Archive for the category: News

POSTPONED – Opening Garden Party 25th May

POSTPONED – Opening Garden Party 25th May

Jackdaws New StudioRegretfully we have been forced to postpone our Garden Party that was due to take place on Saturday 25 May 2019. Many people who have supported the building of the new studio have said that they would very much like to attend but that they are unable to come on that date. As the event was designed to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped us raise the funds to build the studio this is a pity.

We have also been struck by a couple of last minute snags with the build, so our site is not looking at its best as we had hoped. We have therefore reluctantly come to the conclusion that we should postpone the event until later in the year, when we will be fully up and running with the new studio and more people are likely to be able to attend. A new date in the Autumn will be announced shortly.

You are most welcome to visit us to see the new studio, and other improvements at Jackdaws in the meantime; just let us know when you’d like to come and we’ll make you welcome.

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!

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.

Fanfares in Frome for Year of Brass!

Fanfares in Frome for Year of Brass!

Children from Cheddar, Rode & Norton St Philp schools have composed special Birthday Fanfares for Jackdaws Education Trust and Onyx Brass Quintet to celebrate the 25th Birthday of both organisations.

The schools performed their specially written fanfares at a Grand Finale concert at Frome’s Cheese and Grain, on 20 March, as part of Jackdaws Music Education Trust’s award-winning music project “Year of Brass” which saw over 250 children work with the Onyx Brass Quintet in schools throughout Somerset. Over 150 of the children took part in the final concert, at the Cheese and Grain, where the Fanfares were given their premiere. The children, many of whom have only been learning their brass instruments since January, were led by the Quintet in a spirited performance of Rossini’s overture to William Tell, Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues and Dawn at the Oasis by Timothy Jackson. The concert was sold out and enthusiastically received by the audience. “What a way to inspire kids to play instruments! Loved it!” said one parent, after the concert.

 

THE YEAR OF BRASS

Onyx Brass by Benjamin EalovegaAfter working with young musicians in schools across the breadth of Somerset, during March, the world class Onyx Brass Quintet performed alongside over 150 pupils from those schools in a Grand Finale concert at Frome’s Cheese & Grain.

I thought it was inspiring and incredible how everyone was playing in sync. Amazing from everyone in the room!” – One participant

In addition, the Onyx Brass Quintet played several solo pieces which held both audience and children in rapture. Their varied programme included an arrangement of Bach’s Fugue in C major BWV846, Charpentier’s Prelude to Te Deum, James Maynard’s Fanfare and arrangements of the popular tunes You Make me Feel So Young, and What a Wonderful World.

The children performing alongside the Quintet ranged from First school children aged 7 up to 18-year-old college students, with a wide range of abilities on show. One participating school had only started whole-class ensemble Brass teaching in January, but were still able to join in the show alongside other students thanks to their workshop with the Onyx Brass Quintet earlier in March.

Each school workshop with Onyx Brass also featured a 45-minute interactive performance to the whole school, specially designed to stimulate the children’s imaginations, and used interactive games to teach musicianship skills.

The musicians worked with smaller groups of children to prepare music for this final performance, also giving school teachers a chance to learn from them. Teachers were supported throughout the project with resources including recordings and sheet music for all pieces, downloadable from the dedicated schools area on the Jackdaws website.

 

25th ANNIVERSARY FANFARE

Year of Brass with Jackdaws and OnyxThe Year of Brass project fell on a landmark year for both Jackdaws and the Onyx Brass Quintet. With both groups celebrating their 25th anniversaries in 2018, Jackdaws commemorated the occasion by launching a competition among participating schools to compose a Fanfare. The final round, between Cheddar First School and Rode & Norton St Philip, was held during the concert, with Onyx Brass deciding to award first prize to Cheddar First School, who received a £50 voucher for music resources.

 

The Year of Brass project was supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Arts Council England, The Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust.

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