Tuesday 5 October 2021

Gig at the Beacon, Whitehaven

 First time out in public for over two years, five of us arrived at the Beacon Museum, on Whitehaven's harbourside, all togged out in our Georgian costumes. (Sadly, Jane, our great bass player, was out of commission with a bad cold.) The event was the opening night of a new touring exhibition from the National Gallery, featuring a painting from 1740  by  Jean-Siméon Chardin called The House of Cards.

We played a variety of music which would have been available in Chardin's day, including a selection form Playford's collections, a number of pieces by Handel, Loeillet, Banister and others, on recorders, flutes and guitar. We were just there to provide background music, but the attendees seemed to enjoy it and we received many favourable comments.

It was lovely to be out performing again, and we are now ready for anything you may ask of us! (Within reason ....) 

You can see lots more photos of the event here.

Friday 20 August 2021

Music is coming back to life at last!

During the various lockdowns, musicians have had to survive without playing together, but things are gradually coming back to normal, and Piping Hot have managed several practices. It's so lovely to be making music again, even if we're all a little rusty! 

Here are some of us practising in the garden last summer, when a bit of socially distanced playing was  first allowed. 

And here are some of us more recently in the village hall.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Time to update the website!

Our fans must think we've stopped playing, as we've not uploaded anything here for ages. My apologies! We're still playing away, though with a slightly altered personnel.

Our dearly loved Bridget sadly passed away in summer 2018, and we're still feeling her loss keenly. But she'd have wanted us to go on playing, so here we are.

We have a couple of new members, but no photos of them yet, so watch this space!

In the meantime I've added a link to our Soundcloud page where you can hear a few of the tracks we've recorded over the years.

Thursday 27 February 2014

A visit to Derwent Vale Primary School

We had a last-minute booking recently, to help a school which was doing a whole week of music-related activities.   It seemed like exactly the right thing for us to do, to help promote live music.

Only four out of the six of us were able to be involved, so arranging some of the music for a quartet was required.   We knew that this was going to be a half-hour-long gig, and that the audience would include children from age 4 or 5 up to 11 years old, so it was going to have to be a varied programme full of short pieces, to allow for possible limited attention span in the younger members of the audience.

We played a sort of 'potted history' of music, starting with a 13th century Ductia, followed by 14th century Trotto, and so on, with each century represented by one or two piece of music.  Here's the programme:

Ductia  (anon)   1200s
Trotto   (anon)   1300s
Scaramella (Josquin des Pres)   1400s
Tallis's Canon   (Tallis)   1500s
Spagnoletta (Praetorius)   1600s
Ha Ha (Rathgeber)    1700s 
Rondo (from 2nd Terzetto by James Hook)   early 1800s
The Blue Danube Waltz (Strauss ... just a little bit of it!)   late 1800s
The Golliwog's Cakewalk  (Debussy … just a little bit of it!)  1900s
Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter films (John Williams)   2000s

The children in our audience were wonderful!    They were very well-behaved, sat still and listened with all their ears, and joined in where we needed them.   The piece by Rathgeber has places in the music where one has to shout ''Ha Ha'', or whistle twice, or stamp feet twice, and they obliged very enthusiastically, being directed as to which was required, and when, by Liz, who held up signs for them.

I think it's fair to say that we would welcome the chance to do this sort of thing again, for other schools, not necessarily as part of a special week of music.   Please contact Ally at ally@pipinghot.org.uk  if you would like us to visit your school!

Wednesday 21 August 2013

A few forthcoming gigs

These will be posted on our diary page as well, but please look out for us at:

  1. The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth on Friday 8th November, when we'll be playing at the Glittering Ball for the Cockermouth Georgian Fair.
  2. This one's just for Women's Institute People, I suppose, but we'll be playing for Plumbland WI on December 4th.
  3. Friday 20th December we'll be at St Kentigern's, Aspatria, and I believe there'll be a serpent-player involved in proceedings too! Watch this space for further news.

Monday 10 June 2013

Concert for Isel Church Bells June 8th 2013

Piping Hot played some music to help raise some money for the new bells at the church of St Michael and All Angels, Isel, which dates, in parts, from about 1130 AD.

It's the most beautiful, atmospheric little church I know of, close by the River Derwent (and therefore in danger of flooding, as the parishioners know to their cost). The graveyard, lit on a summer's evening by a low sun through what is really a wildflower meadow with gravestones, looks like the perfect place to spend eternity.

Last night we were joined by two of the next generation of recorder virtuosi - Frances and Alannah, who played with members of the group on Feed the Birds and Oom Pah Pah. As well as our large family of recorders, we also played flutes, clarinet, accordion and guitar at various points during the evening. We are nothing if not versatile!

The audience was delightful. They can come back any time!

We started with a couple of little surprises, which might be more commonly heard at Christmas time. Of course, our previous attempt to entertain the Isel community was last December, when the electricity supply failed and we gamely played on by candlelight in the freezing cold, while a few very brave audience members sat stoically and listened. Most people failed even to arrive at the church, however, because of the fearsomely icy roads. 

So that concert was curtailed halfway through. The next tune would have been one perfectly suited to a concert in aid of bells, so we thought we'd carry on last night where we left off in December.

(You can see more photos of the beautiful churchyard, and the famous bells by clicking on this link . The bells will be dedicated by the Bishop of Carlisle on Tuesday, June 11th.)


First half
Ding Dong  - traditional, arr. Val Hetherington
Hush, Hush, Hush - traditional Austrian Christmas song
Volte 11 and Volte 12 - Michael Preaetorius (1571-1621)
Pase el Agoa - Villancicos (Cancionero de Palacio)
Galliard: 1000 Ducats in the bag; Pavane: Tausend Dukaten - Tielman Susato (1500-61)
Galliard: Muy Linda - Anthony Holborne (1545-1602)
Divertimento - J.B.Vanhal (1739-1813) arr Klaus Bjerre 2003
Serenata - Brian Bonsor (1926-2011)

Second half
Feed the Birds - from Mary Poppins
Oom Pah Pah - from Oliver

Oranges and Lemons - trad. arr. Rachel McConkey
Scots Songs Medley - arr Ally McGurk. Mostly trad apart from "Keep Right On" by Sir Harry Lauder.
North Country Medley - trad. arr. Rachel Hecht McConkey
Paper Doll - Johnny S.Black arr. D. Bloodworth
By the Light of the Silvery Moon - Gus Edwards (1879-1945)
Circus Medley - various composers, arr. Rachel Hecht McConkey
La Java Bleue - Vincent Scotto (1874-1952)

Saturday 8 June 2013

Looking forward to tonight at Isel

We're looking forward to revisiting Isel Church this evening, after our previous attempt to entertain you was frozen out last Christmas. It's a lovely venue, and on a summer evening, with the late sunshine streaming through the windows, it'll be a real treat.

The River Derwent flows past the church (rather too close, for those who remember the floods of November 2009), enhancing the beauty of the location. It's a great river - I had a swim in it just yesterday, and the water's lovely! (Why not turn up early and bring your cossie?)

So please come along - the concert starts at 7:30 so you should aim to be there a bit before that. We look forward to seeing you.

If you don't know where it is, try clicking on this link to a map:
Isel Church