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EVM Update May 2024

It`s been a busy and productive year since our last update. As well as our usual
concerts here, we enjoyed trips to Hawick and Aberfoyle in Scotland and a second
performance in Patterdale. Our focus shifted somewhat to the renovation of our
stable block which is making good progress but is still some way off being finished.
Our second Folk Weekend! in August was fully booked and we were delighted to
welcome mandolin player extraordinaire Simon Mayor and his duo partner Hilary
James on mandobass, guitar and vocals. It was a brilliant evening! Another highlight
was our concert with baroque oboist, Jane Downer who played all three of her oboes
in some of our favourite Bach arias, as well as popular classics including The Arrival
of the Queen of Sheba.

So far this year we`ve continued to make progress with our holiday cottage project
and is now almost ready for painting. Musically we`ve explored new ventures
including a Brandenburg 4 Day here which was great fun and really enjoyed by
everyone who took part. Here are some of the lovely comments:

I just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful day. It was lovely to meet some new
friends and be tutored on such a super piece of music. Well done soloists!
Thank you to everyone! Such a privilege and pleasure to play such wonderful music
and receive expert tuition that helped to bring the notes on the page to life. It would
be wonderful to do it again.

A huge thank you to everyone from me too: it was huge privilege to play with you all
and have such sensitive and helpful guidance.









In early February we battled against some pretty awful weather to arrive more or less
on time at Grimsby Town Hall for our concert for the Grimsby Concert Society, a
magnificent venue and we played to a very appreciative audience.









Our second visit to Higham Hall for our Baroque Chamber Music course was slightly
later this year, in early April and was keenly attended by two very proficient and
enthusiastic groups. We had a great audience for our concert on the Saturday
evening when we performed our All the World`s a Stage programme which features
music inspired by Shakespeare and others.

Our most recent venture was to collaborate with the Penrith Singers in their spring
concert featuring Vivaldi`s Gloria and Pergolesi`s Magnificat as well as some a
cappella items. Our expanded group, Eden Baroque Ensemble then also performed

Vivaldi`s buoyant string concerto, Alla Rustica while baroque oboist Cait Walker
delighted the audience with Albinoni`s famous Oboe Concerto Op 9 No 2. We had
some great feedback afterwards….

What a fantastic concert last night! The Eden Baroque Ensemble sounded amazing;
you must all be delighted with your performance and the overall sound that was

Last night has knocked other contenders of ‘best ever’ concert into the long grass! I
am a complete convert to Baroque instruments and music in general thanks to you.
The blend with voices was so pure and authentic.

Thank you so much for all you did yesterday to make such a success of the concert
with us. We thought it was a lovely balanced programme and the orchestra stood out
at every stage.











So now we`re looking ahead to our next concert here in our Music Room, an
Anniversary Concert being, incredibly, almost five years to the day that we first gave
a concert here, and we`re so pleased to be joined by our long time friend and
colleague Julia Black on baroque violin, viola, and will also be playing her beautiful
viola d'amore.



EVM Update February 2023


Almost a year has passed since our last update so we thought it was high time we added another. 2022 was a very positive and productive year on the music front. Audience numbers have been steadily climbing post covid and things are now pretty well back to normal, thank goodness! In addition to our usual Christmas concerts here, we added an extra one for families which proved very successful and was enjoyed by a good number of youngsters and their parents and grandparents. We also took our festive programme to The Heron Theatre in Beetham and performed for the Alnwick Music Club.


2023 kicked off with our first baroque chamber music course at Higham Hall, Lake Bassenthwaite, a stunning venue with wonderful views of Skiddaw on our doorstep. Three groups of varying sizes attended the weekend, bringing a good mix of 17th and 18th century pieces to work on, and performed selected highlights at their informal concert on the Sunday.









Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and found the weekend very productive, and we were delighted with their encouraging feedback - here are a couple of them:


'well- organised, great expertise, calm, constructive and supportive criticism. Friendly tutors. A great opportunity to improve as a group'


'a lovely relaxed and kind learning environment. Would certainly come again'


'music tuition cannot be faulted- we have learnt a huge amount in our all too short weekend'


Many thanks to you all - we are already looking forward to next year!


Next up here is our foray into music from the second half of the 18th century on Sunday 5th March, with music by Haydn, Mozart and others. The harpsichord was still the most popular keyboard instrument at this time, before the piano really began to dominate the music scene. For more details see our Events Diary. We also have trips to Hawick and Aberfoyle to look forward to. Later in the season we will be repeating our Folk Weekend! which proved really popular last year, and we`re very excited to have Simon Mayor and Hilary James here to entertain us with their virtuosity, wit and charm. Check out their website Simon Mayor & Hilary James « Simon Mayor ( for more info on this charismatic duo!

All details of our concerts both here and elsewhere are listed in our Events Diary.


We are also delighted to be part of the Eden Valley Artistic Network again, which does a fantastic job in helping and supporting all kinds of artistic folk in the region Home - Eden Valley Artistic Network.


Wishing you all a good year ahead and hoping that we might catch up with some you of before too long!

EVM Update March 2022


It seems a long time ago since our last update, and it`s good to see that in the meanwhile, live performances are taking place again as we return to normal. Our Christmas concerts went well and were well attended by our ever-growing audience, and we sold a healthy number of our new CD Christmas in Eden. So thank you to all who have supported us- we are truly grateful.


On 20th February `22 we were delighted to welcome our good friend and colleague Julia Black (baroque violin & viola) for a new programme Strings attached! which despite the plethora of storms was very well attended, and we had some really lovely, supportive feedback afterwards. A huge thanks to Julia for her epic journeying and for being such an easy and appreciative guest. 


We are now looking forward to the rest of our 2022 season and have some exciting things planned. Top of the list is our Folk Weekend in early August when we are delighted to announce that the legendary folk musician BOB FOX will be performing in our Music Room ahead of his appearance at The Lake District Folk Festival in Staveley, near Kendal. For more than 40 years BOB FOX has been regarded as one of “the iconic voices” of British folk song. HIs career began during the vibrant “folk revival” of the 60s and 70s and he has become one of the most highly rated and best loved singer/guitarists both in the UK and beyond.

Masterful interpretation of traditional and contemporary song combined with an outstanding guitar technique has earned him countless nominations in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards over the years.


Bob played the role of Songman for over 4 years in The National Theatre’s West End production of WarHorse and in two subsequent touring versions.

He can also be heard singing extensively with John Tams and Barry Coope on the new Radio Ballads commisioned by the BBC and has completed several sell out UK tours as one of the Pitmen Poets.


Don’t miss the chance to see and hear one of our finest exponents of story telling through song, expect to hear of love, joy, work and humour all accompanied by a wonderful guitar style that can both drive or embellish his supreme singing. 


His gig here on Friday 5th August will be a ticketed event and seats are limited- please visit our Events Diary for more details.


Bob`s gig will be followed by McDaid & Sanderson, aka two-thirds of Kinfolk on Sunday 7th August- again check out the Events Diary for more details.


We hope to see you here soon!


EVM Update October 2021

We are delighted to let you know that our new CD `Christmas in Eden- festive songs and instrumental music from a bygone age` has arrived! Among the 19 tracks are a mixture of well-known carols including In Dulci Jubilo, The Angel Gabriel, Il est ne..... and many more. We`ve given some our own unique twist, and it features voice, baroque violin and viola, harpsichord and harp. To order copies, please contact us directly at: or ring 07810 196215. Cost is £10 per CD + p&p

EVM Update March 2021

As we all finally shake off the winter months and look forward to spring, we hope that you`ve all been keeping well and active in recent weeks. We have been looking ahead and trying to plan a few events to look forward to. We are delighted that our two previous videos were very well received, and as public performances are on hold at least until mid May we are shortly to record a third video. This will feature Michael`s newly acquired skill of multi tracking, to provide some variety to our programme which plans to include the beautiful slow movement from Bach`s Concerto for Two Harpsichords, and Pachelbel`s famous Canon. We are determined to record the planned Christmas CD which we`ve had to postpone three times but is now scheduled to go ahead in early June and will hopefully still be ready for next Christmas. Additionally, we`re hoping to have Michael`s group Kinfolk back here again over the summer, and organise one or two Sunday Afternoon Tea Concerts from August. 

EVM Update December 2020


Well, it`s certainly been a challenging year for us all and we sincerely hope that you and your families have been keeping well. I`m sure we are all looking forward to a better, happier 2021.


As many of you already know, we sadly had to cancel our November concert because of the lockdown but we spent a very happy few hours making a  video of the concert which is now available for you to watch at your leisure on Youtube. This was all a new technological experience for us but we hope you will enjoy the results. Please send us an email if you would like to receive the link. Like our concerts, there is no charge, but we invite donations instead.


We have of course, been following the ever-changing rules on the current situation very closely, and are delighted to hear that provided we restrict audience numbers to a maximum of 50% capacity, we can go ahead with our candlelit Christmas concert Green grow`th the holly. The programme will last a good hour (without an interval), and features some well-known festive music as well as more unusual yet beautiful carols. We do hope that some of you will be able to join us!


Looking ahead to next year, we are very hopeful that we will be able to resume more regular concerts in our Music Room and will update you with more details in the New Year.


Meanwhile we wish you all a peaceful and relaxing Christmas!

We will be implementing the following safety measures for the well-being and reassurance of all our friends (following ISM endorsed government guidelines for indoor performances and updating as necessary):

Covid Safety Measures

  1. A maximum of 20 seats are available for each performance

  2. Seats are 3 metres from performers and arranged according to reservation requests, with 1 metre between each seat/group

  3. A one-way entry/exit system in operation indoors

  4. Performances will be slightly reduced in length with no interval though guests are welcome to bring their own drinks

  5. Hand sanitizer for use on entry

  6. Masks are recommended on entry/exit and also during the concert but can be removed if necessary. (Please note that performers will not be able to wear masks)

  7. Thorough cleaning between each performance will be carried out

  8. Toilet facilities will be open

  9. We will ensure good ventilation, somewhat depending on the weather


If there is any aspect that you feel we have over-looked we would be pleased to hear from you.


EVM Update, September 2020


We hope that you`ve had a relaxing summer despite the on-going international situation, and that everyone has stayed well and positive during these challenging times As lock-down restrictions continue to ease and schools go back, we thought it was a good time to update our readers. 

We have given careful thought as to the way forward with concerts in our Music Room and feel that while it is of course important to keep everyone healthy, it`s also crucial to have some positive events to look forward to. Therefore we are delighted to announce that we will re-open our doors again in mid-November with a programme of uplifting and inspiring music from the 17th and 18th centuries (see Events Diary). 

We also feel confident that we can go ahead with our planned Christmas concert, Green grow`th the Holly which at the moment will follow the same format as November, with short daily performances running from Sunday 20th - Wednesday 23rd December…more details on our Events Diary page.


EVM Updates, July 2020

It seems a long time since our last update in March- so much has changed in the world and we hope that all our supporters have been well and kept active during the last few months. We are disappointed that so many of our performances have been postponed but the good news is that most of them will be reinstated next year. We`ll update you on that in due course.

With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease we are pleased to let you know that our face-to-face lessons will resume again from 20th July. We will have various safety measures in place for the wellfare of our students including a perspex screen for Michael`s singing pupils, hand sanitizers for use on entry and exit, and can easily maintain the 2 metre distance rule.

Official guidelines for the performing arts have yet to be announced so we are currently unable to give concerts but we feel cautiously optimistic that we can resume again in our Music Room from November 2020, if necessary with a reduced capacity to maintain social distancing between audience members and from ourselves. Our plan is to kickstart our concerts with a programme of uplifting music and to get us into the festive mood, our programme in December, `Green grow`th the holly` will feature well-known and much-loved seasonal music in addition to lesser-known gems. More information and details ( subject to change according to government guidelines) will follow as soon as we are able to firm up our plans. We will certainly look forward to the day when we can welcome everyone here again. 


Meanwhile, one of our many lockdown projects has been converting this... into this! At last, all our music is now in some sort of order!

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EVM Updates, March 2020

Regrettably due to the current situation, our concerts scheduled for March 27th, May 9th and 10th have been postponed. However we are still 'open' for teaching and are giving online lessons both on Zoom and Skype until the restrictions are lifted. Please send us an email or ring if you'd like to set things up. ( or Michael 07947104286, Katharine 07810196215


For singing/ violin contact Michael at for Zoom or for Skype


For piano/ harpsichord contact Katharine at for Zoom or for Skype

Additionally, Michael is offering 20 minute online one-to-one `voice gym` sessions....keeping voices going during the isolation period. Please get in touch if you`re interested.

EVM January 2020

Firstly we wish all our lovely supporters a very Happy New Year, with our thanks for helping to make our first year so special! We have been very busy since the last update in August. Firstly we were delighted to be asked to perform at Askham Hall in September in their lovely Bank Barn. Our early evening concert was followed by a delicious meal in their amazing Allium restaurant (recently awarded a Michelin star) which we were delighted was sold out.Then in October we were very pleased to welcome here jazz pianist and song writer Jilly Jarman who has been so helpful and supportive to us in finding our musical feet in the area. We also welcomed here a very enthusiastic group from the local U3A and gave them a special morning concert followed by tea and biscuits. In November we had fun collaborating with colleague Mary Tyers (recorder and baroque flute) in our Baroque Fireworks programme and very much enjoyed putting together a seasonal selection of music focusing on Fireworks Day and 1605. We were booked out quite quickly for that one. Finally for the year we organized a Christmas concert Noel sing we, initially just in the evening but it proved so popular that we did an afternoon matinee too, which was also booked out several weeks in advance. (insert photos here). It was lovely to see our Music Room transformed into a  winter wonderland, and everyone was very complimentary about them. We are now beginning to plan for the year ahead and looking forward to some new collaborations, including the Penrith Singers, a concert in the magnificent setting of Hutton-in-the-Forest for Cumbria Rural Choirs, and later in the year with the Herdwyck Consort for their special 20th anniversary celebration concert in Grasmere. We`ll also be back at Askham Hall for two concerts, plus of course our own house concerts here, beginning with Awake sweet love on 16th February. Meanwhile, on the domestic front we are turning our attention somewhat to the next big project, Lapwing Cottage, our one-bedroom holiday let which at the moment is at the planning stage but we hope to get cracking with that as soon as possible. Lots to do!


EVM updates, August '19

It`s been a hectic few months since the Art Trail in June, mainly spent preparing for a fund-raising concert at Crosthwaite Church in Keswick on 3rd July, and our Opening Concert here in the Music Room on 7th July. There were loads of unfinished jobs to do (still are) including painting, filling, sanding and cleaning but we were delighted that we had all seats reserved 3 weeks before the concert, and even had to start a waiting list, so we were delighted with the enthusiasm shown by all our lovely new friends and neighbours. We were delighted too that our good friend and colleague Ian Gammie was able to join us for the concert so our programme featured a first half of favourite pieces, and the second focused on a selection of songs from our recently released CD The Rowan Tree- Songs of many shades.We set up a DIY bar in the hallway and the audience generously donated for the music and refreshments.


Drinks party during the Art Trail


Opening concert, 7th July

On 20th July we welcomed Kinfolk to the Music Room for a warm-up concert before their appearance at the folk festival, Music on the Marr in Castle Carrock the next day. We welcomed another capacity audience, changing the ambience somewhat with some rather effect strip lighting casting shades of pink on our white walls. 


Kinfolk, 20th July

Since then we have enjoyed another appearance at Scalesceugh Hall with a new programme, All in a Garden Green, featuring music by Purcell, Lawes, Couperin among others. We also gave another performance of Tamsin Jones` piece The Good-Morrow, written especially for us, which we first performed in Keswick on July 3rd.

We were delighted to welcome here for a few days, our good friend Abby Wollston who brought her magnificent nyckelharpa, and played some traditional Swedish folk tunes solo and in duet with Michael on violin. It all sounded wonderful in the lovely acoustics of our Music Room.

Abby and her nyckelharpa


Abby and Michael


We are now looking forward to our next concert in the wonderful Bank Barn at Askham Hall, a fabulous Grade I listed building, perfect for 17th and 18th century music. 

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Askham Hall flyer

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15th - 23rd June

Eden Valley Open Studio and Art Trail

We will be open daily from 10am - 5pm (closed Wednesday 19th) so do pop along and say hello! Live baroque juke box, and tea and coffee available. Delighted to be joined by landscape artist Lionel Playford who will be exhibiting a selection of his work, and demonstrating his painting skills.

EVM updates, May '19

We have been working hard over the last few months doing a myriad of jobs to our music room. Michael plumbed in a downstairs washbasin and toilet while Katharine has been filling, sanding and painting. The mezzanine floor will be sanded in a week or so, and the final floor laid at the end of May - all hopefully in time for the Eden Valley Open Studios and Art Trail in June. There is still a lot to do but we are inching forward!


Monday 25th March 7pm-10pm


We were delighted to be invited on to The Arty Show, Radio Cumbria with Helen Millican. The time flew by, and it was lovely to chat to the amazing composer Ella Jarman-Pinto, and poet Julie Carter.

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EVM Updates February '19

Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Carlisle-based composer Dr Tamsin Jones for writing a piece especially for us... The Good-Morrow is a setting of a John Donne poem, published posthumously in 1633, and is written in a 'New Baroque' style. Tamsin is an incredibly gifted musician and the piece is very tranquil and evocative. We'll be giving it it's first performance later in the year. 

15th - 18th February

Very much looking forward to our imminent recording project in our Music Room with Ian Gammie, guitar, and recording engineer Alex Tinlin. 

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EVM Updates January '19

We were delighted to be featured in an article in the highly popular Cumbria Life magazine.

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