If Music be the Food of Love

Orsino may have been wanting more music simply to cure his love for Olivia, but music of all sorts plays an important part in the lives of many, if not most people.

I have grown up with music; a piano in the house, record players and radios; and from an early age singing in choirs. At King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford and at church and Chelmsford Cathedral I sang, and I also played ‘cello in the school orchestra. Wonderful teachers set me on a path of amateur music-making that I still enjoy.

Across Essex, amateur music groups of all sorts; choirs, orchestras and bands large and small of every variety, week by week practise and prepare for the concerts, church services and shows that add so much to our community and cultural life. Enabling and supporting this great wave of amateur music making are the many dedicated professional musicians who teach, train and lead.

Hutton and Shenfield Choral Society performing recently.

The COVID pandemic presented huge challenges to music professionals and to volunteers on the committees who organise all these groups. It was a hard struggle for everyone. As ‘volunteering’ is the main theme of my year as High Sheriff, I thought, as regular concerts resume, I would help promote some of them across the county, to give me the chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who have worked so hard to keep alive this important aspect of community life.

Many music groups also perform to help promote or raise funds for local charities. Most of these, too, have had tough time during COVID. To help give those local voluntary groups some extra publicity, I am also inviting the music groups I visit simply to team up with a local charity to help promote their work. This will give me the chance to say, on behalf of all of us in Essex, thank you to those charities for the work they do to care for those in our communities who need a bit of extra support.

The first of these concerts is on June 11th at Great Waltham with the Waltham Singers, promoting the Chelmsford charity, Sanctus which provides meals and other services for those in need in the city. You can read details here. It will be a great concert.

I will give details of future concerts on social media, so do keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter.

Perhaps music can, truly, be the food of love.

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