Saturday, 27 June 2015

June Meeting 2015


It was another somewhat 'cosy' turnout for the June meeting with an attendance of ten. This was a good thing to some extent; the meeting consisted primarily of those playing the ensemble piece on FGS day. With only a week to go before the big day, it allowed us to concentrate on Fauré's Sicilienne without boring non-FGS folk to death!

Half time coffee and savoury refreshments were kindly provided by Trevor. There seemed to be an extended refreshment break with everyone chatting longer than usual, maybe because there was only a couple of solo performances this evening.

There was definitely an accidental Gaelic theme to the solo pieces:


The Lakes of Killarney and Killarney Jig by David Burden


Spancil Hill, written by Michael Considine in a traditional Irish style.

After the break, John Mann guided us through a bit more ensemble practice and then introduced us to a fun piece called Moto Perpetuo by Roy Chilton. It contains lots of interesting bits, like palm-muted chords and rather discordant modulations. This could become a regular warm-up piece for the ensemble in future.

The next meeting is Saturday 18th July.

Hope to see you all there.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

June Interim Meeting

This was the first of the additional meetings that we recently decided to have in addition to the regular monthly meeting. The prime reason for these is to get in some more ensemble practice. And, under the expert guidance of John Mann, that is exactly what we did.

The turnout was lower than for our normal meetings but luckily we had at least one player present for each part of this year's chosen piece for Federation Day, namely Sicilienne, Op.78 by Gabriel Fauré, The lower numbers allowed us to arrange the ensemble in a semicircle which helped us to 'gel' a bit more, I think. We practised the Sicilienne mainly and even had a look at the Federation Day main piece (Guitarchestra). After the coffee break we strove to fine-tune bits of the Fauré until we were all a bit too tired of it - "shall we run through it just one more time?" we were asked. "NO!" came the quick and unusually assured reply!

Being the first of its kind, there was a somewhat tentative atmosphere as members got accustomed to the new format. It was well worth it purely for the extra practice it allowed us to get in ahead of the big event in three weeks' time. No doubt the format of these additional sessions will gradually fall into place over the coming months as we work out what we want from them.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

April Meeting 2015

Not really much difference from the March Meeting, so I will just recount the solo performance where were

Eduardo Gonzalez                      
Pasillo No.1
Neveri (Venezuelan Waltz)
All Own Comps.

Freddy Carvalho                         
Cubana                                      Jose de Azpiazu 
Marion Davis                            
Sonatina                                    Carulli
Trevor Pike                                
Gavotte                                     Villa-Lobos

Colin Baker

A special mention needs to be made of the performance of De Visee’s Suite in D minor by Vince and Larisa which received an excellent report at the Bromley Music Festival. Well done to you both!

BGS Extra ensemble sessions
At the meeting a proposal to hire the church room for an extra meeting each month, in order to play more ensembles was discussed.

This idea has come from John Mann and has met with the approval of many of the members. John’s suggests that we go for the first Saturday of each month.  Den has checked and confirmed that those Saturdays are currently free for the rest of this year, starting on June 6th

We will keep you informed about the development of this proposal- we anticipate having something in place before the next May Meeting

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Greenwich Guitar Festival


I am delighted to announce the first Greenwich Guitar Festival, London will take
place in just a few months’ time from July 1st. – July 3rd  2015 at Trinity
Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance situated on the magnificent grounds of
the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.   Recital artists will include Edoardo
Catemario, John Mills and Graham Anthony Devine. Many of the events are free to
attend, including two of the evening recitals and public masterclasses.

There is also a festival classical guitar course which will feature lessons and
course masterclasses from all of the concert artists plus guest tutors Cobie
Smit and Francesco Mariani. The course, which is suitable for players from grade
1+ standard , has a strong emphasis on ensemble playing with chamber music
sessions as well as a guitar orchestra. There are performance classes which will
cover topics such as making the most of practise sessions, technical tips etc.
and each student will also receive two thirty-minute private lessons over the
duration of the festival.

For more information on the festival and guitar course fee, booking info etc.
please visit:<>

Hope you can join us for what will surely be a memorable number of days music
making at a very special venue in London this summer!

Very best wishes,

Cirella Mayrink

Saturday, 18 April 2015

March 2015 Meeting

Apologies for absence from Tessa Protheroe, Alex Green and Steve Pearson.
A very welcome back to Richard Frenckl, after a long absence due to a very serious and debilitating illness.
  The music played after the coffee break was:-
Eduardo Gonzalez           Serenata Austral             Own Comp.
                                        Milonga                            Own Comp.
Freddy Carvalho              Study in A                       Carcassi
                                         Study in A                                  Tarrega

Marion Davis                   Study in A Minor                         Aguado
John Mann                       Clyde Suite                                 Moore             
Larisa Lieberman
Vince Chittenden             Suite in D minor                         de Visee

Shirley Russell
Marion Davis
David Wheeler
Colin Baker                    Scarborough Fair                         Trad.
Thanks to John Mann for two excellent ensemble sessions.
Thanks to Trevor Pike for the delicious home-made biscuits accompanying our coffee.
Thank you, David, for opening the church room in good time and to you, Shirley, for undertaking that task at the April meeting.

See you then

Friday, 6 March 2015

The International Classical Guitar Festival and Summer School

Dear Classical Guitarists,

On behalf of West Dean College, I'm writing to give you details of this year's classical guitar festival and summer school. I'm sure that over the years many of your ensemble/society's members have attended our course, but I would be grateful if you could spread the word by forwarding these attached course details onto your members or by displaying the advert at your next meeting, thank you.
15 August 2015 - 21 August 2015
The International Classical Guitar Festival and Summer School
Reference : CG 5536
Ability :Suitable for all

This annual event, now in its 24th year, offers superb learning and performance opportunities for both advanced and elementary players. Repertoire, technique classes and workshops covering a variety of topics form the core teaching programme. Playing opportunities abound in the guitar orchestra, ensembles and student concerts. In addition, guitarists receive two individual lessons and attend public recitals and masterclasses given by distinguished visiting artists and tutors including the Marcin Dylla, Morgan Szymanski, David Leisner, Amanda Cook, Chris Stell, Jan de Kloe, Alison Bendy, Gerald Garcia, The Arctic Guitar Trio, Janet and Raffaele Agostino. Bursaries are available for 16 to 24 year old students to help with fees. 
If you would like any other information regarding the festival or if you require printed versions of the brochure, please don't hesitate to ask.
I hope this will be of interest to your members and I very much look forward directing another busy summer school in August.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Andrew Gough
Festival Director

Thursday, 26 February 2015

February Meeting 2015

Hi Folks

Another great turn out last Saturday for the BGS Pluckers and Strummers!

My apologies first of all for the disappearance of the January Newsletter. It is somewhere buried in the depths of your correspondent's Guitar bag and as soon as its recovered, he will no doubt furnish you with all the gory details. 

Not that it matters because the Feb meeting was almost the same as the January Meeting with the added bonus of the appearance of our redoubtable 'chair' Den Stockton who saved the day by taking notes of performances and welcoming all members- old and new

We all agreed that the evening went very well and that the attendance of fifteen members was most encouraging. Den  announced apologies for absence from Shirley Russell and Colin Baker (both unwell) and Steve Pearson.

Your correspondent also took the opportunity of having his own 'Wolf Hall' moment by taking his lute out of the mothballs for a road test. Fortunately it appeared to 'pass muster'. (At least the bloody thing kept in tune!! :)

 Special thanks to Kate Hughes for collecting the keys, which were passed to David Wheeler for the March Meeting.
We would also like to take the opportunity to  welcome Andrew Rawlings and Eduardo Gonzalvez as fully paid up members. Welcome to you both

Solo performances for the evening included

Marion Davis                Recuerdos                      Hartog
Andrew Ferrier             Calata Ala Spagnola       Dalza    (performed on the lute)

Tessa Protheroe             Minuet in C Minor          Sor
Eduardo Gonzalvez       Bambuco                      Lauro
                                      Samba de Saudade        Own Comp.

John Mann led a splendidly intensive rehearsal of Faure’s Sicilienne, even to the point of the refreshment break being as late as 8:10 pm. Thanks are due to Trevor for the home-made cakes, which were delicious.
Larisa and Trevor have asked for a reminder about the Bromley Festival guitar performances in Bromley Parish Church on March 1st, commencing from around 6:45 pm.  Larisa and Vince are putting in a performance (with guitars I hope) so it would be great if you can attend to support them.

There are also some news items added about the Beechwood 2015 concert program and the Helicon Arts festival in Italy.

See you in March 21st!