We have been busy bees here at Recitals for Wrigglers, with a new programme, watery costume creations and larger than life colourful banners to shout about! This was all in preparation for our six sell out shows at the Brighton International Festival, where we premiered our fantastic new Sail Away programme. We enjoyed putting this together and commissioned our friend Jeff Moore to write the music for our new story The Lucky Toy Soldier. We had a lot of fun and the programme was really well received. We were delighted that our friend Paul Englishby could be in the audience to hear us perform his piece Moon Song. He wrote it for our Sun Moon and Stars programme a couple of years ago and we love this piece so much. It was the perfect addition to our new programme and although it appears on our CD Music for Wrigglers, we were thrilled that he was able to hear it live.
We followed Brighton with a mini-tour of our Edinburgh Fringe sell out show Wriggle Around the World. We loved introducing Recitals for Wrigglers to new audiences in the south of England and the concerts were a big hit in Hastings, where we had a surprise rush of wrigglers, thanks to sharing via Facebook and other social media platforms. We also took it into schools and nurseries and had some lovely feedback and enthusiastic responses!
We finished our marvellous May by transporting our new Sail Away programme to Edinburgh, with concerts in Portobello, South Queensferry, Linlithgow, Stockbridge and Marchmont. We have had such a fun time. Thank you to everyone who came to see us. We’ll be back in June, so come and Dance Into Summer with us!
December feels like an age away and it has taken us a while to write a blog post. We now have two branches of Recitals for Wrigglers. Our main hub is based in the vicinity of Edinburgh while our periphery at the moment is in Surrey, but soon to reach as far south as Brighton! More about that later.
Is has been busy here both front of house and behind the scenes, with lots going on. In December the Scotland team performed in Dunfermline, Stockbridge, Linlithgow, South Queensferry, Portobello and Holyroodhouse and the Wrigglers South team played at Twickenham and Chertsey. We love to include our local communities in the concert series, and it is important for us to stay committed to the community feel that Recitals for Wrigglers symbolises. The Scotland branch has now been running for nearly four years! We can’t believe it! Whereas we have found regular venues in Scotland, we are just starting out in the south and finding our feet with venues that we hope will become our regulars!
Clea and Aisling outside Holyroodhouse
Recitals for Wrigglers Scotland had a series of concerts at our regular venues, in February. This was followed by an amazing trip to Banff, Canada, by Clea and Aisling, where they rehearsed and performed as Artisan, in a snowy setting. On return they were greeted by an equally snowy scene!
In March, both Recitals for Wrigglers Scotland and South have concerts with a Spring theme. Jump into Spring is one of our favourite programmes and includes music by Vivaldi, Gossec and the wonderful Swan by Saint-Saens, from Carnival of the Animals – an absolute treat, as both of our cellists play it absolutely beautifully. Details of these concerts can be found here: March Concerts
We will be performing at the Brighton Festival in May and we thought that, as we will be playing on a barge, we should play a programme with a nautical theme. We are currently working on our brand new programme, called Sail Away, which is going to be lots of fun! As well as including popular and more unusual classical music, we have commissioned violinist and composer Jeff Moore to write the music for our story.
Jeff has a wealth of experience in composing for young musicians and is really excited to be writing music for such a very young audience. Our new programme will be performed alongside our fringe sellout show Wriggle Around the World and we are organising a mini tour of the south, to include Hastings, the hometown of our wonderful artist, Ben Newman. Ben is currently designing banners for us to be used in Brighton and beyond! You will see these wonderful creations in Edinburgh soon. They look absolutely amazing, so watch out for us bragging about them in our next blog! If you have friends in the south, do let them know about our concerts here.
We recently applied for funding from Creative Scotland, and we have just found out that our application was unsuccessful this year. Recitals for Wrigglers continues to be self-funded and we rely on your support and feedback to make these concerts possible. If you would like to sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming concerts, both north and south, please contact us here: Please add me to your Mailing List
In the meantime we will continue to bring live, high-quality classical music to babies and preschoolers, and their carers, who otherwise might not have the opportunity to hear it.
See you soon!
Clea and Louise
RECITALS FOR WRIGGLERS SOUTH
Wed 21 March:
10.30am Twickenham Library, TW13
1.45pm St Michael and All Angels Community Centre, Barnes SW13 0NS
Thu 22 March:
10.30am The River Bourne Centre, Chertsey KT16 9DR
RECITALS FOR WRIGGLERS SCOTLAND
25 March 11am – The Old Pavillion, Linlithgow EH49 6AB
26 March 11am – Honey Pot Creative Cafe, South Queensferry EH30 9TD
29 March 11am – Tribe Porty, 19 Windsor Place EH15 2AJ
31 March 2pm – Stockbridge Church, 7B Saxe Coburg Street EH3 5BN
Ben Newman ( Recitals for Wrigglers Artist)
Ben Newman Illustration
Having completed a mammoth twenty four Recitals for Wrigglers shows in this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, we finished October with an ambitious eight show week, which included concerts in and around Edinburgh. This series of concerts was based around a Halloween theme and we thoroughly enjoyed performing this programme to mums, dads, babies, toddlers, cats, skeletons, ghosts and pumpkins alike! We welcomed a new face, Niamh Malloy, who played in several concerts for Clea. It was a pleasure to work with Niamh who, with a wriggler of her own, is a very experienced storyteller, and is a wonderful cellist. Louise travelled up to Edinburgh with her wrigglers and shared the week with Aisling O’Dea, who by now is a familiar face to our Edinburgh audiences. All concerts were well attended, the only exception being Dunfermline. We love playing at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, but for some reason we can’t seem pull in a crowd here. Our aim is to make music accessible to all, therefore we are prepared to take our shows on the road, but we will need to attract more wrigglers to our Dunfermline concerts if they are to continue. Please do give us feedback on this as we would love to return here in the future.
The first of our Halloween concerts was at Holyroodhouse, where Bert the skeleton made his debut! This was a sellout, which it normally is here, and we thoroughly enjoyed playing at this extraordinary venue (as did Bert!). We also made our debut at Tribe Porty, in Portobello, which was such a hit that we will be returning in November. We entertained one of our youngest ever wrigglers at Morningside – three weeks old (congratulations to mum for leaving the house, for making the concert and remembering the baby! 🙂 )!
We have six dates in November (listed below) and we have introduced an online payment system which will hopefully minimise the concert queues. We encountered numerous problems with our PayPal machine at the last set of concerts. From November you can pay in advance via our website and at £4 per head (any head – however young or old!) is a total bargain! You can also guarantee entry by buying your ticket in advance, which can make a big difference in our smaller venues, which can sell out quite quickly. Go on, try it out! https://www.recitalsforwrigglers.co.uk/shows
The effect of live music on human beings is well researched and documented, and is very much our raison d’être at Recitals for Wrigglers. When Louise presented the idea to Clea, Clea already had a wealth of experience in bringing music to adults and children, particularly those with special needs. This term Clea has been working at a special school in Fife, where she is regularly able to demonstrate the power of musical interaction to the often surprised staff. Last week a non-verbal boy on the autistic spectrum arrived at the group music session quite upset and shaken. The staff were expecting him not to settle enough to engage in the music activity. However, by singing familiar songs, such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, it was not long before he was smiling and relaxed and able to join in with some energetic group drumming!
The way in which live music affects babies and preschoolers is apparent by the range of reactions we see during our concerts. Throughout our opening piece there is often complete silence, which is surprising to many parents who have been up since the early hours with an otherwise energetic toddler. We love watching this and other reactions that we see later on in the concerts, which can range from happy and excited to calm and sleepy. Thank you for sending us your experiences and photographs of our concerts. Please do continue to do so via Facebook, Twitter or email.
On a final note, the power of music to transform an occasion was strongly felt by Louise this month who lost her father to Cancer, following a short illness. Louise’s dad, Trevor, was an optimistic and energetic man who loved music. He was a regular concert goer and was often a guinea pig for new Recitals for Wrigglers programmes, memorably the Halloween programme, when we tried it out on him in a late night concert in Louise’s lounge! A funeral is usually a sad occasion, but Trevor’s was incredibly uplifting and positive, just like the person he was. This was in the most part due to the live string quartet who played incredibly throughout the service, lifting people’s spirits and celebrating the life of a music lover, whose CD and record collection ranged from Pink Floyd to Tchaikovsky, with a considerable variety in between. We are usually involved in performing the music to an audience, so to be on the opposite end was a revelation, and Louise and her family experienced first hand the ability that music has to transform negative emotions into something positive. Louise’s dad enjoyed taking his grandchildren to Lilliput Concerts, when they were visiting his home town of Cheltenham, therefore he was able to directly experience the power of music on new and developing minds, like this little Minion’s!
November Concerts; The Princess and the Pea.
22nd @ 10.30am Queensferry Church EH30 9NS
23rd @ 10.30am Zoom Club, Summerhall EH9 1QH
24th @ 10.30am Morningside Parish Church, 1 Cluny Drive EH10 6DN
25th @ 11.30am Tribeporty, 19 Windsor Place, Portobello EH15 2AJ
25th @ 2pm Stockbridge Church (Young Room), EH3 5BN
26th @ 10.30am Linlithgow Bowling Club, 2 Philip Avenue EH49 7BH
I’ve left the London smoke behind me and I am en route to the cultural cloud of Edinburgh! Clea and I have been planning our fringe shows for several months now and we are delighted to bring you two Recitals for Wrigglers shows, which start on Monday.
For those of you who managed to get tickets for our Holyroodhouse show last December, we are going to repeat this show, which was called ‘A Royal Adventure’, but has been newly tweaked and has metamorphosed into ‘King Arthur’. We commissioned Scottish composer Suzanne Parry to write the music for our version of the King Arthur legend and we were thrilled with the result. She uses the two instruments really effectively, and the piece is imaginatively written. At one point we have to sing and play our instruments, which three years ago when Recitals for Wrigglers was formed would have filled me with horror! However, it is remarkably effective and is an enchanting moment in an imaginatively written work. You can come and judge for yourselves from this Monday, 10.30 every morning 14-26 August (not 20th) at Stockbridge Church.
‘Wriggle Around the World’ has been a fringe favourite for the last two years (fringe sellout 2015 and 2016) and features a commission by South African drummer, Eugene Skeef. It is entitled Joy and truly lives up to the title! You really can only hear it here, so book your tickets for this exciting and varied, but overall FUN programme, before they all sellout in 2017! 14-26 August (not 20th) 2.30pm at Stockbridge Church.
Clea and Aisling were out and about in Aberdeen last month performing at Aberdeen International Youth Festival. They played two shows and this is the furthest north we have played so far! Clea, Aisling and Louise are also appearing elsewhere as part of the Edinburgh fringe and International Festival, so look out for us at Ron Davis’ show SymphRONica and for Aisling performing with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Viva the fringe!
Recitals for Wrigglers ‘King Arthur’: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/king-arthur
Recitals for Wrigglers ‘Wriggle Around the World’: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/wriggle-around-the-world
Ron Davis ‘SymphRONica’: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Ron%20Davis%22
Following an awesome (or should that be roarsome?!) week in Scotland, performing our brand new programme The Lion and the Mouse and a sell out concert at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Recitals for Wrigglers South is preparing for take off.
Recitals for Wrigglers South will be performing two concerts this week; the first will be in Chertsey, Surrey on Wednesday (July 5) and the second concert is at Twickenham Library on Friday (July 7). We can hardly believe it, but Recitals for Wrigglers is three years old this month and it seems only fitting that we should perform our first ever programme, The Hare and the Tortoise at our premiere in England. Recitals for Wrigglers has been such a successful and enjoyable project to establish in Scotland and we do hope that our English audiences will love it just as much!
Louise moved back to Surrey with her family last year, following a fantastic three years in Edinburgh. She loved starting Recitals for Wrigglers in Edinburgh with Clea and she is really looking forward to making a success of it in southern England. It seems strange to be starting all over again, when we have so many followers in Edinburgh and beyond. But Clea and Louise are passionate about bringing live music to very young audiences and their carers, making music accessible to all. Clea will continue to organise Recitals for Wrigglers in Scotland, working with with violinist Aisling O’Dea, with the occasional visit from Louise, and Louise will work to establish Recitals for Wrigglers South, with the occasional visit from Clea.
We welcome the fabulous Louise Dearsley to our team, who will be playing cello in our concerts in England. Both Louises toured extensively together with a variety of ensembles before their own wrigglers came along. Louise Dearsley has recently returned to London following several years working with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. When Louise Bevan moved back from Edinburgh to Surrey, she was thrilled to be able to work with Louise Dearsley again. We are really excited about bringing Recitals for Wrigglers to audiences in England.
Behind the scenes Louise B and Clea are working on a variety of projects. We are in talks with Holyroodhouse about performing there in the Autumn, which we are really excited about. Also, both in Scotland and in London, we are organising visits to schools and nurseries. If you have a playgroup, nursery or school that you think might like to hear us, do please get in touch.
Of course there is a little festival (!) called the Edinburgh Fringe which we will be performing in. We will be playing two programmes this year; Wriggle Around the World and our Royal programme, King Arthur, which we premiered at Holyroodhouse in December. We will be perfecting (or endlessly tweaking!) both programmes in the coming months and rehearsing via Skype, before Louise Bevan arrives in Scotland in August. The Edinburgh Festival is always so special to be part of and we have had two sell out years so far. Let’s make that a hat trick!
July 5 2017, 1.30pm – The Hare and the Tortoise – St Peter’s Church, Chertsey KT16 8AT details
July 7 2017, 10.30am – Twickenham Library, Middx TW1 3JT details
Aug 14-19, 21-26, 10.30am/2.30pm – Stockbridge Church, 7b Saxe Coburg Street, EH3 5BN
This is a busy week for Recitals for Wrigglers. We are performing our ‘Jump into Spring’ programme at Holyrood Palace on Tuesday, which we sold out, released more tickets for, then sold out again! We loved playing at this beautiful venue, back in December so it is a pleasure to return here.
We have also been working on our brand new programme, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’. The story is an Aesop fable and has some fun images for us to set music to. Louise has written much of the music to it, with some help from Camille Saint-Saens!
This has been a really fun programme to build, but rather than struggling to find music to include, the difficulty has been choosing which music to exclude. The programme is packed with animal inspired music, and there were many to choose from, thanks to Mr Saint-Saens, among others. Clea and Louise began working on the programme last year, but it was yesterday that it was rehearsed for the first time. We have a run through planned for tonight and it’s first outing will be on Wednesday in South Queensferry before we take it to Stockbridge, Morningside and Dunfermline later in the week. We have arranged six new pieces, alongside original music, and we are hoping that it will be a ROARing success! See you there!
For concert dates see http://www.recitalsforwrigglers.co.uk
This week run of concerts felt somewhat jinxed. After a lovely concert in Stockbridge library where the wrigglers enjoyed the new colourful rug we went home feeling in control. This feeling wasn’t to last however!
The following morning Aisling collected me little after 9am to go to South Queensferry – but I couldn’t find my music. We decided that I must have left it in Stockbridge library, but as it was closed we had a minor crisis! I rushed to my computer and printed off the copies of music that was available online and we searched our other programmes for possible replacement pieces.
The drama didn’t stop there. In our stressed state we then missed the turning to South Queensferry and had to drive across the bridge and back again!
We were still in good time and we managed to pull off the concert – with a few amendments from the printed programme. Most ridiculous of all was that I found my music on a shelf as soon as I got home!
After our well attended Morningside concert Aisling drove me home and as I struggled to get my cello out of the back of her car I put the folder with all our music on the roof. Yes, you guessed it – I left it there and it was luckily spotted by some perplexed pedestrians as Aisling pulled up at the traffic lights. We were so lucky it hadn’t flown off.
In other more organised news; we have registered for fourteen shows on this years Fringe festival and I have written an article for ‘Children in Scotland’ magazine. We were also thrilled to have possibly our youngest every wriggler attendee in Linlithgow – only four weeks old!
Go to our website http://www.recitalsforwrigglers.co.uk to find our April dates and also book soon if you want to see us at Holyrood Palace on May 30th