Welcome to Kerry and Patricia Milan's web site, ARDROSS HOUSE
|January 2024 - still celebrating the lovely recording by Jamie MacDougall
of my "A
Voice of Music" songs written way back, in 1963 - but now sadder news, this time taking
me back to 1964 when I moved south from Glasgow and began working for Staffordshire County
Council Music Department, where one of my colleagues was the brilliant pianist Leon Coates
who has just died following a fall, up in Edinburgh, where he and his wife Heather have
lived so much of their later lives (marrying in 1976), they moving in the opposite
direction! Leon's photo and other information has already appeared on this site, now on
(Previous Photographs) ) page; but one more wee reflection,
going right back to November 1952, when the fifteen-year-old Leon broadcast one of his own
compositions from a BBC Birmingham studio!
December 14th - celebrating a splendid new recording by the acclaimed Scottish tenor Jamie MacDougall ( See Photo Gallery ) of "A Voice of Music"three short songs not heard for sixty years and now available here for all the world!
During June 1963 I was in my final year at the RSAMD (The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now known as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).and the three songs were part of an end-of-session concert of student compositions, on June 21st in the Stevenson Hall, in Glasgow.
Married a year later, teaching and bringing up a family, left no time for composing, up to when I retired, and it was only during the Covid Lockdown in 2020 that I came across the manuscript again, bringing back so many distant memories.
I was so grateful then to fellow student Roger Crook and pianist Anne Strachan for their first performance, and I'm very grateful now to Jamie MacDougall and Scott Mitchell for this second outing, recorded at the RCS by Bob Whitney, which I can now share with you here.
- and going back to the start of the year: celebrating a new Horn
Trio: A Rapture Suite -
The horn trio A Rapture Suite was written in the summer of 2019; but it draws its name, and inspiration, from the Rapture Song Cycle for female voice and pianoforte published in 2016, which comprises settings of 20 of the 52 poems that make up Carol Ann Duffys award-winning collection Rapture, winner of the 2005 T.S. Elliot Prize - referred to immediately below this section.
Full details of the Rapture Suite horn trio, and the horn trio ensemble generally, can be found on the accompanying pages under the Horn Trio Link complete with sound clips, technical details and background notes, including some German translation, courtesy of Bärbel Herrmannspahn
CDs of the Glasgow recording are now available on the tutti.co.uk website, as also are downloads, in two parts, matching the two books of the printed music which are published under the Ardross House label, each with settings of ten of the poems.
These are all now available from the classical music site tutti.co.uk, - a brilliant site dedicated to classical music. It is also possible to obtain individual sheet-music downloads of each of the twenty settings and in addition the opening bars of each setting can be viewed, along with the matching sound file.
The book of Carol Ann Duffy's poems is published by Picador, and is readily obtainable from all good bookshops and on-line. Comprising fifty two poems the collection is a book-length love poem, and 'a moving act of personal testimony .... These are poems that will find deep rhymes in the experience of most readers and will, ultimately, prove that poetry can and should speak to us all.'
The poems have a feel that is both universal and contemporary, and the musical settings aim above all to reflect the author's own refusal to 'simplify the contradictions and transformations of love - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief.' The musical language, with its background of serial technique, hopefully succeeds in being both contemporary and at the same time reasonably accessible.
Further details on the choice of poems, and on the background to writing the song cycle, including the tone rows, can be found on the accompanying page:
and there are two further pages, celebrating the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland recording and the work's première three weeks later in Stafford:
- following Yvonne Howard's superb performance at Opera Holland Park in Cilea's L'Arlesiana, I thought I ought finally put on to Youtube the video of Yvonne, with Alice Dix and Edward Robinson, singing the Metropole encore which followed the première of the Rapture Song Cycle, featured below, with Roy Wightman accompanying. The concert, sponsored by FOSYM, the Friends of Staffordshire Young Musicians, was recorded by Alan Hames. Sorry it has taken so long!
And now, back to somewhat earlier music ....
All of the tracks from the Sonnets' CD "How do
I love thee? ..." are now available for download. The CD was originally
released to coincide with Opera North's "Festival of Britten" season, with
which Yvonne Howard was then touring. The accompanist is again the brilliant Scott
Also visit the Pippa Passes pages for details of how to quickly and safely buy its five tracks, again courtesy of the fine contemporary classical music site tutti.co.uk - details <<below>>
The splendid Ars Brunensis recording of "Completus" is also now available as track downloads - again, information <<below>>
Finally, the four tracks of the "Affinities" Violin and Piano sonata are likewise now available as downloads - the relevant links are again given <<below>>
In addition, we are delighted to announce that all four of the works featured in the 2013 Stafford Festival concert are now available to view in high definition on the vimeo channel:
|On CD and downloads
- recorded at the Royal Northern College of Music,
Manchester by Stephen Guy on July 20th 2013. <<CD and Downloads at a click>>
How do I love thee? ...
A new site has been set up to cover the Sonnets settings. As well as the story behind the Sonnets and a commentary to accompany the full text of the sixteen selected sonnets there are also details of the beautiful première peformance by Yvonne Howard and Roy Wightman at Stafford in May 2013.
|In addition there is information about the new audio recording that Yvonne
Howard has made with the distinguished Scottish pianist and accompanist Scott
Mitchell. The sonnets were recorded on July 20th 2013 in the splendid acoustics
of the Royal Northern College of Music concert hall. The CD and audio downloads are
now available.. Please do visit this splendid new site
<<HOW DO I LOVE THEE? >>
And going backwards .........................
AND AN APOLOGY
BUT: January 2020, the George and
the Dragon and Helen Ahoy! sites below now do have mp3 files!
ALSO: we are no longer selling the CDs on Amazon, which did not handle enquiries from outside Europe. Please use Tutti instead which distributes throughout the world. Thank you.
Sample pages from the score to the new string quartet "Echoes" are now up on-site. I hope the 'quartettists' among you find it interesting. Score and parts are available to download from tutti.co.uk
As mentioned above, the Alard Quartet's fine peformance of the work at St Mary's Stafford, as part of the 2013 Music Festival concert, is freely available to view on the vimeo channel.
Here now are the last few minutes of this recording as an mp3 file:
The premiere was at Shugborough on June 24th 2012. Here are some interesting background notes on how the music aims to satisfy the rather unusual brief - but in the end, though, hopefully it's just a good piece, both to play and to listen to! I could not have wished for a better first peformance than that given by the Alard quartet, pictured below. Thank you Nigel for some dazzling playing!
The Alard Quartet at Shugborough, June 24th
Please visit the Pippa Passes site for more information about this haunting work, the performers and the recording.
Pippa Passes site
where instant track downloads are now available
- from March 2010: - coaxed out of retirement to join a Staffordshire Performing Arts quartet, giving eleven end-of-term concerts to local schools. And some quartet: Jane Olphin flute, Sandra Jones clarinet, KM on violin and viola and Dave Cunningham trombone.
And what a privilege - The Coppice Special School has children from 11 to 18, and how important music is to these youngsters. We clearly hit the right note, and each of us was presented with a Merit Award for a "fantastic concert".
On a lighter note - listen to a track from the 1971 vinyl recording we have just transferred to CD - the harpsichordist is John Pattinson.
One of our COMPLETUS Compline settings "Look Down O Lord / Be Present O Merciful God" has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This was on November 4th 2008 and the music was selected and introduced by the incomparable Rob Cowan.
Jamie MacDougall - acclaimed Scottish tenor
|.. and coming Soon??!
The splendid Scottish horn trio who will hopefully still be recording A Rapture Suite at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow when the horrors of Covid 19 are finally safely behind us!:
Scott Mitchell, well known on this site,
having been pianist for the two Yvonne Howard song cycles
What makes this all so very special is that before going to the Royal Scottish Academy (now the Conservatoire) I studied from the age of eleven with Jean Rennie, leader of the then Scottish National Orchestra (now RSNO) and each week with my father attended their concerts in the St Andrew's Hall, near Charing Cross.
Talking of Archives ..... here's a bit of fun!
This 1971 vinyl record has just been transferred to audio CD.
Here is one of the tracks from side two, which also includes the Delius Serenade from Hassan, a couple of Handel movements and the Fiocco Allegro!
The recording dates from 1971 and was made for an educational project at Madeley Teacher Training College in Staffordshire, where <<John Pattinson >> was a lecturer and where I was one of several visiting instrumental staff.
For 18 years from 1988 John was conductor of the <<Jubilate Singers>> in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was John who accompanied my Berg Violin Concerto recital at Madeley and also played it for my FTCL diploma examination in 1969. It was John's Janus Ensemble that I lead for several years in the 1970s.
The Bluebells of Scotland is in an arrangement by William Honeyman (1845-1919): <<The Bluebells of Scotland >>
|MAKING THE MUSIC MENTIONED ON OUR SITE
AVAILABLE THROUGH THE INTERNET
our works - scores and audio CDs - can now be ordered from tutti.co.uk, - a brilliant site dedicated to classical music which can be
accessed quickly and with complete confidence.
Audio CDs: The "Completus" Compline Settings with Ars
Sheet Music: The
"Completus" Compline Settings
All these works can be studied in detail via the links on this page.
addition, a new facility is being provided whereby sheet music can be downloaded directly
from the tutti site. This is perhaps not appropriate for a long work, but for
shorter works it may be very beneficial and so four of the songs demonstrated on our site
are being uploaded. Hopefully this will prove easy and convenient to use. All
being well, more works will be included presently.
Note: from the <<tutti.co.uk>> site simply select DOWNLOADS - NOW OPERATIONAL
VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL SITES (non-educational)
is a substantial work for double SATB choir lasting over 35 minutes and comprising
six movements, the texts for which are all drawn from or connected with the service of
Compline. A performing edition of the whole piece is now available, together with a
dedicated web-site where sample pages of each setting can be accessed.
A beautiful recording by the
|Of the six
movements, three are set for double SATB chorus while the Nunc Dimittis (movement II) and
movements IV and V are essentially SATB.
The opening movement is "Qui Habitat" (psalm 91/XC). The third movement is a setting of "Keep me as the apple of an eye" with "Lighten our Darkness" with the last movement an eight part setting of O Radiant Light - which is an English translation of the Latin text used by John Taverner in the late 1520s for his votive antiphon O Splendor Gloriae.
The third movement has also been scored optionally with trombone quartet (ATTB).
<< visit the COMPLETUS site >> - now with instant downloads available
The work has been recorded by the
breathtakingly beautiful Czech choir, Ars Brunensis, under their conductor Dan Kalousek.
- April 2007 - I have just heard the
pre-master disc - to quote Andrew Downes the choir is simply "superb"!
for where individual track downloads are also now available
|VIOLIN SONATA in A minor "Affinities"
for Violin and Piano
This is a substantial work at some 28 minutes, and should be a welcome addition to today's repertoire.
For both players the parts lie well, but the work is not without challenges, not the least of them rhythmical. It is a very satisfying and rewarding work - the whole work having been conceived as an emotional journey, from the violinist's first anguished cry to the last movement's idyllic happy ending.
Eight sample score pages are now included in a pdf document. You may also be interested in the notes that accompany the printed score. Just click to follow the links:
"I am thoroughly enjoying playing it .... the whole sonata is really elegant and happy and characteristic of the composer" !!
- a dear colleague who shall remain anonymous!
Audio downloads available for purchase from tutti.co.uk - just follow the link!
- violinist Jane Faulkner and pianist Timothy Ravenscroft. The recordings were made by the highly respected Michael Ponder in the splendid setting of All Saints, East Finchley.
These are virtuoso performances.
"Pippa Passes - five songs of Asolo"
- for Mezzo Soprano and Piano Trio
The words are by Robert Browning, from his poem Pippa Passes, first published in 1841.
The work was recorded in July 2011 by the brilliant mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard and the English Piano Trio.
"Your lovely settings of Robert Browning truly do justice to this beautiful poetry" A.D.
Dedicated "Pippa" pages give details of the work and of the recording:
|The scores and parts for both
"Pippa Passes - five songs of Asolo" and also the Violin/Piano Sonata
"Affinities" are available to purchase from tutti.co.uk - click the logo,
The CD, with Yvonne Howard and the English Piano Trio, is also now available.
PLUS: instant downloads are now available for all five Pippa tracks: full details on the Pippa Passes pages.
Duo for Alto Flute and Piano
First Performance: February 28th 2009
The Recital Room
in a concert of works by members of the Central Composers' Alliance
Alto Flute - Claire-Louise Appleby
piano: Julian Hellaby
The performance was recorded by Alan Hames
and this haunting extract (the recapitulation section) captures the mood perfectly:
SCHERZO FOR WIND ENSEMBLE
This work had its first performance as part of a Commuters Concert at Birmingham Conservatoire in November 2000.
It was performed again, brilliantly, by the Windworks wind ensemble on November 19th 2006, also at the Conservatoire.
The recording included here is an mp3 file: <<play>>
There are also extracts of the score to view, if you are interested in following what is a very challenging piece, just to follow, never mind perform!: <<view>>
features "Footsteps", "Wings" and
"Metropole" which Caroline Milan has performed and recorded - and not
forgetting "Emily Rose"!
A song to celebrate a second birthday, "Carousel" - "Happy Birthday, Aged Two, Is there room for me too, As you race of on each new adventure? ....."
|And from even earlier,
one of my earliest works, started when I was seventeen, and still at school, completed in
1961 when at college and almost completely forgotten about for sixty years! Welcome
to the reborn piano sonata "Fossette".
11'16", 4'23", 3'32", 1'11"
is a cantata for two-part school or area choir, suitable for children of about 11 to 14 years old.
Catchy tunes, with simple two-part writing, and easy piano and percussion parts mean that everybody can join in what is a fun work with a serious warning message to all bullies!
Visit the site - see the scores and hear the music - Caroline Milan, singing all the vocal parts, really brings the story to life.
is a cantata for two-part school or area choir, suitable for children of about 12 to 16 years old.
Its five movements focus on the Gods, the Greeks,
the Trojans, the Fall of Troy and finally Helen herself -
All great fun, and an education too!
a cantata for two-part choir - five movements telling the classic story of Helen of Troy.
Visit the site - see the scores and hear the music - Caroline Milan, singing all the vocal parts, is in fine voice.
10. "Music for a While" has been produced by ASC Records for the Central Composers' Alliance.
The CD includes Caroline Milan and Julian Hellaby performing two of the pieces, Wings and Metropole, which are featured on the "Caroline Sings ..." site above.
It is a most attractive collection, and the CD is available from all contributing members as well as from ASC Records.
Further details from the CCA web site - see link below
|Quite different site - DUCKS! - the story of the
Mallard duck and 13 ducklings born in our back garden! -
- the cycle repeats itself! August 2003 and a very late starter!
August 12th 2003 - you can watch a duckling hatch!
February 2004 and they are back on the pond. Too early yet to say; but is this going to be another hectic year for us! - update November 2004: no! plenty of activity but no, only smashed egg shells this year!
May 2009: not ducks this time, but more drama in our bird scene - including five cygnets.
February 25th 2016 - a pair of ducks make their first visit of the year to our pond. They certainly look just like the couple which have been regular visitors in the past, and they certainly know to come to chess board to ask to be fed!
April 4th 2019 (right) - first visit of the year that we have seen, the single duck being rather outnumbered!
March 22nd 2021 - first time this year that I have seen them, just the one pair who have returned a number of times since.
April 2021 and a rather odd sight, bottom right. There have been several visits by this group of five, but they seem to have had a falling out (which was quite noisy!), with one of the four drakes now having to keep his distance.
March 30th 2022 - first time this year, again just the one pair!
February 22nd 2023 - first time seen this year, and again today the 23rd, the same pair?? -
- revised Bowker outline (Nov. 2017)
In Lincolnshire, the DYON / DYAN Outline (revised August 2016) is equally fascinating, going right back to the 15th century - and we know quite a lot about this family, not least because so many of the family became priests! For example - Dom. Alan DYAN' will in 1488 includes the lines "my body to be buried in the church of Saint Clement Grainsthorpe. Also I bequeath one cow in the name of my mortuary."
May 2014 - a revised Outline for some of the JEFFERY / JEFFREY families in the Horncastle area of Lincolnshire -Winceby, Hameringham, Hagworthingham, Mareham on the Hill, Hemingby, Kirkby on Bain etc, going back to the 1500s, and with the related family names of CLARKE, MALTBY(E), SILVESTER, LEADLEY, BARRIT, BROWNE and PAGE. <<JEFFEREY earliest days>>
December 2012, a look at the DEOR / DEWAR world around Aberfeldy at the period of the Jacobite rebellions in 1715 and 1745. But what a lot of people sharing very few names!
December 2011 - a new Outline for some of the ELLIS families in Nidderdale, starting with Richard ELLIS who married in 1704.
October 2011 - a new Outline of the Constable / Billing / Hawkin / Rundell Quaker connections in Cornwall - including Blanche Constable's crossing to Pennsylvania in 1682.
Summer update, looking into the MILNE family of 18th century Angus, in the Scottish Highlands.
January 2011: WADGE / TREVITHICK Outline - made possible because of Susanna BILLING's remarkable will of 1764
January 2019, sees the BILLING alias TRELAWDER outline update. This is a fascinating line, going back to the 1400s and earlier, according to Sir John Maclean's 1870s account.
The CONSTABLE to BILLING outline goes right back to Henry Constable's marriage to Joane GOODING at St Sampson or Golant in 1568!
This presents a fascinating picture of a family over two hundred years from the time of Henry VIII, with many Quaker families and early links with Pennsylvania.
James Calvert married Eleanor Hope at Kirklinton in 1809 and we have done a lot of research in trying to place him - latest revision April 2017
November 2009 - an article of the BROCK families of the Isle of Axholme from 1547 <<AXHOLME LINK>>
January 2010: link to the HARROP family connection.
music and ducks, and our love of crosswords (we are Azed fanatics) researching our
family background has become another favourite pastime.
Although we have a large web of several thousand pages we are not currently thinking to put it on-line. But there are one or two mysteries which someone perhaps may be able to to help us resolve, and by the same token we may have information of interest to others, so bits of trees may appear here from time to time.
Our first mystery concerns Lancelot Hodgson who married Eleanor Ferguson on December 6th 1876 at Kirklinton in Cumberland. Lancelot was born at Upperby near Carlisle in 1855 to a single mother, Jane Walker, and until a few years before his marriage he was called Lancelot Walker. On his marriage certificate he says his father was called John Walker (a farm servant), so why, sometime after 1871, did he adopt the name Hodgson?
New at October 2011:
In a reversal on circumstances, we have just come across a 2007 GenesReunited request from Linda concerning her ancestor Ernest Richard Maudson EARNSHAW. Not being a member of GenesReunited we have not been able to trace Linda; but if she is still interested in her ancestors could she please get in touch. We have much of great interest for her.
An article is attached about The SILVESTER FAMILIES OF NORTH CHESHIRE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
For anyone researching the SILVESTER families of Cheshire and Lincolnshire this may provide interesting material!
April 2014 - more from Cornwall, with its wealth of wills providing fascinating and sometimes humourous reading! Welcome the LYNAMs.
An article is attached on the variableness of spellings for family names:
February 2015: a huge step back, as we add the Brus
and Mowbray family outlines. These take us back to the Conquest, and even before.
January 2020 - something a little different:MUSIC IN THE FAMILY
This will be mainly a music site, though, with works for voice, strings, wind ensembles, etc, as well as a wide range of educational material by the composer.
A new publishing house has been set up to publish Kerry Milan's music. It is called ARDROSS HOUSE, and eventually all his music will be available there Further information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for looking in. Please keep track of how the site develops - coming up next will be the Caledonia My Country site.
If you have
come to this site from
the Central Composers' Alliance Site, click here to return to its home page.
You may also like to visit the Incorporated Society of Musicians' site, which lists other ISM members' websites throughout Britain, both composers and performers.
And if you would like to read a short biography of Kerry Milan, please click here.
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