All posts by Simon Thomas

SDMC plans for Spring term

Dear Parents/Carers and Music Centre members

Firstly, many congratulations to all our young players and singers who took part in the online sessions last term and who submitted clips for the Virtual Christmas Celebration. I realise that for many it was a new experience to make a recording in the kitchen or bedroom and then to send it to us, but the hard work was rewarded as we all saw in the final ‘performance’. We had many emails to say how much the concert had been enjoyed and appreciated!

The Music Team have been busy this week in planning even more exciting activities for this term since we’ll be continuing Tuesday and Friday sessions on line again. For example, there’ll be some sessions where two groups ‘meet’ together occasionally; some instrument-specific sessions for the older players; some sessions where we ‘meet’ with singers or players from other parts of the country (including Cornwall); and a Spring Music Competition which will include opportunities for duets, trios etc. We also want to give some of the older singers and players the chance to stay after their session for 15 minutes or so, if they wish, to chat with their friends in a breakout room (a ‘virtual tuck shop’!). As the term progresses, we’ll give you more information about each of these plans (and more). But for now, please note that we start music centre for the Spring Term next week (Tuesday 12th and Friday 15th) at the same times as before:

5.30pm – Junior Voices
6.00pm – FBB
6.05pm – Junior Band
6.10pm – Club Band
6.40pm – Youth Choir

6.30pm – Senior and Intermediate Combined Band

If you joined us last term, you will be automatically sent the Zoom links. If you didn’t join us last term, why not give it a go and email Helen ( to register for the Zoom link? We hope that you’ll join with us in building on the very good achievements of last term. And in addition, it would be really helpful if SDMC members could encourage others who didn’t take part last term to at least ‘give it a try’!

On behalf of all the SDMC Music Team, we wish you a Safe and Happy New Year!  

Philip King Head of Music Centre  
Please direct all replies to

Christmas Raffle Winners

Thank you to all who have supported our virtual Christmas Raffle

and to those who generously provided the prizes.


The winners are …

1st Prize£50 Amazon voucher(53) India Bowman  
2nd Prize£30 Masseys DIY Store voucher  (98) Lynda Conlin
3rd Prize£20 Masseys DIY Store voucher  (805) Sarah Spencer
4th Prize£15 M&S voucher  (679) Brenda Sumner
5th Prize£15 M&S voucher  (751) Mr Worth
6th Prize2 tickets for Christmas Cracker 2021  (442) Tom Mills

SDMC Christmas Fundraising Raffle

Get your raffle tickets now to support South Derbyshire Music Centre!

Just £1 per number

Email Helen ( with the name or names of the people you’d like assigned to the numbers and she will let you know how to pay for tickets.

Then sit back and relax until we draw it on 20th December


1st Prize: £50 Amazon voucher   

2nd Prize: £30 Masseys DIY Store voucher           

3rd Prize: £20 Masseys DIY Store voucher           

4th Prize: £15 M+S voucher

5th Prize: £15 M+S voucher

6th Prize: 2 tickets for Christmas Cracker 2021

Making Zoom sessions better for you

We’re all getting more used to joining meetings on line or making short recordings etc. We know it might seem strange at first when you record yourself playing or singing, but once you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ll realise how easy it is.

We’ve prepared a very short video clip to help anyone who hasn’t yet tried to record themselves.  Have a listen and try it for yourself:

Its really easy to record a video whilst playing along to a click track – Josh Pope explains how.


Nobody will be able to hear you as an individual on the video which we produce: you’ll be part of your usual ensemble.

So – let’s have everyone taking part this Christmas, and enjoy being part of it

Subs:  The subs for this half-term will be £2 a week which will help towards costs.  These are payable half-termly as usual.  [A number of members have over-payments from last term, but we would prefer to sort out these when we return to ‘normal’.  For the moment, it would be helpful for everyone to pay £12 for this half-term please].

Safeguarding:  The SDMC Virtual Meeting Policy is on page 25 in the SDMC Handbook of Policies (on the Information Page)

| Virtual Summer School


All members of South Derbyshire Music Centre have been invited to take part in a Free Virtual Music Summer School being run by the Cornwall Music Service Trust.

Click on the image above to be taken straight to the page, then follow the online instructions

The course is open to anyone from Grade 1 and above, its an amazing opportunity to enhance your music skills and have fun at the same time.

Closing Date for entries: Thursday June 30th

Our thanks to Samantha Pope for arranging this amazing oportunity

| SDMC 200 Club Winners

Winners March 2021

1st prize of £50 – Paula Davis

2nd prize of £10 – Madeline Budworth

3rd prize of £10 – Chloe Liddle

4th prize of £10 – Hannah Kimber

5th prize of £10 – Matt Pope

6th prize of £10 – Rachel Liddle

Thank you ALL for your support

| Amazon Smile

Click ->> here <<- to find out how you too can support SDMC (South Derbyshire Music Trust) during these extraordinary times) Stay safe! Have fun shopping on line.

Try these 2 easy ways to start with a smile. Learn about AmazonSmile

1. Create a bookmark
Drag this box to your bookmarks or favourites bar to create a shortcut to

2. Install the Amazon Assistant
Get easy access to Product Comparisons, Deal of the Day, and time-saving shortcuts, which all link to Learn more

SDMC News and Concerts

For the foreseeable future, it’s not possible to hold any face-to-face rehearsals or concerts.  However, two things are really important for all of our SDMC members:

1 – To continue having instrumental lessons (on-line if necessary) so that you don’t lose the many skills you’ve already learned.

2 – To join in with the on-line weekly zoom sessions which are planned by the music team.  This is also a great time for you to catch-up with your friends.

If you do both of these things, you’ll be well-prepared for when we can eventually re-open music centre and have our practices and concerts.

The following is a list of our tutors in music centre who are very willing to give you on-line lessons, either regularly or occasionally, if you’re not able to access lessons from your usual teacher. They can also support you with your theory work.

Contact details are:

Matt Pope (Brass):

Samantha Pope: (Brass & Theory)

Peter Glenville: (Clarinet & Theory)

Clair Thompson: (Flute, Saxophone & Theory)

Nick Parrans-Smith (Brass)

Becca Pope: (Brass + some woodwind)

COVID19 – ALL SDMC Rehearsals and Concerts suspended until further notice

An Important Message to ALL SDMC Members and Families

It has become increasingly clear that sadly we need to suspend all music centre activities (rehearsals and concerts) for the time-being. We know that making music each week is a key part of all our lives, but we have to ensure the safety and welfare of all SDMC members, parent-helpers or staff. Although we will not be meeting in our various ensembles, this won’t prevent everyone from practising at home!

Simon Thomas (Chair of Trustees)
Matt Pope (Head of Band Development)
Philip King (Head of Centre)

We’ll be in touch again soon, but meanwhile – stay safe!!

Simon Thomas Chair of South Derbyshire Music Trust
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