Dear Festival Supporter,
We hope you'll be interested in this lovely Christmas project to support a group of freelance professional musicians, so hard hit over the last year, as they balance their careers with busy family lives and preparations for a festive season sadly bereft of most of its music!
A collective of freelance musicians have come together to create a musical advent calendar that you can purchase for yourself and a friend for £24.99. Once you have obtained your membership, every day a video clip of music will become available behind the day’s window and will remain there to be viewed for 3 months. You will find everything from carol arrangements and fun 1920’s Christmas tunes to excerpts from the big Christmas oratorios. Musicians featured include an award-winning concert pianist, a West End star, a Royal Opera House soprano, instrumentalists from some of the UK’s leading orchestras, new and established ensembles and a few fun surprises.
Two of the participants should have been performing at this year's Festival - Sara Deborah Timossi, Musical Director of SouthDowns Camerata, and cellist Alexandra Mackenzie, who was due to take part in our 'Beeethoven 250' anniversary recital at St Peter's Church.
Sara Deborah writes:
Advent is a magical time, full of lights, decorations, bakery, anticipation … and yes, music! In this time we would usually hear seasonal music everywhere, played by buskers in the street, in every shop we enter, in the schools’ nativity plays and in pantomimes, the choir and carol concerts as well as the big seasonal favourites like Messiah and the Nutcracker Ballet. This year it will be different. But while you might not be able to go to the music, we think the music should still happen – directly into your home.
For musicians, this is usually the busiest season of the year, but most work calendars have been wiped clean since March for the foreseeable future. The idea was born within the supportive community of musician mums who in the best times face the daily challenge of combining flexible work with family, and in times like this are often less eligible for financial support due to maternity leaves and missed incomes. So for us, this is a way to keep connecting to our audiences and keep sharing the joy we usually associate with Christmas while also providing a small income for all performers involved. By purchasing the calendar as a gift which will then automatically become available for yourself too, you are supporting musicians through this time of crisis.
Head to www.musicaladvent.com to get a sneak preview of December 1st, find out more about the performing musicians in the blog and to purchase your membership. Whether you gift this to a child learning an instrument or your parents or friends whom you can’t visit right now, this gift is guaranteed to spread joy and fun for the whole of December and beyond, and will be a beautiful – and environmentally friendly!- gesture to make your loved ones feel your care every day even across wider distances.
Thank you so much for your support. Happy Christmas to you all!
Sara Deborah Timossi and the Musician Mums team behind the Musical Advent calendar