Heaven on Earth: The Joy of A Capella Harmony Singing with The B Naturals

What is the greatest musical instrument of all? I believe it is the human voice. Nothing compares to the joy of a capella harmony singing – in perfect pitch, of course, and under the tuition of an inspirational musical director… or how about four musical directors, one for each voice part? Recently I  took partContinue reading “Heaven on Earth: The Joy of A Capella Harmony Singing with The B Naturals”

Joyful Atmosphere at the Leamington Spa Peace Festival June 2018

Each year in June the Peace Festival is held in the Royal Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa. A colourful and eclectic mix of stallholders, different religious and activist and local community groups, musicians, street food vendors, and sellers of vibrant gypsy, bohemian and ethnic clothes, hats, bag and jewellery all converge on the gardens.Continue reading “Joyful Atmosphere at the Leamington Spa Peace Festival June 2018”

The Beatles, A Cry From the Heart, and a Curious Collection of Letters From Beatles Fans Full of Youthful Passion

Did you know my very first published work under the name of SC Skillman was a cry from the heart, in the form of a poem which appeared in print courtesy of The Beatles? No? Here it is, a cry from the heart of a frustrated fan, as it first appeared in Beatles Monthly editionContinue reading “The Beatles, A Cry From the Heart, and a Curious Collection of Letters From Beatles Fans Full of Youthful Passion”

Spiritual and Unifying: the Dramatic and Emotional Appeal of Brahms’ Requiem for All Who Love Choral Singing

King Henry VIII School, Coventry (well known as representing Gordon Shakespeare’s school in the 2009 Christmas film Nativity!) was the scene on Saturday where a large number of local singers and musicians gathered together for a “Scratch” rehearsal and performance of Brahms’ Requiem.  As with all scratch performances of course the majority of participants hadContinue reading “Spiritual and Unifying: the Dramatic and Emotional Appeal of Brahms’ Requiem for All Who Love Choral Singing”

Mountains, Castles and Inspiration in Bavaria

We are just back from Bavaria where we were inspired by King Ludwig II’s castles, delighted by glorious mountain views, enjoyed delicious apple strudels and slipped into Austria where we had a lot of fun on the Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg. But the most outstanding feature of our holiday was our discovery ofContinue reading “Mountains, Castles and Inspiration in Bavaria”

Beatles Shine with Passion and Energy in New Documentary “8 Days a Week: the Touring Years”

How young, innocent, and naive they were, aged in their early twenties: cheeky and endearing. As Paul McCartney puts it, “At the beginning it was all very simple. By the end it had become very complicated.” And in the Beatles new documentary “8 Days a Week: The Touring Years” we saw a transformation rather similarContinue reading “Beatles Shine with Passion and Energy in New Documentary “8 Days a Week: the Touring Years””

Versatile Blogger Award

I was very pleased  to learn that I’ve been nominated for this award by fellow-blogger and Goodreads friend Lance Greenfield whose blog I follow. Lance is the author of “Eleven Miles” a book which I reviewed recently and which I can thoroughly recommend. Writing a weekly blog post is an excellent writing discipline, and a wonderful creativeContinue reading “Versatile Blogger Award”

People of Inspiration: The Enduring Love of Mozart’s Requiem

“Mozart stopped writing here.” Those were the words one soprano had written after bar 8 of the Lacrymosa in her score of Mozart’s Requiem: just so she could be sure which bits were from the hand of the master, and which from his much-less gifted composer friend Franz Sussmayr. We were singing with the choir Spires Philharmonic Chorus,Continue reading “People of Inspiration: The Enduring Love of Mozart’s Requiem”

Book Review: The Beatles Lyrics by Hunter Davies

Having received this book as a Christmas gift, substantial 375-page tome that it is, I devoured it in a few days. I found the book utterly compelling. Hunter Davies starts by describing his search among collectors, companies and auction houses for what must surely rank among the most valuable “scruffy scraps of paper” in theContinue reading “Book Review: The Beatles Lyrics by Hunter Davies”

Folk Festival Fun for Warwick

This weekend Warwick hosted its annual Folk Festival. Folk dancers and singers were out in force together with a wide variety of creative stallholders and vendors, and everywhere we saw bright coloured clothes and gypsy-style skirts and hats decorated with flowers. In common with many others I love to watch to listen to folk songsContinue reading “Folk Festival Fun for Warwick”