Monday, 28 July 2014

July Meeting 2014

Happy 80th Birthday, Trevor!!
Congratulations and Best Wishes to Trevor on July 29, his 80th Birthday.

 We all admire this modest, unassuming, kind and generous man, who has worked quietly in the background, for BGS, for more than 20 years. Trevor is held in the highest esteem by those of us fortunate enough to know him, and this very special occasion gives us an opportunity to offer our thanks to him.

 Trevor has made an outstanding contribution to BGS, both as our “Caterer-in-Chief” and as a contributor to the monthly meetings and annual festivals. His loyalty and integrity are examples to us all and we will never forget the superb spread that he laid on for FGS Day in 2011. He is a
fine ambassador for both the classical guitar and its repertoire. We have all appreciated not only his playing, but also his vocal contributions to our  meetings (“In the Bath” and “I Wish They Would Do It Now”) come to mind, as well as various Christmas Carols.

 Trevor has supported FGS days, Beckenham and Maidstone Festivals and The Beechwood Easter Course. He has organised and supported Tom Kersten’s London Guitar Orchestra, Gerald Garcia’s Conway Hall Guitar Course and Betty Rowe’s Midhurst Singing Course, the latter two for the past ten years.

 As if these efforts were not enough, Trevor still finds the energy to cycle many miles every week and is a member of Meridian Cycle Club in Kent.

We all hope that Trevor has many more years of good health and music-making. Our love and best wishes to him for Many Happy Returns.

Pluck ‘n Strum Monky Business and other proceeedings..
After our expression of horror at the idea, the Chair  abandoned  his original suggestion  of jumping out naked from a birthday cake for Trevor’s Birthday and penned the above  lines on behalf of all the BGS membership instead. For which we were all very grateful….especially Trevor!!! 

And Mrs Chair’s preparation of the Birthday cake was deeply appreciated by us all  as well as the ‘Birthday boy’.

Despite the heat there was enough members on deck to provide Trevor with an early birthday greeting along with a busy night of Monky Business ensembles, ably led as usual by John Mann (much to your correspondent’s relief)

Solo Items included
• Rosita (Tarrega) performed by Trevor Pike
• Waltz (Carulli) performed by Marion Davis
• Aint She Sweet (Traditional) performed by Colin Baker
• La Chanson d’or fe’e from Black Orpheus (Bonfa) performed by Freddy Carvalho
• Spancil Hill (Traditional) performed by Vince Chittendent
• Aria con Variazioni (Frescobaldi) performed by John Mann

Your correspondent will be taking a break from the next August meeting but will be back on deck in September.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Summer Guitar Weekend Carlos Bonnell

Summer Guitar Weekend
Fri 8 - Mon 11 Aug
Tutor: Carlos Bonnell
Resident: £365 Non-resident: £290 Code: 14/335
A new summer weekend course for guitarists of intermediate and advanced standards (approximately Grade 6 and beyond). The deeply experienced Carlos Bonnell, known the world over for his concert work as well as his teaching, takes charge, offering no more than ten classical guitarists the benefits of his wisdom and, of course, heaps of friendly encouragement.
The residential course fee includes comfortable accommodation and all meals, while non-residents take lunch and supper. En-suite accommodation is available for a reasonable supplement.

Benslow Music is renowned for its accessibility (just 30 minutes from London King's Cross by train), its tranquillity and its home-from-home friendly hospitality. It's the perfect place for a couple of days’ intensive work in a mutually supportive atmosphere.
If you know of anyone who may be interested please help spread the word and pass this email on.
We look forward to welcoming you to Benslow Music very soon.
Kind Regards
Vicky Carlton
Benslow Music
Hertfordshire SG4 9RB
0044 (0)1462 459446 •  •

Thursday, 3 July 2014

June Meeting and Federation Guitar Societies Massive 'Pluck n Strum!!'

Ah, Dear Fellow P and S (Plucker and Strummers- far and wide)

June has arrived- our nemesis month  in a way as it means that the FGS day will shortly follow ( as night follows day...and so it turned out to be!!).

Unfortunately your correspondent missed the June meeting due to pressing issues on the old domestic front.  Now here's a riddle for you- Which comes first- The High Road or the Low Road? Your wife's birthday or the FGS weekend? One of those moral dilemmas which bedevils us from time to time.

As you can see,  I decided to take the High Road....but that doesn't mean that a lack of interest in the BGS members welfare so, thanks to our favourite well worn piece of furniture- the 'Chair', we have a few witterings to add for your enjoyment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the June meeting was attended exclusively by most of the Members who were due to play the following day at FGS Day.
The meeting got under way at about 6:45 pm:  we had a coffee break at about 8:00 pm, followed by Members’ contributions, then further rehearsal of Nota Bene until an early conclusion, by mutual consent, shortly after 9:00 pm. We all worked very hard, as did John Mann, and John’s direction of our ensemble was excellent throughout.
Members’ contributions were:-
Marion Davis                        Landler                                            Mertz
Tessa Protheroe                   Tombeau                                          Weiss
Vince Chittenden                Prelude in E Minor                          Weiss
Lesley Starey                        Ballada                                            Tesar
John Mann                           Gaelic Songs 1 & 2                         Nuttall
                                             Danza Brasilera                               Morel

The stalwart Trevor served us with coffee and home-made cakes at the interval, for which we were most grateful.

Enfield Guitar Society kindly hosted this event at Holtwhite Sports and Social Club, a new venue set in very pleasant surroundings and blessed with lovely sunshine for the whole day.
Peter Nuttall ran a truly excellent and enjoyable ensemble and made us work very hard to attain his usual uncompromisingly high standards. We had several rehearsals leading to the final performance, which was very much to Peter’s liking. He approved of the “first take” and that is the one now posted on YouTube.
Our Society was well-represented and had the largest turn-out. John Mann led us through Nota Bene, which was well-received and favourably commented upon by many of the audience. Some expressed an interest in learning it themselves and Peter Nuttall was impressed with John’s choice of a quite difficult piece.
Enfield and Oxford Guitar Societies also played, as did the North Bucks.Guitar Club.
Details of FGS Day and the performances are now posted on the FGS site and YouTube.
Thanks are due to Ray Butcher and Enfield GS for yet another fine hosting of this annual event. The refreshments were plentiful and excellently prepared and served by a most charming and dedicated team. As always, a good and fun day out.

Great effort by all the members and a special thanks to John Mann who worked so hard on getting this piece together for us.

Thanks to Ray Butcher for the video. For other highlights please click here.

See you in July!

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Studley Castle Classical Guitar Weekend invitation to a musical weekend with Ray Butcher?

Now ladies, no need to swoon, its not what you  think!!..its all above board.(the fretboard that is) …read on…

The Enfield Guitar Society have through their chair , arranged for a Classical Guitar weeknd on the lovely grounds of Studley Castle

The event will take place from Friday 14th November 2014 at 6:00pm and conclude on   Sunday 16th November 2014 at 1:00pm

Venue Studley Castle, Castle Road, Dudley B80 7AJ


 Friday - check in from 3:00, Meetup,6:00, dinner 6:30, 7:30 play ensemble until 10:00 or tiredness sets in.

Sat.  Breakfast,

9:30 ensemble until buffet lunch around 12:30.

2:00-4:00 ensemble. 

4:00 -6:00 Free time to practice duets, trios,etc

6:30 Dinner.  

8:00-9:00 Concert by Ray,

9:30 until tired play along with any music.

Sun. Breakfast,

9:30 ensemble until 11:00. 

11:30 Student concert and ensemble piece.

 Buffet lunch 1:00 then off home

£250:00 - Monthly payments accepted

Limited to 20 Guitarists.

Course Tutor is Ray Burley. The standard will be from grade 3-7 without any pressure. Music for duet, trio and quartets will be available. partner(s) will be available.

 Full Board - e-mail Ray Butcher  for full details


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

May Meeting 2014

Another night of practice and fun at the Bromley Guitar Society...actually, according to Jeff Goodman (Facebook) it represents a rather polite and scholarly discussion between the supporters of Carulli and Molino in the 19th century!

Who would have thought there would be so much aggression over a harmless minuet??

For those of you reading this newsletter for the first time  I can assure you that BGS Meetings are much more genteel and civilised than suggested in the etching…although things tend to get a bit rough if the refreshments are not available!!

Still as we work our way towards the Federation Day in June, the pressure will be on. All members attending the day are working really hard on Nota Bene. Just to make things really more interesting Ray has presented us with a copy of the ensemble music for the day

Monky Business by P Nuttall- a humorous piece based on monks preparing for a meal.

This month’s solos included
Marion Davis:   Andante   (Giuliani)
Freddy Carvalho: Don’t Get Around Much Anymore Duke Ellington
Andrew Ferrier :Butcher of Winnleah from the Van Diemen’s Suite by  Gareth Koch
John Mann: English Suite (John Duarte)

Special thanks again to Trevor and Larisa for the refreshments. And special thanks to John and Ray for leading the ensembles

We were really impressed by the numbers who came to the meeting despite the FA cup final and a large number of apologies.

Even though Arsenal won!!

Friday, 9 May 2014

International Guitar Federation Summer School July 2014

This looks too good to miss!!

Guitar courses run by six of the greatest guitarists around! The IGF are offering four courses in the July Summer School.

They include
  • Jazz Fingerstyle taught by Martin Taylor (assisted by Dario Cortese)
  • CLassical taught by David Russell (assisted by Rafael Aguirre)
  • Acoustic Fingerstyle taught by Mike Dawes
  • Flamenco Guitar taught by Juan Martin

Visit this link for more information

The summer school starts on Frioday 25th and finishes on Monday 28th July at Kings Place.

Students from all levels (except absolute beginners) are accepted

April Meeting

April has been rather kind to us all this month! The weather has been unseasonably warm and the evenings have been quiet and for that 3rd  Saturday of the month when it becomes the Night of the 'Pluckers'!!  And so it was  on April 15th!!

Numbers were generally quite good despite the absence of Enfield's Number One Lumberjack and Generalissimo of the Ensemble arrangements, Mr Ray Butcher!! We suspect that the call of the wild was too much for him to take in (either that or the fact that he was recovering from his tree felling adventures with his new Chain saw!!)  Enfield , so the legend goes, once had a thriving forest but not any more!!.  I suspect it was the 'call of a pint' from his local that proved to be more irresistible...

And our 'Chair' was enjoying the fleshpots of Amsterdam under the careful supervision and control of the long suffering Therese. As there were no police news or international incidents reported from the Netherlands, we can assume that he was on his best behavior at all time. Well that's what he tells me...I will check with Therese for verification.

The evening ensemble  aerobics  started with a few simple pieces from Ray's collection of pieces which was a bit of a struggle. Both Steve and I have our strong points in other areas, but leading ensembles is probably not one of them.  Thank goodness, John Mann  finally  arrived to put us both (and everyone else) out of their misery with a return to Mr Levesque's rather jazzy ensemble piece Note Bene.

After a refreshments provided by Trevor Pike and Larisa Liebermann, we had a great round of solo performances.  They included

  • L'Encouragement (Sor)  played by Vince Chittenden   and Larisa Lieberman
  • Milonga (Pujol) played by Vince Chittenden
  • 'Blow away the Morning Dew'(anon) sung and played by Trevor Pike
  • Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring (Bach) played by Fred Carvallho
  • 'Angie' (Davey Graham) played by Malcolm Lane
  • Preludio Tristan (Pujol) and 'For my Father (Andy McKee) performed by Rob Sellery
  • Preludes 1 and 5 (Villa Lobos) by Miles Roberts

We  then had another stab at Monsieur Levesque's piece but judging by John's expression (which says it all) , we still need a bit more practice before its inaugural BGS launch at the Federation Day.

See you all in May