY TO MOST CONCERTS FOR UNDER 25S
AND CARERS ACCOMPANYING A DISABLED VISITOR.
CONCERTS TAKE PLACE IN PETER MORRISON HALL,
BENSLOW MUSIC, BENSLOW LANE, HITCHIN HERTS
SG4 9RB
MAGGINI QUARTET
A NIGHT OF JAZZ WITH DIGBY FAIRWEATHER
- CRAIG MILVERTON QUARTET
RECENT COURSE COMMENTS
OBOE EXTRAVAGANZA
The course was excellent. Our tutor,
Katharine was well prepared and the course
ran very smoothly. I will be back for Katharines
Grade 6 Theory course in October.
Particularly good tutor, extremely well
prepared.
WEST GALLERY MUSI C
Thanks for another excellent course, your
friendliness and knowledge always makes this
an excellent learning event.
DEVELOPI NG YOUR AURAL SKI LLS
I just wanted to give you some feedback on
the aural skills course which I attended in May.
I thought the course was brilliant! Katherine
was very good at listening to what we wanted
to get out of the course, understanding what
level we were at, and explaining things (time
and again!) very patiently. She managed to get
most of us to sing aloud individually, which we
needed to do to get more confdence, even
though we were mostly very shy about our
singing. She had loads of practical examples to
work through, and put together a really helpful
booklet for us to take away and practice at
home.
I sat my Grade 8 fute exam in June, and passed
with distinction, with full marks for aural. So
thank you very much to Katherine and to
Benslow! I would very warmly recommend
this course to anyone else preparing for an
exam and needing to get their aural skills up
to standard.
BAROQUE ON MODERN INSTRUMENTS
The tutors worked very hard indeed to make
this a most enjoyable and successful course.
A well organised course with informative,
approachable tutors who were most generous
with their expertise and advice. Perfect!
Beautifully organised, friendly atmosphere,
exceptional tutors and I learnt a lot.
The tutors were a fabulous team! They
worked conscientiously to organise a tailor-
made course for us. I have learned a great deal
and had a wonderful time. Inspirational!
SARAH LEONARD VOCAL SUMMER
SCHOOL
Thank you for another fantastic course.
Lovely staff, excellent tutors, great
atmosphere.
DAVID CAMPBELL AND FRIENDS