Our 30th year has been a very busy and exciting one. Alongside celebratory events such as the grand final of the 30th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards on June 13th at the Wigmore Hall and our Gala birthday concert on July 23rd in the Lehane-Wishart studio, we have also been delivering our award winning and unique outreach projects.
Here is a quick round up of what we have been up to!
The early part of the Spring term saw part two of the Year of Klezmer with the brilliant Hope Skotshne trio, Flora Curzon, Susi Evans and Szilvia Csaranko. This time the project was focused on south Somerset and the trio spent time working with 13 schools in that area. An amazing 2,000 children took part in the project and 500 people attended the community concerts that happened alongside it.
“The Klezmer group were amazing. I was amazed by the quality of the work the ensemble created together with the children. The extremely high quality of musicianship provided by the Klezmer group itself was an absolute treat for our audience, who rarely have access to live music, and less so to music from different cultures. I enjoyed it so much on the Tuesday, that I got my mum to attend on the Thursday to share the experience!”
OperaPLUS took place in March and April of 2023 and 10 schools from West Somerset and the Burnham on Sea area took part in our production of the Stylist of Somerset (aka the Barber of Seville by Rossini).
400 children performed alongside our professional cast to local audiences and everyone had a wonderful time untangling the hilarious tale of love and aspiration.
Song Story in the summer term focused on the life and music of Georges Bizet in our Bizet Bonanza!
Over 100 children from 4 SEND schools across the county took part in workshops and final performances acting, singing and playing instruments, creating a wonderful piece of music theatre so everyone in their schools and communities could enjoy Bizet’s music. Which they discovered is so present in our wider lives already through so many different mediums.
In addition to these fantastic projects we have run CPD sessions for teachers at Jackdaws, the schools singing festival at the Cheese and Grain and we have just finished our summer production, which saw 20 young people create an ensemble piece of music theatre based on the story of The Knight of the Burning Pestle this year, a very amusing tale of audience participation, which we are all in favour of!
We are indebted to the artists for the dedication and inspirational skill and enthusiasm that make all of this work possible, and also to our funders without whom we could not deliver this important work at all.
Perhaps you could help us by becoming a patron or making a one off donation.
We are immensely grateful to everyone who helps us deliver our mission of enabling creative expression by bringing music to life.
Other funders to thank this year also include Sound Foundation Somerset, The Arts Council and Sedgemoor council.