The English-Speaking Music Ensembles’ Winter Concert is coming to town…

Take time out from the pre-Christmas bustle on Sunday 9th Dec, 16:00 at Carl-Orff-Saal, Gasteig. Unwind and groove with Verdi, Vince Guaraldi, and Dvorak performed by our three ESME ensembles: The Resident Alien Big Band, the Orchestra, and the Singers. We’ll have at least one waltzing flower, one Tannenbaum, a bit of Charlie Brown and English Christmas carols.

Tickets for our “Tales of Christmas” Concert are now on sale on München Ticket.
Add the event to your calendar, so you won’t forget.


This concert is going to be a farewell and welcome at the same time: sadly the orchestra is saying goodbye to their conductor Benedikt Holnaicher. He’s leaving ESME to start a Meister-course in Nuremberg. We are very sorry to see him leave us after so many years, but wish him all the best and hope to see him in the audience of one or two of our future concerts.

And welcome

The Singers, on the other hand, are introducing their new conductor, Andrew Morris.  We asked him a few questions:

1. Full name?
Andrew Morris
2. Voice/ instruments?
Violin, Viola, Piano, Bass Voice
3. Favorite piece of music/composer – why?
Bach – D minor Chaconne for Solo Violin
Why:  Because I once upon a time worked really hard on this for an exam.
4. I like the ESME Singers, because….?
They seem to find my jokes amusing.
5. I’m looking forward to… with them.
Performing with them (of course!)
A little more bit about you:

I originally studied music, specialising in performance on the violin, but like quite a few musicians became a computer programmer instead.  Somehow writing Bach fugues and coding have a lot in common.  After some exciting adventures working with data and quite a few trips around the Far East I ended up in Munich in 2001 when my girlfriend (now my wife) was offered a job here.  When our two children came I knew we were going to stay and that’s when I started studying singing, it being easier to sing with a baby on your lap than to play the violin.  The singing led to running courses in English and singing in schools and kindergartens and a certificate in choir conducting.  I also became conductor of the Munich Ladies Choir who very generously let me develop my conducting technique over six years.  When not making music I enjoy being in the mountains; skiing or walking according to the season.

Welcome Andrew — we look forward to more laughing with you!


ESME Autumn Weekend Away Nov. 9-11 2018

We are looking forward to a weekend full of Christmas spirit at the beautiful and well-equipped Bayerische Musikakademie at Schloss Alteglofsheim. There will be plenty of rehearsing, but also lots of fun while preparing for our winter concert.  Pictured below are some folks enjoying the spring weather with a walk in the countryside during our Spring EWA — our Autumn EWA typically also involves country walks, but with heavier jackets!

The ESME Singers – Extra Performances

In addition to preparing for a festive concert, the Singers are also planning a few extras this winter: on Oct. 31 several passionate singers are going to Berlin to sing in a mass performance of the Armed Man: A Mass for Peace on Nov. 2, for the 100th anniversary of the end of WWII.  The composer Sir Karl Jenkins will himself be conducting the piece.  Livestream the event within Germany at 20:00 from the link below!
One Christmas-themed concert is not enough: the Singers have also been invited to sing carols and other wintery tunes from the City Hall balcony at Marienplatz as part of the city’s Advent celebrations, above the largest Christmas market in town.  The Singers applied for this privilege years ago and have finally been accepted – we have arrived in the Munich cultural scene!  Come along and listen with Glühwein or Feuerzangenbowle!

The Resident Alien Big Band Additional Gigs

In mid-October, The Resident Alien Big Band was booked into the Grüner Saal of Zum Augustiner for ESME founder Mark Davey’s round birthday (and celebration of his and Belinda Grützun’s wedding).  Congratulations again! The event was opened to the public once the band started up, and they played on until the wee hours of the morning.  The Aliens have been booked for other private functions as well, but of course we can’t show you pictures of those — Datenschutz!  We did get permission to post a very large video file of a very German ritual (thanks Peter Stiff!): the tapping of a wooden keg, just like at Oktoberfest!

Our friends at Entity Theatre e.V. present: “Lend Me A Tenor” by Ken Ludwig

A surefire screwball comedy with loads of laughs! “Lend Me A Tenor” by Ken Ludwig performed by our friends from the Entity Theatre e.V. will whisk you away to the wild and crazy world of opera.  Jump into the United States of the 1930s and experience an evening of glamor, entertainment and music. You will join the protagonist on his journey from zero to hero, careening all the way from one disaster to the next. “Lend Me A Tenor” is charming and full of quick, sharp dialog and jazzy music.

Opening night is November 1, 2018, at Pepper Theater Neuperlach. Members and friends of ESME are welcome to come along particularly on Nov. 3: meet ESME’s new Social Coordinator Irina Popescu (who has promised to wear a red sweater) at 19:30 at the bar downstairs to get seats together for showtime at 20:00. Other ESME members are also already going on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, so you’re sure to find someone you know if you go on any of those dates!  ESME and Entity have several members in common, too — see if you can spot them in action!

2019 Concerts for your calendar

Sunday, May 19, Einstein Kultur – our annual Showcase highlighting smaller ensembles

Saturday, June 29, Kulturzentrum Trudering – our annual Summer Concert, our first time in this venue


This post is actually our newsletter — subscribe to have a version with a ticket link for each concert sent to you as soon as we have it!  More regular news and posts go out over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., all of which accounts are linked at the bottom of each page – but the newsletter will get to you no matter how those algorithms get changed.

Summer Secrets: ESME 2018 Summer Concert tickets are now on sale!

Saturday 7th July at 19:00 at the stupendous Münchner Künstlerhaus – it’s going to be quite an event! With performances from the ESME Singers, Orchestra, and Resident Alien Big Band, and featuring titles such as Don Giovanni, Nimrod (Enigma), West Side Story Choral Suite by Leonard Bernstein and arranged by Mac Huff, Mona Lisa, James Bond, Mission Impossible, Skyfall, and some mysterious magic. Don’t miss out!

And yes, it’s Leonard Bernstein’s Centenary.  He’d have been 100 this year, and our selections from West Side Story are part of a celebration of his oeuvre.

We’re on the worldwide party calendar:
Tickets available here:

And just a few days later…

ESME Resident Alien Big Band presents: A Night on the Groove!

Spend an evening with ESME e.V’s Resident Alien Big Band and groove to a musical journey of Swing, Funk, Latin and Rock to get your feet tappin’ and hips swingin’!  There will be dancing…

This will be on Saturday 14th July at 21:00 at Prinzregenten Garten. Tickets are available to ESME members at €8, non-members €10, both prices only available as an online advance purchase — at the door, it’s €12! Members, remember, you have to log in with your VereinOnline account to get that discount… and it’s only available until the Summer Concert!

In other news…

Spring 2018 Concert: ESME Unplugged

This year’s Spring Concert proved once again to be a joyous occasion for performers and audience alike. The choir sang a number of stirring gospel songs, mixed in with items from their jazz, classical and pop repertoire. Several guests commented on the sense of awe and joy that the music evoked in its listeners. The choir were joined onstage by various small ensembles, put together especially for this event – what a versatile group of musicians!

It was great to enjoy the warm afternoon air with a relaxing and happy after-show gathering at the neighbouring Biergarten.

Photo credit: Tom Hafner

Spring 2018 Weekend Away

This was ESME’s 13th Weekend Away! And as always it was filled with a good balance of hard work and entertainment. Both the choir and the orchestra put in many hours of rehearsal and made considerable progress in this seasons’s pieces. During the day there were opportunities to explore the surrounding nature (including the now-familiar Llama farm!) and in the evenings there was time for plenty of fun and games, with the usual late-night jamming around the piano. It was with great excitement that the two ensembles came together on Sunday afternoon, ready to try out their show-stopping joint item for this season. All in all a fantastic weekend – special thanks to the conductors, accompanists, organisers and helpers who made it so successful!

Photo credit: Daniel Plappert and Sabine Gaumert

Welcome to our new board members

June 8 was the first Board Meeting with our two new members: Caroline Kelley is gradually taking on Artistic Director as Annie Janssen has stepped in to help with the July 7 concert, while Annika Brockhaus begins as Secretary!  We thank Marie Lechler and Marije Nieuwenhuis for their work both on the board and as Concert Coordinator, and hope to see them again soon!


You’ve seen these acronyms in your mailboxes recently — we delayed this newsletter to not get lost in the flood!  We at ESME have only ever written to folks who have filled out a form to join us, who have purchased our tickets online, or who have simply signed up for updates –and each issue of the newsletter has an unsubscribe link at the bottom.  After clicking on unsubscribe, you will receive one last are-you-sure email, and clicking the link there will remove you from our list.  Once you’ve been removed from the newsletter list, our IT department can delete you from our database entirely.  Rejoin anytime at — we’ll send out news with a ticket link before each major concert, and with varying algorithms at Facebook and Twitter, it really is the only way to ensure you’ll never miss a concert announcement.

Greetings 2018 ESME fans,

We are excited to start the new year off with an exhilarating repertoire of music!

All of ESME have been working hard to show you the best of what ESME can offer during our 2018 season.  We hope you are as excited as we are!

Starting off the new year, we want to invite you to our Annual Spring concert “ESME Unplugged” – join us on April 22, 2018 at Einstein-Kultur at 16:00! This is a special time for our singers to perform a wide range of musical genres from around the globe and to welcome to the stage a number of small ensembles that members have put together independently. It’s going to be an evening of musical delights!


Photo credits: Michael Mosch

Where can you get tickets? So glad you asked! You can find a link from our Facebook page and website, Twitter and Toytown or directly here:

Adult ticket: (15,00 Euros)

Reduced tickets for children up to 12: (5,00 Euros)

Reduced tickets for students: (10,00 Euros)

We can´t wait for you to hear the talented members of ESME, so save the date! We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Summer 2018 concert teaser…

The Summer Concert with the theme of “Mystery and Intrigue” will be on July 7, 2018 at the Münchner Künstlerhaus.

All three ensembles will perform their individually selected repertoires, and then come together for a few special pieces as an extra treat! The singers are rehearsing with the Orchestra our West Side Story Choral Suite, inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Be inspired and moved by the brilliance of Leonard Bernstein’s scores and the poetic assiduousness of Stephen Sondheim´s lyrics.  And the Big Band and Orchestra are collaborating on a special piece to do with our spy theme… come to find out!

Again, you can find a link from our Facebook page and website, Twitter and Toytown, and directly here:


Save the Dates:

April 12, 2018 – Jazzbar Vogler

The Lions Club of Munich is sponsoring a benefit performance of our Resident Alien Big Band at Jazzbar Vogler ( — donations welcome, proceeds go to the Münchner Tafeln e.V.  Tickets available at


July 14, 2018 –  Prinzregent-Garten

Spend an evening with ESME e.V.’s Resident Alien Big Band and groove to a musical journey of Swing, Funk, Latin and Rock to get your feet tappin’ and hips swingin’!

December 9, 2018 – Gasteig Carl- Orff Saal

Join the Orchestra,Singers, and Resident Alien Big Band for our annual Winter Concert at Gasteig Carl- Orff Saal!
Save the date, more details will follow!

Fall of 2017 Update:

As we prepared for our Fall/Winter Christmas concert, the ESME choir and orchestra had the opportunity to take part in a charity event at Ludwigskirche on December 3, 2017. This event was organized by the Munich Irish Network and DIF Bayern to help raise funds for severely sick children in Munich. How exciting it was to perform the Hallelujah Chorus (amongst other items) in such a grand, (albeit cold!) venue! And to appear directly after the Paul Daly Band, featuring our Mayor OB Dieter Reiter!

Only a week later, all musicians took to the stage again, this time at the Künstlerhaus, for our ever-popular Winter Concert, entitled “A Christmas Festival”.

From Bach to Karl Jenkins, from Bruno Mars to Beethoven, this show offered the usual mix of traditional and modern. The Big Band thrilled the audience with their sensational tunes, whilst the choir brought a certain festive spirit to the occasion (headgear included!). The orchestra played many delightful pieces, including The Complete Harry Potter, featuring a cameo from the young wizard, Harry, himself!

Our thanks go to our three conductors, Davy Kazan, Benedikt Lorenz and Robert Gardner, and to the many members who contributed to make this season such a great success.

Photo credits: Tom Hafner and Jorge Benitez

Annual General Meeting March 3, 2018

The board was thrilled this year to have more than one candidate vying for more than one office!  The job of Artistic Manager was hotly pursued, as was Auditor, with two people running for each.  Highly gratifying to see such eager participants!  Marije Nieuwenhuis won the election to Artistic Manager, and Sabine Gaumert won for Auditor.  Elaine Cole and Genevieve Cory ran unopposed for Treasurer and Chair, respectively.  We did again run out of time to discuss everything we wanted to talk about, but we are arranging for a Forum sometime this Spring / Summer to talk about new projects (Maybe a Vereinsheim?  Maybe selling sausages at a summer session?).

Speaking of projects, we continue our drive to get more members involved in the running of the organization with a cloud-based Agile project management system (Meistertask).  As many projects as possible are listed as tasks that any member can take on — from deciding which glockenspiel case to buy, to writing this newsletter, to designing the program for the next concert, or planning get-to-know you games for the next Weekend Away (in May!).   We hope that this greater transparency will encourage more active participation – and give everyone a chance to experience Agile, which of course can only be good for anyone’s career… even if it’s only the business side of things, and not the musical side.  We do need both though…

And finally…

We are currently in need of more tenors, viola- and double-bass players!!! If you know anyone who might be interested please send them our way.

By Michelle & Frances

Hiya fans,

First off, our Winter Concert is only a few weeks away!!!

We will be performing at the Münchner Künstlerhaus on Sunday 10th December at 16:00 – and you can buy your tickets in advance via this link.  As always with ESME, we cover all kinds of territory in this concert — The Complete Harry Potter, Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Morten Lauridsen’s O Nata Lux, a new arrangement of the traditional Irish Blessing (“May the road always rise to meet you…”)  The Resident Alien Big Band will groove with Uptown Funk and The Lady Is A Tramp… and more.  Details are available here.

In addition, the Orchestra and Singers will also be performing in a joint charity benefit concert with the Deutsch-Irischer Freundeskreis Bayern and the Paul Daly Band on Sunday 3rd December at 14:00 at the Ludwigskirche.  It is free, and all proceeds will go to the Initiative krebskranke Kinder München e.V., Münchener Elternstiftung-Lichtblicke für schwerkranke und krebskranke Kinder, and the Elterninitiative Intern 3 im Dr. von Haunerschen Kinderspital München e.V.    More details on this free charity event are here.

In other news…

July – Summer Concert

Our Summer Concert, entitled “Sing, Swing, Strings!” proved to be a great success! All three ensembles took to the stage offering the usual variety of classical and contemporary music, from excerpts of Mozart’s Requiem to a wonderful medley from The Wizard of Oz (costumes included!). The Resident Alien Big Band also delighted us with some great tunes from the 1940s, featuring a live swing dance performance – a first for ESME!



June-September – Big Band Performances

The Resident Alien Big Band had a busy summer with various additional performances. In June they had the amazing opportunity to perform on stage in Marienplatz at the city’s Stadtgründungsfest – the anniversary of Munich’s founding. The band was a huge hit, with crowds of people watching, singing and even dancing along to the music! Many members of the other ensembles also came along to show support and enjoy the sunshine – all in all a great day!






They then participated again at the Munich Summerfest at Rindermarkt – once again entertaining the public with some fabulous tunes, and catching some dancers in spite of the rain!




Last but not least in the RABB summer calendar was a date at the Münchner Hofbräuhaus — again, RAIN came, but didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits as they moved from the courtyard beergarden to the Festhalle.  (The dance floor’s better in there anyway!)


October – Weekend Away at Alteglofsheim

With the Autumn Season well under way, it was time for another ESME Weekend Away – this time in the beautiful grounds of the Bayerische Musikakademie in Alteglofsheim. Around 80 musicians (Singers, Orchestra and Big Band) made their way there one Friday evening ready for a weekend of musical fun. And it certainly did not disappoint! As well as the many hours of ensemble practice and progress, we were also treated to lessons in Swing Dancing and Percussion (with guest instructors Marius Schmidl and Toby Müller). Somehow many still found time for country walks, lively games and plenty of late night jamming around the piano!!! As usual, not much time for sleep…

Wishing you all the best for the festive months ahead and looking forward to see you all at one of our upcoming events!

Hiya fans,

Our biggest news, of course, is that our Summer Concert tickets have just gone on sale at !  The concert itself is called Sing, Swing, Strings!, on July 8 at the Gasteig, and we’re excited to try a couple of experiments — we’re trying out one single ticket price of 15 euros for everyone, and no reserved seats.  That’s right — come early to grab your preferred place!  Reduced admissions for children and students are 8 euros.

Of course the show will be packed with our traditional variety, including Mozart, Glenn Miller, some Andrews Sisters, a bit of Bizet, a couple gospel numbers, the Monty Python theme tune (did you know it was written by John Philip Sousa?)… you know how it goes!

If you missed our sold-out Spring Concert on April 22 in the Einstein Kulturzentrum, we have made a few videos available — including this one of some spontaneous musicking at the after party!  The staff at the Unionsbräu was very accommodating, but it’s a good thing we had the entire room to ourselves.


We had our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, May 21, and we congratulate Michael von Glasow on his election to the position of Vice-Chair after Sarah Mulloy has stepped down after two successful terms!  Annie Janssen was reelected as Artistic Manager, while Elaine Cole and Genevieve Cory continue in their terms as Treasurer and Chair.  We are currently without a Secretary, but the Board is working on how to fill that spot soon (and start the notarizing!) – and perhaps founding an entire Concert Coordination Committee.  As our organization expands, the tasks somehow do not become fewer!

ESME e.V. is playing more gigs than ever before! Tomorrow, June 11, at 15:00 in the Stadtteilkultur 2411 at Hasenbergl, the Singers will be performing together with the Munich Korean Women’s Choir.  Stadtteilkultur 2411 was our rehearsal venue for the Singers and Orchestra in 2016, and it’s a lovely space in the north of town. There will be coffee and cake in the interval, and the show is free (but donations are accepted).  Location details are in the gig post.


The Resident Alien Big Band (RABB) is excited to perform in front of thousands of people at the City of Munich’s Stadtgründungsfest on Saturday, June 17!  They will perform at Marienplatz, right in the center of town, at 14:45.  This is a very prestigious opportunity for us, and they’ve been working and networking for years to get this chance to perform at one of the city’s biggest summer weekend festivals.  The whole program is here, and it’s an entire weekend of fun:

The Aliens will be moving faster than the speed of camera shutters as they groove onstage:








Look for members of other ensembles in the audience wearing their blue ESME t-shirts and carrying the ESME banner, as demonstrated at the Expat in the City Fair in March:





We hope to see you on June 11, June 17, and / or July 8!