Saxophone duet selected for performance

I delighted that Kendra Emery and Colette Hall have selected one of my saxophone duets to perform at their forthcoming concert.

In January they announced that they would be working together as a saxophone duo and put out a call for original scores. I submitted two scores, ‘Full Circle’ and ‘Rough and Tumble’ and they have selected ‘Rough and Tumble’ to perform at their concert on Sunday Nov 8th at the Congregational Church of Glastonbury (USA).

They also kindly recorded ‘Full Circle’ for me. If you would like to hear it, it is posted on Audio Boom.

Sadly it’s not practical for me to attend as I live in the UK, but I wish Kendra and Colette all the best with their exciting venture.

Hearing your own song performed!

It was a rare treat for me on Friday night to hear the Highfield Male Voice Choir performing Kisses Beneath the Mistletoe, the song jointly written by Roy Green and myself. The choir were very friendly and welcoming, and performed the song very well.

One of the Highlights of the evening was when their musical director Gary Hill was explaining the background of the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe, and when he got to explain that boys and girls had to kiss when they met under the mistletoe, one of the children from the school choir that was singing with them made a very audible “Yeuh” sound.

Roy, Martin, Gary and Highfield MVC

Many thanks to the choir for including the song in their repertoire and for looking after Roy and myself so nicely on Friday. Well done chaps!


Performing live on radio….


On Sunday I performed a live radio session for Radio Stafford (a local internet radio station) with my acapella group the Pebbles. We have been together in different lineups for twelve years and have sung many concerts often to quite large audiences. But this experience was very different.

The radio people were lovely – very friendly and pleased to have us singing for them. And the ‘studio’ was nice to sing in – not large for nine singers, but large enough. But it was strange that we couldn’t see out audience. There was not response or feedback to the sounds we were producing – the sound engineer smiled and put his thumbs up, but that wasn’t the same!

The other strange thing was not being in control of the timing of you performance. Normally in a concert we announce what the next song will be, give a bit of background to the song, then I give everyone a starting note and when everyone is ready we start the song. In the radio setting though, when someone is saying (or signaling to be precise) three – two – one go, I had a sense that I didn’t have that control. So what we needed was to have a pre-warning so that we could get our notes ‘off air’ and be able to start with a degree of confidence when we got the signal.

The newness of the experience made me much more nervous that I would be at a concert, but it was great fun, and I am grateful for Stafford Radio for giving us the opportunity.

If you would like to hear the session, it is available daily until next Saturday between 2 and 3pm (GMT!) from the Stafford Radio website. Go to and click the “rewind” button.


You’ve made the virgin Mary into a boy…

The dangers of world music repertoire!

One of my choirs likes to have a song for the tenors and basses, and another for the sopranos and altos into their concerts. So when I was looking for repertoire for Christmas this year I thought of a Polish a song I had seen in World Song Derby. I did some research, adapted it to a three part SAA arrangement, and painstakingly put together a transliteration* of the Polish words from various sources. Continue reading

Self-Publishing My Christmas Song: Part 5

Snowflake border

“Kisses Beneath the Mistletoe” is now fully launched!

(This post follows on from the previous post Self-Publishing My Christmas Song: Part 4)

Scores are available

Four versions of the song are now available as scores from the score exchange website. They are:

Scores are available using the links above at an introductory price of £9.80. This one off payment allows a choir to produce copies for all it’s members. Continue reading

Choir Leader Tips: Why is the choir singing so slowly?


So here’s the scenario. You are running through a part with your choir and although they are basically getting it, they seem to be getting slower and slower. You try different conducting styles. In desperation you might try to click the beat with your fingers and even ask them to sing faster – but it seems to make little difference. Continue reading