As we are now closed for the summer break, it seems a long way off until we meet once again on the square in September, but, as I stated in my previous column, time certainly does go by quickly.
I will be using this break to study and learn my ritual. I will be keeping in contact with good friends from my Lodge, and spending some quality time with my family.
As a jazz swing vocalist, I have to learn the lyrics to songs, sometimes overnight, and I’ve found that having a tune to accompany the words really helps my brain to memorise lyrics. This has helped me learn lines for acting roles too.
By simply adding a tune to the script, I learn my lines a lot quicker. Obviously, I then have to forget the tune once the words are set to memory, or I’d sound very silly singing melodical lines to a sad dramatic scene!
I find this technique is also very helpful for me to learn my Masonic ritual. Maybe it’s just how my brain works and I know there are many techniques for putting ritual to memory but music really helps me personally.
A tune can really bring the ritual to life and it sticks in my head easier that way. Again, once memorised I can lose the tune. If you struggle with memorising have a go at putting a tune to it and see if it works for you. It just might!
Music has really played a huge part in my life and continues to do so. I love that we sing the opening and closing ode at each meeting, I just love an opportunity to sing. For the past decade or so I have used my voice to sing for charity and good causes.
I use songs from the Great American Songbook to raise funds for all types of community groups and charities, and through doing so I have raised a large amount of money and it has really been an honour to do so.
My music hasn’t just helped others but it has also given me so much personal satisfaction. I have had some wonderful experiences as a singer and received some lovely honours including commendations from HRH The Duke of Kent, and the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
I attended, along with my wife, the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and received the official seal of approval from crooning legend Tony Bennett for my singing endeavours. I’ve also received several awards locally for using music to help others. Music really is a powerful tool that we can use to do so much good in the world.
I’d like to, if I may, share some lovely news with you about what the art of music has now given me. I recently received notice that I am to be awarded the British Citizen Award for Services to the Arts. I am extremely proud of this.
My wife and I are very much looking forward to attending the Palace of Westminster to receive my medal and certificate. Music has made this happen for me and I am so very grateful to it for doing so.
Being awarded isn’t something I ever expect; I don’t do charity work for rewards but it is a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged for the work I have devoted so many years to doing.
To be receiving an honour for services to the arts is just the icing on the cake for me. I am proud to use music, specifically the Great American Songbook in the jazz, swing genre, to make a difference in the world around me.
Speaking of jazz and swing, I was thrilled to learn of Freemasonry’s connection with this, as it is my favourite genre of music.
Nat King Cole (1919-1965), Duke Ellington (1899-1974), Glenn Miller (1904-1944), W. C. Handy (1873-1958) Count Basie (1904-1984), Sun Ra (1914-1993), Paul Robeson (1898-1976), Dizzy Gillespie 1917-1993), Lionel Hampton (1908-2002), George Gershwin 1898-1937), Irving Berlin (1888-1989), and Paul Whiteman were all Freemasons. How’s that for a tremendous line-up?
Being a musician can sometimes be a lonely profession. Travelling around the country, or indeed the world, leaving family, friends and loved ones at home for sometimes months at a time.
However, being a Freemason means that you always have a brother wherever you go, and musicians within the fraternity can travel safe in the knowledge that a brother awaits them in every city.
What a comforting feeling that is when you’re away from home.
Music certainly transforms lives, brings people together and unites the world – and so does Freemasonry. I’m very proud to be both a Mason and a musician.
See you next month!
Nat King Cole, 1959
“Nat King Cole” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1940 – 1960. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/743fa481-3ec9-855a-e040-e00a18063078
Duke Ellington c. 1940s
Image: PD-Art Wikipedia linked https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Ellington#/media/File:Duke_Ellington_-_publicity.JPG
W.C. Handy, George Avakian and Louis Armstrong 1954
Photographer: Guy Gilette
The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1954. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/030d6340-607f-0133-b8dc-00505686a51c
Count Basie seated at piano with Coca-Cola bottle
The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1938 – 1940. Photographer Otto F. Hess. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/db126460-3fc3-0138-e084-25bfd344fce7
Sun Ra, c. 1973
By Distributed by Impulse! Records and ABC/Dunhill Records. Photographer uncredited on the publicity photo itself; most likely Francis Ing. In its originally distributed form, the photograph was printed and published without a copyright notice. Photo retouched by uploader based on high-res scans., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=99369969
Paul Robeson, 1933.
Photographer: Carl Van Vechten. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division https://lccn.loc.gov/2004663510
Article by: Wayne Devlin
Wayne was initiated into Freemasonry in 2019. He is a member of Flixton Lodge No. 4869, West Lancashire. (UGLE).
He lives in Manchester where he is a well known personality through his many years of working in the entertainment industry as an actor, singer and presenter.
Wayne has been a columnist for a Manchester newspaper for over four and half years and he also writes television show formats.
For the past two decades Wayne has raised a vast amount of funds for various charities and community groups. He has received many commendations for his fundraising including those from HRH The Duke of Kent, The Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.
You can find more about him on his website www.waynedevlin.com
Recent Articles: Wayne Devlin
I would like to talk to you about our fraternal interactions. In Freemasonry, we interact with each other all the time and there are always going to be brethren that you will get along with better than others. - By
Wayne shares some exciting news and demonstrates that music most certainly transforms lives. It brings people together and unites the world – and so does Freemasonry. He is very proud to be both a Mason and a musician.
Wayne's articles are written to appeal to newer members into the lodge. - Freemasonry is a marathon not a sprint – make your years within the Craft truly count.
In order for a pencil to be of use it must go through regular sharpening. We, as Freemasons, must also go through regular 'sharpening' in order for us to be of service to our families and our communities.
Two Brothers receive honours from the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester
to be a better citizen of the world
share the square with two brothers
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