Articles tagged with: Frome College

Year of Percussion

Year of Percussion

Today we have exciting news about the lucky schools which will be participating in our Year of Percussion project with Joby Burgess. The lucky schools are:

Joby Burgess image by Kathy HindeFrome Area
Beckington CofE First School
Christ Church CofE First School
Frome Community College
Nunney First School
Steiner Academy, Frome
Selwood Academy
St John’s CofE First School
St Louis VA Catholic School

Wells Area
Croscombe & Stoke St Michael Primary Federation
Ditcheat Primary

Illminster Area
Chilthorne Domer Primary School
Greenfylde CofE First School

Radstock Area
Kilmersdon CofE VA Primary School

The final performance will take place at the Cheese & Grain, Frome on Wednesday 10 June. Contact Jackdaws on 01373 812383 or for tickets.

Read more about Percussionist Joby Burgess on our tutor profile page!

As always, we are entirely indebted to the organisations, trusts and individuals whose donations make our education projects like Year of Percussion possible. For their generosity, we wish to thank: Sound Foundation Somerset, Arts Council England and Austin and Hope Pilkington.

2014 – Year in Review

2014 – Year in Review

The year 2014 at Jackdaws was a continuation and building upon the successes of 2013.

We have grown the OperaPLUS, Year of Guitar, Jack’s Music Club and continued to build on the success of previous years of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, Gifted & Talented sessions, Summer Production and more. Read on…


OperaPLUS 2014The first major education project of our year took place between 28 April and 9 May. A team of Young Artists from various music colleges around the country worked with Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg and Music Director Audrey Hyland to put on two semi-staged performances of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. But, we are Jackdaws, and we like to do things a little differently…

Rossini’s reworked Stylist of Somerset was sung in English and involved no less than six schools over the two performances. The first performance, in Bridgwater, saw the Robert Blake Science College, Elmwood SEN and Penrose schools performing the chorus roles to a packed hall. This performance included an exciting depiction of a thunderstorm by the Elmwood pupils – an OperaPLUS first!

The second performance, at the Cheese & Grain in Frome, was to the largest audience ever for our OperaPLUS (we sold out, and then some!) Featuring Critchill SEN, St John’s and Hayesdown First schools, the Stylist of Somerset created a storm of its own, playing to audience who were happy to stand just to see it after the venue had sold out of chairs!

In 2015, The Stylist of Somerset will be hopping on a tour bus and performing a number of shows across region! This is a new adventure for the OperaPLUS project and Jackdaws as a whole. We are already hard at work to make sure it is a success; look out for the dates soon, we’d love you to join us.

Year of Guitar

Year of Guitar with Eden StellThe Year of Guitar followed from the hugely successful Year of the String Quartet with the Carducci in 2013 and precedes 2015’s Year of Percussion with Joby Burgess. Once again, every school in Frome took part with a record number of children participating.

On Friday 6 June, the massed ensemble of children from local schools with whom the Eden Stell Guitar Duo had worked met with the Duo again for a fantastic hour long performance at the Cheese & Grain. This year, Year of… was extended when we took a group of Frome College pupils to perform with Mark & Chris at the Sound Foundation Somerset Music Festival in Taunton on Sunday 13 July, and then again the next week at Later… with Frome College!

The Eden Stell Duo have been coming to Jackdaws to lead their annual Guitar weekend course since Jackdaws’ humble beginnings over 20 years ago. What a pleasure it was to celebrate their 25th anniversary with them in 2014 with this wonderful project. Heading into 2015, their course is an extra day longer than it has been before and has already sold out!

In 2015, the phenomenal Joby Burgess joins us for Year of Percussion and we are delighted to have already filled all the school places. For Year of Percussion, we are extending beyond Frome further into Somerset. More details will be released soon.

Jack’s and Theory Club

Jacks Music Club at JackdawsOur weekly music club has been running for a few years now but for the start of the 2014-15 academic year we added a new twist. Following from the 4:30-6pm music club is a new Theory club, led by Jackdaws team member Joshua Bishop. Each week he has covered a different aspect of music theory with the group using games, drawing and performing. We write music, we play music, we understand music.

If you’re amazed that teenagers would come of their own accord to a music theory club (on a Friday evening no less!), we are happy to reveal this top secret industry tip… provide cake from famous Jackdaws cooks!

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Maureen Lehane Vocal Award Winners 2014The 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Award was the most closely contested competition of recent years. Ultimately, 25 year old Counter Tenor Patrick Terry triumphed.

Patrick, originally from Minneapolis, is pursuing his Master’s at the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Chance and is the only Counter Tenor to have won the Maureen Lahane.

We were privileged to have a distinguished judging panel consisting of Dame Felicity Palmer, Andrew Shore and Simon Lepper, chaired by Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg.

Further to these successes, our Summer Production sold out both participants and the final performance, and produced a wonderful show of Animal Farm, with music in the style of Lutoslawski and design inspired by artist Gary Bunt. Our Christmas Concert sold out and was recorded with highlights broadcast on Christmas day by our friends at FromeFM. Gifted and Talented workshops also continued throughout the year, as did Singing Skills and Twilight Sessions.

After a restful holiday, we’re ready to go again. Roll on 2015 – we’ve got so much more to do!

Jackdaws at Somerset Festival

Jackdaws at Somerset Festival

OperaPLUS 2014Next Friday (11th July), Sound Foundation Somerset are staging a Music Festival in Taunton all weekend to Sunday 13th . Jackdaws will be taking highlights of their recent musical projects including The Year of Guitar and OperaPLUS.

The Year of Guitar was led by the Eden Stell Duo who worked with 14 schools across Somerset and performed a finale concert in the Cheese and Grain Frome on June 6th this year. Some of the schools that took part in the Project, Frome Community College and Selwood Academy will be accompanying the Duo to the festival and will be performing at 12:00pm on the Sunday at Somerset Square.

OperaPLUS have been focusing on the style of Gioacchino Rossini, an Italian Opera composer and the group will be performing a piece called ‘The Stylist of Somerset’ a production set in the style of popular television Talent Shows. The performance will be 1:20pm to 2:00pm in the Brewhouse. At 4:00pm there will be a Flash Mob in Goodlands Garden with Saffron and the singers. The Flash Mob will be a new and exciting experience for all who are involved so it would be great to turn up and show your support.

Keep up to date with all that’s happening at the Festival by visiting the Sound Foundation Somerset website and looking out for any updates on our website.

Written by Isaac Mundy, work experience student from Frome College.

Gifted and Talented Sessions

Gifted and Talented Sessions

During the academic year 2012-13, Jackdaws’ Gifted & Talented sessions were a big success. Over the 7 sessions a total of 76 students from First and Secondary schools in Frome, as well as pupils from Frome College, worked with our specialist music tutors to improve their performing in a rare opportunity created by Jackdaws.

Jackdaws Tutor David CampbellThe first Gifted & Talented session of 2014 will be the fourth of the current academic year (the previous have been given by pianist Lauretta Bloomer, violinist Madeleine Mitchell and singer Michael Harper). On Friday 7th March, Frome College will receive a visit from clarinettist, chamber musician and teacher David Campbell. He will be working with students for an hour and a half in a session subtitled “Classy Clarinets” – though the session is not limited to clarinets and will be open to all wind instruments.

David Campbell is internationally recognised as one of Britain’s finest musicians and was described by the doyen of British clarinettists, the late Jack Brymer, as ‘the finest player of his generation’. He is also passionate about music education. He holds positions as a ‘Visiting Professor’ at Canterbury Christ Church University and ‘Head of Woodwind’ at Westminster School. Since 2002 David has been Artistic Director of Musicfest, a combined summer school and festival in Aberystwyth.

Jackdaws Celebrates Britten’s Centenary

2013 is a huge year for Jackdaws. Not only are we celebrating 20 years of Jackdaws, but also the centenary of the birth of England’s greatest composer Benjamin Britten. We did this by coming together with students from Frome College, Oakfield Academy, Selwood Academy and members of the Jack’s club to put on a concert at the College.

Before World War Two broke out, Benjamin Britten had moved to America along with singer Peter Pears, but moved back to England in 1942, where he was registered as a conscientious objector – the idea of not fighting for your country was a terrible crime then. Eventually, Britten was allowed to not fight if he composed and performed for the war effort.

Performing many of Britten’s classics like the War Requiem and Lacrymosa students also worked with local poet Shaun Jackson and composer William Carslake to create music and lyrics about things that meant a lot to Britten – the themes chosen were war, death and peace and belonging. There were even a few fighting scenes performed by Selwood students.

Professional opera singer and Jackdaws’ Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg worked with singers from every school to create the powerfully haunting choral sound similar to that of Britten’s War Requiem and poems were read out that reflected Britten’s opinion of the War and the opinions of those who survived it.

The evening went smoothly – even including a little audience participation – and everyone felt that it had been a successful performance. A little speech from the College’s Principal rounded off a very enjoyable concert.

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