Leeds Arena: 6 Standing ovations! Go NOFA!

The wonderful National Orchestra for All achieved 6 standing ovations for their performance in the Leeds Arena this Summer. And it’s no surprise as they performed so energetically. The programme of Music for Dance included  Copland,Tchaikovsky and a new commission for synth and orchestra by EDM composer Jack McNeill – it was a thrilling programme and a triumph of a concert.

Looking forward to the Winter Sessions now.

How to fail at being perfect: the musical August 2017

All done – and what a great journey that was too. I am so delighted to have written my first musical; How to fail at being perfect, and to have worked with Nele Van den Broeck, Becky and  the production team from the Lyric Hammersmith, and the cast and band from Young Lyric in the creation of this new musical. Turned out to be full length, at about 80-90 mins. And I’m so pleased with so many of the songs and the incidental music. Lots of fun. The audience belly-laughed a lot which definitely means they enjoyed it, and I’m very proud of the performances by the cast and band. Well done all!

Look forward to writing another.

Fun music-making at Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia Summer School

Well done and thank you to all the young players who took part in the first Summer School course of the Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia. The performance programme was varied and we were so delighted with the final concert. Well done to all those who performed solos in the lunch breaks, and to the flute gang who performed the WORLD PREMIERE of Simon’s new flute trio – which was a stunning piece, composed over a weekend! Amazing!

The highlight of the concert surely was the encore!?

Read more here

Ware Community Orchestra; Next Session Sunday 16th July/Get music here



GET MUSIC HERE (contact Emma for password)

Sunday Afternoons / 2 –5pm / Ware Arts Centre
visit waremusic.uk for more information, music and dates.

Any instrumental musician is welcome to play in the Ware Community Orchestra, regardless of age or ability.

We attract rusty players with dusty instruments, with music that also challenges experienced players.

Children are very welcome. Under-12s need to be accompanied by an adult, either playing or listening.

The music repertoire is generally light classical but includes a wide range of styles. See the website for music in advance.

Includes Rehearsal Support Sessions for beginners/less experienced players and Chamber Ensemble for more advanced players.

Sessions cost £5 (£2 for under 18s) on a pay-as-you-play basis.
No subscription or payment in advance. Refreshments provided.

New musical theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith August 2017

How to fail at being perfect

A new musical by Nele van den Broeck and Emma Oliver-Trend with the Lyric Hammersmith.

Following a week of R & D with a fab group of young performers at the Lyric in February, I’m delighted to be working with writer/director/musician/performer Nele van Den Broeck this Summer the creation of a new piece of musical theatre to be performed as part of the Young People’s programme at the Lyric Hammersmith on the 10th and 11th August.

The piece is bit bizarre – a dystopian world where adults are just too busy and preoccupied and Pan of Neverland Enterprise makes a buck by hiring out the perfect children to adults whenever they need one.

The pieces explores what it means to grow up and how to fail at being perfect. Come and see it!

Ware Community Orchestra starts in May 2017

The Ware Community Orchestra is starting on May 14th 2017, but don’t worry if you can’t make this one, we are having session once a month every month!

The Ware Community Orchestra is inclusive, and is open to any instrumentalist of any age and ability level. We hope to attract rusty players with dusty instruments, but the music will provide challenge to those with more experience who play regularly. It’s for fun.

£5.00 per session (£2.00 for under 18s), on Sunday afternoons from 2.00 – 5.00

There is an additional session from 1.00pm for anyone who may be very rusty or a beginner where we will go through the music very slowly to help prepare for the main session. Here are the dates, please come if you can!

Sundays 2.00 – 5.00 (1.00pm for extra support)

14th May, 25th June, 16th July, 20th August, 24th September, 15th October, 19th November, 17th December

Music is available on this website to download and print in advance, but please contact Emma to get the password.

Children and young people are very welcome, but under 12s need to be accompanied by an adult, either playing or listening (or reading!)

Please bring a music stand. Tea and coffee provided. 


RNCM Conductors Course Oct ’16-Feb ’17

Just completed a really great conducting course with the RNCM. Over three separate weekends, the conducting for educators course run by Mark Heron provides top-rate conducting opportunities. We worked with the Derbyshire City and County Youth Wind Band, string, wind and brass ensembles from the RNCM and the Halle Youth Orchestra who are a phenomenal ensemble of young players.

Ware Community Orchestra Survey

Following a very enjoyable and successful Pop Up Orchestra day in March, we are going to start a more regular orchestra: Ware Community Orchestra. Like the Pop Up day, it will be inclusive, for any age and ability, and the priority is to just have fun and enjoy making music with others.

The Pop Up Orchestra attracted 35 musicians from Ware and surrounding areas, with an age range of 8-80. We had instruments from all the families and players with a wide range of ability and experience – some rusty and dusty – and some not!

If you are interested in joining the Ware Community Orchestra, please fill in the little survey below to help us create the right sort of thing that people want.

How often should the Ware Community Orchestra meet?

 Weekly Fortnightly Monthly Four times as year Once a year

When is the most suitable time for you for rehearsals?
 A weekday morning A weekday afternoon A weekday evening Saturday afternoon Saturday evening Sunday morning Sunday afternoon Sunday evening Bank holidays

Would you come all year round or just during term time?
 All year round Term time Not sure

Your details


Email Address

Telephone number: (optional – just in case email address doesn’t work)



Pop Up Event Feedback

If you attended the Pop Up event it would be really useful to get a bit of feedback about the day, thanks...

What were your two favourite pieces?
 Haydn Trumpet Concerto (no trumpet) Holst Mars Gershwin Plenty of Nuttin Gershwin Summertime Prokofiev Dance of the Knights Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf Bizet Habanera

Which were your two least favourite?
 Haydn Trumpet Concerto (no trumpet) Holst Mars Gershwin Plenty of Nuttin Gershwin Summertime Prokofiev Dance of the Knights Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf Bizet Habanera

I thought the venue was very suitable to our needs – but were there any problems with the venue on the day that perhaps I was not aware of?

Can you identify one thing that you enjoyed the most about the event?

Was there anything you didn’t enjoy about it?

Do you have any further comments?

Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia launch new Youth Orchestra Summer School August 14-18

The Bishop’s Stortford Sinfonia are launching a brand new Youth Orchestra Summer School for 2017. For young people aged 11-18, grade 3 and above. The week-long course will focus on large scale orchestral repertoire – but will also include a chance for advanced players to explore chamber music repertoire and participants can also take part in a conducting workshop or informal lunchtime concerts.

Find out more on the Sinfonia website and please encourage any young musicians you know to come and help us start a new exciting music venture for Bishop’s Stortford!