It’s hard to think of anyone we’ve met who sums up the ethos of Make Music Day more than Debbie King of Kings Clarinets. One of the quickest out of the blocks to register an event for 2023, Debbie talks with passion and energy about the importance of music-making, rediscovering her clarinet playing and seeing that passion bloom into a wonderful community of players.
“We love the idea of Make Music Day because it is about being enthusiastic and inclusive,” she says. “It’s a great way to get everyone involved.”
Kings Clarinets are a group of clarinet and saxophone players based in Twickenham, London. They play all sorts of music together, from classical and jazz to folk and musical theatre, with a repertoire that is growing all the time.
Like many of us, Debbie started learning music as a child, but as an adult found that family and work commitments meant that it became harder to find the time to play, and eventually found that she was rarely playing at all. It was not until 2013 when Debbie joined in with a reunion concert with Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra that she rediscovered her love of playing the clarinet, and since then she hasn’t looked back. Not one to do things by halves, Debbie formed Kings Clarinets in 2021. Now with 36 members, they meet up for ‘Play Days’ throughout the year and regularly perform in care homes, churches and school assemblies. Led with energy by founder Debbie, they proudly “join in with everything”.
They first took part in Make Music Day in 2022, performing in Debbie’s garden. The ‘open house’ event was advertised with flyers and promoted on Facebook, and was something of a ‘thank you’ for her neighbours. Debbie explains, “During COVID, as the lockdown rules started to relax, small groups of us would meet in my garden to play. Four of us to start with, and then more and more as the restrictions began to relax. Our wonderful neighbours put up with quite a lot of music in our garden during that time, so it was nice to be able to invite them round and play for them. Make Music Day was a great way to do something like that.”
The event nearly didn’t happen though, as Debbie’s Dad was very ill at that time. “Dad was very poorly and it would have been easy to cancel the event. But all the plans were in place and Dad would have wanted me to do it, so we pushed ahead. After all, music is my happy place, and I’m really pleased we did it – it was a joyful day!”
This year, Kings Clarinets will be playing at All Hallows Church, the local church they use for their play days. The congregation have a social lunch that day so the Clarinet Choir is providing entertainment to them, and then throughout the rest of the day too. They hope that this might lead to other opportunities in the future – with their enthusiasm and energy, we’re sure that it will!
To register your event, click here.
To discover more about Make Music Day, come along to our ‘Introduction to Make Music Day‘ on Tuesday 21st March, 4.00pm.