Walking with Elgar - 15 & 16 September 2017

In September 2016 we organised a two-day sponsorsed walk along the Three Choirs Way, led by Stephen Johnson, exploring the surroundings that Elgar knew and loved.  It was a wonderful two days and our walkers raised a collective total of over £3,400 for The Musical Brain.

It was such a success that we repeated the event in September 2017.

The 2017 walk followed a different route along the Three Choirs Way including visits to Craeg Lea, one of Elgar's homes around Malvern, and to Malvern St James Girls' School, where Stephen Johnson gave a lunchtime talk in discussion with Ian Brown, piano, and Maureen Smith, violin, who played the Elgar Violin Sonata and a recently discovered piece written for the daughters of the headmaster of a school in Malvern Wells, Mr Gedge, based on his name (G-E-D-G-E), among other works.

Our walkers raised £3,367.50 in sponsorship for the Musical Brain.

Why Sing?  The Evolution of Singing

We are delighted to announce Why Sing? — three conferences in 2017/18 which explore the evolution, and the physical, psychological and social benefits of singing from the Stone Age to the present day. Starting with The Evolution of Singing this spring, we will progress to The Power of Singing: Religion, Revolution and Tribalism and finally to Singing Together: Wellbeing and Learning - dates and details to be announced in due course.

The Evolution of Singing took place place on Friday 28 April 2017 in the beautiful Church of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell, 10:30 - c. 19:30

Speakers included:

  • Dr Evangelos Himonides, Reader in Technology, Education, and Music at UCL Institute of Education, on the vocal instrument, its function, properties, needs and uniqueness as we understand it today.
  • Prof Steven Mithen, author of The Singing Neanderthals, on how modern humans benefit from their musical Stone Age past.
  • Dr Katie Overy, Music Psychologist and Cognitive Neuroscientist at the University of Edinburgh, on the neural basis of singing and the power of shared musical experiences.
  • Prof Michael Trimble, Behavioural Neurologist at UCL Institute of Neurology, on the differences between the human brain and the brains of our nearest living ancestors to try to understand the changes which may have been important for the development of singing.
  • Dr Edward Wickham, Fellow and Director of Music, St Catharine's College, Cambridge; specialist in Medieval and Renaissance music.

Musicians: The Clerks, the innovative early music vocal ensemble led by Edward Wickham, performed, illustrated lectures and joined in discussions.

We are grateful to the Order of St John for their collaboration and support.

This event had live subtitles delivered by Stagetext.

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