Welcome to Kerry and Patricia Milan's web site, ARDROSS HOUSE
May 12th 2018
The new Photo Gallery entry: Roy Wightman
Five years ago, Roy was the pianist for three of the four works featured in our St Mary's concert as part of the 2013 Stafford Music Festival - to see him at work (and at play!) follow the links below to the video recordings on the vimeo site <<Recordings>>
Now it will soon be time for the Rapture première (full details below), with Yvonne Howard again being accompanied by this highly accomplished local musician.
We are delighted to announce the completion of the song cycle RAPTURE, for female voice and pianoforte, comprising settings of twenty of Carol Ann Duffy's splendid poems from her Rapture collection.
The première will be on Sunday 30th September 2018 in the Carol Ann Duffy recital room at Entrust's Stafford headquarters at Riverway, Stafford. The peformers will be Yvonne Howard and Roy Wightman, the afternoon being kindly hosted by Entrust Music Services, Staffordshire, FoSYM, the Friends of Staffordshire Young Musicians, of which Miss Howard is a patron and our own Ardross House.
The work is also being recorded, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, when the pianist will be Scott Mitchell, who was recently made a Fellow of the RCS. Many congratulations, Scott! (see also the Sonnets recording below)
The music is published under the Ardross House label and is printed in two books, each with settings of ten of the poems. The books are now available from the classical music site tutti.co.uk, - a brilliant site dedicated to classical music which can be accessed quickly and with complete confidence. It is also possible to obtain indiviual digital downloads of each of the twenty settings and in addition the opening bars of each setting can be viewed, along with the matching sound file.
The book of Carol Ann Duffy's poems is published by Picador, and is readily obtainable from all good bookshops and on-line. Comprising fifty two poems the collection is a book-length love poem, and 'a moving act of personal testimony .... These are poems that will find deep rhymes in the experience of most readers and will, ultimately, prove that poetry can and should speak to us all.'
The poems have a feel that is both universal and comtemporary, and the musical settings aim above all to reflect the author's own refusal to 'simplify the contradictions and transformations of love - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief.' The musical language, with its background of serial technique, hopefully succeeds in being both contemporary and at the same time reasonably accessible.
A dear friend and wonderful person Guy Woolfenden died as I was setting the poem entitled "Grief". As a very inadequate tribute to Guy, here is a synthesised recording of this setting, with an oboe in place of the mezzo voice. Here is the link: <<Grief - mp3 file>>
Further details on the choice of poems, and on the background to writing the song cycle, can be found on the accompanying page: <<Rapture>>
Now, back to somewhat earlier music ....
Nine of the tracks from the Sonnets' CD "How do I love thee? ..." are available for download. The CD was originally released to coincide with Opera North's "Festival of Britten" season, with which Yvonne Howard was then touring. The accompanist is again the brilliant Scott Mitchell.
<<Full details below>>
Also visit the Pippa Passes pages for details of how to quickly and safely buy its five tracks, again courtesy of the fine contemporary classical music site tutti.co.uk - details <<below>>
The splendid Ars Brunensis recording of "Completus" is also now available as track downloads - again, information <<below>>
Finally, the four tracks of the "Affinities" Violin and Piano sonata are likewise now available as downloads - the relevant links are again given <<below>>
In addition, we are delighted to announce that all four of the works featured in the 2013 Stafford Festival concert are now available to view in high definition on the vimeo channel:
On CD and downloads
- recorded at the Royal Northern College of Music,
Manchester by Stephen Guy on July 20th 2013.
How do I love thee? ...
A new site has been set up to cover the Sonnets settings. As well as the story behind the Sonnets and a commentary to accompany the full text of the sixteen selected sonnets there are also details of the beautiful première peformance by Yvonne Howard and Roy Wightman at Stafford in May 2013.
In addition there is information about the new audio recording that Yvonne Howard has made with the distinguished Scottish pianist and accompanist Scott Mitchell. The sonnets were recorded on July 20th 2013 in the splendid acoustics of the Royal Northern College of Music concert hall. The CD and audio downloads are now available.. Please do visit this splendid new site
<<HOW DO I LOVE THEE? >>
And going backwards .........................
AND AN APOLOGY
If you now have Windows 8 onwards the streamed audio files may not play with Media Player. So much for progress! There are dozens of these audio files and it is simply not possible to convert them all to mp3 format, so my apologies if some of the older sound files on this huge site will not play for tablet or Windows 8+ visitors. Sometimes, apparently, they will work, so you may be lucky!
ALSO: we are no longer selling the CDs on Amazon, which did not handle enquiries from outside Europe. Please use Tutti instead which distributes throughout the world. Thank you.
December 9th 2011: sample pages from the score to the new string quartet "Echoes" are now up on-site. I hope the 'quartettists' among you find it interesting. Score and parts are available from tutti.co.uk
As mentioned above, the Alard Quartet's fine peformance of the work at St Mary's Stafford, as part of the 2013 Music Festival concert, is freely available to view on the vimeo channel.
Here now are the last few minutes of this recording as an mp3 file:
string quartet ending
The premiere was at Shugborough on June 24th 2012. Here are some interesting background notes on how the music aims to satisfy the rather unusual brief - but in the end, though, hopefully it's just a good piece, both to play and to listen to! I could not have wished for a better first peformance than that given by the Alard quartet, pictured below. Thank you Nigel for some dazzling playing!
The Alard Quartet at Shugborough, June
Please visit the Pippa Passes site for more information about this haunting work, the performers and the recording.
Pippa Passes site
where instant track downloads are now available
- from March 2010: - coaxed out of retirement to join a Staffordshire Performing Arts quartet, giving eleven end-of-term concerts to local schools. And some quartet: Jane Olphin flute, Sandra Jones clarinet, KM on violin and viola and Dave Cunningham trombone.
And what a privilege - The Coppice Special School has children from 11 to 18, and how important music is to these youngsters. We clearly hit the right note, and each of us was presented with a Merit Award for a "fantastic concert".
On a lighter note - listen to a track from the 1971 vinyl recording we have just transferred to CD - the harpsichordist is John Pattinson.
One of our COMPLETUS Compline settings "Look Down O Lord / Be Present O Merciful God" has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This was on November 4th 2008 and the music was selected and introduced by the incomparable Rob Cowan.
Dr Roy Wightman
Dr Roy Wightman was born in Stafford but has strong Scottish family connections. He is a private teacher and educational author and was for many years a member of staff for the County of Staffordshire's school for talented young musicians and an A level examiner. He is also a pianist, organist, concert soloist and chamber recitalist (a member of the Chiarina Piano Trio). In the academic world, his research into the life and works of Karol Szymanowski has met with international acclaim, and his books include Szymanowski His Life and Work 1999, Routledge, Szymanowski on Music,1999, Toccata Press, Volume 1, 1902-1919 Szymanowskis Correspondence and most recently Szymanowskis King Roger, 2015, Boydell and Brewer, with its foreward by Sir Antonio Pappano. In 2016 he received the prize of the Karol Szymanowski Society for making the composers work better known outside Poland.
Talking of Archives ..... here's a bit of fun!
This 1971 vinyl record has just been transferred to audio CD.
Here is one of the tracks from side two, which also includes the Delius Serenade from Hassan, a couple of Handel movements and the Fiocco Allegro!
The recording dates from 1971 and was made for an educational project at Madeley Teacher Training College in Staffordshire, where <<John Pattinson>> was a lecturer and where I was one of several visiting instrumental staff.
<<The Bluebells of Scotland>> in an arrangement by William Honeyman (1845-1919).
<<The Bluebells of Scotland mp3 >> -for Windows 8 etc.
MAKING THE MUSIC MENTIONED ON OUR SITE
AVAILABLE THROUGH THE INTERNET
Some of our works - scores and audio CDs - can now be ordered from tutti.co.uk, - a brilliant site dedicated to classical music which can be accessed quickly and with complete confidence.
Audio CDs: The "Completus" Compline Settings with Ars Brunensis
Pippa Passes - and the Violin Sonata - Yvonne Howard and the English Piano Trio
Sheet Music: The "Completus" Compline Settings
The Sonata "Affinities" for violin and piano
Pippa Passes - five songs of Asolo
"Echoes" string quartet
All these works can be studied in detail via the links on this page.
In addition, a new facility is being provided whereby sheet music can be downloaded directly from the tutti site. This is perhaps not appropriate for a long work, but for shorter works it may be very beneficial and so four of the songs demonstrated on our site are being uploaded. Hopefully this will prove easy and convenient to use. All being well, more works will be included presently.
Metropole - for soprano and piano Wings - for soprano and piano Heart of Scotland - voice and piano A New Twasome - two unison songs that combine
Note: from the <<tutti.co.uk>> site simply select DOWNLOADS - NOW OPERATIONAL
VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL SITES (non-educational)
"Completus" is a substantial work for double SATB choir lasting over 35 minutes and comprising six movements, the texts for which are all drawn from or connected with the service of Compline. A performing edition of the whole piece is now available, together with a dedicated web-site where sample pages of each setting can be accessed.
A beautiful recording by the Czech choir
Ars Brunensis is also available - now including individual track downloads.
Of the six movements, three are set for double SATB chorus while the Nunc Dimittis (movement II) and movements IV and V are essentially SATB.
The opening movement is "Qui Habitat" (psalm 91/XC). The third movement is a setting of "Keep me as the apple of an eye" with "Lighten our Darkness" with the last movement an eight part setting of O Radiant Light - which is an English translation of the Latin text used by John Taverner in the late 1520s for his votive antiphon O Splendor Gloriae.
The third movement has also been scored optionally with trombone quartet (ATTB).
<< visit the COMPLETUS site >> - now with instant downloads available
The work has been recorded by the breathtakingly beautiful Czech choir, Ars Brunensis, under their conductor Dan Kalousek.
The church of John Huss, Brno, was a perfect setting for the recording made by Annegret Lange's Vienna company, with recording and sound engineers Frantisek Poul and Vaclav Frkal - full details on the COMPLETUS site.
- April 2007 - I have just heard the pre-master disc - to quote Andrew Downes the choir is simply "superb"!
June 2007: the recording is now available - visit the COMPLETUS site for details - "Wonderful music" - Guy Woolfenden OBE
for where individual track downloads are also now available
VIOLIN SONATA in A minor "Affinities"
for Violin and Piano
I Quasi a piacere
II Andante piangevole ma espansiva
IV Allegro (Rondo)
This is a substantial work at some 28 minutes, and should be a welcome addition to today's repertoire.
For both players the parts lie well, but the work is not without challenges, not the least of them rhythmical. It is a very satisfying and rewarding work - the whole work having been conceived as an emotional journey, from the violinist's first anguished cry to the last movement's idyllic happy ending.
Eight sample score pages are now included in a pdf document. You may also be interested in the notes that accompany the printed score. Just click to follow the links:
"I am thoroughly enjoying playing it .... the whole sonata is really elegant and happy and characteristic of the composer" !!
- a dear colleague who shall remain anonymous!
Audio downloads available for purchase from tutti.co.uk - just follow the link!
- violinist Jane Faulkner and pianist Timothy Ravenscroft. The recordings were made by the highly respected Michael Ponder in the splendid setting of All Saints, East Finchley.
These are virtuoso performances.
"Pippa Passes - five songs of Asolo"
- for Mezzo Soprano and Piano Trio
The words are by Robert Browning, from his poem Pippa Passes, first published in 1841.
The work was recorded in July 2011 by the brilliant mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard and the English Piano Trio.
"Your lovely settings of Robert Browning truly do justice to this beautiful poetry" A.D.
Dedicated "Pippa" pages give details of the work and of the recording:
The scores and parts for both "Pippa Passes - five songs of Asolo" and also the Violin/Piano Sonata "Affinities" are available to purchase from tutti.co.uk - click the logo, left.
The CD, with Yvonne Howard and the English Piano Trio, is also now available.
PLUS: instant downloads are now available for all five Pippa tracks: full details on the Pippa Passes pages.
Duo for Alto Flute and Piano
First Performance: February 28th 2009
The Recital Room
Ellen Terry Building
in a concert of works by members of the Central Composers' Alliance
Alto Flute - Claire-Louise Appleby
piano: Julian Hellaby
The performance was recorded by Alan Hames and this haunting extract (the recapitulation section) captures the mood perfectly:
<<play>>( mp3 version)
The score will hopefully be available from Tutti.co.uk. In the meantime, any flautists interested in receiving a complimentary copy of the work, please contact us at <<firstname.lastname@example.org>>
SCHERZO FOR WIND ENSEMBLE
This work had its first performance as part of a Commuters Concert at Birmingham Conservatoire in November 2000.
It was performed again, brilliantly, by the Windworks wind ensemble on November 19th 2006, also at the Conservatoire.
The recording included here is via a streamed audio file, for which you will need a fairly fast connection: <<play>>
or as a mp3 file: <<play>>
There is also a full score to view, if you are interested in following what is a very challenging piece, just to follow, never mind perform!: <<view>>
For information on buying parts contact email@example.com
The "NEW SONG" site has recordings, words and scores to download in connection with evocative new music to celebrate the exciting post-Millennium mood of Scotland today -
1. Heart of Scotland - a new anthem for a new age?
2. Flame of Destiny
3. Blue Dawn
(and as a bonus 4: The New Twasome!)
The "CAROLINE SINGS site" features "Footsteps", "Wings" and "Metropole" which Caroline Milan has performed and recorded - and not forgetting "Emily Rose"!
A song to celebrate a second birthday, "Carousel" - "Happy Birthday, Aged Two, Is there room for me too, As you race of on each new adventure? ....."
Welcome to a major site for schools and instrumental teachers: String and Percussion Hosanna! with instrumental (and percussion) parts and recordings of 26 assembly favourites, with audio clips of individual parts.
10 pages of violin music, 10 pages for viola, and 13 pages of percussion, with over 120 sound files. PDF format for speed, clarity and great print-outs. Great fun just to browse!
Celebration String Hosanna!
There are 29 songs and carols - Spring, Pancake Day, Lent/Easter, Harvest/Autumn, Halloween/Guy Fawkes, Endings, Hindu and Jewish - for festival assemblies throught the year, where each part can be individually listened to, simply by clicking its name.
The melody parts are suitable for recorder, violin, flute etc, while the accompanying line is specifically for young violinists.
All pages can be quickly viewed and printed out using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Another great educational site is "Sing and Play Along" with ideas for encouraging young instrumentalists join in school music lessons.
There are now ten books available in PDF format, and sound files of all 28 songs are available, plus individual percussion parts for each song.
As well as violin/recorder parts, there are melody parts for viola, cello, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone and trumpet, plus piano and vocal scores.
- a most useful Primary School resource
This hugely popular collection was originally compiled to provide young instrumentalists in Staffordshire schools with the opportunity to join in class and school assemblies, and provides instrumental melody booklets for violin/recorder, viola, cello, flute, B flat clarinet, trumpet and E flat saxophone.
A simple percussion score is also included, with short, memorable parts for a variety of tuned and untuned percussion, which can even be listened to individually, simply by clicking on an instrument's name.
Later, in response to many requests, a piano accompaniment book was also published, with new accompaniments by me to the twenty one carols.
There are separate booklets in PDF format for the seven instrumental melody parts, the piano accompaniment and the simple accompanying percussion parts.
A specialist site for violin and viola teachers, "Images and Imagination" offers sixteen pages of imaginative and very effective group teaching material for use with young string pupils - - covering rhythm work, slurred and spiccato bowings, positions, creative writing, feeling the harmony and pentatonic work, etc. - highly recommended
VIOLIN TUTOR - coming later
is a cantata for two-part school or area choir, suitable for children of about 11 to 14 years old.
Catchy tunes, with simple two-part writing, and easy piano and percussion parts mean that everybody can join in what is a fun work with a serious warning message to all bullies!
Visit the site - see the scores and hear the music - Caroline Milan, singing all the vocal parts, really brings the story to life.
is a cantata for two-part school or area choir, suitable for children of about 12 to 16 years old.
Its five movements focus on the Gods, the Greeks, the Trojans, the Fall of Troy and finally Helen herself -
" ... if she'd only said 'No thank you Paris..' "
All great fun, and an education too!
a cantata for two-part choir - five movements telling the classic story of Helen of Troy.
Visit the site - see the scores and hear the music - Caroline Milan, singing all the vocal parts, is in fine voice.
10. "Music for a While" has been produced by ASC Records for the Central Composers' Alliance.
The CD includes Caroline Milan and Julian Hellaby performing two of the pieces, Wings and Metropole, which are featured on the "Caroline Sings ..." site above.
It is a most attractive collection, and the CD is available from all contributing members as well as from ASC Records.
Further details from the CCA web site - see link below
Quite different site - the story of the Mallard duck and 13 ducklings born in our back garden! -
- the cycle repeats itself! August 2003 and a very late starter!
August 12th 2003 - you can watch a duckling hatch!
February 2004 and they are back on the pond. Too early yet to say; but is this going to be another hectic year for us! - update November 2004: no! plenty of activity but no, only smashed egg shells this year!
May 2009: not ducks this time, but more drama in our bird scene - including five cygnets.
February 25th 2016 - a pair of ducks make their first visit of the year to our pond. They certainly look just like the couple which have been regular visitors in the past, and they certainly know to come to chess board to ask to be fed!
February 22nd 2017 (right) - ditto!!
Latest update - revised Bowker outline (Nov. 2017)
In Lincolnshire, the DYON / DYAN Outline (revised August 2016) is equally fascinating, going right back to the 15th century - and we know quite a lot about this family, not least because so many of the family became priests! For example - Dom. Alan DYAN' will in 1488 includes the lines "my body to be buried in the church of Saint Clement Grainsthorpe. Also I bequeath one cow in the name of my mortuary."
May 2014 - a revised Outline for some of the JEFFERY / JEFFREY families in the Horncastle area of Lincolnshire -Winceby, Hameringham, Hagworthingham, Mareham on the Hill, Hemingby, Kirkby on Bain etc, going back to the 1500s, and with the related family names of CLARKE, MALTBY(E), SILVESTER, LEADLEY, BARRIT, BROWNE and PAGE. <<JEFFEREY earliest days>>
December 2012, a look at the DEOR / DEWAR world around Aberfeldy at the period of the Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745. But what a lot of people sharing very few names!
December 2011 - a new Outline for some of the ELLIS families in Nidderdale, starting with Richard ELLIS who married in 1704.
October 2011 - a new Outline of the Constable / Billing / Hawkin / Rundell Quaker connections in Cornwall - including Blanche Constable's crossing to Pennsylvania in 1682.
Summer update, looking into the MILNE family of 18th century Angus, in the Scottish Highlands.
January 2011: WADGE / TREVITHICK Outline - made possible because of Susanna BILLING's remarkable will of 1764
December 2010, saw the BILLING alias TRELAWDER outline. This is a fascinating line, going back to the 1400s and earlier, according to Sir John Maclean's 1870s account.
The NEWLY REVISED CONSTABLE to BILLING outline goes right back to Henry Constable's marriage to Joane GOODING at St Sampson or Golant in 1568!
This presents a fascinating picture of a family over two hundred years from the time of Henry VIII, with many Quaker families and early links with Pennsylvania.
James Calvert married Eleanor Hope at Kirklinton in 1809 and we have done a lot of research in trying to place him - latest revision April 2017
November 2009 - an article of the BROCK families of the Isle of Axholme from 1547 <<AXHOLME LINK>>
January 2010: link to the HARROP family connection.
Apart from music and ducks, and our love of crosswords (we are Azed fanatics) researching our family background has become another favourite pastime.
Although we have a large web of several thousand pages we are not currently thinking to put it on-line. But there are one or two mysteries which someone perhaps may be able to to help us resolve, and by the same token we may have information of interest to others, so bits of trees may appear here from time to time.
Our first mystery concerns Lancelot Hodgson who married Eleanor Ferguson on December 6th 1876 at Kirklinton in Cumberland. Lancelot was born at Upperby near Carlisle in 1855 to a single mother, Jane Walker, and until a few years before his marriage he was called Lancelot Walker. On his marriage certificate he says his father was called John Walker (a farm servant), so why, sometime after 1871, did he adopt the name Hodgson?
New at October 2011:
In a reversal on circumstances, we have just come across a 2007 GenesReunited request from Linda concerning her ancestor Ernest Richard Maudson EARNSHAW. Not being a member of GenesReunited we have not been able to trace Linda; but if she is still interested in her ancestors could she please get in touch. We have much of great interest for her.
An article is attached about The SILVESTER FAMILIES OF NORTH CHESHIRE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
For anyone researching the SILVESTER families of Cheshire and Lincolnshire this may provide interesting material!
April 2014 - more from Cornwall, with its wealth of wills providing fascinating and sometimes humourous reading! Welcome the LYNAMs.
An article is attached on the variableness of spellings for family names:
February 2015: a huge step back, as we add the Brus and Mowbray family outlines. These take us back to the Conquest, and even before.
The Mowbrays came from the French village of Montbrai in Normandy, the Bruys from Brix, a little further north, on the Cotentin penisula.
Both families settled in North Yorkshire. It was the Brus family who founded Guisborough Priory in 1119. Perhaps the family is better known, however, for Robert the Bruce, 1274 - 1329, who became one of Scotland's most famous kings.
This will be mainly a music site, though, with works for voice, strings, wind ensembles, etc, as well as a wide range of educational material by the composer - if you just have time to visit one or two sites now, try PIPPA or the COMPLINE settings, or head for Scotland and its "New Song". Or for an educational visit, try one of the revised "Hosanna" sites.
A new publishing house has been set up to publish Kerry Milan's music. It is called ARDROSS HOUSE, and eventually all his music will be available through the new firm. Further information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for looking in. Please keep track of how the site develops.
If you have come to this site from
the Central Composers' Alliance Site, click here to return to its home page.
You may also like to visit the Incorporated Society of Musicians' site, which lists other ISM members' websites throughout Britain, both composers and performers.
And if you would like to read a short biography of Kerry Milan, please click here.
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