Blast from the Past

Don’t miss this rousing end-of-season Totnes Early Music Society concert from top wind band Syrinx, who will be playing music from the 14th – 18th centuries as they look back at the role of the wind band from village settings to courtly festivities. A chance to hear shawms, dulcians, bagpipes, oboes and bassoons: with repertoire from early anonymous masters, Dufay and Morley through to Handel and Telemann. Syrinx will be performing at St Mary’s church at 7.30pm on Saturday 27th April. Advance tickets are £13/£5 available as always from the Dartington box office and Totnes Bookshop, or on the door for £14/£5.


Clare Norburn’s concert/play, Vision: the Imagined Testimony of Hildegard von Bingen comes to St Mary’s Church Totnes tomorrow, Saturday 23rd March at 7.30pm. Actress Teresa Banham is Hildegard, as she recalls key events in her life, while singers Clare Nroburn and Ariane Prussner perform Hildegard’s evocative chants, accompanied by Leah Stuttard on the medieval harp. This 13th century music is some of the earliest we have had during TEMS’ 19 years of concerts, and this candle lit, dramatic presentation in the wonderful setting of St Mary’s will be a special occasion for us.

Vision is part of The Telling’s Empowered Women Trilogy and is funded by the Arts Council, The Golsoncott Foundation and the Ambache Charitable Trust. The Director is Nicholas Renton, and lighting is by Natalie Rowland. Tickets £14/£5 available on the door from 7pm

Spring is Coming!

Recorder duo Flauti d’Echo form our next concert on Friday 18th January at 7.30pm at the United Free church, Totnes. Hopefully the theme of the returning spring will give us all a lift in chilly times!
Recorders have often been used in amorous pastoral scenes or to imitate birdsong, and we can expect a wide variety of dance and pastoral music from operas as well as the clucking of hens, at least one cuckoo and the swooping of swallows – all arranged for two recorders, and supported by Toby Carr on theorbo. 
Tabea has been dubbed “a charismatic virtuoso” by The Times, and Flauti d’Echo were selected for the BREMF Live! scheme, always a great indicator of talent. An opportunity then to hear two exciting performers with successful careers ahead of them, as well as what looks to be a delightful selection of music presented in a new way. 

O Tuneful Voice

We have much to look forward to in the visit of keyboard player Steven Devine and soprano Kate Semmens this coming Friday, 30th November at 7.30pm at the United Free Church in Totnes – not least hearing Steven’s copy of a 1785 Viennese fortepiano, the sound of an instrument that Mozart and Haydn would have heard, and indeed written for. Their programme will include songs by both composers, as well as Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Minor and Haydn’s E Minor Piano Sonata. It concludes with Haydn’s dramatic Arianna a Naxos, first performed in London in 1791 by the composer himself with the soprano castrato Gasparo Pacchierotti, Steven and Kate are firm favourites with TEMS (he performed a memorable Goldberg Variations for us in 2012) and it is a great pleasure to welcome them back.

RCM Baroque Ensemble

The next TEMS concert takes place on Saturday 22nd October, with the visit of four postgraduate students from the Royal College of Music playing works by Vivaldi, Bach and Telemann in their Baroque Gems programme. Sadly, we have had a last minute change in the line up as Iain Hall has unfortunately broken a finger, but we are pleased to welcome Luke Challinor as his replacement.

Luke is studying viola da gamba at the RCM, having been awarded a Foundation Scholarship and ABRSM Scholarship. He also plays Baroque cello, theorbo, organ and viola d’amore, and previously studied at Chethams School of Music. During his studies, he has played in masterclasses for Vittorio Ghielmi, Jordi Savall,  and Hille Perl. In 2015 – 2017 he was awarded a full scholarship by the Dartington Trust to attend the Advanced Viol Consort course with Fretwork at the Dartington Summer School.

TEMS AGM 24th July

The Annual TEMS AGM will take place next week on Tuesday 24th July at 3.00pm at the Guildhall, Totnes. There will be short reports from the chair and on the financial position, before elections for the committee take place. An informal discussion will follow, to give members the opportunity to feedback and influence future programming decisions. All are welcome.