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Our new music studio is a firm commitment to arts education

Our new music studio is a firm commitment to arts education

The opening of a new music studio for Jackdaws is a firm commitment to arts education in the South West

Jackdaws New StudioOn 25 May, Jackdaws officially opens a new, purpose-built music studio, with an afternoon of musical activities and it is all thanks to a legacy from its founder, the celebrated mezzo-soprano Maureen Lehane.

Maureen founded Jackdaws Music Education Trust 26 years ago with an ambition to enable access to and the promotion of, classical music and musicians, through courses for all and an outreach programme for young people. In addition to this remarkable legacy, her financial legacy, together with donations from over 100 supporters, has enabled Jackdaws to invest in a new custom-build studio, The Lehane-Wishart Teaching Studio.

It is a major new addition to both Jackdaws’ facilities and the arts education sector in the South West and alongside extra practice rooms, it brings much needed space to Jackdaws home base in Great Elm, just outside Frome. It will house the Steinway model D grand piano, allowing this piano’s voice to finally have an appropriate space in which to be heard.

Over five years from inception to completion, Jackdaws’ new studio is sympathetic to its beautiful surroundings, built of wood and stone, with a design which incorporates special features specifically aimed at minimising its impact on wildlife and surrounding nature in the Vallis Vale. It includes bifold doors at the rear of the studio allowing the space to be opened up into the enclosed rose garden and the riverside setting provides a rural retreat in an idyllic location, not 10 miles from Bath.

Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg is overjoyed with the addition:

“This beautiful studio is the result of an incredible legacy from Maureen and the help of over 100 supporters who have donated to the project. I am thankful to each of them and delighted that we can finally provide this, much-wanted, extra space.

“It will provide a home our regular courses and our community projects, creating a welcoming environment in which music and musicians of all abilities can flourish.”

Jackdaws celebrates the launch of the Lehane-Wishart Teaching Studio with a Garden Party on Saturday 25 May, an afternoon of masterclasses and performances by world-class musicians.

All events will be free to attend but due to limited number of seats, tickets for each event must be booked by visiting the booking page. Only two tickets can be allocated per person.

Events

2:00pm Guided Tour with Development Manager Katharine Meadows

A short tour of the new facilities with Katharine Meadows, who oversaw the development.

2:30 – 3:15pm Vocal Masterclass with Rosa Mannion

Observe a masterclass for singers of all abilities with Royal College of Music professor Rosa Mannion.

3:30 – 4:15pm Piano Surgery with Philip Fowke

This will be an interactive session, with attendees invited to bring up a section of a piece of music which might be troubling them – either in performance or just working from a score.

4:30pm Guided Tour with Development Manager Katharine Meadows

5 – 6pm Celebration Concert

Performances from Philip Fowke, clarinettist David Campbell, the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, and Baritone James Atkinson (Winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2018) bring our day of celebration to a close.


Go to the Booking Page

Building Blog – Part Three

Building Blog – Part Three

With just a short pause for a break over Christmas, progress on the new Jackdaws studio has taken a huge step forward since our last update in October.

Outside, the roof tiles, windows and doors have transformed the façade. Meanwhile, work inside continues to create a superb new studio with large, bi-fold doors opening out on to the rose garden which can now be appreciated more fully. The underfloor heating makes this space extremely pleasant to work in on these cold frosty days.

Now that the weekend courses have resumed after the Christmas break, our builder Paul’s final job each Friday afternoon is to ensure the site is ready for the arrival of our participants. Courses have continued to run throughout the development and we are keen to move our courses into the new studio as soon as possible.

We are still fundraising for the studio, to help with furnishing and equipment, and there is time yet to have your donation recognised on the special 20Jackdaws wall-mounted display which will feature in the new building. The commission will celebrate and thank all our supporters who have contributed to the project since its inception in 2012. Your donations are as important to us now as they were then, and we rely on them to keep progress moving.

If you wish to add your name to our list of supporters, there are a number of ways you can do so – get in touch with us and let us know how you would like to help.

NewStudio

The Winners of the 2018 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

The Winners of the 2018 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Following a close final at the Wigmore Hall this afternoon, Jackdaws are delighted to announce the winners of the 26th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards:

MLVA2018First Prize
James Atkinson, Baritone

Second Prize
Charlotte Bowden, Soprano

Third Prize
Verity Wingate, Soprano

Accompanist Prize
Michael Pandya, playing for Charlotte Bowden

Audience Prize
Charlotte Bowden, Soprano

The judges – Amanda Roocroft, Patricia Bardon, Alisdair Hogarth and Saffron van Zwanenberg – said this has been the finest year for interpretations of Peter Wishart’s music.

All finalists were required to present a programme consisting of four items, two own choice items in addition to one song by each of the two set composers; Handel, of whose music Maureen Lehane was a renowned interpreter, and Peter Wishart, her late husband in whose memory the awards were founded.

The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are possible because of supported from The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, AIMS, Cooper Hall Emerging Artists, and Geoffrey & Margaret Batten. The Audience Prize was supported by the Jackdaws Trustees.

Finalists announced for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Finalists announced for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Following two days of auditions, Jackdaws are delighted to present the singers in the final round of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2018.

The Wigmore HallJames Atkinson, Baritone
Accompanied by Hamish Brown

Charlotte Bowden, Soprano
Accompanied by Michael Pandya

Glen Cunningham, Tenor
Accompanied by Lucy Colquhoun

Kamilla Dunstan, Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanied by Joe Howson

Kieron Connor Valentine, Countertenor
Accompanied by Alex Jenkins

Stephanie Wake-Edwards, Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanied by Richard Gowers

Verity Wingate, Soprano
Accompanied by Marina Staneva

Grace-Marie Wyatt, Soprano
Accompanied by Marina de Lucas Garcia

 

Finalists will compete at the Wigmore Hall from 1pm on Friday 16 November. The judges Amanda Roocroft, Patricia Bardon and Alisdair Hogarth, chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg, will decide who will be the recipient of the £2,000 first prize. The winner will be announced at 3:45pm.

Each performer will present a 20 minute programme made up of four works; one by each of the two set composers, Handel and Peter Wishart, and two own choice selections.

Tickets for the final are available directly from the Wigmore Hall.

Last Chance to get Your Name on the Wall

Last Chance to get Your Name on the Wall

In 2013, we launched the 20Jackdaws campaign to raise funds to help with the building of a new studio at Jackdaws. We asked you to give us £20 (or £200, or £2000..!) to celebrate our 20th birthday and the beginning of the journey towards the new space. In return, we would note your donation by adding your name to a display in the new studio with your own ‘jackdaw’.

New Build October 20182018 marks our 25th birthday and, following a long process of appointing an architect and getting planning permission etc, the build commenced in July this year and will be complete early next year.

There is still time (just!) to add your name to the long list of people who donated to the 20Jackdaws campaign. This would help us to decorate the space inside, and landscape the gardens around the studio.

So why not have your name on our wall of Jackdaws fame and help us to complete this project, which will support the future of Jackdaws for another 20 years.

You can make a donation in a number of ways, but please remember to let us know that you have made the donation as part of the 20Jackdaws campaign by emailing music@jackdaws.org .

If you would like to discuss your donation further, then please contact Development Manager Katharine Meadows by emailing music@jackdaws.org or calling 01373 812383.

Many thanks,

 

 

 

Saffron van Zwanenberg
Artistic Director of Jackdaws Music Education Trust

See how the build is progressing on our Building Blog.

Our build team made the most of the warm September days to make great progress with the structure (that you can now see), Read more…

Below: Progress on the new studio, 28 September 2018

Jackdaws Studio by the River

Building Blog – Part Two

Building Blog – Part Two

Autumn Approaches and we Raise the Roof!

Since our last update, construction on the new studio has really taken shape, with the roof timbers rising into the autumn landscape.

Our build team made the most of the warm September days to make great progress with the structure (that you can now see), and the drainage (which thankfully you can’t!) It’s becoming easier to see how the new building will fit into the Jackdaws site, and how wonderful the open aspect onto the rose garden will be.

Recent participants have been impressed to see how the building is taking shape, and have reassured us that the works are not a problem, which has always been a priority!

“The facilities at Jackdaws, although in a state of flux due to the building works, were first class. Everything was very clean and well maintained.”

Jackdaws Studio by the RiverOur adjusted access and parking arrangements have worked well, and we’re most grateful for the support that participants and tutors have given us. If you’re coming on a course, we’ll keep you updated throughout the process with any changes, as we continue to run our full programme of events.

There are still plenty of opportunities to see this exciting ‘work in progress’, we have an inspiring range of One Day Courses this autumn, alongside our weekend retreats at Jackdaws.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Read the Building Blog Part One

Autumn One Day Courses at Jackdaws

Autumn One Day Courses at Jackdaws

One Day Courses are your chance to learn from the expertise of our world-class tutors who visit Jackdaws, and enjoy our delicious home cooked lunches without giving up a whole weekend.

With tuition from 10:30am – 4pm, and a free lunch included, One Day Courses at just £45 are excellent value*.

Autumn at Jackdaws
Understanding Your Voice
with Jessica Walker
Saturday 3 November
To inspire you to take that next step with your singing, we’ll use breathing and vocal exercises to develop a healthy and more secure technique!

Family Singing Afternoon
with Caroline Radcliffe
Sunday 4 November, 2 – 5pm*
Caroline will teach us easy songs from near and far, and we’ll add parts and build harmonies to encompass all ranges and abilities!

“I got the most I could possibly get from a one-day
course and felt it was so worthwhile”

Play the Piano by Ear
with Stephen Marquiss
Sunday 2 December
If you’ve always played from sheet music, you may find you lack the confidence to play by ear. These principles will be widely applicable to any genre and will help you to escape the score!

Heart Song – Healing with the Voice
with Anne Bourne
Saturday 8 December
An introduction to the healing power of your voice, and how it can transform mind, body and spirit. Explore the use of vocal toning, breath work and meditation to access your own resonance.

From Panic to Poise
with Wendy Skeen
Sunday 9 December
Performing music can be a deeply enriching experience, so discover practical strategies to help you enjoy performing and sharing your music-making with others.

*Family Singing Afternoon costs £12 per adult & child pair, (£3 per extra child, £10 per extra adult) Includes tea and cake.

Jackdaws Studio by the River

Building Blog – Part One

Building Blog – Part One

Building the future of Jackdaws!Building at Jackdaws

We’re delighted to announce that building work for our new purpose built studio has now started! The first month of the build project has seen a lot of work on the foundations and at ground level, and we can now see the shape of the building beginning to emerge. Those of you who have attended a summer course here will have seen the progress being made, and our upper terrace area has provided a bird’s eye view of the new development. The terrace has proved to be a very popular area in itself, especially during the amazing sunny weather we’ve had!

Rest assured, our weekend courses will continue to run as planned; you’ll still find inspiring tutors, delicious food and the usual peaceful retreat at Jackdaws, as the build team will be working from Monday to Friday. There will be some minimal adjustments to parking and access, which we’ll advise participants about before their course, as these will alter as the project progresses.

We look forward to welcoming you during this exciting time, to come and see for yourselves the start of this hope-filled chapter at Jackdaws. All courses for the 2018 – 2019 season are now available to book, online, by phone or by post – see you soon!

Booking open for Jackdaws 2018-19 Courses!

Booking open for Jackdaws 2018-19 Courses!

Every year, we announce the more Jackdaws residential Weekend and One Day Courses. We welcome a range of new and returning tutors to our programme to keep our teaching varied, current, and so we can encourage you to try something new and find a new challenge.

We have full weekend courses, running Friday evening until Sunday afternoon; longer Three Day Courses from Thursday to Sunday; and One Day Courses bite-sized introductions to essential topics for all musicians. Some of the wonderful new tutors we welcome this year are Joan Rodgers, Alisdair Hogarth, Isobel Buchanan, Robert Chevara, Madeleine Mitchell and Alison Wells. Follow their links to read their full biographies and course descriptions, booking is now open!

Jackdaws Tutor Jessica Walker

Jessica Walker helps you with “Understanding Your Voice”

One Day Courses
Understanding Your Voice
with Jessica Walker
Saturday 3 November 2018

Family Singing Afternoon
with Caroline Radcliffe
Sunday 4 November 2018

Singing for Health
with Penny Jenkins
Saturday 1 December 2018

Jackdaws Piano Tutor Stephen Marquiss

Stephen Marquiss runs “Play the Piano by Ear”

Play the Piano by Ear
with Stephen Marquiss
Sunday 2 December 2018

Heart Song
with Anne Bourne
Saturday 8 December 2018

From Panic to Pose One Day Course
with Wendy Skeen
Sunday 9 December 2018

Voice Courses
Singing in English
with Adrian Thompson
Fri 21 – Sun 23 September 2018

Jackdaws Tutor Isobel Buchanan

Learn the Art of Bel Canto with Isobel Buchanan

The Art of Bel Canto
with Isobel Buchanan
Fri 19 – Sun 21 October 2018

Audition Preparation Weekend
with Audrey Hyland and Saffron van Zwanenberg
Fri 9 – Sun 11 November 2018

Schubert, Schumann and Wolf
with Joan Rodgers
Fri 23 – Sun 25 November 2018

Jackdaws Tutor Joan Rodgers

Study German Lieder with Joan Rodgers

Art Songs by African-American and Black British Composers
with Michael Harper
Fri 25 – Sun 27 January 2019

Sing Sing Sing
with Evelyn Tubb and Michael Fields
Fri 8 – Sun 10 February 2019

The Singer as Artist
with Alison Wells
Fri 1 – Sun 3 March 2019

English Song Weekend
with Sarah Leonard and Stephen Varcoe
Fri 15 – Sun 17 March 2019

Jackdaws Tutor Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson returns with A Song by Any Other Name

A Song by Any Other Name
with Richard Jackson
Fri 29 – Fri 31 March 2019

The Vocal Technician
with Joy Mammen
Fri 12 – Sun 14 April 2019

Singing Handel
with Rosa Mannion
Fri 10 – Sun 12 May 2019

Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg

Live & Sing your Favourite Opera scenes with Saffron van Zwanenberg and Rosa Mannion

Discover Your Voice
with Penny Jenkins
Fri 21 – Sun 23 June 2019

Staged Opera Scenes
with Saffron van Zwanenberg and Rosa Mannion
Thurs 4 – Sun 7 July 2019
Three Day Course

Summer Singing Workshop
with Jessica Walker
Thurs 8 – Sun 11 August 2019
Three Day Course

Robert Chevara - credit Rikki Beadle-Blair

Robert Chevara and Mary Plazas run Opera Workshop

Opera Workshop
with Mary Plazas and Robert Chevara
Fri 23 – Sun 25 August 2019

Singing in French
with Robin Bowman
Fri 30 August – Sun 1 September 2019

Piano Courses
Finding Your Voice at the Piano
with Stephen Savage
Fri 28 – Sun 30 September 2018

Jackdaws Tutor Elena Riu

Elena Riu returns with New Course “The Embodied Pianist”

The Embodied Pianist: Focus – Release – Tune In
with Elena Riu
Fri 12 – Sun 14 October 2018

Improvisation: An Art for Everyone
with Mark Polishook
Fri 26 – Sun 28 October 2018

Practising the Piano
with Graham Fitch
Fri 16 – Sun 18 November 2018

Polishing Your Piano Technique
with Melanie Spanswick
Fri 18 – Sun 20 January 2019

Jackdaws Tutor Alisdair Hogarth

New Tutor Alisdair Hogarth opens his Piano Toolbox

The Pianist’s Technical Toolbox
with Alisdair Hogarth
Fri 22 – Sun 24 March 2019

Knowing the Score
with Karl Lutchmayer
Fri 26 – Sun 28 April 2019

Becoming a Confident Pianist
with Timothy Barratt
Fri 17 – Sun 19 May 2019

Jackdaws Tutor Mark Tanner

Mark Tanner’s 2 part Piano Summer School

Improvisation: An Art for Everyone
with Mark Polishook
Fri 14 – Sun 16 June 2019

The Art of Pedalling
with Julian Jacobson
Fri 28 – Sun 30 June 2019

Intermediate Piano Summer School
with Mark Tanner
Tues 23 – Thurs 25 July 2019

Anna Stegmann Photo: Marco Borggreve

Anna Stegmann’s Recorder Weekend returns in October

Advanced Piano Summer School
with Mark Tanner
Thurs 25 – Sun 28 July 2019
Three Day Course

Piano Workshop: A New Departure
with Philip Fowke
Fri 13 – Sun 15 September 2019

Wind Courses
Recorder Weekend
with Anna Stegmann
Fri 5 – Sun 7 October 2018

Jackdaws Tutor William Lyons

Discover Renaissance Wind Music with William Lyons

The City Musick – Renaissance Wind Band Music for Court & City
with William Lyons and Richard Thomas
Fri 15 – Sun 17 February 2019

Clarinets
with David Campbell
Fri 8 – Sun 10 March 2019

Oboe Weekend
with Sarah Francis and Jean Marsden
Fri 31 May – Sun 2 June 2019

Jackdaws Tutor Madeleine Mitchell by Rama Knight

Workshop Viola and Violin music with Madeleine Mitchell

Bassoon Workshop – From Reed to Recital
with Robert Codd
Fri 7 – Sun 9 June 2019

Strings Courses
Winter Guitar Ensemble
with Eden Stell Guitar Duo
Thurs 31 January – Sun 3rd February 2019
Three Day Course

Violin and Viola Workshop
with Madeleine Mitchell
Fri 5 – Sun 7 April 2019

Eden Stell Guitar Duo

A long awaited Summer Guitar Course with the Eden Stell Duo

Summer Guitar Ensemble
with Eden Stell Guitar Duo
Thurs 11 – Sun 14 July 2019
Three Day Course

Strings & Things: Intermediate – Advanced
with Elizabeth Turnbull
Thurs 15 – Sun 18 August 2019
Three Day Course

Stylish Baroque
with Theresa Caudle and Alistair Ross
Fri 6 – Sun 8 September 2019

Jackdaws Tutor Wendy Skeen

Wendy Skeen’s successful One Day Course gets a full weekend!

Ensemble Courses
From Panic to Poise: Strategies for Managing Performance Anxiety Weekend
with Wendy Skeen
Fri 3 – Sun 5 May 2019

Chamber Music Weekend
with Sarah Francis, Robert Codd, Ian Mitchell and Stephen Gutman
Fri 19 – Sun 21 July 2019

Request a printed copy of the new brochure, or subscribe to our mailing list below.


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The Team Mascot Scores!

The Team Mascot Scores!

OperaPLUS 2018: The Team MascotAfter three weeks of OperaPLUS, with workshops and performances across Somerset and Wiltshire, the team sang their final note of the 2018 project last Friday.

The five performances involved hundreds of children from 13 schools, not to mention siblings, classmates and school-friends in the audience, singing alongside the professional singers in the full-length production of “The Daughter of the Regiment” performed in their own school halls.

“I can honestly say, that in all the years I have been working in schools, The Team Mascot was one of the best arts projects I have had the privilege of being involved with.” – Music lead of a participating school

‘The Team Mascot’ is Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg’s interpretation of Donizetti’s operatic comedy. All performances were semi-staged, sung in English and performed “in the round” to make them as accessible as possible, from first time opera goers (and there were a lot of them!) to seasoned listeners.

Some of our favourite feedback from the OperaPLUS shows…

  • OperaPLUS feedback“I am writing to say you have inspired me to want to listen to more opera”
  • “You have built up a truly inspirational opera project and you should be incredibly proud of what you are doing.”
  • “Thank you for giving my friends and I one of the most memorable moments of our lives.”
  • “The opportunity helped us to see what opera is really like. The performance was brilliant and the atmosphere was great.”
  • “I never knew I would ever have a chance to sing opera”
  • “Everyone was a little afraid of opera but all of us loved it at the end.”
  • “You produced a very professional opera which was musically impressive and did not patronise your young chorus or your audience!”
  • “It was the most captivating, imaginative and engaging performance in which the school children were so obviously included and valued.”
  • “The students and parents were absolutely buzzing and it was something they will all remember for a very long time.

The Team Mascot

OperaPLUS has continued to expand since 2010. This year is the first time this Award-winning music education project has been taken into Wiltshire.

All performances were supported by Arts Council England, the Department for Education, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Shows in Somerset are further supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Frome Town Council and South Somerset District Council. Shows in Wiltshire are further supported by Wiltshire Music Connect and Calne Town Council.

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