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Music, live and online

Having been misled by the main music venues in Manchester and Stockport once too often, I now meet my musical needs with smaller venues and trusted organisers. Below are some interesting musical sources in the Stockport area, and then some sources of music for computer download.

If you are a music maker or a small music venue (a church for example) within a bus journey from Stockport, and would like your music listed below, please let me know. For the present this offer is limited to instrumental music- from solo to orchestral, with no vocals and no heavy drums.
If any church organists within bus range of Stockport would like their church organs recorded, CD quality, free of charge, please contact me. Too many organs are collapsing and being abandoned, completely unrecorded. Free recording of other instrumentalists may be possible (up to 24 bit recording, 32 bit editing - my microphone has a 20kHz limit).
contact me

Diary listing Select this link: Music in the next week or so in date order summary, in the Stockport and Manchester area.
Alas, now all too little music as everyone is adding vocals. If anyone knows of local music -no singing- please let me know!


Chethams School of Music near to Manchester Cathedral has regular lunch time recitals by its pupils at 1.30pm (NOTE: No admission to school grounds. Entry to the Carole Nash Hall by its own dedicated door opposite the main Victoria Station exit on Victoria Approach after about 1.15pm), in term time only, so not in July or August - in the Carole Nash Hall (take a foot stool the chairs are very high). See Chethams What's On. (Check on 0161 834 9644 to see if there is a concert on a particular day. The college will not have concerts during or near term and mid-term breaks nor during examinations).[Chetham's web site refuses to serve web pages to proxy servers, which may bar some systems which (possibly without your knowledge) insist on it.]

Actually listening to what we call a "fairground organ" - which includes "concert organs", "dance organs" and other automated pipe organs, is not easy. Listening to a lot of fair organs is really hard (unless you live near one of the huge organ rallies). Buying good quality recordings is difficult and a lot of online videos have a lot of crowd or wind noise. A solution: Visit Tom Gavioli's youtube channel- he also has additional music on other streaming services. Great organs, superb recordings from several decades. Many of the organs have fascinating histories and are worth researching.

Manchester still has a once fine but now sadly needing serious restoration Cavaille-Coll Organ which few locals know about.

At St Anns Church, St Anns Square, in central Manchester there has been a long running series of Tuesday lunchtime organ recitals at 1pm. The lunchtime recitals are sometimes listed on their website. St Anns Church also has occaisonal term time Saturday lunchtime piano recitals by RNCM students. RNCM piano playing tends to the heavily dynamic style reflecting the much heavier mechanism of modern pianos.

Stockport Brass (formerly BT Band, formerly POEU Band) - alas the loss of sponsorship at last led to the demise of this historic band in early 2009.

Brass Band music - we love- Buxton bandstand concerts usually run from March or Easter to September and Marple concerts from June to September

We are very fond of brass band music, and after some heavy immersion have decided we really prefer the bands in the fourth section to the Championship bands, who are too loud for us. But catching a section four band is difficult as they tend to play rarely and in small venues. Try the weekly Summer concerts from about Easter 2017 at the Buxton bandstand in the Gardens by the pavilion with brass concerts on most fine Sundays from late March to mid September (Mondays instead if a bank holiday), 2pm-4pm subject to last minute cancelation but they're free. Return to Stockport by train or 199 bus- the bus leaves Buxton at about 4pm and then 5.20pm. The spring on The Crescent dispenses free Buxton Mineral Water- the spring is under the building across the road - the same water the shops sell (but don't keep any self-filled bottles more than a few days - your bottles probably won't be bacteria free and fully sealed).

The Ring of Bells in Marple often has Summer Sunday brass concerts from 3pm, but the small outdoor area is usually fully occupied by diners (they eat late in Marple) and unless it is raining you will probably have to stand somewhere.

Stockport Symphony Orchestra - their web site is not accessible to the visually impaired (up there with the worst of the web sites!) so this link will lead to my own web page.

Brass Band news is available from 4 Bars Rest | IBEW directory of UK brass bands.
Brass Band contest results excludes Whit Friday results from Tameside results 2005-2016. On the Northern side, Saddleworth Whit. Don't miss next Whit Friday, 9th June 2017.

There is a fine (but incomplete) inventory of organs to be found at National Pipe Organ Register- note that their website requires javascript to work.


Online Music

An interesting site, Unheard Beethoven has mp3 and midi format files of music you probably haven't heard.
MID music files are disappearing! But try Classical Composers Midi which is now moving to mp3 files.

Births and deaths of UK musicians at Music Remembrance || Listen to and watch the original Al Jolson.  

Listen to...

COPYRIGHT- To the best of my knowledge all links below are to legitimate sources who pay appropriate royalties - in at least one case, music is happily supplied to the station by the performers, directly. Any copyright disputes? I will remove any links if requested by an authorised and recognised party (proof of identity and status required).

Lots of early British light music to download, especially Music While You Work from Masters of Melody - if their page looks blank, either disable css or enable graphics, their page requires one of these options!

To download old radio (OTR) MP3s, visit Old Radio World.
With a massive number of really old radio shows, RadioEchoes.com- new temporary 2017 url, any older links will fail. *Requires javascript* After a long absence due to hackers the site is being rebuilt.
I found a wonderful archive of old shows from Californian radio station kpfa - kpfa history courtesy of John Whiting. Some really excellent programs, drama, music, poetry, lots, and the quality is way up there with the classical BBC radio.

Online radio listening- I find myself using Internet Radio quite a lot for their classical, Indian and Chinese music - they also do lots of modern music styles.
A useful source of UK radio feeds is Radiofeeds. Many channels may not be available outside the UK.
From Listenlive.eu, European radio stations.
My niche interests in music has led me to some little known stations and you may wish to try these out (links are to their web sites, the streams or downloads can be found somewhere on the page!):
Streaming classical organ music is a little rarer but I like to listen to Positively Baroque (lovely but requires javascript to select the required stream) or a different program on OrganLive.

Older music - from the 1960's: Gold returned to several regional DAB transmitters, as well as medium wave and online. You can find them through the above link to RadioFeeds- search for Gold. They also have Absolute 60s.

Solid Gold Gem with origins in 1988 has a web stream but hides it well! Try this link: Solid Gold Gem wmp pls (192 kbs).
Angel Radio .pls Nostalgia with Music While You Work on Friday lunchtime.....

Ronald Frost Ronald Frost 1933 - 2015. On 1st October 2015. Canon Ronald Frost.
Director of Music at the Manchester City Centre Church of St. Ann from 1978.
I have been listening to Mr Frost's organ music for some decades, most of them at St Anns Church, Manchester, where he gave over 1100 lunchtime recitals.
I recorded much of his music- sometimes at my request and sometimes at his request, and here in his memory is a short (three minute) sample of his 1965 Passacaglia in E Flat (mp3).
The recording is from his last recital at St Anns on 28/7/2015. Ron will be much missed.


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