Fresh from our winter break, we’re springing into action at Jackdaws with a full schedule of weekend courses, a major Education project in schools and our ongoing weekly groups for young musicians.
There are plenty of courses this season for singers of all abilities and interests. Distinguished singers, Sarah Leonard and Stephen Varcoe, are leading their first course at Jackdaws ‘English Song Weekend’; they will share their expertise of the area, focusing particularly on songs written around the time of the Great War by Gurney, Ireland and others. Accompanist Nigel Foster will be on hand throughout the weekend, and Richard Carder, Chair of English Poetry and Song Society, will give a talk on the subject on Saturday afternoon.
Handel specialist, Rosa Mannion, returns to Jackdaws in March with her popular ‘Singing Handel’ weekend course. Participants have the opportunity to explore and celebrate some of Handel’s wonderful arias with an aficionado of his music. His operas and oratorios exemplify his most important consideration when writing for voice: depiction of character and expression of feeling. Rosa will encourage singers to explore the dramatic intention behind them as well as experiment with decoration, style and deal with the technical issues they highlight.
Singers of all abilities are invited to enjoy a weekend of German, French and Italian art-songs with Richard Jackson, an expert in European vocal music on ‘A Song By Any Other Name’. Ably assisted by accompanist Richard Shaw, the course will focus on how composers blend words and music. Can a foreign language be made ‘less foreign’ by exploring the meaning of the text itself by considering how the words and music interact? Guaranteed enlightenment – guaranteed fun!
Pianists have the opportunity to work with two talented tutors over the next few months. Firstly we are delighted to welcome Penelope Roskell to Jackdaws for her first course here ‘Towards Effortless Piano Playing’. Penelope’s approach to preparation for concerts, competitions and auditions should help any for whom confidence is a consideration. Discussion and the exchange of ideas will be positively encouraged!
Lauretta Bloomer encourages pianists to consider the wide variety of repertoire by “Women Composers for Piano”. While standard repertoire will be used for interpretation and technique, the course will draw attention to the wide variety of pieces written by women, a genre which, undeservedly, is often neglected and seldom performed. Participants are encouraged to bring at least one piece by a female composer to play during the workshop, perhaps something by the wonderfully talented Clara Schumann, maybe Mendelssohn’s beloved sister, Fanny Hensel whom he greatly admired or even someone else?
If Clarinets are your passion, you could join David Campbell at Jackdaws in March for a weekend of clarinet celebration! David is the Chair of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society GB, and plans a full weekend; the Friday session is dedicated to clarinet choir, and quartets will be the focus on the Saturday morning. You will be joined on Saturday afternoon by an accompanist for a masterclass session, and Sunday will comprise of another choir session and more solos before ending with an informal concert.
So, why not join us on a Jackdaws course this Spring and see where you could leap?