Friday, 9 January 2015

International Guitar Federation News

We kick-start the new year with a concert and masterclass series from grammy award-winning classical guitarist, David Russell.
* 29th January - David Russell in Concert - St George's Bristol, 7.30pm

* 30th January - David Russell Masterclass - Doric Room, St George's Bristol, 9am

* 31st January - David Russell in Concert - Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London, 7.30pm

* 1st February - David Russell Masterclass - Lecture Recital Room, Guildhall School, London, 10am

Bristol Tickets Here. (
London Tickets Here. (

IGF offer events for guitarists of all ages, in all genres and in locations all across the country.
These include:
Bristol Guitar Series - January
London Guitar Series - January - February
Young Artist Platform Auditions - March
Bath Guitar Festival - July
IGF Guitar Summit - July
London International Guitar Competition - July
IGF Residential Summer School and Festival, Shrewsbury - August
North East Guitar Festival - October
London Guitar Festival - October

For full details keep an eye on the IGF website and social media!
Don't Forget!
Early Bird Ticket Season ends Sunday 15th February
To get your IGF Residential Summer School, Shrewsbury place at a reduced rate please book before then.
Summer School dates are 10 - 16th August at Shrewsbury School
Classical course to be confirmed by the end of the month.
For more information click here. (
On behalf of IGF I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came and supported us at our events in 2014 and a special thank you to all funders and private givers who are keeping our plans alive through 2015.
Find out more about our supporters and how to become one yourself by clicking here. (

Monday, 5 January 2015

BGS December 2014 Meeting

Thirteen members turned up to the December meeting and we had a most enjoyable time. It was good to see both Steve Pearson and Ray Butcher again, and we already knew that Marion, Shirley and Andrew would be unable to attend. Your Chairman thanked those who had taken part in the Beckenham and Maidstone Festivals and admired the Gold Medal awarded in the latter one.
John Mann brought a lot of extra ensemble music, all of it related to Christmas, and he spent up until the coffee interval guiding us through the following pieces:-
Carol of the Bells; Stille Nacht (arr.Freddie Carvalho); Coventry Carol; Snowflakes and In Dulci Jubilo. It made a pleasant change to have John playing in the ensemble rather than conducting us.
Refreshments were served by the ever-faithful Trevor, but there were also some delicious surprise accompaniments to the coffee.
Trevor had baked a big chocolate cake, Tessa brought some mince pies and Alex had made a truly delicious and very large carrot cake. The refreshment interval was a calorific nightmare for those of us lacking the will-power to resist copious quantities of all of these!! Our thanks go to the members who made these generous donations.
After the interval we enjoyed a high standard of playing in the following individual performances:-
Freddie Carvalho                  What A Wonderful World              Weiss / Thiele
Vince Chittenden                  Plegaria                                     G. Gomez
                                         Gymnopedie                               E. Satie
Trevor Pike                          Villancico de Navidad                   Barrios
Steve Pearson                      Romance d’Amor                         Anon
                                         Student of Salamanca                  J. Ferrer
After these performances, John rehearsed Faure’s Sicilienne and a very unusual snippet from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, provided by Tessa and involving the use of extremely rudimentary percussion in the form of saucepan lids, chime tubes and a duck call. This somewhat comical arrangement brought a thoroughly enjoyable evening to a close at 9:30 pm.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Beckenham Festival 2014

Congratulations to Paul Brown and the members of the Widmore Ensemble for a great performance tonight at the Beckenham Festival,  winning the ensemble section.

 Special thanks on behalf of the BGS members to John Mann for leading us through Note Bene!! We gave the Widmore group a good run for their money (missing out by one point).

A word of advice for the Festival Organisers...opening the car park in the front of the school for competitors would be deeply appreciated , especially when its dark and you are trudging through a rain storm.  While we are grateful for a 'competitor's car park around the back, forcing us all to walk all the way around to the front of the building to the venue entrance in the pouring rain is not good for the player or the instruments.

 And  organizing some extra practice rooms would also be great as well.

Onwards to the Maidstone Festival!!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Concert- Graham Anthony Devine

Naxos recording artist Graham Anthony Devine is giving a recital in London
for the Stoke Newington Guitar Festival on Saturday 15th November 2014

The programme will consist of solely classical and romantic guitar music
by Sor, Torroba, Albeniz, Granados and Ponce.
Tickets can be bought online through this link:

Festival info here:

Very best wishes,
Cirella Mayrink


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Ealing Guitar Society presents....

Ealing Guitar Society
Sunday 2nd November - 7:30 pm
Venue: St Matthews Church Hall, North Common Road,
Ealing W5 2QA
Admission:  £10 / £7 concessions

Stephen Yates

Stephen Yates is one of Britain's few composer/guitarists. Originally an award winning classical guitarist performing standard repertoire, his experience of arranging and composing for ensembles combined with his love for a wide variety of music from around the world inevitably led him to apply himself to music for solo guitar. His music is as eclectic as can be imagined, incorporating classical European as well as Asian, African, Irish and popular influences, but rather than pastiche, he combines these elements at their core to produce a style all his own. Virtuosic and yet lyrical, his music can be seen as belonging both to the classical world as well as to the contemporary.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

September October News Letter- Double Whammy

Greetings fellow plucker and strummers of the BGS (plus any other guitar enthusiasts, web trolls or other enthusiasts who have may have stumbled on this site by mistake whilst searching for dating sites, medical cures or social networks of  pure or impure motivations- I know which one our Chair  would be looking for!! :)

What you will see here is a compilation of two issues ...and it won't make a great deal of difference as the BGS activities haven't changed in that much in the last two months. In September, we were struggling with the rhythmic complexities of Levesque's Note Bene and in October we still find ourselves struggling- but perhaps not as much. Our trusty ensemble leader John Mann has done a sterling effort in preparing us for the Beckenham Festival  and to be fair to him, he does his best to mask his pain when we all get excited and try to speed things up....which inevitably results in ensemble  'Note Bene'  becoming ensemble  'Mr Bean'!   Still it should be alright on the night.....well we live in hope!

On the other hand, we are doing much better with Peter Nuthall's  Monky Business. We appear to have captured the dynamics rather well. Monky Business is a great little ensemble full of humor and fun- a bit like our meetings at the BGS!! Which may explain why it works so well- getting up to Monkey Business is something that we excel at the Bromley Guitar Society. And we may need a sense of humor after our Beckenham Festival performance.

For those of you interested, we will be arriving (in a tumbril)  for our Beckenham  Festival performance on the 8th of November at  6pm for a quick practice (probably in the carpark judging by the lack of practice rooms) at Marian Vian Primary School. The scheduled performance is 7pm!

Actually we have had a rather busy time of things. We now have an Executive elected to 2014-15, which mainly consists of the same old faces, plus the welcome  addition of  Katie Hughes and David Wheeler. We had our first exec meeting and there are some changes that we will be implementing over the next 12 months. The first change you will see will be a revamp of this blog site. Over the next few months we will move the site across to a new platform which will make the preparation and delivery of the newsletters much more streamlined with hard copy deliveries being replaced with electronic delivery.

And we are planning for another concert later on watch this space.

At our October Meeting we had a great round of solo performances from our members. I am indebted to Tessa Protheroe for keeping track of the performance program which are listed below:

1. Two ensemble pieces Sally Gardens (Trad) and Lo yisa Goi (Hebrew Traditional) reprised again  by Colin Baker, Marion Davis and Shirley Russell

2. L'encouragement (Sor) performed by Vince Chittenden and Larisa Lieberman

3. Nocturne Number 3 (John Powell) performed (or murdered!!) by your correspondent

4. Aria and Variations (Frescobaldi) performed by John Mann.

On the September evening meeting the following performances

1. Two ensemble pieces Sally Gardens (Trad) and Lo yisa Goi (Hebrew Traditional) performed again  by Colin Baker, Marion Davis and Shirley Russell

2. Alpen Tanz  (David Cottam) performed by Marion Davis

3. Rondoletto   (N.Coste) performed by Tom Rimmer

4. Prelude N 5 (Villa Lobos) performed by John Mann

I hope the notation for the September performances are correct. If not the blame goes to the Chair!!

We have been really fortunate and encouraged by the strong turnout of members for each of the Saturday meetings despite the fact that the meetings often coincide with mealtimes and other pursuits and attractions often occurring on a Saturday night.  The conviviality of the meetings are part of the reason for this...and Trevor's catering is the other reason. Trevor has been a stalwart supporter of the society for as long as your correspondent can remember. His cheerful support, rendering of Irish songs of somewhat risqué note and supply of the tea and provisions- not to mention his home made cakes and biscuits is a vital part of the success of these meetings. Trevor- we do thank you!!

See you at the next meeting in November- the Beckenham Post Mortem!! :)