Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Cooden Chamber Orchestra Serenades Battle Muffins Club At Frewen College Northiam

What a wonderful evening we enjoyed at Frewen College in Northiam on Saturday 13th August! We played our first 45 minute set outdoors facing the splendid gardens (anyone for croquet?) on the paving in front of the drawing room - Battle Muffins Club guests lingered by the garden door to listen. We played some of this summer's really popular numbers including Musket Fife & Drum, My Life, and Rutland Rag. It was so serene playing amongst magnolias and beneath the intricately patterned Tudor style chimneys!

Then it was time to move indoors for a most excellent four course dinner by the Frewen College catering team. We were bowled over by the scrumptious dishes and wowed by the cheese board! Definitely our best gig this year :)

After this elegant fayre we moved our music indoors to the sumptious Drawing Room and became Cooden Chamber Orchestra! For this second set we played our finest after dinner numbers to encourage conversation - many numbers from the 1940's. Our most popular number of this set was The Way You Look Tonight - I felt the music reached new heights!

Conductor Louise Woodcock performed three jazz pieces on tenor sax - I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, Summertime, and Mellow Mouthful. We ended the evening's performance with an excerpt from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, The Beatles' Yesterday, and toe tapper Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue. Money was raised for Help The Heroes and the scholarship fund for Frewen College, Northiam.

The magnificent Drawing Room at Frewen College, Northiam, has a glorious full chandelier, wall panelling, many austere family portraits, a family Sedan chair, and the most fabulous plaster work ceiling full of surprises from birds to gargoyles! A delightful setting for Cooden Chamber Orchestra! Here you can see baritone saxophonist Frank Weeks beside the sedan chair. Of course we always dress smartly!

Frewen College, Northiam, is a day and boarding school for children aged 8-16 with specific learning difficulties dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia offering a 1 to 6 teacher pupil ratio and fine facilities for outdoor pursuits: there is a big swimming pool in the beautiful gardens and there is a further 100 acres of parkland. The school is a charity run by an independent educational trust.

Battle Muffins Club, along with Hastings Muffin Club which dates from 1954, is a group of benevolent local businessmen who meet for dinner (with a guest speaker) once a month to raise financial aid for local charitable causes which do not benefit from national funding.

Book Cooden Chamber Orchestra for YOUR next dinner event - we can provide a beautiful range of easy listening and background music from 1920's toe tappers to 1940's lush ballads, from light classics to popular songs. We aim to work with you to perform the most suitable music selection to top off your entertainment. Please contact Paul Higgins for more information.


  1. Many thanks to everyone for a splendid evening in full dress! I had so much fun!

    Scroll down the blog to watch Dave's latest videos of our De La Warr pieces, and don't forget to learn your Scale of the Week - we may even start playing these in band practice so watch out!!

  2. Lou, thanks for all this - you are a star (despite having a strange liking for "poem valse" and "the dead duckling" !).
    Glad you managed to keep up with us at Frewen and didn't have to resort to the Yellow Flag ! I'm repairing a red one - so you will be able to fully semaphore instructions to the back row if necessary in future.

  3. I can do the semaphore with my feet whilst lounging on a chaise-longue enjoying a long cool tequila + lime, and reading "Modern Jazz - a Study in Swing" by Bartholomew Sidebotham (Oxford Uni Press).. the baton can be burned unceremoniously at the stove..

    I shall be dragging Dr Who screaming and kicking from the band music tombs for a short innings week after next..The duckling stays under for the time being - may be released some time in late 2012...

    Brian - you're awfully nice, thanks (although I wish you'd play my Scale of the Week)..

    I'm looking forward the release of our raw edge band CD - woop woop!!!

    The band may be springing a little leek and going Welsh in October - early warning ;)

  4. Frank looks so elegant and dashing in the photo at Frewen, next to his new vehicle - nice set of wheels Frank !

  5. What happened in the end about your van, Paul and your keys? I wonder. I do like a happy ending.

  6. I feel more relax with these kind of music.

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