Looking back over the list of past workshops, one cannot help noticing that most of the repertoire we cover is from the Renaissance and early Baroque. This is perhaps not surprising, since works from that period are more suited to the kind of ‘voices and instruments’ approach, which enables as many members as possible to take part. We do of course have the excellent chamber music day, which is now a fixed point in our calendar (coming up in September, and not too late to sign up!).

However, we would like to find out whether enough members would be interested to make a baroque orchestra day viable. The location is likely to be Somerset or Devon, though this is not settled yet. Some of you may already have been contacted about this by our Treasurer, Jonathan Tribe; if not, we would be very interested to hear from you, and specifically to know: what instrument you play and whether, if you don’t have a baroque instrument, you would be prepared to tune your modern violin, viola or cello down to A = 415; and whether you know of any non-SWEMF members who might be interested in coming to such a workshop. We would not rule out including a few viols (many viola parts fit nicely on a tenor viol, as I learned at last year’s chamber music day).

Please email responses either to myself or to Jonathan. Our addresses are on the admin page.  Many thanks!

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This is the first Chair’s report to appear on the revamped SWEMF website which went live on 1st September.  We’re all very excited at the changes Sara has made – huge thanks are due to her for the work she’s put in on this.

Thanks, too, to Wendy Carnell, who is stepping down as our Dorset rep.  As many of you will know, not only has Wendy been a very effective committee member, but she has been instrumental (sorry, that’s not an intentional pun!) in arranging the series of popular and successful workshops at West Bay, which have always attracted large numbers of members. We’re hoping that someone else will be willing to keep up this tradition (see the notice elsewhere in the Diary for more information), but meanwhile I’d like to thank Wendy very warmly on behalf of everyone who has enjoyed these workshops – they’ve been greatly appreciated.

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I hope that you (and your instruments) are enjoying the summer and not finding it too hot for some music-making!

– Clare Griffel

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