Archive for May 2014

Piano Summer School at Jackdaws Riverside Retreat

Piano Summer School at Jackdaws Riverside Retreat

Mark TannerOffering the opportunity to use the longer time of three days, this hugely popular course provides you with the time and space to get a better understanding of the sprawling piano repertoire. This lively course will concentrate on repertoire, style, technique and practice methods. How to choose music for diploma, grade exams and skeleton score study, improvisation, duets and more will all be discussed. Mark is an experienced examiner and will provide support for those taking grade and diploma exams as well as those who just want to play for pleasure.

As in previous years, the course will have a maximum of 12 participants, which has proved to be an optimum figure – the perfect compromise between the needs of the individuals, repertoire already worked up for the purposes of scrutiny by Mark, and spontaneous group discussions, which are always as entertaining as they are enlightening.

Aim to bring along two or more pieces that show your playing in a good light – this can, having said that, constitute ‘work in progress’ – but consider carefully how your thirty-minute sessions might best be profitable to you.

Mark Tanner specialises in teaching advanced level pianists and is one of the West Country’s most revered teachers. Students wishing to take diploma or higher-grade examinations, or perhaps prepare for a recital etc., would benefit from joining his Piano Summer School at the peaceful riverside location of Jackdaws.

In recent times, Mark’s students have gained first and second prizes in national competitions. Several have gained their DIPABRSM, LRSM, LTCL and LLCM diplomas (indeed Mark is an international examiner of these diplomas for ABRSM) and have progressed to study at conservatoires and universities at home and abroad.

Since 2011 Mark has been a lecturer in piano and composition at University College Falmouth. His students tackle a variety of different programmes and enjoy a diverse range of musical styles. For many years he taught adult music appreciation courses and Piano Summer School at Jackdaws has become one of the landmarks of the year.

Jackdaws by the RiverPiano Summer School Course Details
Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 July 2014
Course No. 3101
Level: Advanced
Fee: £260
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

View Mark’s Website
Mark on Twitter

The Stylist of Somerset – “Pure magic!”

The Stylist of Somerset – “Pure magic!”

“Sometimes something quite exceptional can happen when you’re least expecting it… Thank you. Encore. Encore.” – Jo Woodward

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th May saw something quite exceptional happen involving children from 6 Somerset schools, 6 Jackdaws Young Artists and a Rossini opera.

Jackdaws annual OperaPLUS project culminated two weeks of intense rehearsals and workshops with performances of “The Stylist of Somerset” (also known as Rossini’s Barber of Seville) at Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater and the Cheese & Grain, Frome with children singing as part of the opera performance.

Three schools were involved in each performance – Robert Blake, Elmwood and Penrose in Bridgwater and Critchill, Hayesdown and St John’s in Frome.

“All the children were fully engaged both as performers and as onlookers.” – Alan Burgess

OperaPLUS RehearsalsIn the two weeks preceding the shows, six Jackdaws Young Artists – all currently studying at one of the major British Music Conservatoires – led workshops with children at all six schools and Jack’s Music Club, working with the children on the part they would play and teaching the songs they later sang in the production.

The opera selected was Rossini’s opera buffa Barber of Seville, which was given a fresh and exciting spin and renamed “The Stylist of Somerset“. Based on popular TV talent shows, the evil Dr Bartolo was compared with a certain infamous judge with Rosina as his next star talent, Almaviva is a Pop star and, of course, Figaro is the best stylist in all of Somerset! Alan Burgess, headteacher of St John’s School who participated, said “Perhaps the greatest testimony of the production’s success was evidenced in the faces of everyone watching: they were enthralled from start to finish.

The performance was enjoyed by performers, children, parents and teachers alike.

“I am sure that neither of our sons (our 10 year old was in the audience with us) would have chosen to watch an opera with us. But they, like us were gripped from the very start.” – Kelly Newton

2014 is the 5th year that the OperaPLUS project has taken place. Previous years have seen productions of The Magic Flute, La Cenerentola and Semele, each time involving schools as far afield as Dulverton and Bridgwater.
As a parent I am feeling so very fortunate to have been able to share with my child in such an experience; as I felt so very much part of it as he did.” Charlotte Deniz Sanches

Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg addressed the audience immediately after the Frome performance, saying “It’s really very simple… Bring it to them and they love it.

Funder Logos

Read our introduction to the Stylist of Somerset.

Search for a Course

Archives