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
We 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.
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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.
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
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.