NSO: Mystery and Magic concert, 17 November

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra opens its 2019-20 season with magic and mystery, from Mendelssohn’s music for a Midsummer Night’s Dream to a selection of themes from the Harry Potter films. Also featuring The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Night on Bare Mountain and Danse Macabre.

Free tickets for under-18s when accompanied by an adult, so bring along the wands from last term’s conducting workshop! With a family-friendly 3.30pm start, and even the chance to see some live magic in the foyer before the concert and during the interval, what better opportunity that this to experience the forces of a full orchestra? Tickets available from Alive Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn.

Heritage Open Day: 15 September

We are inviting all our members to play (or sing) for a little while at King’s Lynn Town Hall for Heritage Open Day, Sunday 15 September 2019.

Whether it’s just a minute of music or half an hour, let us know what you’d like to do. There are time slots available throughout the day, and if you want to explore everything else on offer in town you will have plenty of time for this too.

This is not a formal concert, so players and listeners alike can come and go freely. Whatever you’ve been learning this term, or even before, keep it up over the summer and take up this great opportunity! Just contact us by email and we’ll agree everything else afterwards.

heritage open day wnmc

Musicians: protect your hearing

As musicians, we generally rely on our hearing — to monitor what we’re playing, to keep in tune and to keep in time with others. Not to mention, of course, the pleasure from listening to others.

But can we rely on always being able to hear as well as we can now? As we age, our hearing does become less keen, and this is part of a natural process. But we can also damage our hearing, through exposure to noise, and this damage may be irreversible.

While as musicians we might not think of our own efforts as ‘noise’ (or maybe we would!) but exposure to high levels of sound and/or exposure for long periods can cause permanent damage. There have been a number of high-profile cases where professional musicians have suffered severe hearing loss — not just amongst those playing amplified music but also amongst orchestral musicians.

West Norfolk Music Centre can now offer its members the opportunity to purchase earplugs which are specially designed for musicians. Unlike general-purpose earplugs, they reduce the volume of the music while keeping the sound as natural as possible.

We would encourage all members to consider whether they would benefit from hearing protection. In particular, those who play drums and percussion, and those who are exposed to louder instruments (do you sit in front of the trombones in the orchestra or band?) are encouraged to try ear plugs. Or, if you attend loud amplified concerts or gigs, try them — if you’ve ever had the ‘ringing in the ears’ sensation after a gig, it’s a sign of hearing damage.

Ask at our desk, and we can explain what is available — for less than the cost of a single music lesson.

Music Centre concert 13 July

West Norfolk Music Centre presents its end-of-term concert on Saturday 13 July at 7pm, Springwood High School, King’s Lynn. Come and enjoy music from our groups and soloists.

Tickets £4 on the door, raffle tickets available, refreshments will be served at the interval.


West Norfolk Music Centre is a registered charity and is supported by Norfolk Music Hub.

Classical Ukulele Recitals: 27 and 28 July

Enjoy classical ukulele recitals by Donald Bousted, who teaches ukulele and guitar at West Norfolk Music Centre, this month. On 27 July in West Acre and then 28 July in Ely, Donald will take you on a journey through 500 years of music on the ukulele.

Entry to both recitals is free of charge; there will be a collection for NSPCC, for the benefit of Childline.

For more information about the concerts follow these links:

West Acre, 27 July, 3pm

Ely, 28 July, 4.30pm

Time for a new pencil?

Whether you’re playing in one of our groups or taking one-to-one lessons, one tool is essential: the pencil. Without it, how will you remember the valuable information your group leader or conductor has given you, or the suggestions your teacher has made? And in your own private practice sessions, when you work out the solution to a problem, do you make a note?

Whether it’s fingerings, bowings, breathing, or sticking, sometimes we just have to make our own marks on the printed music. Without them, you could earn the (dubious) distinction of being the person who plays that big chord as a solo — while everyone else is silent!

And if you need a pencil, you also need an eraser, because your first idea (or the conductor’s first idea) might not be the one that works. It’s much easier if that eraser is on the end of the pencil and not somewhere else (in your instrument case/music folder/coat pocket).

When it comes to the eternal question ‘2B or not 2B’, it probably doesn’t matter that much, but a soft dark pencil (which makes a legible mark without pressing hard and leaving an indentation) is better than a medium HB or hard pencil. Remember, unless it’s your own part, someone else might want to remove your markings when you’re finished with it.

We now have good quality 4B pencils, which are ideal for marking up music, for sale at our desk, with or without removable eraser caps.

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra: 23 June

Smetana, Dvorak and Rimsky-Korsakov provide the music for the summer ‘friends’ concert. Everyone welcome for an afternoon of music from Norfolk Symphony Orchestra.