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Registered Charity No. 291319


The South West Early Music Forum (SWEMF) is a charitable organisation promoting all aspects of early music in the South West of England. SWEMF brings together amateur and professional musicians, musicologists, teachers and pupils, instrument makers, and early music enthusiasts. The SWEMF region includes Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. The constitution can be found here.

Throughout the year a series of workshops and playing and singing days are organised within the region where members have the opportunity to study works under the guidance of early music specialist tutors. These activities include Baroque chamber music playing days, singing days focusing on particular composers or periods, and workshops preparing larger scale works for both voices and instruments etc.

An Annual General Meeting is held each summer. This provides an opportunity for members to voice their views and suggestions on the future operations of the Forum.

Members receive a quarterly Diary of Events announcing future activities of SWEMF, and other EM Fora, and also concerts and other events both within the region and elsewhere. Application forms for forthcoming SWEMF events are included in the Diary of Events mailing and are also available on the website.

Subscriptions are due annually on 1st April. Membership forms can be printed from the website. For details click here.

A Membership List (which can be downloaded here - password required) gives information concerning members' particular interests, instruments played, voices sung etc. so that they may arrange joint activities outside those organised directly by SWEMF - it is not to be used for any other purpose.

SWEMF is one of ten regional Fora, which cover most areas of the UK, and are affiliated to the National Early Music Association, NEMA.

Latest News

From Lindsey Shaw-Miller, Diary Editor

We are seeking a new secretary to replace Madeline Hayward, who will be standing down at the 2018 AGM after 10 years of exceptional service to SWEMF. The role involves preparing agendas and minutes for committee meetings (2 per year) and the AGM, acting as our liaison with the Charity Commissioners and ensuring that we keep in line with our Constitution; Madeline will be happy to give more details to anyone who may be interested in taking on the rôle.

We have a new Devon area representative, Becky Stannard, whose details are given in the list of officers here. Do contact her if you are a Devon member and have any concerns you wish to raise, or ideas for workshops or other events. We are still seeking an area rep for Gloucestershire, and one more committee member. These can, of course overlap. Please do come forward and speak to Clare Griffel if you are interested, or would just like to discuss the rôle. Contact details of all committee members are at here, and any of us would be pleased to discuss what is involved.

I have included in the reports section a short piece by Peter Harrison on Branwell Brontë’s flute book which, although referring to a later period than our specialism normally covers, is of interest for its musical archaeology. There is a link to some of the pieces being played. Peter Harrison is an early music specialist.

For anyone kind enough to be looking out for my piece on authenticity, from the point of view of art history, I have written it, but am saving it up for the new year. There is too much else to think about in December!

I hope you will be pleased with the rich and varied programme of workshops coming up in 2018, even into 2019. We really are very lucky in the south west to have so many enthusiastic members, good organizers and excellent musicians, as well as access to some first-class tutors.

- Lindsey

Edward Burne-Jones and John Henry Dearle, The Adoration of the Magi, 1890 tapestry, originally commissioned for Exeter College, Oxford.
This version made 1904. Paris, Musée d’Orsay.

From Clare Griffel, Chair

News this time of an interesting and useful development on the SWEMF website. It is some time since the last hard-copy Membership List was issued, and it is now quite out-of-date. However, thanks to the efforts of membership secretary Fenella and webmaster Sara, we now have a full membership list on the website, including addresses and details of each member’s musical interests. This is to be found in a members-only area of the site which Sara has created. It is protected by password and accessible only via login details which you’ll be sent with each issue of the Diary. The link to the list is in the last paragraph of the ‘Introduction’ section above, before ‘Latest News’. If you click on this link you will then need to enter the username and password supplied, to view the file.

The list itself is saved as a pdf. The advantage of this is that it should (depending on your settings) open directly in your web browser, but it can also be downloaded if required. You can search (e.g. for a surname) by using the ‘Find’ function in your web browser (usually Ctrl-F if you're using Windows). However, please do remember the laws governing data protection and do not use the list for any other purpose than personal reference.

We hope that this will be helpful if, for example, you’d like to find people in your area who might share transport to workshops, or if you’re looking for someone in your part of the world who plays a particular instrument. Do let us know what you think about this development.

As soon as you get your 2018 diary, please earmark Saturday June 9th – that’s the date booked for the SWEMF AGM workshop, which will be taking place in Backwell this time. We have invited Ali Kinder to make a return visit after the very successful day which she directed in Thornbury last summer— more details of the repertoire in a future issue of the Diary.

By the time this reaches you, we shall be well into the rather frantic Christmas concert season, which seems, like the decorations in the shops, to be spreading ever further into November. Whatever your Christmas musicmaking, whether it’s ‘Messiah’ with a baroque band and a countertenor doing the alto solos (not that I’m bitter!), or carols in the parish church, or indeed both of the above, I hope it goes well. I wish you all a very happy festive season and a 2018 filled with enjoyable music-making.

- Clare

This site is maintained by Sara Scorey. Please send any comments or suggestions for improvements to webeditor@swemf.org.uk. Suggestions for additional links are particularly welcome.

SWEMF Home Page | SWEMF Events | Other Early Music Events in the South West | National and International EM Events
Reviews and Reports | Items for Sale and Wanted | Players Wanted and Playing Opportunities Sought | Information for Organising SWEMF Workshops
Links to other Early Music Fora | Other Early Music Links | Officers and Representatives | How to join

Last modified: 13 February 2018