Sunday, 27 March 2011

Music for Lent and Brahms Requiem

Busy musical weekend! A concert with Wimbledon Chamber Choir yesterday with Lent music, Schutz, Monteverdi and Palestrina. Lorna sang the Alto solos with us, always a treat, and the Soprano soloist, Jessica is looking for singing teaching work, so I'll arrange for her to teach singing at Notre Dame, as Matthew has a waiting list - symbiosis!

Next, playing at school for the ND Sisters and Old Girls for Mass this morning (after the clocks went forward and a late night) with Fr Rudolph and his luxuriant beard - he looks more like a Russian Orthodox priest.

Then, playing Brahms 'Ein Deutches Requiem' at All Saints' Putney.
Wonderful, but sad too as it was performed in memory of my violinist friend Alison's husband Nicholas, who died 3 weeks ago. Alison was conducting - she was marvellous, as ever. The church is so beautiful, and it has the most amazing Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows by Burne-Jones. I've played there many times, but today was especially lovely with the late afternoon sun streaming through them. The proceeds of the concert will go towards setting up a bursary in Nick's memory for bassoon students at the Royal College of Music, where he was a bassoon professor.
R.I.P, Nicholas Hunka.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


I was at a conference today for Senior Leaders to raise the A/A* grades from the brightest children, so it's linked in with my work with the Gifted and Talented. There were only 20 of us, and I met up again with a colleague I worked with in Sutton, and a girl I studied with at Southampton, Debbie, who read French and German. Tiny world! Lovely to see them both again.
The conference was at Tower Hill, and I loved the name of the street!

A really good day, with lots to take back to school. We're all at the Docklands Hilton for InSet tomorrow, so another nice lunch to make a change from a sandwich on my lap in 10 mins in the staff common room!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

International Evening

We had an annual International Evening last Friday - good fun, but a lot of work in preparation beforehand. We have the first half of a concert, showcasing songs, music, poems and dances from the huge array of different cultures, and then a shared supper where parents bring their national dishes, then the second half of the concert. We had our star pianist from Vietnam (who takes her Grade 8 next week) Irish dancing (with fiddle playing from me!) Portguese dance, songs and poems in Spanish, Polish, Italian, Polish, German, a role play in French, dances from Korea and Columbia, Japanese taiko drumming, South African singing and recorders, a song in Russian.............

                                                Hungarian Folksongs

                                              Audience and performers

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Everything green today - although the dinner ladies didn't colour the water on the lunch tables emerald, as they have done in the past! As we have a strong Irish contingent at School, there was much merriment today.
Mairead was given these cute shamrocks as a gift and asked me if I could put brooch backs on them for International Eve  - our big concert. It's tomorrow, so I've had lots to do to organise that; rehearse the children, organise the food, the raffle, the parents, the decorations. I always love it, it's one of my favourite events - but there's a lot of prep.

This daffodil-type flower I made from the cotton I dyed with turmeric - came out well!

Spring equinox this weekend, so things should get warmer....

Sunday, 13 March 2011

More flowers

Busy week! I added some daffodils to the tulips for a nice Spring display, and have a pot on the kitchen windowsill too.

I have subscribed to a new craft magazine, which has lot of great ideas, including these flowers. Very simple; cast on 8, cast off 8, 5 times to make 5 chains, cast off completely and fashion each chain into a petal. I used drumstick needles and the super-chunky wool Debbie gave me, and found one of Breda's buttons to finish the centre. Total cost - nothing!!

There was a beautiful new moon the other evening, and it was clear and cloudless. My little camera struggled a bit with the image, but it gives the right impression.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Tulips, but not from Amsterdam!

Yesterday was the Women's World Day of Prayer, with the focus this year on Chile. Vicky and I took our singers and readers to a local church for the service the women of Chile had written.  Mummie was doing the same, as were women all over the world. We sang a Spanish song as part of the Gospel.

Sarah, the organiser of our service, gave  me these beautiful tulips, and they are even pink! A little bit of Spring to brighten up a cold day.