Archive for August 2013

Summer Production Feedback

Summer Production Feedback

We want to thank Eliza Talman for her great feedback about the Summer Production:

“I really liked the whole week, it was fun exciting and really involving. I was always doing something wether it was singing, going through the play or making the sets and props and all of it was really enjoyable. I loved making the forest seen out of magazines and fabric. The singing was really fun and as it was Jackdaws we were all pulled to the limit of what we could do! The acting was really exciting and we all had to be as good as professionals and as loud as we could be. As we only had a week we did the whole thing (learn the play, make all the art and all the songs) in the time we had and made many new friends by doing the same picture or the same song. I LOVE JACKDAWS!

I will definitely remember the toads that we got to make and the buzz of excitement that we got when we were doing the show.”

Brilliant – thank you Eliza!

The Wild Swan – Summer Production 2013

The Wild Swan – Summer Production 2013

Creating the Set

Creating the Set

Another year, another group of young musicians and artists grinning ear to ear about another successful Summer Production. Due to increased popularity, our cast was slightly larger than last year. All together, 21 children and teenagers worked all week to create this year’s wonderful performance.

Get Your Writing Published

If you were one of those 21 children, Jackdaws want to give you the opportunity to share your thoughts with the world by writing a few words about your experience at Jackdaws Summer Production week.

In no more than half a page we want to know:

  • What you did
  • What you enjoyed about Summer Production
  • What did you learn
  • What will you remember most
  • How has it encouraged you to do more?

Email your response, along with your name to or drop it in to us at Great Elm by this Friday (16th August) and Saffron will pick two to get published on

Lauretta Bloomer joins Jackdaws

Lauretta Bloomer joins Jackdaws

Jackdaws Tutor Lauretta Bloomer

Jackdaws Tutor Lauretta Bloomer

Join us in welcoming our newest tutor to Jackdaws – Lauretta Bloomer.

We are very excited to have Lauretta, who comes to us at the recommendation of experienced Jackdaws piano tutor James Lisney, and we are sure she is going to fit right in at her first course next month.

Lauretta comes from a very musical background:
Lauretta Bloomer studied piano with Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music in London and later in Vienna at the Hochschule für Muziek with Georg Ebert and Heinz Medjimorec where she was able to develop her knowledge and love for the music of the Viennese Schools and to specialise in chamber music. As soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist, Lauretta has played concerts throughout Europe, toured the US and more recently performed in Asia and Australia.

Lauretta has been invited as a guest at many international music festivals and has a broad repertoire encompassing all periods and styles. She is equally at home playing on period instruments of performing contemporary music. Recent concerts and recordings include the complete songs of Clara Schumann, Pierrot Lunaire, Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet, Mendelssohn’s Piano Sextet and Quartets as well as works by Brett Dean, Kerry Turner, Luciano Berio and George Benjamin.
Lauretta is an experienced teacher. Besides her own teaching in Amsterdam, she has given lecture recitals in the UK & Europe, and has given master classes in the United States in chamber music and piano accompaniment.

Lauretta will lead her first weekend piano course at Jackdaws “Playing with Poise” from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 September

Art is a beautiful gift. What is more beautiful, than to clothe one’s feelings in sounds; what a comfort in sad hours, what a pleasure, what a wonderful feeling, to provide an hour of happiness to others. And what a sublime feeling to pursue art, so that one gives one’s life for it.” Clara Schumann.

These words reflect English born pianist Lauretta Bloomer’s own feelings towards music and the performing of it. This piano course is open to all who love playing the piano or those who are curious and would like to know more about it. We will work on fingering, correct use of the thumb, pedalling and posture, as well as tone production. The course will be divided into two parts with individual tuition and group participation, during which aspects of technique and musical interpretation will be covered. Participants will be encouraged to take turns to play pieces they are working on or would like to improve.

In a fun, relaxed and warmhearted atmosphere it is hoped that everyone will be inspired to take part and to learn from each other.

Course details:
Playing with Poise
Course No. 3058
Level: All levels welcome.
Fee £180
B&B accommodation available from £30 per night
Click here to book

Singing and Imagination

Book a late summer voice retreat at Jackdaws to work with Ameral Gunson and accompanist Marion Lea this September on Singing and Imagination.

Ameral explains the course title;
“Singing is an activity first and foremost of the imagination, of us being alive imaginatively to the music, the drama and the poetry. We will work to hear the sounds in our imagination before we sing, and anticipate how the resonance will feel to keep engaged when not actively singing.”

Participants are invited to bring three pieces in English from any period and one “prop” which you feel may help stimulate your imagination.

Ameral Gunson at Jackdaws

Ameral Gunson at Jackdaws

Ameral Gunson studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Walter Gruner before joining the BBC Singers; she continued her studies with Otakar Kraus. After leaving the BBC Singers she quickly established a successful and varied solo career which has included performances throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. She includes many operatic roles in her repertoire and has appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Alter Oper Frankfurt and the Turin and Helsinki opera houses. Her recordings for EMI and Chandos include Verdi’s Requiem, The Rape of Lucretia and the Grammy award winning discs of Peter Grimes

Course details:
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September 2013
Singing and Imagination
Course No. 3057
Level: Advanced.
Fee £190
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

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