Chairman’s Letter 2018/19

August 2018

How time flies! It was hardly believable as our 31st Season came to a close that plans were already afoot for the next, but such it was.

Once again, we had some firsts. Leaving Germany at 3am ensured that the charming Duo Birringer sisters gave us their first ever English recital! We sent pianist Esther off with the strains of Happy Birthday ringing in her ears ahead of her birthday weekend. We breezed through France and Germany with Endymion Winds, their Poulenc Sextet moving many in the audience. Our piano was given the chance to show its full range of colours with a return visit by Martin James Bartlett and his agreement to become Patron of our Young Musicians has been an honour all round. Fortunately, The Doric String Quartet avoided the “Beast from the East” to complete our season, with cellist John Myerscough delighted to announce that we were their first English venue of the year. Their incredible rendition of the huge Beethoven Opus 130 Quartet will be a talking point for years.

Audiences and performers alike travel from near and far to our beautiful venue and often comment on the acoustics, the ambience created by the candlelight and the warm welcome they receive. The committee work hard behind the scenes to make these concerts happen and we all feel privileged to hear such high-class music in our village church. Hosting musicians overnight, or providing a supper before a concert one gleans an insight into their very busy lives and schedules. How fortunate we are to welcome them here!

Looking forward, our AGM at 7.30pm on 28th September is once again in King Henry VIII’s presence at the Old House, Parsonage Lane, by kind invitation of Dan Davies and Sally Churchyard. Concerts include Trio Isimsiz, the renowned pianist Steven Osborne, Berlin-based Vision Quartet who play from memory standing up and the flute/piano duo of Adam Walker and James Baillieu. In addition this year we are delighted to be hosting a Young Musicians Platform showcasing some local talented youngsters and providing a welcome return for pianist Weng Soon Tee and violinist Julia Hwang. Both have been studying alongside Martin James Bartlett in London so let’s see ‘where they are now’ – to think it all started here!

Designed by Bev Blackmore, a noticeboard opposite the Victoria Rooms will advertise all our concerts. Tickets will be available on our website through Ticketsource and 40 tickets will be available one month before each concert at The Globe Inn, Milverton, with thanks to Mark and Adele Tarry who continue to offer their delicious pre-concert suppers for those wishing to make an evening of it. Thanks to Hawksmoor Investments, Taunton for continued sponsorship and to all our generous and loyal members.

Please consider becoming a member for, by so-doing, you will help us to continue to be able to bring world-class musicians to our doorstep. I look forward to greeting you again at the start of next season.

Meanwhile, with very best wishes,

Catherine Vincer, Chairman.

Chairman’s Letter 2017/18

August 2017

Milverton Concert Society’s 30th anniversary year was full of glorious music, large audiences and amazing surprises. The performance by the Scott Brothers was extraordinary and beautiful, with the Yamaha C3 and the church organ in perfect harmony, with a taster appearing on YouTube the following day. In November Melvyn Tan, our president, was welcomed by Nick Capaldi, currently Chief Executive Arts Council Wales who encouraged us all those years ago, the performance ending with anniversary cake, popping of corks and bouquets of flowers. A night to remember. In February came the world renowned Vienna Piano Trio and in May a packed house welcomed Martin James Bartlett, aged 20 and just off to the States as the only finalist from GB in the Cliburn International Piano Festival. Another phenomenal event.

The very good news is that Martin is returning to Milverton, after overwhelming requests, on Friday 23rd February 2018. Book early! We start the season with the AGM on 22nd September, venue to be confirmed, then in October we welcome Duo Birringer, sisters playing piano and violin. November brings the Endymion Ensemble, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano, playing works by Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Poulenc. Finally after Martin in February, we have the Doric String Quartet on 23rd March who have played in most of the leading concert venues of Europe. Please put all these dates in your dairies today.

We thank Milverton Stores for selling, for many years, 40 tickets for each concert, the same tickets will now be available one month before each concert at the Globe Inn, Milverton. NO telephone sales of tickets, in person only. The remainder are on the website through Ticketsource. Our thanks again to the Binks Charity for a generous donation last season and to Hawksmoor Investments, Taunton, who are kindly sponsoring this season. And special thanks to our generous and loyal members without whom the society could not exist. You will find a membership form with the current programme!

Finally I shall be standing down as Chairman at the AGM in September so a replacement will be required. As well as a multi talented committee, and a back up team of 20 plus we have a new efficient treasurer already in place and we will have a new secretary taking the place of Rosie Clark–Lowes, a hard act to follow. There will be changes in the bar too. So off we go again !

Audiences to Milverton Concerts now come from far and wide as well as marvellous support from our local village community and much of Somerset and Devon. This season a couple from the tip of the Cornish peninsular came to one concert on the wrong night, drove home and returned the next day. A family of 5 from Warrington, Cheshire drove down for the Scott Brothers concert last October (over 200 miles) and when, in amazement we offered them a nights accommodation, they announced that they had to get back to feed the dogs……….

Gill Lumby, Chairman

Chairman’s Letter 2015/16

August 2015

Dear members, friends and supporters,

By the time this reaches you, our website will be up and buzzing with another feast of musical delights to tempt you out into the candlelit warmth of Milverton Church with more world class musicians and an extra concert too in this coming 2015/16 season. However we also have one eye on the following season. Yes believe it or not, the 2016/17 season will be our 30th birthday. Melvyn Tan, celebrating his own 60th birthday then, is keen to join us and we have found all the details of his, and of course our, first ever concert in St Michael’s Church including a list of everyone who came.

But before that it is essential that to secure the future of the society and as a matter of urgency, we need to find at least a new treasurer and a new secretary, both posts essential to our on-going success. There are others too on the committee with almost 30 years of continuous involvement who would appreciate a rest! If you have some spare time and feel you could help, please contact us NOW or come along to the AGM in the Old House, Parsonage Lane on Friday 25th September at 7.00pm. We have an excellent and efficient back-up team of helpers who work tirelessly for every concert, so you will not be working in isolation.

Also on our website, have a look at the gallery which shows photos of the Zelkova Quartet and the Busch Ensemble at the Primary School as well as some lovely thank you letters from the children. Other news from the past season is that once again we had good audience numbers, the church was jam-packed with almost 400 people for the Carnival Band and Maddy Prior, and a very generous and welcome gift from the Binks Trust in Scotland has encouraged us to even greater heights for this season. Looking forward, you will find the Benyounes Quartet with pianist Jeremy Young playing the Mozart Quintet from their recent CD, the internationally acclaimed Sacconi Quartet and by popular request, a return visit from Blossom Street for the Christmas Concert. In February 2016 the outstanding Sitkovetsky Piano Trio will be playing, then in March cellist David Waterman with pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen and finally a medley of musical miscellanies from The Bushel Lights, talented local professional musicians working extensively with children.

So thank you for all your support and encouragement. Please fill in the enclosed membership form TODAY, have a look at the updated website, book those tickets, think about standing for the committee, bearing in mind that the Concert Society will not continue without new input and remember those very special and sometimes life-changing moments for the children at Milverton Primary School who are lucky enough, thanks to your support, to experience first hand classical music in the workshops. The extraordinary performance by the young South African cellist Abel Selaocoe at the Primary School last November was a most moving experience for all of us, as was his amazing story on YouTube from the slums of South Africa to the Royal Northern College of Music and then to Milverton.

Gill Lumby, Chairman