Thursday, December 27, 2012

We wish you all a wonderful 2013

Left to right: Stewart, Jeremy, Graham, John, Tracy, Sarah, Alison.

18th December 2012: Here we all are having our staff Christmas lunch at The White Swan in Ampleforth – our wonderful friendly local pub which does excellent food too! 

That day was a significant birthday for Alison (not telling...), Rachel's birthday, the day after Stewart’s birthday, a week after Tracy’s birthday, a week before John’s birthday and 2 weeks before Jeremy’s birthday!

Just a reminder that our office is currently closed and will re-open at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January 2012. You can continue to place online sheet music orders at any time during this period, but they will not be dispatched until the office re-opens. 

Also, don't forget our 10% DISCOUNT DAY on Saturday 5th January 2013 from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

COME AND SEE US - we'll be open for anyone who'd like to come and browse through hundreds of feet of wind music on our beautiful North Yorkshire hilltop!

We hope all our customers are having a Very Merry Christmas and we wish them all a Wonderful 2013.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Closing and 10% Discount Day

Windmill Farm house


Please note that our office will close at midday on Friday 21st December 2011 and will re-open at 9am on Wednesday 2nd January 2012. You can continue to place online sheet music orders at any time during this period, but they will not be dispatched until the office re-opens. If you need your order to be despatched before Christmas, please let us know and give us plenty of notice - we cannot guarantee that the music you want will be in stock, but we will do our utmost to get it to you in time.

10% DISCOUNT DAY - Saturday 5th January 2013 from 10.30am to 4.30pm

COME AND SEE US - we'll be open for anyone who'd like to come and browse through hundreds of feet of wind music on our beautiful North Yorkshire hilltop!

DISCOUNT - to make the day even better we're offering a 10% discount on everything bought or ordered by those present on the day.

DON'T JUST BROWSE THROUGH IT, PLAY IT - we have an adjoining room where you can play through the music. Stands and an electric keyboard are available if required. Please contact us if you'd like to make use of this facility.

For contact information and directions, click here. We look forward to meeting you!

Please note - in case of heavy snowfall we may need to cancel the Open Day. This information will be posted on our website and Facebook Page as soon as the weather starts to look bad, so please check before setting out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Albanian Academy of Arts Honours June Emerson

Our founder, June Emerson, was awarded a special presentation earlier this month by the Albanian Academy of Arts for her years of hard work and tireless efforts to help Albanian musicians.

left to right: Fatos Jaho, bassoon professor at the UA and principal bassoon of the Albanian Opera Orchestra. (It was Fatos who put forward the case for the award to the Rektor together with Edmond Sinani, pictured below); Petrit Malaj, Rektor of the University of Arts presenting the Letter of Gratitude to June Emerson for services rendered to Albanian musical life and for the enrichment of the UA library; Miranda Bakiasi, the Chief Librarian of the UA, holding the elegant award 
More information (in Albanian) about the occasion is available here.

June, herself, gives us the background to the story:

"In 1987, purely by chance, I went to Albania on a small and heavily supervised weekend tour. (Full story in "Albania - the Search for the Eagle's Song" by June Emerson, published by Emerson Edition Ltd.)

When I got there, I was amazed to find that in a country the size of Wales with a population of only 3 million, there were 27 music schools, a Conservatoire, an Opera Company, a Ballet Company and seven symphony orchestras. Not only that, but the standard of playing and scholarship was extremely high. Enver Hoxha, former Prime Minister of Albania, for all his faults, put culture at the top of his agenda.

The award presented to June Emerson is inscribed: "University of the Arts, Tirana' - 'Gratitude'
I managed by various means to get invited back to find out more. I did some BBC broadcasts, wrote the above book and contributed some entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Opera.

When the communist regime fell in 1991, there was chaos for a while and the last thing anybody was interested in was Albanian classical music. I desperately wanted to help, so together with a couple of friends, I founded The Albanian Musicians' Trust. We did as much as we could to help children, students and professional musicians over the subsequent 15 years until the country had found its feet a bit. It was wound up, with a concert in Helmsley by a couple of Albanian musicians, in 2006. Very soon afterwards Miranda Sinani was offered a couple of years to do a Masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, so there was another energetic round of fund-raising for her for a couple of years.

With my contacts in the music business, I was able to obtain quantities of printed material and strings and accessories for the music schools and the Conservatoire (now called the University of Arts). They had not had access to good quality materials before and it made a lot of difference to their teaching and performance possibilities. Emerson Edition still sends a copy of each of its new publications to the UA library which,  though still somewhat sparse, is growing.

I visited most years from 1988 onwards to see how things were going and to make notes of requests and needs. I last visited in 2002, but David found it rather tough going (lots of walking, no lifts, rough roads and not a handrail in sight!) However I've kept in touch with key people and this year, I couldn't bear it any longer and went back for a week on November 2nd.

It was wonderful to meet up with all the old gang again - much hugging, many cups of lethal coffee and several exotic meals.

From the emails I received before the visit, I knew they were cooking something up, but wasn't prepared for the ceremony that was held at the University of Arts on Monday 5th November. 

Petrit and June both smiling after June had managed some sort of speech of thanks, despite the tears
About 50 of my musician friends turned up and I was given a beautifully inscribed document and a sort of 'Oscar' award in recognition of services to Albanian music. I was completely bowled over, cried quite a lot and was distinctly wobbly for a couple of days afterwards. Hugely proud and delighted though. Apparently they've given this award before to a few musicians but never to a foreigner."
June: "Edmond Sinani who is central to everything I've done over the years - fixing meetings, interpreting, translating, negotiating etc. As he is such a modest chap, he rarely gets any credit for what he has done, so I would very much like to acknowledge him here. He is, incidentally, Albania's first violin maker. He also repairs stringed instruments and is a teacher with a magic touch."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Helmsley Arts Centre Performance: Bells Up! from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The award-winning Bells Up! were the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 2011 recipients of the June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize for outstanding wind/brass ensembles. The group was formed two years ago by senior students studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This afternoon they will play a wide variety of music, and pride themselves in being a platform through which young Scottish arrangers and composers can be heard.

This is the first performance in our new North Star Series, which aims to support young musicians whose opportunities for professional performance are limited by their own lack of financial and marketing resources.

Bells Up! Andrew McLean (horn), Cillian Ó Ceallacháin (trombone), Eoin Tonner (trumpet),
Rachel Brown (tuba), Holly Boddice (trumpet)
Tickets: £8 including Tea
Visit for tickets and info

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

FREE COPY of the Superbrass CD 'Under the Spell of Spain' with any orders for 2 or more Superbrass titles

Superbrass, the ensemble, started life in 2005 and has always been committed to working alongside young musicians to help enthuse and inspire. Superbrass is a collective of some of the finest brass and percussion players currently working on the professional London music scene. In March 2011 it recorded it's award winning debut CD, 'Under the Spell of Spain' - a deliberate and eclectic mix of original and arranged music, inspired by the vibrant country and people of Spain.

As a result of a huge number of requests, the scores and parts for all the music on the CD have now been published by Superbrass Music.

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to supply all of the titles in the series - 13 pieces in total.

To celebrate the launch of this new series, June Emerson Wind Music are offering a FREE COPY of the Superbrass CD 'Under the Spell of Spain' with any orders for 2 or more Superbrass titles (while stocks last).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

June Emerson Wind Music at the RNCM Sax Day - Sunday 28th October 2012

This popular annual RNCM Saxophone Day returns on 28 October 2012, with a stunning variety of concerts, workshops and the now traditional Massed Saxophones session. This year's special guests are the Apollo Saxophone Orchestra, Huw Wiggin and Tim Abel, and two quartets led by players at the forefront of the international jazz scene; Karen Sharp and Marius Neset.   

June Emerson Wind Music will be there too, with all our saxophone music and books. With such a comprehensive stock of music available for you to look through and buy, you can't afford not to come and see us! If you're going to be there and would like music put aside for you, please give as much notice as possible, as some things may be needed to be ordered in, which can take time.

For further info and booking please visit the RNCM website.

 About The Royal Northern College of Music

The RNCM, formed in 1973 from the merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music with the Northern School of Music, has, for many years, been the first choice institution for a large number of aspiring professional musicians from the UK and overseas.

Students’ education and training is supported by an international teaching faculty of the highest calibre and facilities unparalleled among conservatoires in the UK. Four public venues host a performance programme that is unique in its range and quality, featuring a rolling programme of student performances alongside visiting artists and ensembles. Music is everywhere, and the energy between students, artists and audiences powers the RNCM’s reputation as a major international centre for education, training and performance.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Prima Vista and Wolken Recorder Quartet - Launchpad Winners 2012

June Emerson Wind Music are proud to announce more Launchpad Prize winners for 2012 - Prima Vista and Wolken Recorder Quartet.

Prima Vista - Trinity College of Music

Prima Vista is an energetic ensemble that approaches the baroque repertoire with a very original and imaginative interpretation.

Their versatility has also enhanced their range of styles and eras to explore more recent work written for their combination by composers such as Edmund Rubbra and Jean-Michel Damase, performing on both original and modern instruments.

While studying at Trinity Laban Cobservatoire of Music & Dance, Adel Sahnoun and Petra Hadjuchova founded Prima Vista and were coached by Anna Noakes, James Johnstone, Stephen Preston, Pamela Thorby and Dan Laurin. They have now both graduated and are emerging into the professional world.

Their recent performances includes venues such as: the Chapel / Old Royal Naval College, the Maritime Museum, Fenton House & Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.

Adel Sahnoun: Baroque & Modern flute
Petra Hajduchova: Harpsichord, Organ & Piano

Wolken Recorder Quartet - Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Taking pleasure in performing and introducing audiences to a wide range of early and contemporary music, offering a new impression of the instrument, Wolken is an exciting new recorder quartet based in London.

Wolken was formed in 2011 by specialist recorder players at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Recent performances have included The Carl Dolmetsch Centenary Weekend at Birmingham Conservatoire; St. Mary's, Dunstable; St Gregory's, Northampton; Christ Church, Spitalfields; Linklaters law firm and headlining a contemporary music night at The Karamel Club, North London.

Hannah Fisher
Lydia Gosnell
Georgina Murphy
Miriam Nerval

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

June Emerson Wind Music 2012 Launchpad Prize

We are absolutely thrilled and extremely proud to announce the winners of the 2012 June Emerson Wind Music Launchpad Prize. They are:

Royal Northern College of Music
Lekker Quintet
The Lekker Quintet is an exciting wind ensemble, formed in Manchester in 2011.  Formerly studying at the University of Manchester, all players have studied at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The Quintet tour the UK performing a varied repertoire at a variety of venues; including the Bridgewater Hall, St. Martins-in-the-Field and the Carol Nash Recital Room.  Musical education is close to the group's ethos and they enjoy giving educational recitals and workshops.

The ensemble have participated in the North West New Music Festival (2011), the Royal Northern College of Music Chamber Festival (2012) and the Per Nørgărd and Hans Abrahamsen festival (2012).  This coming October the quintet have been asked to perform as part of the Malcolm Arnold Music Festival in the Midlands.  The Quintet are regularly coached by Matthew Hunt, Malinda Maxwell, John Miller and Tim Reynish.

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Anime Duo

The Animé flute and guitar duo formed in 2010 while studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It was here that they established their shared passion for ensemble performance, finding a particular enthusiasm for the music of the 20th and 21st Centuries. The duo aim to bring the music for this unique combination of instruments to a wider audience in an engaging and approachable style.  

Animé were accepted onto the Live Music Now scheme in April 2012, a charity which aims to organise concerts for those who may have limited access to live music. They went on to be selected by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for the June Emerson Launchpad Prize  The duo have also performed in a number of recitals around Wales and the rest of the UK, including a performance at the Arcomis International Flute Festival held at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Royal College of Music
Echo Trio

The Echo Trio, formed in 2011 at the Royal College of Music (RCM), is an exciting combination of saxophone (Amy Green), violin (Radu Ropotan) and piano (Alexandra Zlatior).

They participated in the Chamber Music and Woodwind Ensemble competitions at the RCM in 2012, winning the June Emerson Launchpad Prize.

Based in London, they have performed in the concert series at St Mary Abbots Church, High Street Kensington, and in St John’s Church, Notting Hill, in conjunction with the Music Chamber series. This engaging trio enjoy working together and performing a diverse range of music.

About the Launchpad prize
The Launchpad Prize was an idea that began as a desire to help young musicians in some significant way. With our limited financial resources it was difficult to come up with something that would make enough of a difference to make it worthwhile. The idea of sponsoring a prize at one of the UK music colleges was something we just couldn’t afford, and we also felt that we’d like to be able to offer something to more than just one college and be a little more ‘hands on’. We eventually decided that we would assist one young (predominantly) final year wind ensemble from each of the major UK music colleges to launch themselves onto the professional circuit.

The Launchpad Prize consists of practical help including: a substantial JEWM music voucher; dedicated space on the JEWM website; publicity at any time through our online media channels (JEWM blog, Twitter, Facebook etc); editorial coverage wherever possible; unlimited free advertising flyers in JEWM music orders in order to publicise themselves; exclusive access to the JEWM shop with use of all music and facilities; complimentary copies of any existing and future Emerson Edition titles which fit their instrumental line-up; anything else we can think of.

We’d like to wish the 2011 winners all the very best for a successful future. Please support them by going to hear their performances - they’re all incredibly talented ensembles and you won’t be disappointed! They are: Les Trois Canards, Vesuvio Wind Quintet, Kudo Saxophone Quartet, Hafren Quintet, HMS Quintet and Bells Up!

Follow the link to see two more Launchpad Prize winners for 2012.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Emerson Wind Music is exhibiting at the World Saxophone Congress XVI

The WSCXVI International Trade Exhibiton represents the largest gathering of Saxophone retailers in the UK this year! From major international manufacturers through to small sheet music publishers the International Trade Exhibiton can cater for all your musical needs.

We will be bringing our entire stock of saxophone and saxophone-related sheet music and books (approximately 50 boxes) to the Congress, and will be pleased to take orders for any out of stock titles, to be sent post-free. We can't offer a discount, but we can offer an unrivalled selection and a first class service. We will be in the Parliament Hall.

The International Trade Exhibiton has two dedicated venues: 

St Andrews Town Hall: This venue hosts the major manufacturers and retailers as well specialised retailers selling equipment for your saxophone. The venue also has saxophone repair specialists present throughout the week. There is a demonstration area where retailers will be showing off their ranges of saxophones and accessories. There will be launches of new saxophones, accessories and books throughout the week.

Parliament Hall: This venue is the dedicated Publishers venue where you can scroll through thousands of musical works for the saxophone. The majority of works performed at the Congress will also be available to purchase at this venue.

Both venues will be open from 10am-5pm Wednesday – Saturday and 10am – 1pm Sunday. We strongly recommend that you take the time to visit the International Trade Exhibition, there is lots to see and try out!

Do come and visit us at our stall. We look forward to meeting you!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Live Below The Line (LBTL) Challenge - Part 3

June Emerson took up the challenge to live on £1 a day to highlight the plight of those who have no choice but to do so. She has been documenting her progress in the Gazette and here is her final piece.

DONE IT! We’ve completed the week of Living Below the Line!

This is what we ate for the final three days of the challenge.

Day Three

Toast and cheese/jam
Baked beans on toast
Banana Dhal and rice
Day Four

Toast and cheese/jam
Baked beans and baked potato
Diced broccoli and carrot, rice, spices

Day Five

Toast and cheese/jam
Potato and onion soup
Curried potatoes, onions and a few reserved beans

After lunches and suppers we shared half a slice of bread with jam and had many cups of tea. At the end we had 6p in hand, so we went back to Baines’s and bought five dates, which we had for the final dessert.

We stayed up until midnight on the last day and toasted each other with a glass of wine at one minute past.

Did we ‘starve’? No, not at all. We found that small meals satisfied us. Did we get bored? Not really. There was just enough variety to keep us interested. Would we do it again? Yes, certainly, and probably with roughly the same menus. The things I missed most were fresh fruit and good bread and cheese.

During the week I came across an article in The Oldie magazine which mentioned that in a book called The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake says that it’s a well-established fact that eating much less than usual can have beneficial effects.

“Reduced intake of calories improves health, slows the ageing process and increases lifespan...”

Since the end of the challenge we’ve found that we’re satisfied with much less on our plates, and are far more tolerant of strange mixtures when we’ve run out of something. Our shopping bills are significantly down.

It was great to know that we were part of a group of more than 10,000 people worldwide doing this, and our total raised for Peace Direct is nearly £200. There is still time to donate.

The most humbling moment was when I met a friend that I hadn’t seen for some time. She has been unwell and is living on disability benefit.

“Guess what we’re doing this week,” I prattled, full of the fun of the thing. “We’re living on £1 a day.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “As much as that!” she replied.
Shopping list for two people for five days

Milk, one pint. Baines, 50p
Jam, one jar. Co-op, £1.05
Onions, Spar, £1
Cheese slices, Co-op, £1
Rice, 200g, Baines, 39p
Broccoli, one head, Co-op, 91p
Carrots, three, Baines, 25p
Potatoes, Co-op, £1
Baked beans, four tins, Spar, £1
Red lentils, 240g, Baines, 64p
Teabags, 40, Spar, 99p
Bread, large wholemeal, Co-op, 89p
Banana, one small, Baines, 21p
Spices, small amounts, home, 10p
TOTAL: £9.93

Source: Gazette & Herald

Monday, May 14, 2012

Live Below The Line (LBTL) Challenge - Part 2

JUNE EMERSON has taken up the challenge to live on just £1 a day for a week. In this, her second article (click here for the previous article), the reality kicks in.

PREPARING for living on £1 a day was an interesting puzzle. We decided to go for simplicity rather than cleverness. Simplicity, after all, is the key to living well, whatever your income.

What do millions exist on every day? Rice, lentils and beans. These give a good balance of carbohydrate and protein. We added seasonal vegetables: potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots and the luxury of some cheese.

Something sweet is vital at the end of a meal to keep the spirits up, so we added jam. Cups of tea are essential.

Shopping list for two people for five days:

Milk, one pint. Baines, 50p
Jam, one jar. Co-op, £1.05
Onions, Spar, £1
Cheese slices, Co-op, £1
Rice, 200g, Baines, 39p
Broccoli, one head, Co-op, 91p
Carrots, three, Baines, 25p
Potatoes, Co-op, £1
Baked beans, four tins, Spar, £1
Red lentils, 240g, Baines, 64p
Teabags, 40, Spar, 99p
Bread, large wholemeal, Co-op, 89p
Banana, one small, Baines, 21p
Spices, small amounts, Home, 10p
TOTAL: £9.93

We’re lucky to have Baines Fruit & Veg in Kirkbymoorside because they have scoop and weigh bins at the back of the shop. This meant that we could buy whatever quantities we needed. As our total for the week is just 7p short of the £10 we will probably go in for a couple of glace cherries or half a dozen almonds towards the end of the week. The banana, by the way, is for a ‘Banana Dhal’ recipe. Gorgeous!

After the shopping list and menus were complete, the questioning set in.

Why am I doing this? Just a personal challenge? Would someone genuinely living below the line give a hollow laugh if they knew? Those things are probably true, but it has certainly made us think about why we eat certain things.

Breakfast cereal: was it post-war American influence? I asked David why we eat so many tropical fruits such as oranges and bananas. His reply was succinct: “Imperialism!” Hmmm.

The menu

Day one

Breakfast: Toast, cheese and jam.

Lunch: Baked potato and baked beans.

Supper: Banana dhal, rice and spices.

Day two

Breakfast: Toast, cheese and jam.

Lunch: Rice, broccoli florets, diced carrots, spices.

Supper: Baked potato, cheese, onions, baked beans.

The first thing that struck me was the lack of taste and texture in the cheap foods we had bought. Real wholemeal bread is a meal in itself, but factory sliced just isn’t. You need twice as much to feel satisfied. That’s interesting!

More next week.

If you would like to sponsor June or David by donating to Peace Direct, go to: 

Source: Gazette & Herald 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Live Below The Line (LBTL) Challenge

June Emerson, who will be shopping locally
to complete her Live Below The Line Challenge
JUNE EMERSON joins the challenge to live on £1 a day to highlight the plight of millions of people who have no choice in the matter

IT wasn’t my sort of holiday, although everybody kept saying “Oh how wonderful. Lucky you!”

Not that the Norwegian coast isn’t beautiful, the fjords and mountains are spectacular. The sea was pretty calm all the way as the route is mostly between the coastal islands and the mainland. It’s just that when travelling abroad I like to be active, not passive. I much prefer to get eyeball to eyeball with another culture and see life from a fresh point of view.

To be taken, with a group of (let’s face it, well-heeled and elderly) people and protected in a cocoon of comfort and abundant food isn’t my idea of authentic living.

I must have returned with some underlying guilt for having gone along with this pampered lifestyle, because when I saw a magazine article called Living Below the Line I was immediately struck by it.

Living Below the Line (LBTL) runs an annual challenge: could you survive on £1 a day for food? For 1.5 billion people living below the extreme poverty line, that is their daily reality, and for them the £1 has to cover not only their food but shelter, warmth and education.

Joining this project not only raises funds to help combat poverty but also helps to spread the word about global injustice.

The challenge runs for five days, from May 7-11, and each participant signs up to an established charity. We’ve chosen Peace Direct.

LBTL produces an online recipe book with suggested menus and shopping lists, but we didn’t find this very helpful. The supermarket prices quoted were ridiculously low (it must be about five years out of date) and the menus very nutritionally unbalanced. Coupled with this, nothing will induce me to shop in supermarkets. ‘Cheap’ supermarket prices are artificially low and rely on their total power over their suppliers. Not my scene.

In Kirkbymoorside, it’s possible to buy absolutely all you need. You may not be able to buy all you want, but that’s another matter. Needs are essential, wants are almost wholly influenced by the media.

Our challenge therefore has an added element: Can we achieve it while still shopping locally and eating well? Watch this space...

If you would like to sponsor us by donating to Peace Direct, please go to:

Source: Gazette & Herald

Monday, April 30, 2012

Clarinet Convention 2012 - Cardiff University Music School

Saturday 6th May 2012, 9am to 7pm

The annual Clarinet Convention 2012 in Cardiff will be a unique event in the history of the convention. For the first time, the extensive facilities of Cardiff University Music School are to be the new venue for this stimulating, popular and enjoyable clarinet day.

Led by Leslie Craven and Peter Fielding, the day will include guest tutors John Reynolds, (senior examiner for the Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music), Alistair Logan (author of Music@Site), Tom Jackson (contemporary improvisation specialist), Kevin Hurst (recitalist and ensemble coach), plus clarinet choirs, recitals, classes in improvisation, masterclasses, reed adjusting, examination preparation classes for all standards, demonstrations of new clarinet-related products and the amazing sight reading, theory and rudiments programme Music@Site.

The convention is extremely popular with players of all ages and standards and early booking is advised. Application forms can be downloaded online at

Alternatively they can be obtained by post from the convention secretary, Chris Craven, 4 St Thomas Road, Monmouth, NP25 5SA or ordered by telephone: 01600 714169.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Aeolian Orchestra Concert at St Giles' Cripplegate, London - 22nd April 2012

Sunday April 22nd, 2012

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18

Shostakovich: Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47

Aeolian Orchestra

Conductor: Rory Storm

Piano: Lara Melda

The Aeolian Orchestra is joined by pianist Lara Melda, BBC Young Musician 2010, for Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto. This is the first time Lara Melda, Rory Storm and The Aeolian Orchestra have performed together. It is also the first time that any of the three have performed the work.


Fore Street,

Ticket Details

7 (£3 Students)
Aeolian Orchestra

For more information on the Aeolian Orchestra, visit their website:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Play harmonica on your iPhone with the iMonica app


Below is an excerpt from an article found on The Gizmag website:

There's no denying the popularity of music creation apps for the iPhone. Just about every instrument you want to play is available as a digital simulation - from guitars to pianos to drums, and even DJ decks - but what about wind instruments? The iMonica app for iPhone from DigitarWorld most definitely fits into this category and turns your iPhone into a digital diatonic harmonica. So, do you blow and draw on your smartphone? Kind of ...

The app presents the user with three options when loaded - Play, Setup and Help. The settings button allows users to change options like the color of the digital harmonica, change the tone to a whistle sound, or try a different key. The other buttons are self explanatory.

To get the feel of the app, you might want to start playing using your fingers to produce notes on the virtual harmonica. Pressing one of the ten hole positions onscreen and lowering the iPhone will result in a blow note being played that corresponds with that position. Similarly, a draw note can be achieved by pressing the appropriate note position and raising the iPhone. There are a number of songs by the likes of Bob Dylan and The Beatles transcribed on the website to get you started, with embedded YouTube videos to show you how the original artists whooped it up.

With the basics down, you could then move your new instrument to where it really belongs - your mouth. Although my smartphone is probably no dirtier than my much-neglected Hohner Cross Harp, the developers stress that the iPhone's playing area should be thoroughly cleaned before being used as a mouth organ, or perhaps covered in plastic food wrap to avoid infection from microscopic nasties.

Once you get used to the somewhat crazy playing style, you'll no doubt be freestyling rather than following pre-prepared notation. The app does appear to be limited to single-note playing techniques, with no obvious way to virtually bend, trill or vamp - so you'll not be able to emulate great harp players like the legendary Sonny Terry, the Maestro Shaky Horton, or the man who helped shape Chicago blues, Little Walter Jacobs. For such expressive playing, you'll need to buy a real tin sandwich.

For wowing friends, making some noise and having some fun, though, the iMonica app looks well worth the £0.69/US$0.99 cover charge. There is also a free version to try it out before purchasing the full version.

iPad 2 pushes sheet music, and page turners, off the stage

From Sam Haywood - Pianist Sam Haywood uses an iPad to turn his pages.
 Below is an excerpt from an article found on The Washington Post website:

The iPad continues its dizzying rampage, decimating netbooks, dayplanners and 90-pound textbooks. It now claims its most awkward casualty: the concert hall page turner.

The inevitable future of classical performance arrives in Washington this week when violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Sam Haywood enter the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. They’ll blend contemporary gadgetry with the repertoire.

Not to worry — Bell isn’t going electric. He’ll step onstage with his prized 1713 Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius in hand to play a program of Brahms and Ravel, among others. Haywood, however, will carry a new prop for the Steinway, his multi-touch page turner, better known as the iPad 2.

Since early last year, Haywood’s Apple-accessorized lifestyle has allowed him to replace paper scores with digital ones archived on his iPad, a shift made possible through a wide array of technology, including the abundance of downloadable scores and Bluetooth-controlled foot pedals for page-turning.

Inadvertently, the human page turner, that fallible and sometimes reviled third party onstage, has been absent from most of Haywood’s recent performances, a consequence of the wireless age. The advantages are obvious: The iPad is portable, discreet, always well-rested. It won’t skip pages or inadvertently bump Haywood’s hands during Mendelssohn’s “Violin Sonata in F.” It listens to the commands of the pianist’s left foot, eliminating the awkward paper-ruffling sideshow between page turner and performer.

“I’ve had page turners who’ve forgotten their glasses or fallen off the stage,” said Haywood. “The iPad removes so much of the risk. And I can also practice in the dark.”

“I’ve often thought I should write a book about page-turning disasters,” echoed Bell. “I’ve had page turners that criticize in rehearsal, that hum along or hit keys and make funny noises. It’s a really hard job, and it’s sort of nice to walk out onstage without one.”

Haywood admits wireless page-turning is not without glitches. Once he accidentally set his iPad on the ridge of the piano so that it rested on the power switch. A loud chord caused the piano to vibrate so fiercely that the screen immediately went dark. “I’ve been careful to make sure the iPad is placed right side up since then,” Haywood said.

“I was a little nervous about it at first,” Bell said. “I love technology, and I have an iPad, but in concert, I was worried that something would go wrong. ... There are pros and cons to using it. You don’t want people talking about it during the concert.”

Haywood finds that some audience members are intrigued by the presence of the sleek glass tablet, but many don’t notice it. “The ones that see it are curious about how it works, particularly the pedal. ... Why don’t I have to touch the screen?”

Now, even conductors are experimenting with the iPad’s surplus of musical apps and its seemingly limitless library of scores. ForScore, an application for iPad ($4.99), compresses pounds of sheet music into a single device that helps musicians to access any score in the public domain. Users can also annotate copy, personalizing the pages before they practice or perform. Digital scores are a welcome development in a classical industry where many live nomadic, jet-setting lives.

“That was the initial draw— I can carry everything I’m studying and working on for an entire season with me,” says Jeff Kahane, conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, who caused a stir in November when he conducted the New York Philharmonic from his iPad. “It’s so functional, and it’s solved a lot of problems no one anticipated. Think of outdoor concerts and the wind. ... The iPad won’t blow away.”

For Hugh Sung, the professional pianist who invented AirTurn, the wireless foot-pedal that Haywood and Kahane use, digital page-turning is the culmination of a decade of tinkering.

“I’d been thinking about a hands-free page-turning device since I first saw a tablet computer in 2001,” said Sung. “It wasn’t until the iPad hit the market that digital scores really caught on.”

His silent, Bluetooth-controlled foot pedal, allows users to turn the pages on their iPads with the tap of a foot. The BT-105 model (costing around $129) has a pair of pedals that turn pages forward or backward. Since 2010, he has sold thousands to iPad users.

“The market is only getting larger,” said Sung. “There are estimates that 20 million American households have at least one member who plays an instrument. We estimate that the market for musicians using iPads is in the area of 2 million.”

Some musicians, even those who are proud iPad owners, are reluctant to make the switch from paper to digital. While ideal for pianists, a 9-by-7-inch screen doesn’t suit every soloist. “The iPad is a little on small side for my taste,” said Bell. “I’ve practiced off of it when I’m in a pinch in some remote corner of the world, but I’ve never used it in concerts.”

The tech-savvy Borromeo String Quartet, in residence at the New England Conservatory, began using MacBooks and foot-pedal technology in 2007. Nicholas Kitchen, violinist and founder of the quartet, began performing with digital scores because he wanted the quartet members to see all four lines of the score simultaneously, which is nearly impossible on printed scores. He prefers laptops to tablet technology.

“I keep my iPad in my bag, of course, just in case I need it,” said Kitchen. “But playing off the MacBook Pro is easier with the large screen.”

Kitchen said the greatest unexpected benefit of digital libraries is the easy access to original manuscripts. “I have probably 40 Beethoven manuscripts on my computer, and we’re reading off them as we play,” he said. “That’s been stimulating in a way I never could have anticipated.”

But for all the technological advancements available to musicians, Bell and Haywood still have dreams of new tools that could grace their performances decades from now.

“The gadget I’m waiting for is the display screen on glasses, or even better, contact lenses,” said Bell. “Then I could read music and no one would know at all. I’m hoping it will come along by the time I hit 70 and my memory starts to go.”

“I think they do have those sorts of glasses in the military,” adds Haywood. “It’d be so nice to have a complete score, just hovering in front of your eyes.”

Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood

Monday, February 27, 2012

June Emerson Wind Music are delighted to support the Aeolian Orchestra

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, credit: John Salmon
We are please to provide some practical support to
the Aeolian Orchestra, who have a concert on 4th March. 

The Aeolian Orchestra’s 2nd concert of 2012 brings together the three titans of the classical era – Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. For this concert, on March 4th, the orchestra’s number will be reduced to that of a classical era orchestra.

The time elapsed between the writing of Beethoven’s Overture “Coriolan” (1807) and that of Mozart’s first Sinfonia Concertante - for 4 winds – (1778) is less than 30 years. Haydn’s Symphony No.99 falls between the two – written  in 1793. The Aeolian Orchestra’s March programme provides a clear insight into the musical progress of this short time-span.

Sunday 4th March 2012, 7.30pm.
 Tickets on entry £7 (£3 students)

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn Viaduct (junctionwith Giltspur Street), London EC1A 9DE. click for a map.

Aeolian Orchestra

Rory Storm – conductor
Emily Ross – oboe
Anthony Friend - clarinet
Jonathan Quaintrell-Evans* - horn
Joe Qiu*- bassoon

Joe Qiu and Jonathan Quaintrell-Evans are also members of the HMS Quintet – Launchpad winner for 2011 from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

For more information on the Aeolian Orchestra, visit their website:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10% Discount on Sheet Music for Wind Instruments

Our next 10% DISCOUNT SATURDAY - 14th April 2012, 10.30am to 4.30pm

COME AND SEE US - we'll be open for anyone who'd like to come and browse through hundreds of feet of wind music on our beautiful North Yorkshire hilltop!
  • DISCOUNT - to make the day even better we're offering a 10% discount on everything bought or ordered by those present on the day.
  • DON'T JUST BROWSE THROUGH IT, PLAY IT - we have an adjoining room where you can play through the music. Stands and an electric keyboard are available if required. Please contact us if you'd like to make use of this facility.
Our contact information and directions are given in the right margin.

We look forward to meeting you!