Archive for April, 2012

Review: Rotary (RIBI) Conference Bournemouth 13th to 15th April 2012 www.ribi.org

April 23, 2012

Wow! What a conference! There was hardly a moment spare, not a speaker who did not stir one to think more about things that matter and not a time when you did not have the opportunity to meet new people. One of the new people I met was a Danish Rotarian who is a member of The Rotary E-club of London Centenary district 1130. Indeed, there were many moments when you felt highly involved, wonderfully entertained or just ‘inspired’. Highlights for me were the unflappable, amusing and very human Ray Burman, a very moving presentation by Bryn Parry on ‘Help for Heroes’, the highly entertaining poet Matt Harvey talking about things you pilfer from the office, streakers and tennis (not all in one breath), the Young Musicians and Vocalist Showcase , one of the Nolan sisters talking about breast cancer and Pam Rhodes’ amusing anecdotes about dementia. These were by no means the entire list – the conference also featured Seema Sharma and Sir Terry Wogan, amongst others.  The Hall of Friendship  where charities and Rotary associates set up stalls was packed – I arrived on Sunday morning to finish visiting them all but was disappointed when some of the displays had been taken down and the representatives gone (few of them Rotarians it was noted). In the Young Musicians’ Showcase Ruth Hoare’s beautiful singing, especially her rich tone in Brahm’s ‘An die Nachtige’, and Kieren Young’s extremely soft and exquisitely- controlled  clarinet playing in the Poulenc were positively mesmerizing. This is not to say everything was perfect – lunches reminded me a little of a hall at university nick-named ‘Crush Hall’ and I have a slightly uneasy feeling that vocalists may have been slighted in the title of the concert. ‘The Young Musicians and Vocalist Showcase’ seems to suggest that vocalists are not musicians – I am sure everyone will agree that they are musicians just as much as instrumentalists – a minor point though. However, the overall effect of the Conference was exhilarating and I highly recommend next year’s! It will be from 12th to 14th April in Harrogate featuring Sakuji Tanaka (RI President 2012/13), Simon Weston (Falklands veteran), Matt Dawson (former England Rugby scrum half and patron of Beating Bowel Cancer), Nick Hewer (Countdown host, Lord Sugar’s aide on ‘The Apprentice’ and Patron of Hope and Homes for Children) and Karren Brady (Vice Chair West Ham United, aide to Lord Sugar and Stroke Association Ambassador).

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‘Review’ of the London Book Fair 2012

April 23, 2012

 As a last minute thing I went to the fair on the last day, Wednesday 18th April. Consequently I did not have time to thoroughly investigate the website. If I had done a week or so earlier, I could have booked in online and paid £30 entry fee instead of the £45 I had to pay. I was glad I had gone on the last day, for apparently it was much less busy than the first days. I spent a whole day and still did not manage to see it all. There was a variety of people and stands there with plenty of chances to stop for the odd coffee and snack. The main reason I attended was to check it all out and to see where the publisher of my book ‘John, Dementia and Me’ which will be published in November by Michael Henson Editorial Services – North Staffordshire Press. It was worth the visit for I was able to meet the publisher and the illustrator (to talk about the cover) and I was also able to meet the printers. As an author, I managed to leave my card at a number of places and have already been contacted with a suggestion of some work I might be interested in and, as suggested by another firm,  I have sent the script for the examination course I had already written and presented at the IATEFL Conference in Glasgow but have not yet had published. So, all in all, I would recommend the London Book Fair as a good venue if you are in the writing and or publishing business

 

 

‘Review’ of the London Book Fair 2012

April 23, 2012

 As a last minute thing I went to the fair on the last day, Wednesday 18th April. Consequently I did not have time to thoroughly investigate the website. If I had done a week or so earlier, I could have booked in online and paid £30 entry fee instead of the £45 I had to pay. I was glad I had gone on the last day, for apparently it was much less busy than the first days. I spent a whole day and still did not manage to see it all. There was a variety of people and stands there with plenty of chances to stop for the odd coffee and snack. The main reason I attended was to check it all out and to see where the publisher of my book ‘John, Dementia and Me’ which will be published in November by Michael Henson Editorial Services – North Staffordshire Press. It was worth the visit for I was able to meet the publisher and the illustrator (to talk about the cover) and I was also able to meet the printers. As an author, I managed to leave my card at a number of places and have already been contacted with a suggestion of some work I might be interested in and, as suggested by another firm,  I have sent the script for the examination course I had already written and presented at the IATEFL Conference in Glasgow but have not yet had published. So, all in all, I would recommend the London Book Fair as a good venue if you are in the writing and or publishing business

 

 

‘Review’ of the London Book Fair 2012

April 23, 2012

 As a last minute thing I went to the fair on the last day, Wednesday 18th April. Consequently I did not have time to thoroughly investigate the website. If I had done a week or so earlier, I could have booked in online and paid £30 entry fee instead of the £45 I had to pay. I was glad I had gone on the last day, for apparently it was much less busy than the first days. I spent a whole day and still did not manage to see it all. There was a variety of people and stands there with plenty of chances to stop for the odd coffee and snack. The main reason I attended was to check it all out and to see where the publisher of my book ‘John, Dementia and Me’ which will be published in November by Michael Henson Editorial Services – North Staffordshire Press. It was worth the visit for I was able to meet the publisher and the illustrator (to talk about the cover) and I was also able to meet the printers. As an author, I managed to leave my card at a number of places and have already been contacted with a suggestion of some work I might be interested in and, as suggested by another firm,  I have sent the script for the examination course I had already written and presented at the IATEFL Conference in Glasgow but have not yet had published. So, all in all, I would recommend the London Book Fair as a good venue if you are in the writing and or publishing business

 

 

The Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth

April 17, 2012

It was sheer luxury and a home from home to return to the hotel after days at a conference at the BIC, in Bournemouth. The room was spacious, clean well decorated, the bed luxurious and comfortable. Broadband and the shower were far better than I have at home!The staff were very friendly – giving a sense of the oldy-worldy, impeccably presented staff who are there to serve – Nikky at the restaurant was especially impressive. The breakfasts were excellent and it was a real treat to have the cooked breakfast served for you.   I would certainly stay there again.

Review of ‘The Dream of Gerontius’ by Elgar performed by Ely Choral Society, Cambridgeshire Choral Society, Ely Consort and the Ely Festival Orchestra in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 31st March 2012.

April 1, 2012

Elgar’s ‘The Dream of Gerontius’ performed by Ely Choral Society, Cambridgeshire Choral Society, and Ely Consort and the Ely Festival Orchestra in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 31st March 2012 was an unforgettable, moving and uplifting experience.

Under the baton of Andrew Parnell, these fine musicians captured the essence of Elgar’s genius.  With carefully shaped and measured precision, the messages of the text were abundantly clear.  Every essence of the journey of the soul of Gerontius and its final release in death was made important and meaningful by these impressive musicians. The audience felt a sense of awe and reverence —most fitting in the inspiring environment of Ely Cathedral.

The combined choir excelled. With a full, wholesome sound, these singers sang with informed assurance, no matter what this momentous score demanded.  Their effects ranged from the solemn prayers of the Assistants and the harsh brutality of the Demons to the ethereal beauty of the Choir of Angelicals. Even in the most interwoven of textures, no opportunity was lost to savour the expressive magnitude, heightened tensions, and profundity.

The orchestra was indeed on equal terms with the singers and these highly skilled instrumentalists balanced perfectly to help create this wonderful, emotional experience that captured the painful anguish of Gerontius’s experiences exactly. In the opening bars it became immediately apparent that we were about to experience something momentous. With both orchestra and choir every utterance was exact but evocative. Tonal richness, effective timing and cohesive, wide-ranging expression were clearly the order of the day.   Jonathan Lilley’s organ playing was also an essential contributor. There was a marked hush at the end of the sections. The listeners had been deeply affected.

The soloists were some of the finest I have heard in Ely Cathedral. Justin Lavender (tenor) was a highly charged Gerontius, his superb voice permeating the words and music with phenomenal emotional intensity. Jeremy White (bass) filled the Cathedral with his powerful voice. The first notes he sang as the Priest revealed him to be a man worthy of the role – one who could fill the Cathedral with astounding tonal control, power and authority. Deborah Miles-Johnson (mezzo-soprano) sang superbly, adding warmth and affection to Elgar’s uplifting music.

This was a most successful evening. There was no doubt why the Cathedral was packed.

Future events by Ely Choral Society include:

Saturday 2nd June 730 p.m. Ely Cathedral Concert Celebrating the Diamond jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth 11 featuring massed choirs and the East Anglian Chamber Orchestra

Saturday 27th October, 7.30 p.m. Ely Cathedral Autumn concert, including pieces by Haydon, Bruckner and Parnell

Saturday 8th December, St. Mary’s Church, Ely Christmas Concert.

Rosemary Westwell