Moving Mountains funds a school in the slum district of the Embu, eastern Kenya, and was keen to introduce music into the school curriculum. We’ve given them a grant to buy a much-needed keyboard and an amplifier so that it can be used during their open-air assemblies, but they still need recorders. Do you have a descant recorder that is gathering dust?
June 2011 World Busk
Pupils from the choir of Grove Park Primary School in Chiswick, London, bravely sang in the rain at Bedford Park Green Day on 12 June to support the World Busk record attempt. But their efforts did not stop there. Throughout the week the children performed on an outdoor stage in the school playground to raise as much money as they could for projects supported by Musequality. On Friday several staff and pupils paid for the privilege of coming dressed as their favourite musician, which saw ‘Beethoven’, ‘Elvis’ and ‘Lady Gaga’ stalking the corridors. By the end of the week 30 pupils had participated, and £220 had been raised.
Among the many success stories of the World Busk was Little Brian’s Little Big Band, (musicians from Bracknell and Wokingham Community Band and Berkshire Maestros), which raised an amazing £2,322 over the course of the week. This money is being used specifically to provide prosthetic limbs for 14-year-old Tadeo, who lost both his hands and his feet in a fire and is currently learning to play the trombone at the Good Shepherd Home in the Mengo slum in Kampala.
The sound of silence
In April a cappella vocal group Chiswick Baroque raised money for Musequality by providing an hour of musical meditation, interspersing contemplative music with periods of silence. The event was part of the Lenten meditation programme at St Saviour’s Church, Shepherd’s Bush, London. Music included several of Victoria’s Tenebrae sentences, Tallis, Byrd, Tchaikovsky, chorales from the Bach Passions and music by CB’s director Celia Harper.
‘Thank you for your wonderful, meditative songs and welcome silence,’ said a member of the audience afterwards. ‘A real Lenten nourishment, perfectly paced... The moment I sat down and settled, I did not want to get up again and sunk so down in quiet I could have remained for another hour.’
Brass for Africa
Sixty musicians from Bracknell and Wokingham Community Band (BWCB) are performing in St Paul’s Church, Wokingham, on Saturday 26 March at 7.30pm. BWCB and Berkshire Maestros, in partnership with Musequality, are raising money to support the Good Shepherd Home in the Mengo slum of Kampala, Uganda. Money raised is match-funded by Musequality and goes directly to providing brass instruments and music tuition to orphaned, disabled and destitute children, giving them a truly life-enriching experience.
Rosin for Kinshasa
Any string player who has tried playing in a humid climate knows how frustrating it can be to have a bow that doesn’t grip. The secret is rosin, lots of it, and there can be no better testing ground for rosin than tropical Kinshasa. Thank you to Magic Rosin who got in touch through the Quartet of Peace to offer rosin for the L’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste in the Democratic Republic of Congo and our other string projects.
Quartet of Peace and London Chamber Music Society
Our heartfelt thanks go to the Quartet of Peace and London Chamber Music Society who have raised over £4,000 in funds and support in kind through concerts in November and December 2010.
Tubas for Uganda from Buffet Crampon
When Elgon Youth Brass Band wanted to improve their intonation they realised that one problem was that they didn’t have a proper bass section. The leading brass instrument manufacturer Buffet Crampon has come to their rescue and donated two tubas to prop up that sousaphone and give them a firm base.
Quartet of Peace and Pirastro Strings
The Quartet of Peace gave a concert in the Thomaskirche, Leipzig, to raise money for Musequality. The concert, which was generously supported by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Friends of the Gewandhaus, raised money for L’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The leading string manufacturer Pirastro has sent new strings to all the string players in the orchestra. The bass section are particularly happy as they can replace the bicycle cables which they had to use instead of proper bass strings. Gareth Lubbe, viola and overtone singer, gave a remarkable performance.YouTube
The Quartet of Peace has also performed in King’s Place, London and Paris in aid of Musequality. They played Bach, Mozart and a piece by Eugene Skeef. The violin maker, Brian Lisus, created the Quartet of Peace, four instruments dedicated to Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, which will be played by musicians around the world in celebration of those Laureates’ remarkable achievements.
Immanuel Church, Swindon
Musequality was the beneficiary of the Harvest Appeal at the Immanuel Church in Swindon. The congregation raised an amazing £2,935.16 which will be used to support the Elgon Brass Band in Mbale, Uganda.
Russell Keable, conductor of the Kensington Symphony Orchestra, arrived in Kampala to rehearse with the Kampala Symphony Orchestra. This marked the first step in forging a link between the two KSOs. Russell was joined by KSO violinist Helen Murchie and Musequality trustee Clare Delmar. At the end of the week, the KSO (Kampala) gave a concert which included the first performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in Uganda!
The World Busk took place on 7-13 June 2010 to raise money to rebuild music projects in Haiti. Buskers included the Mahler Chamber Orchestra with Andrew Manze in Vienna. There were buskers in Japan, Crete, Italy, Oman, and a very good turnout in the UK. US buskers included six-year-old Thomas Vranker in Rhode Island, who busked three times during the week, The Ryeland Harp Ring, a massed harp orchestra in Pennsylvania, and a celtic group, The Dusty Buskers in Pittsburgh. Thank you to everyone who took part.
New brass in Mbale
Now into its second year, the Elgon Youth Brass Band have already performed for the President of Uganda (twice!) and are making quite a stir in eastern Uganda. The decibels are about to increase with the arrival of a sousaphone, trombone and other instruments.
The project now has over 90 children involved in the brass band and cultural dance troupe. Engagements at parades and functions are providing some additional support and although life is still tough, Fredrick Kyewalyanga is determined that they will help as many children off the streets as they can.
From Kampala to London
Fredrick Kyewalyanga, 23, who runs the Elgon Youth Brass Band in Mbale, Uganda, visited London for the first time. He travelled to the UK with his friend and mentor Philip Monk to watch the Brass Band finals in Oldham. They hope to send their own brass band there some day. Philip runs five brass bands and is raising money to build an orphanage in the eastern part of Mbale in Uganda. Contact www.ugive2uganda.com if you would like to sponsor a child.
From Portsmouth to Kampala
Jane Ingamells from Portsmouth Grammar School has been introducing a strings programme at the Tender Talents School using the Stentor violins. Money raised by the Portsmouth Grammar School and the North London Collegiate Junior School have raised money for this project.
Stentor send violins to Uganda
Stentor is delighted to support the Musequality string programme at the Tender Talents School in Uganda. Stentor is the leading manufacturer and distributor of student orchestral stringed instruments worldwide. The company said: ‘We are committed to provide good quality, affordable instruments that enable players to have the most enjoyable and rewarding experience. Stentor regularly supports musicians and music education through a variety of successful projects.’
Practice makes perfect
Children at the North London Collegiate Junior School have helped raise more than £4,000 for a new Musequality project in Uganda, by taking part in a sponsored music practice. The girls’ ‘practicathon’ alone raised £3,000 in the two weeks before their exams, and more than £1,000 came from the school’s own Canonaid fundraising scheme. The children also received excellent grades in their music exams. Head of Junior School Jo Newman presented Musequality’s David Juritz and Jean Buck with a cheque for £4,172.61 at a school assembly.
A very special birthday
Elisabeth Whittaker celebrated her birthday in flamboyant style at Bush Hall in West London. The 120 guests from all over the world enjoyed music played by the London Tango Quintet and a cabaret appearance from Elisabeth. The evening was delightful and raised around £5,000 for Musequality.
Portsmouth Grammar School supporting Tender Talents
The Portsmouth Grammar School will be raising money for Musequality in 2010, which marks the tenth anniversary of the school’s String Scheme. Pupils will be taking part in a sponsored practice, an orchestral workshop and attending concerts given by their teachers, as well as celebrating with a special anniversary concert at which David Juritz will be the guest of honour.
In addition, head of strings Jane Ingamells has offered to teach the violin at the Tender Talents School for Aids orphans in Uganda during June and July 2010. To raise funds she will be spending the Easter holiday cycling with husband Nick from Portsmouth to the small village of Ingoldmells in Lincolnshire to see exactly where her ancestors first settled. If you would like to sponsor them, please go to www.justgiving.com/nj-ingamells.
Melodi Music brings Sowetan sounds to London
A 24-piece wind band from the Melodi Music Trust in Soweto, South Africa, is touring Europe, performing classical and African music. It will play at
St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, London SW1 at 7.30pm on 22 December.
The trust founded in 2002 by Nimrod Moloto has so far taught more than 1,500 youngsters from primary school age to 20 to read and perform music, and provides instruments, music and professional tutors to enable the best tuition possible.
‘The streets of Soweto are vibrating with an enormous amount of energy from the children; little souls playing on the streets 'til late at night always looking for something to do to occupy their minds,’ says Nimrod. ‘All they need is proper guidance. My aim is to provide the children with the opportunity to grow through music.’
Christmas with London Choral and Melodi Music
Melodi Music will also take part in a Christmas concert with London Choral and St Michael and All Angels’ Junior Choir, with readings by Niamh Cusack. The 24 talented young Sowetan musicians from the Melodi Music Trust will be directed by founder Nimrod Moloto. An inspiring evening starts at 7pm at St Michael and All Angels Church, opposite Turnham Green tube, London W4. Tickets available on the door: £10 adults, £4 children.
Building communities through music
Central Harmony, a west London choir directed by Clare Delmar and James Davey, joined the Bridge Quartet and musicians from the Raj Academy for a delightful concert at All Saints Church in Isleworth.
Concert for Musequality
Julian Dawes, pianist, songwriter and composer, is holding a concert in aid of Musequality on Sunday, 5 July at 7.30pm at Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, London N6 5HG. With sopranos Rosalind Coad and Ilona Domnich; mezzo sopranos Martha Jones and Camille Maalawy; tenor Paul Curievici; clarinettist Hannah Morgan and Julian on piano – and with songs by Julian and additional pieces by the French composer Maite Erra – the evening will be entertaining and fun. Distract yourself from worrying about the week ahead. Tickets £10; concessions £8. 020 7692 0137.
Setting a new world record At noon on Sunday 14 June, 483 people in 29 cities in 14 countries on all seven continents helped establish a record for the largest ever co-ordinated busk. BBC World News broadcast clips of buskers throughout the day, while 50 crew members on HMS Illustrious took a break from their NATO exercise to boost our numbers in the middle of a foggy Baltic Sea. Everyone taking part had to have an independent witness. Next year’s World Busk record attempt will take place around the planet at noon local time, on Sunday 13 June.
Buskers on seven continents and one sea
The Antarctic Minkes – three bass guitarists and one saxophonist – took part in the Musequality World Busk in June, 2009. They played in the ice, entertaining passers-by: the 20-strong crew members based at The British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station in Antarctica during the southern winter.
The World Busk took place over the course of a week and raised more than £14,000 for music projects. The Antarctic Minkes were among 811 buskers performing in 75 locations in 17 countries on every one of the world’s seven continents (and one sea). They included soloists, mass buskers and speed buskers. World Busk 2010 takes place 7-13 June 2010.
David Juritz joins The West London Bach Players and Consort, conducted by Sandy Burnett, on their epic performing cycle of J S Bach’s sacred cantatas. There was a retiring collection for projects including the Upper Room and Musequality. Sandy talks about the Cantatas on YouTube.
Round Britain fundraising expedition – in a kayak
Graham King, a former IT consultant from west London, has set off in his kayak to canoe round Britain – fulfilling a long-held ambition, while fundraising for Musequality and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Starting from Teddington Lock, where the river Thames goes tidal, he is travelling clockwise, along the north Kent coast, past Land’s End, round John O’Groats and down the North Sea coast before heading upstream through the Thames. With 2,500 miles to cover he expects to be home by September. Follow his expedition in his blog
We’re going busking again!
The Musequality World Busk starts on Monday 8 June and our website is up and running. It's been a massive amount of work for our tiny team of volunteers led by Laura Sheldon and Jo Biddolph. We'd love all you musicians out there to join us in a week of performances on streets, in stations or wherever your imagination takes you, culminating on Sunday 14 June, when we hope to set a world record for the largest simultaneous busk ever.
RCM students support Musequality during Rag Week
The Royal College of Music students' association will be on the streets of London, indulging in this unique British activity – entertaining passers-by during Rag Week. A few brave professors will attempt Grade I music examinations after just one week's tuition on a new instrument. We wish them luck!
Seven centuries of music
The rafters of St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park, London filled with the glorious voices of Chiswick Baroque, led by composer Celia Harper, in a programme of music from the 14th to the 21st centuries. The concert raised over £500 for Musequality. Thank you!
M-Lisada Brass Band on CD
Last autumn we gave the M-Lisada Brass Band in Kampala, Uganda, a grant to record a promotional CD. True to their tradition of making everything go a long way, they recorded enough music for two albums! We rushed out a limited edition of Christmas Carols played in the fantastic M-Lisada style, and will have their second release available in a few weeks’ time.
Our fifth project starts
When a river in northern Thailand formed an ox-bow lake, the bustling village of Ban Mok Cham suddenly found itself cut off and isolated. Their response was to set up a cultural programme to keep their traditions alive and to share their Shan hill-tribe culture with visiting school groups. As part of this programme we've set up our fifth project, helping to build a performance centre and supplying instruments. The centre was officially opened at a blessing ceremony in December 2008.
Walking for Musequality
A big thank you to Sylvia Trench who walked the 500 mile-long Camino de Santiago, from the Pyrenees in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and raised £1,000 for us.
Official charity at Bedford Park Festival
We were thrilled to receive a donation of £9,000 as one of the official charities at the 2008 Bedford Park Festival, a traditional fete and craft fair. We also ran a stall on Acton Green (opposite Turnham Green tube station, where David Juritz launched his busking tour), selling raffle tickets and button badges.
Friends and supporters of Musequality, including trustee Sir Humphrey Maud, performed music by Spohr and Bach at a fundraising concert on 24 April in the Michael Room, St Michael and All Angels, Chiswick, London W4. The concert raised over £600 for Musequality.
First performance for Tender Talents
The choral group at Tender Talents Magnet School gave their first performance: to Mrs Kohler, the First Lady of the German Republic, during her visit to Africa. This was a great honour and a huge success.
Repairing instruments for M-Lisada Brass Band
We were delighted to offer the M-Lisada Brass Band, an existing group in Kampala, Uganda, a small grant to repair its long-held musical instruments. M-Lisada stands for Music Life Skills and Destitutions Alleviation – exactly what we are about. We hope to help them more as our funds increase.
Sponsored music practice pilot a success
Pupils from Kew College, Kew, Surrey, took part in our first ever sponsored music practice, running a pilot project to help us set up a successful scheme. James Allen’s Saturday School for the Performing Arts launched its sponsored practice with a stunning concert from the staff.
Carol concert raises funds for Musequality
The London Chorus held a special Carols Plus fundraising concert at St Michael and All Angels church in Chiswick, west London. The programme included readings from actor Richard Briers and a performance of Ferdinand the Bull from David Juritz, with Ronald Corp conducting.
Melodi Music project plays in London
We were thrilled to go along to St George’s, Hanover Square, London, to hear a group from Melodi Music playing to an appreciative audience. They performed Mozart, Bach and traditional African songs, conducted by project leader Nimrod Moloto. The tour took them to the Netherlands, Manchester and Bristol.
New music room opens
The first music lessons took place, before Christmas, at the Tender Talents Magnet School in Kampala, Uganda – our first project. We refurbished a hut to create a studio and provided a piano, three keyboards, 13 guitars, 70 recorders, drums and endingidis (traditional Ugandan one-string fiddles).
Last busk at Number 10
After nearly five months busking Round the World and Bach, David Juritz gave his last performance on the streets (this time round) on the steps of 10 Downing Street. He’d busked in 50 cities in 24 countries in every continent other than Antarctica. He played the entire repertoire for solo violin by Bach and repeated the E major prelude over 300 times. His last busk was recorded and appeared on the Number 10 website.