Author Archives: Lizzie Leonard

Weekly Session Blog: Monday 22nd June 2015


Another wonderful session today after a short break over May. Great turn out and some fantastic new music being created!

Sadly, it was our last session before September. However, September is set to be an exciting month for Musical Arc. We are looking forward to the possibility of performing at DA DA Festival in September 2016 so watch this space…

Also in Early to Mid September 2015 we will be fundraising for Musical Arc with “Walk And Roll”-a mile circuit with all members of Musical Arc. This will be a sponsored event and we will keep followers posted about the dates for this and be sharing ways you can donate to the charity.

Musical Arc's fabulous horn section

Musical Arc’s fabulous horn section

Weekly Session Blog: Monday 27th April


We would like to say a big thank you to all the Musical Arc members for yet another wonderful workshop, this time at Kippax Ash Tree Primary.

As always we have received extremely positive feedback, including the following from the Kippax staff:

“I am so pleased that Musical Arc came into school – they were an inspiration and the kids were buzzing afterwards. Thanks again everyone at Musical Arc!”

Musical Arc performing Indigo

Musical Arc performing Indigo


Weekly Session Blog: Monday 20th April 2015


Musical Arc met for the annual general meeting today. It was lovely to reflect on the exciting year that Musical Arc has had, performing the Mango Tree and leading workshops all around Leeds. It was also a good chance to talk about the future and what we would like to achieve over the next year. I hope all the members are as excited about the coming year as we are.

Next week we will be popping into Kippax to lead another workshop.

Musical Arc getting ready to perform at the AGM

Musical Arc getting ready to perform at the AGM

Musical Arc has had some great news. Thanks to the Leeds Community Foundation- Red Nose Funding we have secured £1000 towards our great work…..
Congratulations to all the other successful applicants!!…/winners-of-yep-s-10…

Weekly Session Blog: Monday 23rd March 2015


Great news! Today was the first Musical Arc workshop of the year!! Musical Arc had a wonderful day at Alwoodley Primary School, a brilliant, thriving school with positive and supportive staff.

We have received some lovely feedback; the schools have said the assembly was fantastic and that they all enjoyed taking part in our music and art activities. All the pupils left talking excitedly about their day with Musical Arc.”

After today’s success we are excited for our next workshop which will be on the 27th April.”

Leah teaching a pupil to play glockenspiel

Liah inspiring Alwoodley pupils


Weekly Session Blog: Monday 9th March 2015


A great Musical Arc rehearsal today, although it was only the second time we have all met and played together in 2015 everyone was sounding as brilliant as ever. Today we were lucky to be joined by two fantastic musicians, Nina and Connor. We were also visited by a very familiar face, Julia. Musical Arc members and staff were able to express their thanks to Julia for all her hard work for Musical Arc over the years and wish her all the best for the future.  

 Musical Arc are geared up and ready to give an exciting workshop at Alwoodley Primary School on the 23rd March.


Musical Arc's wonderful horn section hard at work

Musical Arc’s wonderful horn section hard at work

Weekly Session Blog: Monday 1st December 2014


The first door of the advent calendar is open, the shops have Slade on repeat and Leeds is covered in glitter. As December rolls in Musical Arc are just finishing their final workshop, held at Compton Library. The workshop received a very warm reception with visitors to the library requesting our return in 2015.  It was the perfect way to wrap up this season’s workshops.  Head Librarian Madeline Wood said:

“This event was absolutely wonderful. It covered many different elements including music dance singing and story. There was a real buzz and it created a lot of interest not only from the participants but from all the people in the library at the time. It was lovely to see children who were initially shy get up and dance. We all enjoyed the session enormously.”

Dilrani performing "The Mango Tree"

Dilrani performing “The Mango Tree”


Weekly Session Blog: Monday 24th November 2014


Today was the final autumn Musical Arc rehearsal before Christmas; we have had a phenomenal season of workshops and rehearsals, with amazing performances and work from all of our members. We were also delighted to be joined by talented guitarist Jonathan and a lovely new member, Jake.

Sadly, next week will be the last workshop before Christmas, although I have no doubt that we will finish the season in true “Musical Arc” style.

Musical Arc's last rehearsal of the year

Musical Arc’s last rehearsal of the year



Weekly Session Blog: Tuesday 18th November 2014


“Musical Arc” led their penultimate workshop of the autumn season at Leeds City Museum with pupils from Broomfield School. This workshop was a lovely combination of all Musical Arc’s strengths: art, music, dance and story-telling. We worked with 30 students with learning disabilities and had a really energetic and interactive session. This was kindly hosted free of charge by `The Leeds museum and we hope to hold workshops there again in the future.

18 Nov Leeds museum (1)


Weekly Session Blog: Wednesday 12th November 2014


Today has been one of the busiest in “Musical Arc” history, with two workshops in one day.

The first workshop of the day was with Heyday’s at The West Yorkshire Playhouse. Musical Arc would like to say a big thank you to Vickie and Lorraine for their fabulous presentations; we had some wonderful feedback from Nicky Taylor, who heads up Heydays:

‘That was one of the best presentations we’ve had. Fantastic! The work she’s doing is wonderful and she got us all singing. I thought that this was as good as our singing group!’

The members joined us as we rocked up to the Vine for the second workshop of the day. Twenty-five 16-19 year olds attended our workshop to make music with us. The session went really well and staff were amazed at how engaged the students were throughout the whole session.

Dilrani performing an excerpt of "The mango Tree".

Dilrani performing an excerpt of “The mango Tree”.



Weekly Session Blog: Monday 10th November


Musical Arc is now half way through the autumn workshop season. With two workshops down, and three to go, it has been an inspiring couple of months. I am continually amazed at the dedication of all the Musical Arc members, volunteers and staff. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by such talented and generous people.

Today, we were also pleased to welcome a new volunteer and wonderful Flute player to our ranks, a big welcome to Carmel.

Sajid practicing "Indigo"

Sajid practicing “Indigo”



Weekly Session Blog: Monday 13th October 2014


Great to welcome everyone back to “the Arc” for another brilliant session, preparing for the continuing “Mango Tree Workshops”. Our Musical Arc members are improving and shining with more confidence at every rehearsal. There was an atmosphere of jubilation after the success of last week’s “Mango Tree” workshop.

Musical Arc's wonderful horn section hard at work

Musical Arc’s wonderful horn section hard at work


On a sadder note, last week we said a bitter sweet farewell to Andrew Wilson, who has been an invaluable member of musical arc for many years. Everyone at Musical Arc wishes Andrew the best of luck in his new job.

Weekly Session Blog: Monday 6th October 2014


At 10:15 Andrew, Shehnaaz and I stood awaiting a taxi, huddled against the rain, talking excitedly about the day to come, in high spirits despite the discouraging weather. As we arrived at Leeds Federated Housing we received an enthusiastic welcome at reception, with much attempted nosing in our bags to see what goodies we had brought along. Arthington Hall was our venue for the day and I was personally delighted to spot plates piled with pastries and jugs of juice waiting for us in the corner.

Dilrani captivating the audience at the first "Mango Tree" workshop.

Dilrani captivating the audience at the first “Mango Tree” workshop.


We kicked off with “Indigo” a poignantly beautiful creation written by and performed by all musical arc members. This was the first time I had heard this piece in its entirety and was blown away by the beauty of the interlinking melodies and the confidence shown by our performers.

We moved onto an excerpt of “The Mango Tree” and I was utterly captivated by the enthralling story told by Anita. Anita’s lyrical intonation brought to the story to life complemented by Dil’s fluid, interpretive movements.

During a celebratory moment of the piece we invited workshop participants to join us to learn a jig. Several audience members hesitantly got up, accompanied by much nervous giggling, but relaxed as the steps became familiar. After much bumping into each other and tripping over we eventually found our feet and I saw my wide grin mirrored on the faces across from me. The fiddle and drums joined in and the dance drove onwards, full of joy and exuberance.

The last section was, for me, the highlight of the day. Musical ARC Members and audience alike sat in a circle and formed an impromptu musical jam. Each person created their own melody which interweaved and developed. This was an excellent example of the inclusiveness of Musical ARC as all participants felt comfortable enough to put forth their own ideas and melodies. This was an uplifting and inspiring start to musical arc’s autumn workshops.


Weekly Session Blog: Monday 29th September 2014


Today Meanwood Community Centre saw the second week of the Musical Arc rehearsals and the pace has really picked up. All the members’ hard work shines through in their playing, I for one am extremely excited to be part of the first “Mango Tree” workshop next Monday.

Musical Arc members hard at work.

Musical Arc member’s hard at work.


Weekly Session Blog: Monday 20th October 2014


A seemingly endless procession of paired children aged between five and six trickled into St. Chad’s Parish Centre, wide eyed and whispering nervously to one another. Coats and jackets were hung up, with a great deal of confusion and herding, but after a short time we had sixty pairs of crossed legs on the floor and sixty eager young faces looking up at us.

Impressive hall like an upturned boat at St. Chads for the workshop on 20th October 2014

Impressive hall like an upturned boat at St. Chads for the workshop on 20th October 2014

We started off with the “Mango” song. The children started off timidly singing to their shoes but with some first class bolstering from Martin we had them dancing along and singing their lungs out.

The children engaged in a mix and mingle session with our Musical ARC members. We served plates of assorted barfi and numerous jugs of mango juice. I watched in amusement as some children gulped them down eagerly and others spat them out with a look of revulsion.

I sat with Shehnaaz as pupils in small groups shyly approached us and asked to play our drums. I was impressed that many of the pupils recognised Shehnaaz from a previous musical arc assembly; many recalled learning how to guide the blind.