Terry Noel (Terrance), who formed the Melodians Steel Orchestra UK in October 1987, and has been the Leader of the Orchestra ever since, was awarded an MBE for services to Music in the New Year’s Honours 2015.
The MBE was presented to him by HM Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Friday 6th March. Terry was accompanied by his wife and daughters to this memorable event.
Terry had a quick chat to the Queen who remembered the Melodians from when they played at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace Garden Parties and Commonwealth Day Services in Westminster Abbey.
Terry said after the event “It was a fantastic and memorable day. It was nice to know the Queen remembered the Melodians and enjoyed their playing.”
Celebrate with the Melodians the news that Terry Noel, the founder and leader of the Melodians Steel Orchestra UK, has been appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II as an MBE in the New Year Honours for 2015 – for his services to Music.
Terry formed the Melodians in October 1987 and has been the Leader ever since. The Melodians is a ‘not for profit’ organisation and became a registered charity in 1994. The Melodians currently has 34 members with ages ranging from 11 to over 70.
The achievements of the Melodians in the past 27 years have been numerous and diverse. Among other things:
They played at 8 successive Commonwealth Day services in Westminster Abbey
They played at 14 consecutive BT Christmas concerts at the Royal Albert Hall
They have played at a number of Royal Garden Parties
The versatility of the orchestra’s repertoire has been recognised and it has received two Performing Rights Society Enterprise Awards, a Royal Anniversary Challenge Award and a BT Innovation Award
They have travelled around the world to perform at music festivals, British Embassies for the Queen’s Birthday Parties and other events.
In 2013 they travelled to Venice to participate in the 55th Venice International Art Biennale having recorded the background music for Jeremy Deller’s film ‘English Magic’ that was displayed in the British Pavilion.
They also took part in the Making Music ‘Adopt a Composer’ scheme in 2011 and worked with Neil Luck on a new composition that was played on Radio 3 in early 2012.
They played at the Paralympic Games torch relay in 2012
They played at Windsor Castle for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
It is through the hard work and dedication of Terry Noel as their leader that all of this has been possible. He is the person with the vision to see the potential of a steel orchestra and he takes the initiative to constantly seek out new challenges. In his view nothing musical is impossible for the Melodians.
‘Melodians Magic’ is the new album by the Melodians and is now available to buy as a CD. It can be bought from Ebay for £12 including postage and packing in the UK. The album features the 3 English Magic tracks recorded at Abbey Road Studios in March 2013 plus another 9 of the Melodians favourites that have been played at the UK opening events in William Morris Art Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the Turner Contemporary in Margate. These tracks were recorded at the BBC Maida Vale Studios on Saturday 22nd November.
Sleeve design is by Jeremy Deller and the Fraser Muggeridge Studio.
However, why not try a taster before you buy? One of the tracks from the CD is available as a download to your desktop, iPhone or mobile. Simply follow the correct link. As you know, the Melodians are a Registered Charity (No. 1036904) and are relying on the sales of the CD to keep them going for the next year. If you decide to download the recording of ‘Get Lucky’ please leave a £1 donation via the Donate button on the right hand side of the page.
Melodians Magic to be released on 11th December 2014
The Melodians arrived at BBC Maida Vale at 8 o’clock on Saturday 22nd November to record a new album. The album is called Melodians Magic and tells the story of the Melodians involvement with Jeremy Deller in the 55th Venice International Art Biennale in 2013 and the tour of the exhibition in the UK in 2014.
The Melodians recorded the backing tracks for the English Magic film at Abbey Road Studios in 2013 and the film was on continuous display in Venice and at all the exhibitions in the UK. The Melodians also performed at the opening of all the exhibitions in the UK, playing the English Magic music plus favourites from their own repertoire.
We were asked by many who attended the opening of the exhibitions for a CD of the music but it has taken until now to get the time and backing to record the CD.
This CD is for all the fans who told us how much they enjoyed the film and the Melodians performances in Venice and the UK and asked where they could buy a CD of the music. Here at last is the CD.
The final English Magic exhibition opened on the 11th October at the Turner Contemporary on the seafront in Margate. Of course the Melodians were invited to open the exhibition with a concert. There was a packed gallery for the concert and the Melodians played at 2pm and 4pm. The added attraction in Margate is that the Turner has a resident 80 strong choir called ‘The Big Sing’. The Melodians were invited to do 3 pieces accompanied by the choir as part of a project called Soundslikeart. They went down there the week before for a full rehearsal with the choir. The 3 joint songs were received to tumultuous applause.
As you can see the gallery was packed with fans who wanted to hear the Melodians and also the choir.
The Melodians played all the music from the English Magic film plus a number of their other favourites including Bohemian Rhapsody.
You can see videos of 3 of the pieces by following the YouTube link on this page.
The Melodians visited Bristol Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 20th September to give a 45 minute performance at the ending of the English Magic Exhibition and run a workshop for anyone interested in learning about steelbands. This was arranged by the museum after the success of the English Magic opening event in April. The English Magic Exhibition will be opening in Margate on 11th October. See the Projects page for more details of the Margate event.
It was obvious that the crowd had already seen the Melodians in April and had seen the English Magic film many times. They were really excited to listen to the Melodians live again. The Melodians were overwhelmed by the reaction of the audience and thrilled to get a standing ovation at the end of the performance.
Some of the comments received after the event from the audience and the Melodians:
“Thanks again for ‘Saturday’, it was a really loving atmosphere and perfect ending to the show! Happy to hear you all loved it too”.
“It was a great vibe today – I really enjoyed it!”
“Standing ovation…! What more can I say!
“We appeared very well received!”
“So good to know that people have listened to the Abbey Road recording over and over again and came especially to hear us in some cases (as I was told)!”
The UK tour of the English Magic exhibition started at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow on the 18th January to 30th March. It then moved onto the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery from the 12th April and will finish there on the 21th September. The final leg of the tour will be at the Turner Contemporary in Margate starting on the 11th October until 11th January 2015. The Melodians have already played at the first 2 legs (see photos below) and will also be playing at the opening of the exhibition in Margate. Also see the Projects page and links to read about the exciting performance that will be taking place in Margate on October 11th which will include a unique collaboration between the Big Sing Choir, based at the Turner, and the Melodians Steel Orchestra.
William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow Thursday 6th March
The Melodians played on the 6th March during the first leg of the English Magic tour. Whilst there Jeremy Deller presented the Jeremy Deller trophy to Cheynne for the Melodians ‘Most Improved Player’. This is a new award which had to be delayed from the Christmas concert but this was an ideal opportunity for it to be presented.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery Wednesday 9th April 2014
The Melodians were a key part of the opening of the 2nd leg of the English Magic tour which took place in Bristol at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Queen’s Road.
The Melodians Christmas Concert was held on Saturday 14th December 2013 at Henry Cavendish School in Balham.
All the family, friends and supporters of the Melodians turned out in force to support them and enjoy the evening.
The special guests for the evening were Gavin Nicholas – The High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago, Councillor Mark Bennett – The late Mayor of Lambeth, Jeremy Deller – creator of ‘English Magic’ and Alexandra Hardy – the Head Teacher of Henry Cavendish.
The programme was an exciting mix of old favourites and the latest pieces that the Melodians have learned. It finished with the most recent and interesting addition to their repertoire – Bohemian Rhapsody by the legendary Freddie Mercury which completed the programme to thunderous applause.
The concert was followed by speeches and the presentation of awards.
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