Friday, 10 November 2017

November 2017 news from Roger Jones



Picture of Autumn leaves with God's light shining throughDear friends

Winter is upon us, although we’ve just got back from leading an exciting music week at Brunel Manor (Torquay) where the weather was very mild.  However, Christmas is looming and we are so keen to encourage folk to celebrate a truly Christian Christmas, with bible-based stories and lyrics.  At CMM we have musicals, songs, carols, choral pieces, etc, so do have a look at the CMM SITE, which gets increasingly busy with lots of new items.

We now have many of our books available for Kindle as well as “hard” copies, and all our recordings are now on iTunes, Spotify, etc, as well as on CD.  Do consider our Christmas Musicals, Christmas Collection, Songs of Christmas, Choral pieces, “Squidgy Bod at Christmas”, Backing Tracks, etc.

At this time of year there’s always the perennial challenge of presents for friends and family.  Did you know that you can raise funds for CMM whilst purchasing from your usual suppliers (eg. Amazon, etc), yet it won’t cost you a penny extra? Do have a look at EASY FUNDRAISING and consider supporting CMM in this way.

Our free SONG OF THE MONTH is “Coming with the clouds”, from “Angel Voices”, and my PSALM COLLECTION and suitable for Advent and other times.  

Our Intern Rachel Haddon has been very busy doing all sorts of new things with CMM:

The CMM Choir is about to launch a series of evenings for Christmas, which will include performances of STARGAZERS (new edition available) and an exciting new carol by Annie:
  • Sun 19 Nov, St Bernard’s, Broome Ave, Hamstead, B43 5AL - 1800
  • Sun 26 Nov, Ward End Elim Pentecostal Church, St Margaret’s Road, Ward End, B8 2BD - 1830
  • Sun 03 Dec, Hagley Road Retirement Village, 322-336 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, B17 8BH - 1600
  • Sun10 Dec, Church of the Redeemer, Monument Road, Edgbaston, B16 8UZ -1830
This Saturday (11 Nov) we lead a WORSHIP WORKS day at Jump Wesleyan Reformed Church, Barnsley (1000-1630), and later in the month we are working with St John’s, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley, W Yorks. The production of SIMEON (Sat 25 Nov) is at 1830, and I shall be preaching at Family Worship the next day at 1000.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. 

Roger Jones

CHRISTIAN MUSIC MINISTRIES
01527 576440
24 Spadesbourne Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B60 1JP

Friday, 3 November 2017

Month Two in the Life of a CMM Intern

Photo of Rachel Haddon, intern at Christian Music ministries 2017-2018Read about Month One

Month Two - Challenges aplenty!

So here I am at the end of Month Two and the last four weeks seem to have flown by. Over the course of the month I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in a number of different types of event, thus broadening my experience of the ministry of CMM.

The first event of the month was a Musical-in-a-Day event in Cricklade. The musical we performed was Apostle, and as there was a large number of musicians on the team, we were able to have a very reasonably sized orchestra. Unfortunately for me, not only was there already an oboist on the team, there was also a flautist (flute is my other main instrument), and so I, in my wisdom, decided to volunteer to play the clarinet part. Now I can play the clarinet, but I use the word ‘play’ in rather a loose sense of the word as I am self-taught, haven’t really practised much, and hadn’t even had the instrument out of its case for quite a few months before this, so it was going to be quite a challenge! I took the part home the week before to have a look through, and after some honking and squeaking, and frowning at the unpleasant key signatures, I managed to work my way through it. By the time of the performance, after rehearsals during the day with the other members of the orchestra, and then the choir, I had got the vast majority of the part sussed. I have to say that my performance was by no means perfect – there were some wrong notes and even some squeaks (although years of playing the oboe have taught me that the trick is to look at your reed in disgust and pretend it has nothing to do with you). However I was rather pleased with myself overall, as I’m not an experienced clarinetist and so Apostle was by far the hardest clarinet music I’ve ever had to play.

Two days after the performance of Apostle, I headed off to Hull with a different team for a Musical Man evening. It was lovely to catch up with some team members that I had got to know on the Scotland tour, and also good to meet some new faces as we worked with the local choir to provide a musical accompaniment to the testimony of how God has worked in Roger’s life.

During the month, I have been attending the CMM choir rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday evenings, as the two branches of the choir rehearse Stargazers for their upcoming performances over the Christmas and Epiphany period. This has been good for me, as it has been interesting to see different approaches to running a choir. As I am not a singer, being part of a choir is enabling me to use my voice and learn how to pitch vocal harmonies. It has also been lovely to see the enjoyment that the choir members get from singing and having fellowship with other Christians.

The big trip of this month was the While Shepherds Watched Music Week in Torquay. I was initially a little sceptical about performing a Christmas musical in October, however it was actually really refreshing to think about the events of the Christmas story at a time free from all the hustle and bustle of the festive season. The ‘business’ of the week was made up of worship and teaching slots and rehearsals for the musical. During the worship time I played my oboe, but for the musical I played a mixture of flute and clarinet, as again there was another oboist, this time a member of the community at Brunel Manor (we’re obviously a bit like buses – you don’t get any for ages and then two come along at once). It required a bit of musical detective work to decide which instrument to play when so as to ensure that all parts were covered and to avoid any unnecessary doubling, and this was a fun challenge. For the performance, I was also able to play my oboe for ‘Come See the Beauty of the King’, as it had been decided in the morning rehearsal that the opportunity for an oboe duet was one not to be missed, and I thoroughly enjoyed this. The performance itself was great, and I think conveyed well the message of the musical – that we, like the shepherds, can and should worship Jesus. Built into the timetable of the Music Week were periods of free time, which were wonderful opportunities to explore new places and build relationships with other people, but as part of this I very much appreciated the opportunity to spend some time alone in the outdoors, reflecting on my experiences and Roger’s teaching during the week. I now look forward to the music week in Grange-over-Sands next May!

As for office jobs this month, the highlight (I bet you weren’t expecting there to be one of those), has been creating a video about last month’s Scotland tour. I have to say, I am rather proud of it, as I have never used MovieMaker or Audacity before, and I had to use both of these programs to create the video and the audio that accompanies it. I spent lots of time digitally cutting and splicing together different tracks from Barnabas and then crafting the visuals around this using photographs and participants’ reflections on the experience. If you have a spare 4 minutes, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/p98JmIy-zIo and give it a watch (and if you’re feeling really generous, then a ‘thumbs up’ too)!

See you next month!

Oboe duet!

View from the coastal footpath near the Coleton Fishacre estate

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Musical Man goes to Hull

Roger Jones and team went to Hull on 10 October and performed Musical Man at the Acorn Centre in Bilton Grange. Musical Man is an autobiographical musical assisted by a local choir. 

Roger Jones - Musical Man is also the name of a book about Roger Jones by Graham Allan:

"Tinkling the ivories will get you nowhere, Jones."

From an uncertain start in Birmingham´s inner city, to composer of over twenty Christian cantatas, this biography traces the story of the life and ministry of Roger Jones, musical man. It recounts his humble beginnings in Secondary Modern Education, his transition from teacher to full–time ministry and examines the growth and development of his organisation, Christian Music Ministries.

Graham Allan, of Penrith Methodist Church, Cumbria, wrote the book. Based on extensive research and interviews, this book demonstrates that reliance on talents and skills alone is not enough. Without the support of friends and family, and above all the guidance and help of God´s Holy Spirit, Roger´s story could have been so different.

Read about the book at http://cmm.org.uk/shop/index.php?id=rjmm

See the Slideshow of the event in Hull below:

Friday, 13 October 2017

Apostle arrives in Cricklade

Annie Routley and a team of CMM associates (14 in all!) were at Cricklade United Church on Saturday 7 October doing Apostle in a day.  Annie always enjoys doing Roger's musicals with live instruments, as she has arranged and orchestrated all of them. 
 
There were nearly 40 in the choir, and 10 in the orchestra.  Apostle tells the story of Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus.  Altogether, it was a very uplifting day of music-making and fellowship.

Thank you to all who took part and made the event such a success.




Dates announced for Stargazers performances this Winter

Cover of the Vocal Score for the Roger Jones musical called StargazersThe CMM Choir has anounced dates for its Winter performances of the Roger Jones musical STARGAZERS.

A revised edition of the Vocal Score is also available. Our introductory price for 2017 purchases is £5.99 (usually £7.99).

All our events are published on our Facebook Events page. We publish dates on Facebook when others around the UK are performing Roger Jones music so it's worth checking regularly to find out what's happening near you. While Shepherds Watched is being performed in Torbay at the end of our Music Week (22-28 Oct) at Brunel Manor. Simeon is being performed at the end of a music weekend  (25-26 Nov) in Ilkley and The INN Crowd is being performed at Hemel Hempstead Methodist Church on 2 Dec under the guidance of Sarah Moreton

November 2017

Sunday 19 November at St Bernard's Church, Hamstead (6pm start) - See Facebook
Sunday 26 November at Ward End Elim Church, Birmingham (6.20pm start) - See Facebook

December 2017

Sunday 3 December at Hagley Road Retirement Village (4pm start) - See Facebook
Sunday 10 December at Church of the Redeemer, Edgbaston (6.30pm start) - See Facebook

January 2018

Sunday 14 January at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Lickey, Birmingham (6pm start) - See Facebook
Sunday 20 January at St Leonard's, Marston Green, Solihull, Birmingham (6pm start) - See Facebook
 

February 2018


Sunday 4 February at The Link Community Venue, 4 New Road, Water Orton B46 1QU (6pm start) - See Facebook
Saturday 10 February at St Thomas' Church, 14 St Thomas' Close, Aldridge WS9 8SL (6.30pm start) - See Facebook
Sunday 18 February at Longbridge Retirement Village, Austin Avenue, Longbridge B45 8TD (6pm start) - See Facebook

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October 2017 news from Roger Jones

Dear friends

Christmas is coming! Some will think this is too early for a mention, but as a school teacher or director of music at church, I’d almost made up my mind by now about what I was going to do for Christmas – and there’s always the perennial challenge of presents for friends and family.

Don’t forget our CMM material:
MUSICALS for Christmas - AWAY IN A MANGER, SIMEON, *STARGAZERS, THE INN CROWD, WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED – adaptable for all ages and abilities, with backing tracks and instrumental parts.

COLLECTIONS - THE ROGER JONES CHRISTMAS COLLECTION, and SONGS OF CHRISTMAS (new last year!) – song books and recordings

CHORAL COLLECTION - for unison, 2-part and SATB, etc. Many of these are taken from the musicals, but some have always been stand-a-lone items

SQUIDGY BOD AT CHRISTMAS - Peter Lawrence’s all-age cartoon tale – suitable for family services, school assemblies, etc.

BORN IN THE NIGHT – Tim Jones’ Christmas backing tracks of popular carols and songs – great for assemblies, services and carol singing

* This week we publish a new edition of STARGAZERS, with new type-setting, layouts and an extra carol at the end! (also available as a Kindle edition)
http://www.cmm.org.uk/shop/index.php?id=sta

Our free SONG OF THE MONTH is “At last we see before our eyes (He comes with healing in his wings)”, a worship song with words by Alison Fuggle, suitable for Christmas and other times, sung by Helen Pollard with a lovely clarinet part by Amy Carter.

You can hear extracts from SONGS OF CHRISTMAS on the homepage of our CMM website. This and many other CMM publications are now available on Kindle, and most of our albums are on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

Once again, thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Roger Jones       roger@cmm.org.uk       CMM website

CHRISTIAN MUSIC MINISTRIES
Tel: 01527 576440, 24 Spadesbourne Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B60 1JP

Month One in the Life of an Intern

Rachel Haddon joined CMM on 4 September 2017 as our first ever Intern. Over this academic year's work in industry, organised by Rachel through the University of Leeds where she is studying music, Rachel will share every aspect of CMM's work on tour, in the office and at events. She'll experience a little of everyone's job and use her own skills to further CMM's mission. She reflects on the first month below:

Month One - Finding My Feet

Hello everyone, I’m Rachel and this year I’m working as an intern for CMM. This will form the third year of my studies for a music degree at the University of Leeds – an optional ‘Year in Industry’ – and I will return to Leeds next September to complete my final year. I live near Hinckley in Leicestershire, and travel over on the train each week for the two days I work in the office. I am extremely grateful to a local couple for very generously providing me with accommodation and food while I need to be over in Bromsgrove.

My first couple of weeks in the office were a chance for me to ‘find my feet’ and get to know the other office staff, whilst still doing work that was useful. My first task was to edit the oboe parts (I am an oboist!) for the then up-coming Scotland tour of Barnabas. This made sure that all the important musical phrases were going to be played as the tour backing track did not contain all of the parts. This was quite time-consuming, however it refreshed my knowledge of how to use the Sibelius notation software – as I don’t study composition at uni, I’ve not really used Sibelius since I left school – and so hopefully now I’m reminded of how to use it, I will be quicker in the future!

I also started work designing a new audience programme for Roger’s musical Stargazers, as, to quote the man himself, ‘There aren’t many shopping days until Christmas!’, and this is the musical that the CMM choirs will be performing over the Christmas season. After finishing a provisional draft of this programme, I also started work on Away in a Manger and Rock. This is a job that I have enjoyed as it’s great to think that something I’ve designed will be distributed to all the audience members attending performances in the future!

The highlight of this first month definitely has to be the Scotland tour of Barnabas. I was initially incredibly apprehensive, as the prospect of 10 days away with a group of people that I didn’t really know and in an unfamiliar environment was terrifying – in fact I was so nervous that on the Friday we left, I really didn’t want to go at all! There was no backing out however, and I can now honestly say that the experience was one in which I felt that God was showing his hand as my fears were gently proved wrong.

Yes, there were lots of new people to meet, but the team made me feel welcome and valued from the moment we met and this helped me to relax into the week. The environment was indeed unfamiliar, however the places we visited were located in some beautiful areas, and it was great to be able to explore the surroundings with other members of the team, which doubled as a way to build friendships.

Another thing that worried me was where I fitted into the team musically. It’s all very well to be able to sit down and play a Shostakovich orchestral part, however that style of musicianship is very different from the ministry of CMM. I was unsure of my ability to adapt to the different approach as I have always been very reliant on ‘the dots on the page’, and therefore the thought of improvising during the Planned Spontaneous Happenings was extremely daunting. To start off with I found it really hard to be surrounded by musicians who seemed to be able to improvise for anything, when I was standing there not really knowing where to start. However, as the week went on, I found that I was able to start playing during these times, and I feel that maybe this is God leading me onto a path that I never thought I would walk down. Of course, it is still early days, but I look forward to seeing if this is something that God wants me to develop during my time with CMM. To quote Rhoda from Barnabas: 'Just trust and obey!' - a simple message that I think we can all learn from.

All in all, the trip to Scotland enabled me to explore and develop my faith and musical gifts within a supportive environment of fellow Christians, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. I would therefore like to say a big thank you to the members of the team on the tour for including me as part of the family right from the beginning, for supporting and encouraging me during the week, and for all the fun and laughter we had – I have been left with some wonderful memories, and I look forward to sharing with you again at future events.

A great action shot from the rehearsal at St James' Church, Lossiemouth!
View of the River Spey from Aberlour, one of the beautiful areas we visited.
 Read about Month Two

Friday, 29 September 2017

Roger is interviewed by Andy Comfort of BBC Radio Humberside

Roger was interviewed by Andy Comfort for Radio Humberside yesterday, ahead of his visit to Hull's Acorn Centre on 10 October. Listen to the interview now (11 minutes)



"Musical Man" is Roger's story interspersed with songs from the musicals. See the event on Facebook

Thursday, 28 September 2017

CMM's recent tour of north Scotland with Barnabas

The Roger Jones musical Barnabas tells the exciting story of Barnabas the encourager, as he and Saul visit Cyprus on the first part of their missionary journey. Travelling from Salamis in the east to Paphos in the west they share the good news of Jesus with both Jews and Gentiles, culminating in a dramatic encounter with the Roman Proconsul and a Jewish sorcerer.

The CMM tour of north Scotland began in Inverness (St Stephen's) and moved on to Kildary (Logie Easter), Lossiemouth and Aberlour.

The tour left Scotland for a rehearsal and performance at Penrith Methodist Church on the way home.

Click on the links below to see photos in slideshow format from all of the venues.
Watch out for an article in this Blog by CMM's new intern, Rachel Haddon, whose early experiences of CMM include the Scottish tour.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Moray News reports on CMM Tour of north Scotland

CMM made it into the The Press and Journal's Moray News last week when our cast joined choirs trained by local people in the north of Scotland to perform in five churches. The headline of the newspaper article wasn't accurate regarding funding. However, donations were made to the ongoing work of Christian Music Ministries along the way. The Roger Jones musical Barnabas attracted large audiences around north Scotland and on the team's return journey via Penrith Methodist Church.

Clipping from The Press and Journal. Click image to enlarge.












Comments on Facebook included:
"I'd like to thank all who was involved last night at the concert, incredible just isn't a good enough word to describe it. It was beyond amazing. I felt full of the spirit throughout the show. The words of the songs are so wonderful. It was so very moving. I can't say thank you enough, I'm so blessed to have watched you all last night, I truly loved it!" Ruth Gosling

"Great night with Roger and his team. I might be biased but the choir were the brilliant! A real blessing for everyone there. Thank you to everyone for whatever part they played tonight xx" Shauna Dicks

Friday, 8 September 2017

CMM September Newsletter

Dear friends

Roger Jones conducts final rehearsal of Angel Voices musical at Scargill House during music week August 2017

As promised last month, we are announcing new developments at CMM. See the new document BEYOND 2017 for a fuller version of our plans. In summary, this includes:
  • My own post 2018 plans
  • MUSICALS – choirs, conductors, soloists required, plus Musicals in a Day with Annie and others
  • A new INTERNSHIP
  • SPIRIT WORKS & WORSHIP WORKS – days, evenings, weekends, etc
  • MUSICAL MAN – evenings with songs from the shows
  • How you can support us
  • Sat 19 May 2018 – an important date!
Please pray for us as we look to the future shape and content of the ministry.

We have one more ALL-AGE MUSIC WEEK coming up soon:
  • 22-28 Oct 2017 WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED Music Week - Brunel Manor, Torquay (01803 329333)
- wonderful times, where all are welcome to be part of times of fellowship, music-making (all-ages, all abilities), worship, bible-teaching, etc.  Even if you're not a singer or instrumentalist, there's a place for you to relax as a part of the family! Book directly with Brunel Manor

Our free song of the month is GOD IS WITH US, EMMANUEL , beautifully sung by Ann Steer and backed by Devon Brown. This track, from THE ROGER JONES CHRISTMAS COLLECTION works well in a Christmas or general worship occasion.  I must admit to it being one of my favourite albums.  You can hear extracts from the album on the homepage of our CMM website and the music book is also available on Kindle.  This and most of our albums are also on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

The CMM CHOIR starts rehearsals this month (18/19 Sep) rehearsing STARGAZERS and other Christmas material:
  • Mondays at Harborne Baptist Church
  • Tuesdays at Christ Church, Ward End
Come and join this lovely community choir.  Drinks from 7pm and no auditions required!  Rehearsals start at 7.45pm.

Once again, thank you all for your support and encouragement. 

Roger Jones         roger@cmm.org.uk

CHRISTIAN MUSIC MINISTRIES
01527 576440
24 Spadesbourne Road, Lickey End, Bromsgrove B60 1JP