You are on page 1of 4




Benslow Music will be exhibiting

at this years Londons Music
Education Expo, held at the
Barbican Thursday 12 and Friday 13
March. Please pop by and say hello.

MARCH 2015
Welcome to the
March edition of the
For regular readers
I am very pleased to
say that February has
been just as predicted
in last months issue.
targets for the second
month in a row with
a record number
of full-houses both
at weekends and in
mid-week slots. And were delighted with the
positive feedback weve received and have
done all we can to address any issues raised.
Again, Id like to say a huge thank you for all
your feedback which helps us to maintain
our high standards and improve things when
necessary. Some highlights from February
include the well-attended course with the
London Myriad Ensemble for pre-formed wind
groups, the Introduction to String Chamber
Music day course which we hope has inspired
string players to join one of our longer courses,
and the brand new Intermediate Chamber
Orchestra with Anthony Bailey which we hope
to repeat next year.
As we enter March we have another busy month
ahead of us. Spaces for the LuteFest at the end
of the month have already sold out (although
we can squeeze in a few more non-residents)
and we have a number of other slots which
are beginning to push our residential capacity. If
there are any courses you are interested in that
are coming up soon, please do get in touch to
avoid disappointment.
Another exciting up-coming event is the
Music Education Expo which takes place at

the Barbican Centre 12 - 13 March. The team

has already booked a stand and we will be
represented by staff members from both
Benslow Music and the Instrument Loan
Scheme. If you live in or near London, do
drop in and say hello - and please encourage
any friends or relatives who may be interested
to do so too. And if you know of anyone who
hasnt yet heard of Benslow and what we do,
please let them know and spread the word.
We are nearing the final stages in preparation
for our annual Baroque Opera project. This
year we will be performing Handels Acis and
Galatea at the Queen Mother Theatre in
Hitchin on Saturday 11 April with an 11.30am
matinee and a 7pm evening performance.
Weve now recruited our soloists who come
from some of the top music colleges in the
country, and the chorus and orchestra are busy
preparing their parts. It looks set to be another
truly outstanding event. Tickets are currently
on sale direct from the QMT website - www. - we hope to see
you there.
Planning for our Jan - Jul 2016 programme of
courses will begin very soon, so if you have
any thoughts on anything you would like to
see please let me know. In the past weve had
a number of requests from regular course
goers which have been included and have been
incredibly popular. As long as we can find a
suitable slot in the programme we will take
all suggestions very seriously.You can send
any thoughts you may have directly to fane@
Whether it is for a course, a concert or anything
else - we look forward to seeing you soon.
Fane Henderson
Head of Music
photo Bill Hiskett




One of the things I enjoy the most about working

at Benslow Music is that I am able to attend every
single concert in the season, which is something
in itself as here at Benslow Music the enjoyable
moments are frequent. It is a real pleasure to see
so many world-class artists perform live every
month, and I feel very fortunate.
It is common opinion that classical music concerts
are not for everyone,and to a certain extent I agree.
Some people prefer playing rather than listening,
some dont enjoy sitting still for an hour at a time
and some people are simply not interested in
classical music. However, I do disagree with those
who think they shouldnt attend concerts because
they do not know enough about composers or
the music. Good music is good music, just like
good wine is good wine, and it can be fully enjoyed
by experts and non-experts alike. I have attended
a good number of concerts so far - I am a friend
of the Royal Opera House, I have worked for the
Harrogate Festivals, I have been to the Salzburg
Festspiele every summer over the past 5 years
- and it is my deepest belief that concerts are
all about enjoying the overall experience. And
top quality music, good company, good drinks
and delicious food are undoubtedly all good
ingredients for a lovely evening.This is why we are
so proud of our International Concert Series - we
have plenty of every single one of these things.
Throughout the year we host some of the very
best musicians in the country. Before the concerts
our customers can enjoy a relaxing drink in the
bar, or if they choose the pre-concert dining
option, a delicious meal in our dining room. And
after the concert comes the moment I personally
like the most and that is quite unique to Benslow:
its when everybody can relax in the bar and
get to know the artists a bit more, maybe share
a drink with them. The stories you hear from a
String Quartets world tour, you wouldnt believe!
Because we like the Benslow International
Concert series so much, we want the world to
know how good it actually is. We want to share
these good moments with as many people as
possible, from all ages and backgrounds.This is why
we are currently re-designing the whole marketing
strategy for the concerts: we have created a brand
new logo, (see back page) some stunning posters,
and a most elegant and interesting newsletter.
If you would like to have a look at it and at the
new design please subscribe - just send an email
to , and I will be happy
to add you to our Concert Club. As always we
appreciate any feedback you might want to give
us, positive or negative - please do get in touch. As
usual we would love you to pass this information
on to anyone who might be interested - the
Benslow family always cherishes new members.

Improve Your Jazz Improvisations

Shadia El Tabch
Music Administrator/Concert Coordinator

We still have places available on the following

March and April courses.
(Code 15/2JZ1, 2 - 5 March)

Elgar:The Man and his Music

(Code 15/221, 6 - 8 March)

Group Quartets with Brenda Stewart

(Code 15/312, 9 - 12 March)

Spring Recorders

(Code 15/313, 9 - 12 March)

Partners in Song: A Course for Singers

and Pianists
(Code 15/222, 13 - 15 March)

Composing with Simon Holt

(Code 15/223, 13 - 15 March)

Reed Making Day for Oboists

(Code 15/106, 14 March)

Cello Day

(Code 15/CE2, 15 March)

String Quartets with the Maggini

(Code 15/224, 15 - 17 March - 2 night option)

(Code 15/314, 15 - 18 March - 3 night option)

Grade VI Theory and Beyond

(Code 15/225, 20 - 22 March)

Flute Choir

(Code 15/226, 20 - 22 March)

Beyond the Score

(Code 15/227, 20 - 22 March)

The Choruses of Acis and Galatea

(Code 15/107, 21 March)

Clarinet Choir

(Code 15/316, 23 - 26 March)

Jazz Piano

(Code 15/318, 30 March - 2 April)

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? or
book your place

T:01462 459446 to

Thanks to the bumper batch of honey
produced by the Benslow bee colonies during
2014, we still have plenty for sale. Jars cost 5
and make great presents for friends and family.
And for those of you who have bought honey
in the past, if possible could you return the jars
on your next visit? This helps us keep the costs
down and direct funds towards improving the
Benslow Music experience.





A gentle exploration of violin technique

through the classical string quartet repertoire.

Excellent I learnt a lot from my own sessions

and also listening to tutors comments.
It was my first visit to Benslow and I
discovered a wonderful haven of peace, and
tranquillity in which to indulge my musical
Extremely good, very professional, helpful
and kind. Extraordinary pianist.
Tutors absolutely marvellous.

Nic Fallowfield, 1st violin of the Tedesca

Quartet, has been teaching the violin at
Birmingham Conservatoire for over twentyfive years. On this course he brings his
experience and expertise to bear on various
recurring technical themes; how to decide on
a fingering, how to cross strings smoothly, how
to play spiccato, how to change position with
accuracy and confidence, the vexed question
of vibrato and so on. Participants will be sent
passages from the classical string quartet
repertoire to look at in advance of the course
and these will be discussed and dissected on
the day. There will be time also for a surgery
in which players can ask advice on specific and
personal technical difficulties. As always, this
day course begins at 10am and finishes around
5pm with lunch and coffee breaks included.
Fee: 75 / 25% discount for Under 27s: 56.25


We were all delighted with the successful event
held on Sunday 15 February in memory of
Bernard Blay. It was a wonderful opportunity for
us to share some of the fond, inspirational, and
at times amusing memories of Bernard.The day
finished with some outstanding performances
given by some of Bernards colleagues, friends
and former pupils. A fitting tribute to a man
who gave so much of his life to Benslow and
to the humour, warmth and wisdom he gave
to us all.We are still accepting donations which
we will use towards four inscribed benches for
the patio kindly donated to us by Nona and
Bernard, one for each former member of the
great Macnaghten Quartet.

Thanks to you and Jenny for another
excellent course. Thanks also to the Tedesca
Quartet. It was a pleasure to be there and,
always, listening to music that I have struggled
with is a wonderful experience.
Thank you also for your encouraging
comments. I get so tired on Benslow courses
that I even forget how to count sometimes
and the music leaps around in front of my eyes
but I left feeling very happy.
Your Group Quartets and String Orchestra
courses are just right for people who want
to make the next step from, say, Foundation
Strings. You both seem to make everyone in
the room feel that their presence is wanted irrespective of capability or talent.
Thank you again. I look forward to the String
Orchestra course. In between I will be
attending Janets Foundation Strings and I hope
she notices some improvement.
The Tedesca tutors are all excellent and their
concert is a definite highlight.
Both the coaching and the performance were
Outstanding coaching from all tutors - each
brings a different aspect and emphasis to our
playing. A perfect team.
This was an excellent weekend. Highly
organised and most efficiently run throughout.
We benefitted from three excellent tutors, all
with different personalities and approaches. A
good variety of music. I found it challenging at
times, stimulating and exciting too. It was my
first time on this course and I hope to come
again. The meals were delicious too.
Evelyn Nallen is an inspirational teacher - she
is the reason I came again.
Exceptional teaching. Fabulous! The best of all
the many courses I have attended.



Monday 9 March, at 3.00pm

Rosanna Rolton harp
A harp recital with works by Domenico
Scarlatti and others. Formerly a member of
the National Youth Orchestra, Rosanna is
currently in her third year as a Foundation
Scholar at the Royal College of Music and is
a member of the European Youth Orchestra.
Please note this is a change to the advertised
Tickets 8 on the door and includes homemade tea.

Sunday 15 March, 8pm

Beethoven: String Quartet Op 59 No 1

Rawsthorne: String Quartet No 2
Dvok: String Quartet Op 106 No 13



Friday 27 March, 8pm

Jouissance des Dames: An

The Lute Society

evening of music in association with

Friday 1 May, 8pm

Your Library is always happy to receive

donations but this month we are offering
some items from our stock. We are grateful
to tutor Roger Moon for helping refine our
Dance Band and Light Music collections to
conform to our course standards. We are
left with unwanted items that would not suit
a Benslow course but which must have been
useful to someone at some time and perhaps
you in future.
If this sort of music is your scene and you
would like to see the stock, do ask a Librarian;
there is one on duty most afternoons except
Sunday. If you can warn us when you are
coming, so much the better. Make us an offer!
Regulars know there is always music on sale
at bargain prices on the main landing but this
seems to need different treatment.
Whatever your scene, happy music making.

Haydn: String Quartet Op 1 No 3
Verdi: String Quartet
Schubert: String Quartet No 15 D887.

Tickets 12 I Box Office: 01462 459446

or online at
Pre concert dining 18 -

includes a two course

meal and a glass of wine.
free entry to most concerts for under 27s
and carers accompanying a disabled visitor.

Venue: Peter Morrison Hall, Benslow Music,

Benslow Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG4 9RB

Facebook f Logo


CMYK / .eps

Facebook f Logo

CMYK / .eps


We are very pleased to

inform you that following
a recent visit from
we have once again been
awarded the full five
stars. A huge congratulations to our catering
team who have made this possible. Why not
consider pre-concert dining before your next
concert? For an additional 18 we will provide
a two-course dinner including a drink from the
bar. Please give our team a call to book.

Benslow Music, Benslow Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG4 9RB

T: +44 (0)1462 459446 I E: I W: