MSE Busking, the Round-up / Christmas Meal @ Masala

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, a quick tally-up on our busking season reveals that we made ~£608 over our three sessions (£201.07 today) with our session cut 20 mins short, and taking a hot-choccie break !

Putting that in perspective, that’s £3 more than we made last year, when we performed in four outings.  This is partly due to choosing some good dates and having the weather on our side … but I believe it’s also down to the band’s solid sound.  With only a few weeks preparation, and with some folks having to learn the entire Christmas catalogue in one go, I think we’ve really got cause to be proud of our musical quality – and we attracted more than a few favourable comments / applause / even cheering along the way.

So … a big well done to all concerned !

Whilst I’m on the blog, this is perhaps a good time to remind you all that the MSE’s Christmas meal out is at Broadway Masala on Sherwood Terrace, Douglas.  … That’s opposite the main car park entrance to the Villa Marina.   Grub’s booked for 7pm, so please arrive in time to get settled in and grab a drink.

Cheers Jem


Busking today is ON

Hi all,

It’s a bit windy in Douglas, but the forecast is dry and bright.

Bring your coat and some pegs, and we’ll play in the shelter of Dealz one last time !

Cheers all, Jem

MSE Transcriptions

Hi all,

As a quick round-up on the transcriptions stuff, we now have a full set of prospective tunes distributed to the team – see below for details.

With the exception of Jackie (who can set het own tunes up), I’ve provided everyone with a template for their piece, and an intro section to make sure I’ve set up keys, instruments etc. correctly.

You’ll find instructions in a previous blog, for downloading Notepad 2012.

If you haven’t already done so, can you please download Notepad, check it works ok with the template tune I sent you, then send an email to me to confirm that you’ve got the basics working – Thanks  —

If you’re feeling keen and want to give the transcription stuff a go over the holidays, please feel free – and you can email me with any queries / problems you come across.

I’m continuing to work on various things over the Christmas period including re-structuring the  web-site and putting together some arrangements, so hopefully once the transcriptions are complete we’ll have a dozen or so new tunes ready for us to use as and when, not to mention some Jon Halton stuff we haven’t really looked at, and a solid bank of past numbers which we can dip into over the next year.

Cheers Jem

Duke’s Suite  Ben
Cool Saints  Michael
Just another lazy day  David
Comedy for Saxophones  Matt
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Susie
Ja Da Jyra
Home on the Range  Andrea
Pasodoble Demento  Jas
I will Follow Him  Jackie

A little homework – take #2

Hi all,

As you know, we’re embarking on an initiative to each transcribe a piece of music for the band.

Most of the work can be done next term, but over the Christmas period I’d like everyone to have downloaded the software, and chosen a music title.

I’ll then work on setting out a template for each title and will send them out before the start of term.

Keeping things simple, this blog covers

1) How to download the software (Finale Notepad)

Click on the link below to view downloading instructions and an overview of the project.

A bit of Homework – take 2

2) the list of pieces you can choose from.

It’s first come first served, so get in quick if you like a particular title 🙂

Pieces to Transcribe

Blues for Saxophone Quartet

Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy

Cheek to Cheek

Chopin Favourites

Comedy for Saxophones

Cool Saints


Home on the Range

Just another lazy day

King Porter Stomp

Pasodoble Demento

Smiles and Chuckles


A little homework ….


As you already know, as a move to help keep our costs down, I purchased a suite of low-cost S-A-T-B sheet music arrangements earlier this year.  There’s some great promise in amongst these titles, but they to be ‘keyed-in’ to our notation program, Finale – so that we can provide everyone with nice neat copies, make corrections where necessary, transpose parts, make amendments etc. … as well as produce MIDI and MP3 files for you to listen to and to help with practising at home.

… and this is where you come in …  Thanks to everyone for ‘volunteering’, or at least not rising up in mutiny at the thought !

The Task

Whether you’re on the committee or not, I’m asking each and every member of the group to transcribe just one piece of music, from a list which I’ll provide soon.

If you get in quick, you get to choose the piece – if not, I’ll allocate you one from the stack 🙂

This isn’t a huge amount of work – it’ll probably take around 2 or 3 hours to complete even accounting for a learning curve. … and I’ll check over everyone’s work to correct any minor errors.

I’ll send out the basic materials over the Christmas break, and you’ll have the whole of the spring term to complete your piece.  That way you can fit it into to your quiet time as and when.

As a result, we’ll have 10 new arrangements ready for the summer term – plenty to keep us busy, and without overloading Jackie and myself – who usually do all of this work.

The good news

– You don’t need to buy anything.  The software we’ll use is free of charge

– You don’t need any special training, as you already know the basics (how to read music)

– I’ll give everyone a basic intro when we start back in the new year, and then support you individually as needed

– I’ll do all of the technical stuff, setting up a ‘template’ file for each piece

Not only will this initiative greatly help to move the group forward and show a level of involvement from the team, I’m also convinced most will learn some useful stuff from the exercise, and who knows – you may even enjoy it.

More news tomorrow, including the software link and some basic instructions.

Cheers Jem

Rehearsal 9th december 2013

Hi all,

Thanks to Andrea for reminding me … I promised to update part allocations for this evening.

Allocations 9 Dec 2013

Sorry for this being so late.  However, these are just confirmations of what you should already have.

The only change I know about is for Kyra playing A1 on Limehouse Blues … and I’ll bring that along with me.

If you need anything printing in a hurry – just send me an email ….

Cheers Jem

MSE Busking – 7th December – Take #2

Hi all,

Firstly, thanks to everyone for a really good turnout, and some lovely Christmas music.

All of the comments I heard were really positive, and it seems that we’re picking up our own little following in town !

… not to mention that Andrea was approached by a tall dark handsome stranger from Manx Radio who was most complimentary about our playing, and asked if we could get some / all of the group together to play for them.  I’m all for it, as it would be great for publicity … and in any event it’s a real endorsement of the musical menu we’ve put together.  We’ll hopefully hear more when they contact us.

Our busking session today raised a little over £182.  Not far short of our record of last week @ £225 (and that’s because last week featured Black Friday sales, and it was just after payday 🙂  Putting the two sessions together, we’ve earned a little over £400 so far.

So … £600 for our three busking slots isn’t out of reach … and that would make for a really good seasons busking !

Our final session is on Sunday 15th December at 11am meeting at Dealz as usual.  Pauline’s promised to bring hot choccie, and Sam will take photos, and maybe even take a little video of us playing.

See you on Monday for a not-so-normal but non-Christmas rehearsal session !

Cheers Jem