24 Hour Musicathon -23rd-24th March 2013

zimbabwe flagStarting at 7.30pm on the 23rd of March at St Martin’s Church, Eynsford DVYM will participate in a 24 hour Musicathon, a music marathon in which a range of musicians will attempt to perform “music” for 24 hours with no more than a one-minute break between pieces. The Musicathon will be open to the public and is being staged to raise funds for Murambinda Hospital, a small mission hospital in rural Zimbabwe. Our trombonist, Dr Jack, has worked as a volunteer medic at the hospital through the Friends of Murambinda Hospital (a registered charity) and TB Alert who are helping with TB and HIV projects.  Unfortunately funding is critically low and with the hospital being heavily dependent on charitable donations the excellent work they do is in danger coming to an end. Dr Jack hopes that this Musicathon will help raise sufficient funds to boost income and keep this hospital operational so that it can continue its essential work.

The event will kick-off with a fabulous Concert of Light Opera with orchestra and choir.  Then there will be folk singing and a cabaret.  Through the night there will be solo and duet spots with senior DVYM players featuring strongly. Three hours of church bell ringing will herald the start of Sunday.  There will be a Singing Masterclass followed by a concert by the primary school choir.  Then the big moment arrives as Darenth Valley Youth Music present their Easter Concert at 2:15. The climax of the Musicathon will be a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the evening service.

This event is as much about promoting a community event as it is about helping Murambinda Hospital.  There will be many ways to help, either by volunteering to perform, help serve refreshment, donate light refreshments and “rattle tins”.  If you would like to be involved or help in any way, please contact contact Dr Jack or click here to contact DVYM or visit the “Murambinda Musicathon” Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Social Night

On 5th October Sandra kindly organised another popular and light-hearted DVYM Social Night. It was a fantastic opportunity for players of all grades to come together in an informal setting to play solos or with friends.

The show opened energetically with rousing performances by the Improv Group including “Back to Black”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Beggin” among many others. We were treated to some very skilled clarinet performances from Abigail &  Hannah, Magdalene & Sarah on clarinets & recorders, a brilliant Pink Floyd tribute (highlight of the evening) from Adam, George & Matt, and ukulele renditions –impromptu and planned- of popular songs as well as impressive self-compositions by Adam, Grace & James (who also took to the string double bass for a jazz piece), plus a “Brief History of Dance”, a mad ten-minute dash covering iconic dance routines from the past 50 years from “Quickstep” to “Gangnam Style” all choreographed by Miriam …and performed with her Dad! (We’ll not see our tuba player in the same light ever again).

Thanks to Sandra, Adam (our compère) and all the performers for their hard work and commitment in putting on yet another highly enjoyable evening. Don’t miss out next year!

Eynsford Easter Fair

On 31st March Darent Valley Youth Music played at the Eynsford Easter Fair in aid of St Martin’s Church and the Ellenor Hospice. Despite it being half-term and the start of the Easter holidays, a good selection of over 30 players from Enterprise Band and Darent Valley Concert Band came together to play a selection of pieces largely from the American song book including (among others) a rousing rendition of The Thunderer (Philip Souza); The Preacher (Horace Silver); Mercy Mercy Mercy (Buddy Rich); King of the Road (Roger Miller); Georgy Girl (Tom Springfield); Waltz King Favourites (Strauss); Waltz Espana (Keith Bartlett); Latin Celebration (Tatgenhorst) and highlights from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” (Jerry Bock). Although the music was intended to be incidental, the performances attracted a good deal of interest and were heartily well received …even busy traders taking time out to applaud and enjoy the music. For pictures of the event, click here.

Easter Concert

Image courtesy of Idea Go at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809On 25th March, Phoenix Jazz Band and Darent Valley Concert Band came together for their Easter Concert at St Martin’s Church. The church was packed to capacity.

Under Jezz Laing’s leadership, Phoenix Big Band began their lively programme with Born To Be Wild (Bonfire arr. Sweeney) followed by spirited performances of Summertime (Gershwin arr. Sweeney); Birdland (Zawinul arr. Laing); In the Mood (Glen Miller) and The Chicken (Jaco Pastorius). Congratulations to Adam, Callum and Matt who -at the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute- used all their musical talents to improvise throughout Birdland after their scores were accidentally mislaid.

Following a short break, Duncan Dwinell conducted Darent Valley Concert Band through probably their most ambitious programme to date including: Andalusia (Hugh M Stuart) featuring the talents of George on solo flugel horn; March -Folk Songs from Somerset (Ralph Vaughan Williams); Mars from the Planets Suite (Gustav Holst); Nimrod from Enigma Variations (Edward Elgar) starring our resident percussionist Peter on solo cello; and Danny Boy (traditional arr. Warren Barker). The whole concert was concluded with a rousing rendition of the magnificent Finale from Saint-Saens Symphony #3 (Camille Saint-Saens arr. Curnow) when we were privileged to be accompanied by Mr Alan Saunders on organ. Saint-Saëns said of his composition: “I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again”. The Concert Band will doubtless echo his sentiments. What a majestic and theatrical finale!

Quiz Night

A huge “thank you” to all who supported the DVYM Quiz Night on 17th March. The event was attended by over 60 people comprising 10 teams from the local community. Comprising a picture round, music round, video observation round and questions covering a wide variety of topics, the quiz tested all areas of knowledge from the simple to the tricky with a lot of “I really ought to know that” questions . You can click here to see a sample round of questions.

The leading team was in closely contested right up to the final round with the winning margin being just 1 point between the top three teams! Even 4th places and 5th places were jointly held by four teams! Congratulations to “Sticky Fingers” (Sandra, Steve and friends) on scoring an impressive 85% of the total points achievable to secure a well-fought victory.

The evening raised the  grand sum of £268.21, which was donated to St Martin’s Church in thankful recognition of their generous free loan of the church and facilities for DVYM rehearsals and performances.

Please come along and support the next quiz, the date of which we’ll announce shortly. The more contestants, the better the competition, and the more lively the atmosphere. You don’t need to be a “know-it-all” to take part: there’ll be something in it for everyone. Just bring along a plentiful supply of wine, nibbles ….and a healthy dose of good-spirited competitive enthusiasm!