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.

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!