Milton Keynes Music Co-operative got off to a fine start with their launch concert in St Mary & St Giles Church on 29 March 2014.  The evening proved to be a wonderful showcase of local talent, with several teachers playing or singing during the evening.  Some former or current pupils of MK Music Service (MKMS) also performed.

From April the MKMS will only be offering instrument ensembles, it will no longer offer instrument lessons, following a large cut in MK Council funding to the music service.  Many of the teachers who will not be employed by the Council (except for ensembles) are now freelancing and have formed a supportive Music Co-operative so that music tuition for as many people as possible can continue in the area.

Some of the teachers had not heard each other play or sing in a concert before, because MK Music Service end of term concerts are predominantly pupil concerts.  The high quality of the music these teachers produced was very evident all evening as they impressed the crowd of all ages with their performances.  Pupil and past pupil guest performances were from Emily Mowbray (formerly MK Young Musician of the Year) who opened the concert, Jacob Collins who now attends Wells Cathedral School as a school organ scholar, Maya Austin, Tony Lin, Wayne Chan and Craig Greene (who accompanied several soloists during the concert).

Programme:

  • Emily Mowbray: Ziegunerweisen by Sarasate
  • Conway Moore: Grand Vals by Francisco Tarrega, Desfinado by Carlos Jobim, Herencia Latina by Paco Pena
  • Jenny Newman and Andy Glass: A selection of folk music
  • Kate Knight: Reverie by Glazunov
  • Anna Gash: Kol Nidrei by Bruch
  • Jacob Collins (Wells Cathedral School) - Organ: Trio Sonata 2 - Largo by JS Bach, Nun Danket Alle Gott (Marche Triomphalae) by Sigfrid Karg Elert
  • String Quartet (Maya Austin, Tony Lin, Julian Pentz, Wayne Chan): String Quartet No 8, 1st Movt by Shostakovich, Miniature String Quartet by Maya Austin

Interval

  • Gareth on Guitar: Firefly
  • Craig Greene: Sonata in A major (Mozart) arranged by Fazel
  • String Quartet (Alex Nash, Susanna Newton, Julian Pentz, Anna Gash): Jeeves and Wooster
  • Mark Green: Concert Etude by Goedicke, Cuando te vi by Mark Green
  • Jacob Collins: Viola concerto in G by Telemann
  • Gemma Shirley: Song to the Moon by Dvorak, Carmen by Bizet
  • Claire Lutterworth: Danse Macabre, Rain Today, Feeling Good
  • Julian Pentz: Andante from Sonata in B minor by JS Bach
  • Clare Morris-Keep (accompanied by Michael Keep): Songbird by Eva Cassidy

There were many memorable moments including the folk music bringing out the dancer in the small son of a teacher and the dangerous Carmen who came into the audience to woo the men.

String teacher Alex Nash did a great job of organising the concert with help of some of the other teachers including organ and keyboard teacher Jonathan Harris while Lesley and Kieran provided front of house support including serving refreshments.  It was a wonderful evening and a great example of Music for all @ SMSG.  We hope to welcome MK Music Co-operative to St Mary & St Giles for future concerts and music learning as part of the Willis Pipe Organ Restoration and Reach-out Project.

You can view an album of photos taken at this evening at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157643224494295/