The Munich Summer Ball, which was hosted in July by ESME e.V. and organised by members of our Resident Alien Big Band, raised over EUR 700 for for “Musik schafft Heimat”, a project instigated by the Bayerische Philharmonie within the major initiative “Integration und Toleranz“ of the Wertebündnis Bayern to help integrate refugees into their new home in Munich through the universal language of music.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of watching some of these groups perform at the Bayerische Philharmonie’s open day in Munich Pasing.

The male singers were all wearing T-shirts with names of cities – Aleppo, Homs, Damaskus – followed by “Munich”; cities we have all heard far too much about in the news. They sang together about “Heimat” and ended with their own version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. Their wives and children stood proudly in the audience and cheered with everybody else at the end of each song. A further group played on traditional Syrian instruments.

It is impossible for us to imagine what these people have been through, both at home and on the 47-day trek to a better life in Germany. It is wonderful to see them smiling and making music together here in Munich. Please take time to have a look at their website:


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ESME at the “Expat in the City” Fair

Following the success of last year’s “Expat in the City”, our musicians once again signed up to help set up and run the ESME booth at this year’s event, which was held in the BMW World at Olympiazentrum, on Sunday 6 March. Many members of  the public expressed an interest in our organisation and signed up to either join an ensemble  or attend one of our concerts. A small section of the choir gave the audience a taster of the upcoming Spring Concert with a section of the song “Nelly Bly” – which was very well received!


ESME Spring Weekend Away

On Friday 11 March, around 70 ESME members gathered at the Alexander von Humboldt Institut in Bad Schüssenried for another weekend of music-making. All three ensembles were well represented and enjoyed the many hours of rehearsal, thanks to the continued dedication and enthusiasm of their directors. By Saturday night each ensemble was ready to perform something from this season’s repertoire to the rest of the group.  The Big Band’s pieces were particularly spectacular!

Thankfully there was also time for the usual banter and late-night fun, which always make these events so memorable.  All in all an excellent weekend, and members can look forward to the next one in early October!

Spring Concert

An additional date for your Diary: Saturday 23 April at 19:00 

The ESME Choir presents a wide selection of tunes, ranging from gospel and folk to classical and pop, plus a variety of performances from smaller instrumental and vocal groups. 

It promises to be an evening of great musical entertainment.  Hope to see you there!

More details here:       Spirit of Spring  –  2016 Spring Concert

Spirit of Spring

Rehearsals for the 2016 Summer Season got underway on 20 January with the first Singers’ rehearsal in our new rehearsal room at Stadtteil Kultur 2411, Munich under the direction of Eric Weddle, our Summer Season conductor.


Since Monday 1 February, the orchestra has also been testing the acoustics of the rehearsal space with their conductor, Benedikt Holnaicher.


The first Big Band rehearsal took place on 4 February in their usual rehearsal space, KreativGarage, with Armin Holnaicher leading them through the season.


There is a full programme of ESME events this season including:

The Expat in The City Fair on Sunday 6 March – this year it will be at BMW Welt.

The Spring Concert at Einstein Kultur on Saturday 23 April, featuring the ESME Singers as well as some small ensembles and soloists.

The Summer Concert, featuring all three ESME ensembles, at the Carl-Orff-Saal in Gasteig on Saturday 18 June.

As well as appearing at the Summer Concert, the Big Band will be involved in a number of events in and around Munich. More details to follow soon.

Details of the concerts and other events can be found on the ESME website and on Facebook




Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on ESME News February 2016

The Spring/Summer 2015 season has come to close with a flurry of activity.

The 2015 Summer Concert on June 13 in the Gasteig’s Carl-Orff-Saal brought all three ensembles together with a lively, varied program.

Photos courtesy of Celticon Photography

This concert was somewhat bittersweet for the participants, as it was Orchestra Conductor Andreas Partilla’s last performance with ESME. His position at the Gärtnerplatz Theater has expanded and we always knew that his talents would soon be sought after by Munich’s professional musical community.

10805823_10154843694710063_7051122403821918515_nPhoto courtesy of Celticon Photography

On July 11, ESME was very much in demand! The Big Band played what has become a regular gig as the entertainers for the Lions’ Club Ball at the Künstlerhaus on Lenbachplatz.

Big Band Lions' Ball 2015
Photo courtesy of Mark Davey

That same evening, the Singers were the guest act at the American Music Abroad concert at the Alter Speicher in Ebersberg. The concert’s grand finale had the ESME Singers and the Oneida Chorale combining forces. This was a benefit concert with all donations going to Münchner Tafel e.V., a charity distributing food in Munich.

ESME Singers and Oneida Chorale Ebersberg 2015Photo courtesy of Jonathan Harclerode

All in all, it was a very busy, very rewarding season. We’re taking a break, but still working on some exciting things to share with you in the coming months. Thanks so much for your support and have a great summer!

The 2015 Spring/Summer Season has been a busy one so far both in and outside rehearsals.

A small group of musicians marched and sang in the Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Munch in March.

ESME was also represented at the Expat In The City Fair in Munich and members had the opportunity to explain more about who we are and what we do to the many visitors who attended. Some have even gone on to join us.

On 25 April the Spring Concert, ‘Rhythms of Spring’ featuring the Singers and a number of vocal and instrumental ensembles took place at Einstein Kultur.


The Spring ESME Weekend Away (EWA) at Bad Schussenried, Baden-Württemberg (8-10 May) gave the Singers and Orchestra members time for intensive rehearsals as well as the opportunity to for social activities including a very challenging Pub Quiz.

The 2015 Summer Concert is just 2 weeks away!

Summer is Calling




Saturday 13 June at 19:00 in Carl-Orff-Saal, Gasteig.

Musical Direction by Andreas Partilla and Eric Weddle
ESME Orchestra, Singers and Big Band

The varied programme will open with a contemporary piece for Singers and Orchestra: Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. The Singers will also be performing songs including The Seal Lullaby, Amani (Peace) and Oye. The orchestra will perform Danzas Cubanas, Tom and Jerry – Blue Cat Blues and The LionKing. The Big Band pieces this year will include It’s Only A Paper Moon and Don’t Know Why.

Tickets: 10,14 and 18€ are available from München Ticket  (with reductions for children and students)

Hope to see some of you there!