Articles tagged with: Cheese & Grain

Year of the Guitar workshops begin next week!

Year of the Guitar workshops begin next week!

Eden Stell Guitar DuoThe excitement of Year of the String Quartet has barely left our thoughts and yet we find that rehearsals for Year of Guitar begin next week!

Year of Guitar features the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, armed with their two acoustic guitars and a bag full of music by Peter Nuttall.

Over the course of what is sure to be an exhausting week, Mark Eden and Christopher Stell will be visiting 14 of the 17 schools in Frome. At each school they will perform a small concert for all pupils before leading smaller groups of performers through repertoire they will perform en masse in the final concert.

The Eden Stell Guitar Duo will be working with pupils at Beckington, Berkley, Christchuch, Critchill, Frome College, Hayesdown, Mells, Nunney, Oakfield, Selwood, St Johns, St Louis, Trinity and Vallis

The Year of Guitar final performance will be at 5:30pm on the 6th June, at the Cheese & Grain.
If your child is taking part in Year of Guitar, please contact us to be informed as soon as tickets become available.

Just to remind you of the Year of the String Quartet, here is the wonderful video made for us by Michael Rouse which captured the event. Over the course of the project, the Carducci performed to over 2,000 children in Frome schools and spent time rehearsing with 284 of them in workshops for the final concert.

[vimeo id=”78617742″ width=”500″ height=”281″]

Other links:
The Eden Stell Guitar Duo

2013 – A Year in Review

2013 – A Year in Review

The past year has seen our largest range of education projects in Jackdaws’ history. Our small team has facilitated just over 5,000 musical interactions with children over the course of seven unique Education projects. We must give a huge thank you to all the musicians and tutors who have assisted us in this over the past year. Alongside this, we have continued to run our broad range of courses, with 42 courses taking place in a wide variety of disciplines.

New Kitchen and Development

Jackdaws New KitchenWe were delighted to start the year by unveiling a refurbished kitchen and dining area (which has also doubled as a concert space thanks to the Eden Stell guitar duo!)
Since then we have been making steady progress with work towards our new build. Last autumn we began preliminary work on the outside of the building by re-routing power and telephone cables to make way for the new build. We still need to raise further funds to ensure a more sustainable future for Jackdaws, so please donate on our JustGiving if you are able and read more about the 20Jackdaws plans here.


In April, the annual OperaPLUS saw Semele by Handel being performed by Young Artists and children from six schools. The course was expanded with help from Sound Foundation Somerset and included not only three schools from Frome – Critchill, Hayesdown and Nunney – but also the three schools of the Exmoor Federation in Dulverton (an early start for the two hour drive to South West Somerset!) Following the two performances with these schools, a one off gala performance in Abingdon was a unique addition to the schedule.

Year of the String Quartet

Our largest project of 2013 was the Year of the String Quartet project. This saw the renowned Carducci String Quartet visit 14 local schools to give an interactive performance for every child, introducing quartet repertoire from Haydn to Webern. Following the performance, the four players led workshops with string players, recorder players, percussion players and guitarists from the schools working on pieces to be performed with all the children en masse at what turned out to be a very moving celebration concert at the Cheese and Grain on 28th June. This wonderful video by Michael Rouse at Tambrisk Pictures follows the story of the performance.
[vimeo id=”78617742″ width=”500″ height=”281″]
2014 is the Year of the Guitar and we are delighted to be working with Eden Stell Guitar duo. We still need to raise funds towards this year’s event so if you would like to make a donation specific to this event please call the office on 01373 812383.

Song Story

As the whole of Britain went Britten crazy to celebrate our favourite composer’s 100th birthday, we devised the Song Story project to bring his music to life with school children in Frome. Working with composer Will Carslake, poet Shaun Jackson and singer Saffron van Zwanenberg, the team helped local children use Britten’s music as inspiration for their own show, which was performed to a large audience at Frome Community College on 21st June.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013 Winners

Left to Right: Chad Vindin (Accomp Prize), Soraya Mafi (joint 3rd), Anna Sideris (joint 3rd), Raphaela Papadakis (Winner), Frazer B. Scott (2nd & Audience Prize)

This year’s Wigmore Hall final of the Maureen Lehane awards took place on Friday 8th November. The deserving winner, Raphaela Papadakis, a soprano studying at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, performed a stunning programme of Schumann and Schoenberg alongside the set composers Peter Wishart and Handel, accompanied by Catherine Norton.

As you can see, a fantastically busy year without even mentioning the Summer Production, Gifted and Talented workshops, Jack’s Music Club, Nature & Nurture and Singing Skills & Twilight Sessions, all of which were either new, expanded or busier than before! We are looking forward to another wonderful year of inspiration, access and inclusion.

A busy December for the Jackdaws Songbirds

A busy December for the Jackdaws Songbirds

Jackdaws SongbirdsThe Jackdaws Songbirds, led by Caroline Radcliffe, are working hard in rehearsals for a busy season of Christmas carols and festive songs. Look out for them at their upcoming concerts during December at the following places in and around Frome:

1 December
Frome Supermarket, Morning
Two performances over the course of the morning – the first outside the George Hotel and the second at the top of Cheap Street.

20 December
Jackdaws Christmas by Candlelight
Great Elm Church, 6:30pm
Tickets £10
Celebrate Christmas with Jackdaws at our annual Christmas Concert in the beautiful setting of Great Elm Village Church. Featuring performances from Jack’s Music Club, Jackdaws Songbirds and Jackdaws’ Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg. Plus, seasonal roof raisers to get you in the festive mood!

20 December
Acoustic Plus
Cheese & Grain, 8pm
Tickets £5
Gather your bunting and bring plenty of pies – it’s The Big Acoustic Plus Christmas Street Party!
Celebration and street-style entertainment, with the Frome Street Bandits, Cabaret Sans Frontières, Doctor Mephisto, choirs (carols?) and other jolly acts to help you dance your way into the holidays.
Eat, drink and be ready for plenty of surprises.

22 December
St John’s Carol Service
St John’s Church, Frome, 6:30pm

OperaPLUS 2013 is a Big Success

OperaPLUS 2013 is a Big Success

We are delighted that our OperaPLUS performances of Handel’s opera Semele were a fantastic success. The performances, in Frome’s Cheese & Grain on Thursday 2nd and at Dulverton Middle School on Friday 3rd May saw Jackdaws Young Artists performing the lead roles supported by a chorus of eager children from local schools.

The OperaPLUS project is an intensive course aimed at Young Artists about to embark on their professional careers. It encompasses a full performance of an opera and gives valuable additional training and opportunity to experience wider music education by collaborating with at least three local schools who feature in the performance and take part in workshops. It runs annually at Jackdaws, to the delight of local parents and audiences, who treasure the unique opportunity to see their children performing in an opera.

My son really enjoyed taking part… a great hit.

OperaPLUS: Handel's Semele

Jassy Husk as Handel’s Semele, Jackdaws OperaPLUS 2013

OperaPLUS 2013 concludes this weekend with the final performance at Abingdon’s Unicorn Theatre on Sunday.

In 2012, the OperaPLUS performance concluded with a sold out production of Cinderella, and the project will return in May 2014 with Rossini’s Barber of Saville.

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