Archive for November 2014

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Have you always wanted to sing an aria, duet or chorus from Mozart’s most famous opera?

Will CarslakeThe Magic Flute has enchanted music and theatre lovers of all ages for hundreds of years. With charm and wit, it tells the story of a terrifying and joyful journey in pursuit of love, wisdom and happiness as Prince Tamino tries to rescue the Princess Pamina from the evil Sarastro. From the stratospheric arias of the Queen of the Night, through the jolly folk tunes of Papageno the Birdcatcher, to the profound music of Sarastro, leader of the enlightened ones, it is a full expression of Mozart’s musical and dramatic genius.

At the Come and Sing Opera Day, William Carslake will guide you through Mozart’s magical masterpiece. You will sing some of the most rousing choruses and tackle the solos and ensembles. William says, “we will sing in English, and can send out in music advance if wished. Please let us know if you would like to sing a certain part!”

‘Often referred to by many as Mozart’s only pantomime, The Magic Flute is a riot of life, lust and ludicrous plot that somehow belies its portentous position in Mozart’s output’ – Classic FM

The course runs from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 14 December and is open to singers of all abilities. The £35 fee includes the delicious home cooked lunch and all music needed for the workshop.

Jackdaws is in Great Elm, just 3 miles from Frome. Visit the course page to book or call 01373 812383 to ask any questions.

Come and Sing: Mozart’s Magic Flute
Sunday 14 December
William Carslake
11am – 3pm
Fee: £35 including lunch and music

Jackdaws Christmas Concert

Jackdaws Christmas Concert

Jackdaws ‘Christmas by Candlelight’ has fast become a firm favourite in the festive calendar. Once again there is a feast of musical delights in store for the annual concert which takes place in the beautiful village Church of St Mary Magdalene at Great Elm, near Frome on Friday 19 December from 6.30pm. The church will be dressed for Christmas and glowing with candlelight, providing a perfect setting for an evening of wonderful music. The Concert will feature performances by many members of the Jackdaws Family, brought together in this joyful seasonal celebration.


Great Elm ChurchJackdaws’ Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg, will be performing a selection of well-loved operatic arias. Saffron studied at the Royal College of Music and leads a busy life as a performer and opera director. She will perform a selection of operatic arias accompanied by David Price.

The Jackdaws Songbirds Community Choir enjoy singing a wide range of songs from around the World and across the centuries. For this performance they will be singing two American Spiritual Christmas folk songs, arranged by choir leader Caroline Radcliffe; ‘Rise up Shepherd and Follow’ and ‘O Mary and the baby, sweet lamb’.

Members of Jack’s Music Club have also been working on a performance for the concert. This group of young people from the Frome area meet at Jackdaws to learn and play together every Friday evening during term time, inspired and directed by a different visiting Tutor each week. They will perform arrangements of music by Schubert and Yann Tiersen.

Pianist Joshua Bishop will play a seasonal piece by French composer Jacques Ibert, ‘Noël en Picardie’. Ibert served in the First World War and was inspired to compose the piece in 1914 about a soldier spending Christmas in the trenches. Joshua will also perform some arrangements of songs by Gershwin.

Join in with traditional Christmas carols, to help get you in the festive mood, as the programme also includes some favourites for all to sing, including; ‘Once in Royal David’s City, ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’. Traditional winter refreshments of hot Mulled Wine and Mince Pies will be served in the interval.

Last year’s concert was a sell-out, so book early to be sure not to miss out on this festive musical treat! Tickets cost £10 in advance, £12 on the door (subject to availability), and are available from Jackdaws on 01373 812383 or email or purchase online at

Christmas LogoChristmas Concert by Candlelight
Friday 19 December, 6:30pm
Tickets: £10 in advance (£12 on the door)
Book tickets:
(phone) 01373 812383

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards Winners 2014

On Friday 14 November, eight young finalists sang on the famous Wigmore Hall stage to compete for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award first prize of £2,500.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Winners 2014Winners at the 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards
1st Prize
Patrick Terry, Counter Tenor (25)
2nd Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone (25)
3rd Prize
Timothy Nelson, Baritone (27)
Audience Prize
Henry Neill, Baritone
Accompanist’s Prize
Rebecca Taylor (28), playing for Patrick Terry

Patrick is the first Counter Tenor to have won at the awards. Each finalist was required to present a 15 minute programme consisting of works by each of the two set composers – Peter Wishart and Handel – as well as two own choice selections. Patrick’s accompanist, Rebecca Taylor, was awarded the Accompanist’s Prize.

Jackdaws Artistic Director, and chair of the Adjudication Panel, Saffron van Zwanenberg said:

It was a wonderful afternoon of singing and playing from all of the finalists. Having chaired the last five finals I believe this year candidates performed to the highest overall standard on the day that we have seen. The panel were in agreement that the standard of singing, presentation and programming was very high and it was a very challenging adjudication as a result. The criteria of judging potential as well as achievement had to be extended to include all facets of performing as well as vocal potential in order for a decision to be made. The panel were unanimous in their decision, naming counter-tenor Patrick Terry as the winner, “He made me want to listen to what he had to say” (Simon Lepper).

The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Dame Felicity Palmer, Andrew Shore, Simon Lepper.

The awards form part of Jackdaws’ Young Artists Programme, one of the three main areas of Jackdaws’ work. The other two are our Weekend Courses for adult amateur musicians and Jackdaws Education, the outreach programme working with Somerset schools.

These awards would not have been possible without the help of certain individuals and organisations. Jackdaws wishes to thank The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, Cooper Hall, Frome Voice, Geoffrey & Margaret Batten, the Jackdaws Trustees, Jessica Walker, Audrey Hyland, Ink Cap Designs and the Wigmore Hall for their own contributions to this year’s awards.

Maureen Lehane Finalists 2014

Maureen Lehane Finalists 2014

Following two days of preliminary auditions in London on the 25th and 26th October, the finalists of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2014 are…

wigmore-hallEuros Campbell, Baritone (26)
Accompanied by Susan Holmes (24)

Kate Howden, Mezzo-soprano (25)
Accompanied by Frederick Brown (25)

Claire Lees, Soprano (27)
Accompanied by Juliane Gallant (28)

Heather Lowe, Mezzo-soprano (25)
Official Accompanist – Richard Shaw

Angharad Lyddon, Contralto (26)
Accompanied by Finnegan Downie-Dear (24)

Henry Neill, Baritone (25)
Accompanied by Frederick Brown (25)

Timothy Nelson, Baritone (27)
Accompanied by Ian Tindale (24)

Patrick Terry, Counter Tenor (23)
Accompanied by Rebecca Taylor (28)

Music will of course include songs by Peter Wishart and arias by Handel, in addition to Schubert, Ireland, Wolf, Elgar, Fauré, Mahler, Schumann, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Schoenberg.

The standard, once again, is exceedingly high. We are in for an exceptional afternoon of music making, with a balanced programme of four male and four female competitors presenting a range of voices.

Tickets are still available from the Wigmore Hall box office.

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