MSE at Balasalla School – Wed 7th May, 7pm ! – Rehearsal Mon. 5th May

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying your mini break over Easter … but obviously keeping up with Sax practice !

I’m in Paris at the mo’, but am hoping to get back in good time to get some playing in before we return to Eastcliffe.

I’ve just heard from Ballasalla School that their evening of music is definitely on, and were playing a prominent part in the proceedings.

We’re due to open the concert with around 15 minutes of music, and also close it out with say another 30.

We’ve only got one evening (Monday 5th May) to bring ourselves up to speed with our repertoire, so we need to put our all in, and make sure we have a full turn-out.

Here’s the Playlist for Balasalla ….

First Part ….

I Got Rhythm

Summertime (poss only 1 repeat)

Groovy Kind of Love

Wade in the Water

Second Part

Arabian Nights

Friend like Me

St. James Infirmary Blues

Little Brown Jug

Amazing Grace

Londonderry Air

Hit the Road Jack

Dress code will be smart – black lowers and white shirts (gents), with ladies wearing their blue tops.

Lastly, this is a formal notification that on Monday we’ll hold an AGM … don’t worry, it’s a 2 minute formality so we can sort out our banking arrangements.  We’ll hold a team meeting a couple of weeks afterwards.


Cheers Jem



Last Blog ever ….. for this week at least !

Hey everybody !

Sorry this post is a bit long – but I thought it best to get a bunch of things covered in one go, then we can all get on with our contributions to kick off the next term with a bang.   So here goes ….

Please read this all the way through. …. and if there’s stuff you need to do, please make sure it gets done !


Manx Passion : The last performance for MSE went down really well – even if the audience didn’t clap much ( I guess they were cold too ).  After battling the sea-wind on the field, the enclosed quad was a blessed relief, and the acoustics were brilliant.  Jan and crew were really appreciative, so another job well done everyone.

Ballasalla / Rehearsals : I’m still waiting to hear back from the headmistress on the details, but I expect us to make a contribution to their evening of music on Weds the 7th May.  There are no rehearsals on either Mon 21st or Mon 28th April.   This means that we’ll hold a single big rehearsal (only David will be away) on Monday the 5th May, then be ready to play 2 days later.

Balancing the Band : As you know, we’ve been tenor-light for quite a while now.  I’ve ordered a tenor sax for Michael to use, and expect it to arrive late May.  It’ll give us a bit of much-needed flexibility in our line-up.  @ Michael, can you please go ahead with getting yourself a mouthpiece before 6th May, as we may need you on tenor sooner rather than later, and in the meanwhile I can bring my tenor along for you to use in rehearsals etc.

New Term : Starts officially on 28th April so we’ll obviously start one week later.  Please make sure to bring your £25 subs on the 5th May.  @ Chris – this doesn’t apply to you.  Let’s see how the term goes and if at the end you’re feeling generous, then you can make a contribution later 🙂

Transcriptions : I need to receive your completed transcriptions by 5th May, to allow me to work on them for the start of the next term.   On my outstanding list are … Ben, Michael, Matt & Jas.  Susie is doing ‘Ja-Da’ on Kyras behalf – thanks.

Tynwald Day – I’ll make enquiries with the Tynwald team to check if we can play, but for the moment we can assume this is on.

Patrick Church – Friday July 18th – This is set to be our big concert of the summer !  On the run-up and until after TT, we’ll have to do without Kyra as she’s studying or some-such waste of time 🙂 … It’s an opportunity for everyone else to up their game a little, and keep the band productive and up-beat.  Please bear with us, and make sure you do your bit to keep the music fresh, and we’ll put on a great show.


There are a few outstanding actions from last term, including changes to bank stuff, concert opportunities to chase down, leaflets to print etc.  I’ll get in touch with the relevant folks separately, and we’ll have a team heads-up when we return next term.

Enjoy your Easter break, and we’ll meet again on the 5th !

Cheers Jem







Once more unto the breach ….. (King Bill’s Castletown)

Hi all,

The last glorious outing for our two Manx Passion tunes is tomorrow (Weds), at King William’s College  – play starts 6:30pm.

Our playing so far has been really good, and very well received, so no need for any more from me – I’ll just start counting and no doubt someone will start playing !

I’ve checked the BBC weather service – it looks like we’re in for light cloud and 10 degrees temp, but with 23/24 mph winds and straight off the sea!   In other words, a goodly supply of stout pegs, twigs, bungey cords or whatever is definitely called for.   … not to mention black woolly clothing, or if you prefer to be bloody freezing, sartorial elegance as exhibited by Michael and Chris.

Also – I’ll take the Gazebo down there just in case it looks like rain !

As last night, can you please be assembled and ready to tune at 6:15pm  – our first scene will be on the bank near to the chapel.   … and then we’ll move to play ‘Wade in’ inside the quad (which is only round the corner).

Finally, if anyone’s interested / around, the cast (that includes you) have been invited to an end-show celebratory tea / cakes at the Empress on Friday starting at 8:45pm.  I’ll be there, if for no other reason that I’ll be playing shortly beforehand at St. Anthony’s in Douglas.

Ballasalla – Important

Keep a weather eye out for rehearsal news.  Given that so many are off island on the 21st, I may choose to skip the rehearsal slot so that we can all take a much-needed break.  However, I’m in France on the 28th, so we’ll miss that rehearsal too and that puts a lot of pressure on the final rehearsal on the 5th – with our slot at Ballasalla slated for Wednesday 7th.

Let’s grab 10 minutes tomorrow before we rush off, to agree the details.

I’ll confirm details with the school, but I’m planning for us to do really easy stuff (including the 2 Manx Passion tunes), so we can put it all together rather at the last minute 🙂

Cheers Jem


We were there …. at Rushen Abbey, Sunday 13-4-14

Sorry no Susie – Will correct in another photo !

DJ approach from Chris sets a nice tone though 🙂

Cheers JemMSE at Manx Passion - Rushen Abbey 13-4-2014

Manx Passion Plays – 6:30pm – Monday 14th, Mooragh Park, Ramsey

Hi all,

Firstly, thanks for your efforts yesterday – It was the time I’ve ever played standing on a narrow grass bank !  Our stuff was very well received, and apparently we could be heard clearly by the audience, so the location was pretty good for us too.  Apart from some very minor timing issues in “Hit the road jack”, it was a perfect performance, so a good job all round.

At Mooragh Park tonight, we’re playing in the bandstand by the café, so we’re under cover.

I’ve checked the weather reports, and all looks fine so far – but bearing in mind that we’re wandering into evening territory and it tends to get nippy (see below **), let’s wear black lowers and tops.  I’ll personally be sporting a black fleece so that I can keep a steady hand.

If you can, please make sure you’re at the bandstand, set up and ready to tune at 6:15pm latest, because we can’t tune up once the performance is under way.

Looking forward to it …..

Cheers Jem


** – Yesterday’s full performance of all three acts turned out to be a bit of a stamina / survival trial.  It ran on until just after 7pm, a total of 5+ hours !  By that time, the sun had disappeared, the wind picked up, and I thought we were in danger of losing the half-naked Christ on the Cross for real !  Certainly the St. John’s ambulance guys were on red alert, and indeed a couple of members of the choir had to quit temporarily to recover sense ‘n feeling.

Ballasalla School Mini-Concert – Wed 7th May

Hi all,

As you’ll probably know, we’ve agreed to run a concert with Ballasalla School in May, and they’ve given us Wed the 7th.

It’s our last concert before our showing in Patrick in July, and I don’t want to let them down.

I have some alarm bells ringing on this one, as I’m away on Mon 28th April (working in France) and the next Monday (5th May) is a bank holiday.

That ostensibly leaves us with just the 21st to have a rehearsal – then two weeks without a rehearsal before the concert night.  Not ideal !

I therefore urgently need to get your feedback on …

1) The date itself – Are you ok for the evening of Wednesday 7th May in Ballasalla ?

2) Are you able to make a rehearsal on Monday May 5th, even though it’s a holiday ?

Cheers Jem

Manx Passion Play – Sunday 13th April

Hi all,

Huge erratum, (with apologies).


The venue for Sunday’s performance is Rushen Abbey, not Castle Rushen as I stated previously.


See you all at the Abbey !

Cheers Jem