Archive for July 2013

Philip Fowke Sold Out – Again!

Philip Fowke Sold Out – Again!

Jackdaws Tutor Philip Fowke

Jackdaws Tutor Philip Fowke

We start the week with the fantastic news that Philip Fowke’s September Piano Workshop course has sold out. Philip is one of Jackdaws’ most adored tutors and as such returns to us twice a year to run his Piano Workshop, which sells out just as routinely! Details for both of his 2014 courses in February and September are already live on our website and ready to take your bookings.

Also sold out this week is Stylish Baroque with Theresa Caudle and Alastair Ross, and our Summer Production.

If you missed out on a place on our Summer Production week you can still take advantage of our FREE Gifted and Talented Workshops this August for children aged between 9 – 15; although we have only a few places remaining on this Thursday’s Singing Workshop with Saffron van Zwanenberg we are still taking bookings – all you have to do is call or email us to book a place and bring a packed lunch on the day… oh and bring your best Tra la la la’s!

Singing in French

Singing in FrenchWhat a time celebrate British success in France by improving your understanding of the beautiful French language. Robin Bowman’s course Singing in French makes a wonderful continuation of Chris Froome’s success in the Tour de France, which next year comes to Yorkshire.

Singing in French

avec Robin Bowman
Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September
vendredi 30 août – dimanche 1 septembre

This course is open to singers of all abilities and will enable each participant to study and perform three or four French songs of their own choice, further preparing their favourite for an intimate Sunday afternoon concert at the end of the course.

Robin Bowman worked during the 1970s as assistant to Pierre Bernac, for whom Poulenc wrote more than half of his songs. From 1978 to 2008, Robin was French consultant to the National Opera Studio, London, and from 1997 to 2008 was Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. For twenty-five years he taught at the Académie Internationale Maurice Ravel, and for a further eleven at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. An accompanist and collaborative pianist of international reputation, he now works in retirement for the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, continues many summer schools and teaches and coaches for the Birmingham Conservatoire. Robin was on the adjudication panel for the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Click to book your place on Singing in French

or call 01373 812383 or contact

Summer Activities at Jackdaws

Summer Activities at Jackdaws

Jackdaws Summer Production Week; Monday 5 – Friday 9 August 2013.

Jackdaws Music Education Trust in Great Elm, near Frome will be hosting their popular activity week from Monday 5 to Friday 9 August this year, for children aged in School Year 4 and over. The Summer Production is always a fun, stimulating and exciting way to spend a week in the summer holidays, discovering how to create a show from scratch!

The project will be led by Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg. Working with composer/conductor Will Carslake and artist/designer Georgie Tym, the team will create an original production from initial ideas through to a live performance for an audience of family and friends on the Friday. The children will be asked to consider three options pitched by each of the production team and then vote on which they think will make the best combination of music, plot and staging. Then the work begins! Assisted by the production team, the group will create the show over the course of the week and perform it on the Friday.

The Summer School runs from 9.30am-4.30pm every day except for Friday, which ends with the performance in the village hall at 5pm.

Jackdaws Summer School is open to all, with no experience required – just bring enthusiasm and energy! The cost of the week is £60 per place. For more information or to book a place, please call Jackdaws on 01373 812383 or email


Free One Day Music Workshops

Jackdaws are also running a series of Free Music Workshops on Thursdays during the summer holiday. Some of Jackdaws most popular tutors will lead these workshops for budding young musicians. The four sessions will focus on piano, singing, strings (violin, viola and ‘cello) and composing (for any instrument, voice or style). You can bring a piece of music that you’d like to work on, if you have one and would like some tuition – or just come and play! The Free Workshop days run from 11am to 2pm and are open to 9 – 15 year olds. Bring a packed lunch and your instrument where appropriate, piano supplied at Jackdaws!
All abilities are welcome and places must be booked in advance. Participants are welcome to attend as many days as they would like to!

Thurs 25 July – Piano with Mark Tanner
Thurs 1 Aug – Singing with Saffron van Zwanenberg
Thurs 15 Aug – Strings with Elizabeth Turnbull
Thurs 22 Aug – Composing with William Carslake

Further information about the Tutors can be found on the Jackdaws website;

Please contact Jackdaws for more information or to book by calling 01373 812383 or email

Jackdaws Celebrates Britten’s Centenary

2013 is a huge year for Jackdaws. Not only are we celebrating 20 years of Jackdaws, but also the centenary of the birth of England’s greatest composer Benjamin Britten. We did this by coming together with students from Frome College, Oakfield Academy, Selwood Academy and members of the Jack’s club to put on a concert at the College.

Before World War Two broke out, Benjamin Britten had moved to America along with singer Peter Pears, but moved back to England in 1942, where he was registered as a conscientious objector – the idea of not fighting for your country was a terrible crime then. Eventually, Britten was allowed to not fight if he composed and performed for the war effort.

Performing many of Britten’s classics like the War Requiem and Lacrymosa students also worked with local poet Shaun Jackson and composer William Carslake to create music and lyrics about things that meant a lot to Britten – the themes chosen were war, death and peace and belonging. There were even a few fighting scenes performed by Selwood students.

Professional opera singer and Jackdaws’ Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg worked with singers from every school to create the powerfully haunting choral sound similar to that of Britten’s War Requiem and poems were read out that reflected Britten’s opinion of the War and the opinions of those who survived it.

The evening went smoothly – even including a little audience participation – and everyone felt that it had been a successful performance. A little speech from the College’s Principal rounded off a very enjoyable concert.

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