Our 14th September Concert News
We are pleased to announce our performers for the September online concert – Glass Heart, Stone Skin
Performing will be Despina Ariou, and Mary Keith & Martin Dawes for the collaboration. Of course, we will have our highly popular Cath’s Cupboard of Customs, too!
Despina was born and bred in the little island of Syros, Greece, where -after travelling Greece and Europe- she now lives.
Despina teaches English and Spanish as second languages.
Growing up listening to tales from her granny, she believes stories are a very useful tool for educational purposes and also for trying to make the world a better place by creating strong community bonds and the comforting feeling of sharing.
Following a BSc in Music at City University, Mary trained with Community Music East, going on to work as a freelance music facilitator for Opera North, Glyndebourne Opera, The London Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Royal Ballet as well as many community projects including residencies in Lincolnshire and Donegal.
Her career as performer and MD has taken her horse-drawn touring across Hungary, urban Korea, the Montemuro mountains of Portugal, Nagaland, to refugee camps in Palestine and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, feeding her love of world music.
Mary has a highly developed creative practise of working with large scale groups of singers, usually amateur, and composing pieces for them that use the natural landscape as a compositional starting point. She likes to take vocal scores away from the concert hall and into unique places such as Comer Woods, Carding Mill Valley, Dorothy Clive Gardens, Whixall Moss and Soulton Long Barrow.
This is coupled with her work as a Theatre MD, with Horse and Bamboo Theatre, The New Vic and Pentabus where she is called upon to use music to add an aural “landscape” to a theatrical context.
She is currently Musical Director of The Mere Singers in Shrewsbury, Keele Women’s Community Choir and The Morning Sun Singers in her home village of Welshampton, has run the sell out Buzzy Beats interactive music sessions for under 5’s at the Hive in Shrewsbury for the past 19 years, as well as fronting her band Mary and the Mudlarks, using her love of world music to give a twist to classic pop songs.
She lives in North Shropshire with her daughter’s cat and her son’s tortoise and leopard Gecko, and in an attempt to cut down her carbon footprint has been running a series of local “Singing Walks” in the Meres and Mosses, and “Song and Stories” events, focussing on pivot points of the year.
Martin is a full time professional Poet and has been for 20 years. He has developed a strong reputation for creative Education, Publishing and Performing, and, also, delivering creative commissions for a wide range of organisations including; Literature Wales, British Council, National Theatre Wales and RSPB Cymru.
Starting as a performer in Open Mics, Martin moved up to Feature slots at poetry shows and stepped up to Touring Shows and Commissions from there. From Bus Stops to Auditoriums he has sought to give his best in every setting he has found himself.
From 2013-16, Martin was honoured to be Young People’s Laureate for Wales, and in that role he had the opportunity to travel widely representing Wales at International Events, and also to work extensively in all regions of Wales engaging and inspiring young people to empower themselves through their creativity.
Martin considers himself to be truly very fortunate to have paid employment doing something that he loves. He give thanks everyday for his work as a Poet bringing him so much satisfaction and opportunity for personal growth while allowing him to contribute to communities through delivering culture.