LITL 2019-20 – Important Information!

Welcome back to LITL 2019-20! Lots of info below about the next 12 months of Live In The Lodge … please have a good read through!


* 2019-20 …

As many of you will know already, after three years of co-producing Live In The Lodge, Town Hall Symphony Hall have ended their time as part of LITL. Big thanks to them for their support and many wonderful performance opportunities for everyone. Happily, we are still continuing full steam ahead, with lots of exciting plans for the coming 12 months to work with and engage as many parts of the community as we can. Thanks to the nearly 20 people who made the effort to come along last week for lots of really useful thoughts, opinions and feedback.

LITL is now run though Mubu Music Projects CIC, a community interest company and (importantly!) not-for-profit. To make sure we have all the contact information and various other details for everyone in order, we’ll need to re-take your info so we can keep in touch, including permission forms for anyone under-18 and photo consent, so please come a few minutes earlier before your sessions to fill out some exciting forms!


* Funding, donations and weekly contributions …

We will be continuously funding LITL throughout the year through various generous supporters, funders and grant making trusts for the different strands of the programme. As we mentioned when we began to collect donations last November, we cannot now expect funders to repeatedly give us money to pay for 100% of what we do, especially as we have now been running for over three years. We have to be able to show funders that we can make our own contribution to the 1200+ hours of music we expect to have throughout the year, and help to self-sustain LITL! We had lots of good feedback and discussion on this from our participant steering group last week.

Our aim this year is to raise at least £4000 from our weekly sessions, concerts and performances. Beginning this September, on an honesty basis for all, we are asking everyone for a weekly contribution if you are able:

Adults ~ suggest donation – £2.00-£3.00
Children ~ suggested donation – £1.00

Most importantly, we completely understand if times are tough and you are genuinely unable to afford to make a contribution … no problem at all. Music is here for everyone in Falcon Lodge, regardless of income. We would just ask everyone to be honest and make a contribution if you are able.

If you would prefer to make a contribution online, we will have either bank account info for standing orders or Paypal/GoFundMe details later this month.

We want to be completely transparent with contributions received, so we’re happy to show you running totals at any time. We’ll count each week’s donations with you or one of the community centre team so they can make sure everything is accounted for.


* New weekly Thursday sessions – ukulele, guitar, drums and piano/keyboard …

Thanks for all of your votes in the last couple of weeks on which new instrument you’d like to be able to learn at LITL … piano/keyboard was head and shoulders the most popular, so we’re really excited to welcome the brilliant Dr Jory Debenham along on Thursdays to teach piano! We’ll have several group sessions for all ages from 3.30pm, along with extra classes on ukulele, guitar and drums/hand percussion.

We’ll be starting our new weekly Thursday sessions between 3.30pm and 6.00pm from 26th September. Initially priority will be for new participants, but we should be able to fit everyone in by early October … Let us know if and what you might be interested in learning!


* Where does the money go?! Plans for the coming year …

As a quick summary, we’re hoping to be able to bring lots of new music to many more people in all parts of the Falcon Lodge community of all ages and abilities over the next 12 months …

~ Continue our weekly Wednesday sessions with five teachers on drums, guitar, ukulele, spoken word, improvisation and the community choir … annually this is over 700 hours of music classes alone!
~ Adding extra lessons on Thursdays with new uke, guitar, drum and piano groups;
~ Lots more workshops and performances with Newhall Primary, Hollyfield Primary, John Willmott and Fairfax Secondary schools, Trinity Specialist College and Langley Primary Special School;
~ Three concerts for everyone to perform at, in December, April and July;
~ New music sessions for Young People 16-21, for Young Carers, and weekend participatory performances for families with young children;
~ A new children’s choir;
~ Summer and Easter holiday workshops;
~ Regular visiting guest artist gigs and performances every couple of months, with support slots for LITL musicians!
~ Opportunities for free tickets to music, film and theatre in Birmingham and Sutton.



* LITL ‘Pledge’ …

We are now all sharing the Community Centre space each week with up to 80-90 people! After lots of good ideas from our steering group last week, we thought it would be useful to jot down a few simple but important things we should all be considering when taking part in weekly lessons alongside so many other people, from using mobile phones to supporting concerts. We’ll have a copy of the new ‘Live In The Lodge Pledge’ for everyone to take home when you arrive … it will also be online at


* Missed Lessons …

We spent a lot of money last year on empty drum lessons! This is easily avoided … we just need you to let us know in advance by Tuesday lunchtime at the latest if you or your children are unable to make a one-to-one instrumental lesson, so we can offer the time to somebody else. No problem!

If you miss a couple of sessions without letting us know, you will of course still be very welcome to come along in future weeks, but we will initially look to offer the time to anyone still wanting to learn, so you might just have a little wait until another slot becomes available again. We don’t want to waste any of the generous funding we’re given!


* Flyering volunteers …

We need your help and a big community effort! We will be out and about in Falcon Lodge over the next couple of weeks with flyers and posters telling everyone about our new sessions and upcoming dates. We can’t do this without you, so if you haven’t already, please let us know if you are able to spare an hour or two this month to help to distribute flyers to the whole the estate!


* New LITL website …

Lots of photos and info now online at – we’ll be adding plenty more over the coming weeks, along with upcoming dates, more regular news and info on what we’re all up to! We’ll also have a lovely new video going live very soon.


* Thank you Rosa …

With much sadness we have to bring news that our great friend and dynamic musician extraordinaire, Rosa Li, passed away over the summer.

Originally from Hong Kong but coming to the UK many decades ago to work as a nurse, Rosa raised her family locally, and was a great supporter and participant of LITL from the outset, performing in the choir, on drums, guitar and with the improvisation group, making great strides in her playing over the last year. She was due to play the famous Rodrigo ‘Adagio’ solo on guitar at our Birmingham Town Hall concert in July, but suffered a heart attack a couple of weeks before. She remained her usual inimitable self and in fine form over the weeks that followed, where Joe and myself were lucky to see her several times – happily her usual tactful way of telling us off had not altered at all!
Rosa’s presence, generosity, infectious personality and wonderful eccentricity will be hugely missed as part of the LITL community … thank you Rosa for brightening our worlds and our Wednesdays!

Rest easy.

We hope to have a celebration concert in the Sutton area later in the year.


* Welcome to some lovely new faces …

And finally, you’ll be glad to hear …

We’re very lucky to be working with some brilliant new people this year … joining Naomi, Joe, Tymek, Chris and Sam, an extra warm welcome to Rohit, who you’ll sometimes see when you arrive, helping behind the scenes and with, well, everything thrown at him; to Jory, teaching piano; to Will and Oli on guitars and ukulele; and to Joelle, teaching drums and percussion. Chris is currently away with a whole host of solo performances across the country through until December, but he’ll be back to Wednesday guitar/uke classes in January. We’re also very happy to be welcoming several familiar faces from the community who will be helping each Wednesday and Thursday with organising the sessions, signing everyone in, keeping everything running smoothly and finding the biscuit stash!

As ever – any thoughts, ideas and feedback always welcome!

Sam and the LITL team



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