Articles tagged with: Jackdaws Education

Sound the Trumpets!

Sound the Trumpets!

SOUND THE TRUMPETS! THE AWARD-WINNING PROJECT “JACKDAWS YEAR OF…” BRINGS WORLD CLASS BRASS QUINTET TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

Onyx Brass by Benjamin Ealovega

Onyx Brass Quintet lead Jackdaws Year of Brass

In February and March, schools across Somerset will be visited by the Onyx Brass Quintet as part of Jackdaws Music Education Trust’s award-winning music project “Year of Brass”, giving children first hand experience at making music alongside a world class ensemble.

JACKDAWS: THE YEAR OF BRASS

The Onyx Brass Quintet will work with fifteen Schools across Somerset before pupils from each school assemble in a large local venue to perform with Onyx in the Grand Finale Concert.

Each school visit begins with a 45-minute interactive performance by the Quintet to the whole school. This performance is designed to inspire the children and demonstrate how wonderful and exciting these instruments are.

Following this, the musicians work with a smaller group of children to prepare music for the final performance. School teachers also have a chance to learn from the musicians during this workshop and are supported with teaching resources and support from Jackdaws.

25th ANNIVERSARY FANFARE

The Year of Brass coincides with landmark years for both Jackdaws and the Onyx Brass Quintet; both groups celebrate their 25th anniversaries in 2018. To commemorate the occasion, Jackdaws have launched a challenge to participating schools to compose a Birthday Fanfare. The schools which choose to take part will be able to play their fanfare to Onyx at the Grand Finale Concert at Frome’s Cheese & Grain, 5:30pm on Tuesday 20 March.

THE YEAR OF… PROJECT

Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017In five years of the Year of… project, Jackdaws has engaged with thousands of children and young people. With performances and workshops also including teachers, as well as parents, siblings and performers at each of the five Grand Finale performances that number is well over 30,000 people taking part in this project so far. The annual Grand Finale concert is a thrilling event, seeing 100’s of pupils from all participating schools perform en masse with international, professional musicians of the highest standing.

Artistic Director of Jackdaws Music Education Trust, Saffron van Zwanenberg, created “The Year of…” in 2013 in response to a reduction in the number of children learning to play instruments and add a development/enhancement to the flagship Whole Class Ensemble Teaching programme promoted by the National Plan for Music Education. It has become a key project in Jackdaws’ education output, supporting the organisation’s aim to enable creative expression by bringing music to life in an accessible, inclusive and inspirational way. Miss van Zwanenberg said:

Year of... Whole School Workshop

A “Year of…” Project Whole School Performance

“Inspiration is usually the spark that lights the fire so if we want more children to start learning instruments and continue to a good level of proficiency, then access to the best performers in the world is the way forward. When children meet and see amazing musicians doing remarkable things with instruments, playing wonderful repertoire, that spark is ignited or an already burning flame is fanned.

If we want orchestras in the future and audiences for chamber music and orchestral works, this first step is vital. It has been our privilege to work with such brilliant artists, who are not only masters in their fields but also as passionate about this as we are.”

Year of Guitar

Year of Guitar

“The Year of…” project is flexible, and each year introduces school children to a different chamber or orchestral instrument. It was launched by Jackdaws in 2013 with Year of the String Quartet, featuring the Carducci String Quartet; 2014 was Year of Guitar with the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, 2015 was Year of Percussion with Joby Burgess, 2016 was Year of the Reed with the Gelachter Wind Trio and 2017 was Year of Recorder with Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus.

Jackdaws invites artists of international standing, with a history of performing to the highest level and who have a special interest in education and out-reach, to take part in the project.

The Year of Brass is supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Arts Council England, The Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Tickets are available for the Grand Finale performance on Tuesday 20 March from the Cheese & Grain.


Participant Reactions to “The Year of…”

The Year of the String Quartet

“The Carducci was simply outstanding on Friday!  We were all amazingly impressed at their skill, musicianship and ability to engage with the children in a manner that gave them great pleasure but also taught them music skills and knowledge in an incredibly enjoyable way.

Thank you very much indeed for facilitating this visit.  Having had such a superb experience, we are even more excited about working with you on this and other projects into the future!

With many thanks,

Sue, staff and children at Hayesdown”
(Sue Heal –Head Teacher, Hayesdown First School, Frome)

“The string quartet was brilliant! The children were enchanted!
Naomi” (Naomi Pauley- Head Teacher at Vallis First School, Frome)

“What’s not to love, when you see the Cheese and Grain fuller than ever, with some totally amazed unsuspecting parents, watching their children be a part of that sound (and joining in themselves!)”
Kate Adams (Parent)

The Year of Guitar

“Jackdaws really is making a difference and seeing those children’s faces yesterday really said it all… Working with you and your team is one of the highlights.” Chris Stell (Eden Stell Guitar Duo)

“It’s been our pleasure and privilege to be part of Year of the Guitar. It’s such a wonderful experience to have brought the guitar to so many youngsters many of whom will remember their experience forever …. So what you and the Jackdaws dream team are doing is amazing especially in difficult times … so keep on going and you will always have our support when ever it’s needed.” Mark Eden (Eden Stell Guitar Duo)

“They are so engaging and have pitched it just right for our students, brilliant!”
Andi Nicholson – Head of Expressive Arts, Frome College

The Year of Percussion

“Many thanks once again for such an amazing opportunity for our children.”
Sarah Bullmore – Head Teacher, Christchurch First school, Frome

“Thank you to everyone it was a most memorable occasion for us all. Our children have had a world class experience!”
Theresa Hobbs  Head Teacher, Chilthorne Domer Primary, Yeovil


Jackdaws Music Education TrustContact Details

Saffron van Zwanenberg
Artistic Director at Jackdaws
saffron@jackdaws.org / 01373 812383

Joshua Bishop
Projects and Digital Officer
josh@jackdaws.org / 01373 812383

Jackdaws May 2016Jackdaws Music Education Trust
Great Elm, Frome, BA11 3NY
www.jackdaws.org.uk
music@jackdaws.org
01373 812383
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: JackdawsMusic

Jackdaws Music Education Trust is a registered Charity 1037073.

2017 Review

2017 Review

12 months of activity has given us much to talk about. Our Education projects have excelled themselves, reaching thousands of children across Somerset. We’ve won Awards, reached milestones and made some wonderful music.

Jackdaws Receive the AwardWe started 2017 with our first large-scale project of the year, Year of Recorder, with Recorder virtuosi Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus. The project told the story of “How the Wren Became King”, using music both composed and improvised on recorders of all different shapes and sizes by children from 12 schools performing en masse at Frome’s Cheese & Grain. Less than two weeks before rehearsals and school visits began, we were delighted to win Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence for the second year running  for “The Year of…” project. We continue this project in 2018 with a special Year of Brass, working with Onyx Brass Quintet; join us for the Grand Finale Concert on Tuesday 20 March 2018.

Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017Music Teacher Awards OperaPLUSOperaPLUS (Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2016) revived the successful 2016 production of Donizetti’s The Love Potion, for the composer’s 225th anniversary year with 5 performances with schools across the length and breadth of Somerset in April and May. The humorous and light-hearted tale set on a farm in Somerset of a hopeless lover and his encounter with a trickster street doctor, was a big hit. In 2018, we stay with the work of Donizetti, this time transforming the famous La fille du Régiment into “The Team Mascot”, telling the story of rival football teams and all of the passion that brings.

Song Story focused on the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, telling his story through his music. During the project, 4 Somerset SEND Schools and one Secondary collaborated with Composer William Carslake, Violinist Flora Curzon and Soprano Saffron van Zwanenberg to create an hour-long show, spanning the composer’s child prodigy years through to the tragic unfinished Requiem, encompassing elements of his most famous works played, sung and acted by the group.

On Friday 16 June, the annual Schools Picnic at Jackdaws welcomed 100 children from 5 local schools who all performed and enjoyed a picnic in the Rose Garden. We heard singers, recorder and ukulele players, performing in mixed groups from whole classes down to solo performers. Everyone performed fantastically! Best of all, the rain held off until we had finished our lunch.

Taking the Singing Strategy out of the classroom, the Somerset Singing Festival Frome event on Thursday 13 July was directed by our wonderful singing leader Caroline Radcliffe. It was a heart-warming event, with pupils from schools across the county joining together to sing music they had learnt through the county wide Singing Strategy.

Macbeth at the Jackdaws Summer Production

Macbeth at the Jackdaws Summer Production

We closed the 16-17 academic year with the great news that the first entrants from our Friday club for young people, Jack’s Music Club, had achieved their Bronze Arts Award which they had been working towards through Jack’s. They were the first that Jackdaws have entered for the Award and will now work towards their Silver Award, as the rest of Music Club tackle their Bronze this year. Come and join us on Friday’s at 4.30pm if you want to find out more and make music with other local young people.

At the beginning of the summer holidays our intake of keen young artists were taking part in our Summer Production week. They transformed Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with music inspired by Mahler and set and costume design inspired by graphic designer David Carson.

Judges and Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2017

With the new academic year came The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2017, which marked the 25th Award since its foundation in 1992. The winner was Mezzo-Soprano Ema Nikolovska and we were very privileged to have Mary Nelson, winner of the Award in 1995, judging the competition, alongside renowned accompanist Christopher Glynn and Soprano and Jackdaws Trustee Rosa Mannion. The audience obviously agreed with the judges as Ema won not only the First-place prize, but the Audience Prize as well.

2018

A very big year for Jackdaws as we will be celebrating our 25th birthday!

We will be marking this in a number of ways so please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for further information. Wonderfully, Onyx Brass who are leading our Year of Brass are also celebrating a 25th anniversary in 2018, so schools taking part in the project have the chance to compose a birthday fanfare which Onyx will judge and the winner will be invited to play it at our birthday party in June. There will be cake!

Arts Award LogoWe are also very excited to announce now that we are expanding our opportunities for young people with a brand new Explore the Arts Week, during half term. It will be a chance for children from ages of 7-12 to explore, learn and create using different forms of art. The aim is for the children to take their Discover or Explore Arts Awards, the entry level qualifications, over the course of the week. Get in touch for more information!

Remember that you can stay up to date with all our projects, courses and concerts by signing up to our mailing list at www.jackdaws.org.uk or subscribing at the bottom of this page.

One Day Courses at Jackdaws

We run One Day Courses at Jackdaws to give you the chance to learn from the expertise of our world-class tutors and enjoy our delicious home cooked lunches without giving up a whole weekend.

With tuition from 10:30am – 4pm, and a free lunch included, One Day Courses at just £45 are excellent value*. We have courses for singers, guitarists and a new course for 2018 – From Panic to Pose – exploring performance anxiety for both instrumentalists and singers.

Autumn at JackdawsSinging for the Over 50s
with Penny Jenkins
Saturday 11 November
A safe and healthy approach for those who continue to sing after 50 (or thereabouts!)

Singing for All the Family
with Caroline Radcliffe NEW TUTOR
Sunday 12 November
We’ll all sing together with Caroline Radcliffe, who welcomes all ages to build a choir in a day!

Singing with Confidence
with Jessica Walker
Saturday 9 December
Scared to sing on your own? Always hiding at the back of the choir? This is the course for you!

“I got the most I could possibly get from a one-day course and felt it was so worthwhile”

One Day Guitar Course
with Chris Stell
Sunday 10 December
Explore the full range of the guitar with classical styles and techniques.

From Panic to Poise
with Wendy Skeen NEW TUTOR
Sunday 8 April 2018
Discover practical strategies to help you enjoy performing and sharing your music-making with others.

Visit individual course pages to book your place, before they disappear like the autumn leaves!

 

*Singing for the Whole Family costs £35 for a group of 2 adults & 2 children, lunch not included. Soup and a sandwich can be ordered for £5 per person.

Jackdaws in Autumn

Year of Recorder was a huge success!

Year of Recorder was a huge success!

Year of the Recorder Grand Finale“It’s the best performance I’ve ever heard – thank you.”

On Wednesday 22 March, Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus led 170 children from schools across Somerset in the Year of Recorder Grand Finale performance. Their show told the story of “How the Wren Became King”, with performances of music from over 400 years of history – starting with Dutch Renaissance composer Jacob van Eyck (1590-1657) to the 2016 piece “The Language of Birds” by Philip Cashian (b. 1963).

Anna and Tabea performed with children from 11 schools to a sold out Cheese & Grain. Their repertoire not only used the recorder in the traditional way but incorporated extended techniques in a variety of improvisations as well.

“I really like the songs Anna and Tabea played. They were so good and it inspires me more.”

Year of Recorder
The performance came one month after the recorder duo visited the schools to give an interactive performance to the whole-school followed by a workshop with players who would participate in the concert. The performances featured demonstrations of a range of different recorders, from the sopranino to the contrabass.

In the week preceeding the school visits, Jackdaws were delighted to have “The Year of…” project awarded a Music Teacher Award for Excellence, naming it as the Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017.

“Fabulous to see the Frome schools coming together and making music. Thank you Jackdaws.”

Year of Recorder is the fifth installment of “The Year of…” project, which has so far reached around 30,000 people. In previous years, Jackdaws have worked with the Carducci Quartet (Year of the String Quartet, 2013), the Eden Stell Guitar Duo (Year of the Guitar, 2014), Joby Burgess (Year of Percussion, 2015) and the Gelachter Wind Trio (Year of the Reed, 2016). “The Year of…” project is supported by Arts Council England and Sound Foundation Somerset.

Arts Council England and Sound Foundation Somerset

Year of Recorder Tickets on Sale Monday!

Year of Recorder Tickets on Sale Monday!

Year of RecorderOn Monday 13 March, tickets go on sale for the Jackdaws Year of Recorder Grand Finale Concert at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.

The Concert features international German recorder virtuosi Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus performing alongside pupils from 12 Somerset schools en masse, following a week of workshops in February.

Supported by Arts Council England and Sound Foundation Somerset, the Year of Recorder project is a large-scale ensemble education project run by Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Each year, Jackdaws invites a prominant chamber musician/ensemble to visit schools across Somerset, performing and leading workshops with pupils to introduce them to different orchestral and chamber instruments. So far, Jackdaws have created 15,000 musical interactions between performers and children over 5 years of the project, introducing students to the String Quartet (2013 – The Carducci Quaret), the Guitar (2014 – Eden Stell Guitar Duo), Percussion (2015 – Joby Burgess), the Wind Trio (2016 – Gelachter Trio) and now the Recorder.

Tickets are extremely limited and likely to sell out well in advance, so please book early to avoid disappointment; only available via phone or in-person at the Cheese & Grain box office. Tickets will not be available online.

Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017Year of Recorder Grand Finale Concert
Wednesday 22 March, 5:30pm
Cheese & Grain
01373 455420
Tickets: £5 adults / £3 under 16s

The concert will last approximately 1 hour.

Arts Council England and Sound Foundation Somerset

Jackdaws wins Best Classical Music Education Initiative… again!

Jackdaws wins Best Classical Music Education Initiative… again!

Jackdaws Receive the Award

L to R: Margherita Taylor, Mark Eden, Helen Reid, Saffron van Zwanenberg, Chris Stell, Sam Jackson.

For the second year running, Jackdaws Music Education Trust has won a prestigious Music Teacher Award for Excellence for Best Classical Music Education Initiative, this year for their large scale education project The Year of…”

Jackdaws, based near Frome in Somerset, retains the award, which is sponsored by Classic FM, having won the same prize in 2016 for their innovative project, OperaPLUS.

Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2017Classic FM DJ Margherita Taylor presented Jackdaws with the award during the ceremony in Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair, on the opening day of the Rhinegold Music Education Expo.

RECOGNITION OF OUR IMPACT

The award, celebrating “The Year of…” as the best Classical Music Initiative in the country this year, is recognition of the incredible impact the project has made to music education in Somerset. In the five years of the project, Jackdaws has worked with 44 schools across the county, engaging with more than 15,000 pupils. With performances and workshops also including teachers, as well as parents, siblings and performers at each of the five Grand Finale performances that number increases to over 30,000 people taking part in this project so far.

Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg, created the project in 2013 in response to a reduction in the number of children learning and continuing to play instruments and also to add strength to & develop the flagship WCET (Whole Class Ensemble Teaching) programme promoted by the National Plan for Music Education. It has become a key project in Jackdaws’ education output, supporting the organisation’s aim to enable creative expression by bringing music to life in an accessible, inclusive and inspirational way.  Ms van Zwanenberg, who was at the ceremony to collect the award on behalf of the Trust, said:

Year of the Guitar

Year of the Guitar Grand Finale Performance, 2014, with the Eden Stell Guitar Duo

Inspiration is usually the spark that lights the fire and in this case, if we want more children to play instruments and to continue to do so to a good level of proficiency and beyond, then access to the best in the world is the way forward. They meet and see amazing musicians doing remarkable things with instruments and playing wonderful repertoire. If we want orchestras in the future and audiences for chamber music and orchestral works, this first step is vital and it has been our privilege to work with such brilliant artists, who are not only masters in their fields but also as passionate about this as we are. This Award is wonderful recognition of their work and the work we do and will continue to do through active and innovative opportunities.We want to thank everybody who voted for us. As a small organisation, we work extremely hard, with limited resources, to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver projects like this. This Award means a huge amount to us – Thank you.

HISTORY

Thank You Carducci

Drawing by Orrin, “Thank You Carducci”

“The Year of…” project was launched by Jackdaws in 2013 with Year of the String Quartet, featuring the Carducci String Quartet. The project took the Carducci Quartet into 14 Somerset schools to perform and give whole class workshops to the children, culminating in the Grand Finale concert. The heart-warming and eye-opening concert in which over 100 pupils from all 14 schools performed en masse with the Carducci demonstrated that children can and do enjoy listening and participating in classical music.

The Year of… project is flexible, and each year introduces children to a different chamber / orchestral instrument; 2014 was Year of the Guitar with the Eden Stell Guitar Duo, 2015 was Year of Percussion with Joby Burgess and 2016 was Year of the Reed with the Gelachter Wind Trio.

Jackdaws invites artists of international standing, with a history of performing to the highest level and who have a special interest in education and out-reach, to take part in the project.

Watch the Year of the String Quartet video…

2017 THE YEAR OF RECORDER

Tabea Debus and Anna Stegmann lead Jackdaws Year of the RecorderThe Music Teacher Award for Excellence comes just in time for the beginning of the 2017 project; school workshops for the Year of Recorder start Monday 20 February, building on the past successes of “The Year of…” with international virtuosi Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus. The Grand Finale performance, telling the story of “How the Wren became King”, takes place at Frome’s Cheese & Grain, 5:30pm on Wednesday 22 March.

Each school visit begins with a 45-minute interactive performance by the visiting musicians to the whole school. This performance is specially designed to stimulate the children’s imaginations and uses interactive games to excite their curiosity and demonstrate how wonderful these instruments are.

Following this, the musicians work with a smaller group of children to prepare music for the final performance. School teachers also have a chance to learn from the musicians during this workshop, and are supported with free resources including recordings and sheet music for the pieces, all downloadable from the Jackdaws website.

“The Year of…” is supported by Sound Foundation Somerset and has been featured on ClassicFM and in various local press.

Sound Foundation Somerset LogoClassicFM Logo

Workshops start again!

Workshops start again!

The Love PotionHere we are at the start of February, and the Jackdaws year starts with our course bookings in a healthy state. As you will know, much of our work is centred around the projects which we do with Somerset schools and has enabled 15,000 young people to participate in music making over the past five years; the coordination of our two flagship projects in 2017 is now in hand.

Firstly, we have embarked on the Year of the Recorder, which will see children from 10 schools works with inspirational, international Recorder duo Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus. The project culminates in the recorder players, together with children performing on recorders and other instruments, in a Grand Finale Concert at the Cheese & Grain, Forme on Wednesday 22 March.

Meanwhile, our hugely successful, award-winning singing project OperaPLUS has already entered the rehearsal stage. This week, Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg has been travelling to schools across Somerset to give introductory workshops on the songs and choruses of The Love Potion.

Music Teacher Awards OperaPLUSIn OperaPLUS, the instruments of “The Year of…” give way to voices and song; a highly talented group of young opera singers work with children in schools towards the presentation of five concerts in various locations around the county. The professional cast take the principle roles with the children joining in as chorus. 2017 sees a reworking of last year’s production of The Love Potion (L’elisir d’amore) by Donizetti, to celebrate the composers 220th Anniversary year, made accessible through staging set in a local context.

Both projects offer a once in lifetime opportunity for young people, some for the first time, to work with professional musicians of the highest standard. We hope to see you at a performance!

2016 – A Year in Review

2016 – A Year in Review

2016 – what a year it was. We say it every year, but this one really was the busiest we’ve ever known in Great Elm. We welcomed 400 participants on our weekend courses, a third of whom were new to Jackdaws; we delivered award-winning projects across Somerset and appointed our first ever Artists in Residence – the VIDA Guitar Quartet.

Our Projects

Credit Music Teacher Awards 2016

L to R: Margherita Taylor (Classic FM Presenter), René Bloice-Sanders (Company Member), Audrey Hyland (Music Director), Saffron van Zwanenberg (Director) and Sam Taylor (Classic FM Managing Editor). Credit: Music Teacher Awards 2016

The first success of the year was in February, when we attended the Gala Dinner of the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, as our large-scale project OperaPLUS had been nominated for the Best Classical Music Education Initiative of 2015. We were absolutely delighted to hear OperaPLUS announced as the winners by Margherita Taylor, presenter on ClassicFM, who sponsored the prize. The 2016 OperaPLUS project was then a huge success in April; Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg directed five fun-filled performances of Donizetti’s The Love Potion with 18 schools across Somerset packed with acting, singing and segways!

On Tuesday 22 March, the Gelachter Wind Trio performed alongside over 100 children from 12 schools across Somerset in the Grand Finale concert of the Year of the Reed project at the Cheese & Grain Frome. They performed arrangements of music by composers from Duke Ellington to Tchaikovsky interspersed with performances from the Gelachter Trio in the hour long concert.

Song Story 2016 was an exciting and fresh look at Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons concertos. Composer William Carslake, together with Violinist Flora Curzon and Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg investigated this work with four SEN Somerset schools – Elmwood, Avalon, Critchill and Selworthy. Each school focused on one season, working with the team and using the sonnets which inspired Vivaldi’s original composition, to create their own music and play and sing along with Vivaldi’s original score. There was a spectacular final performance of “Saving Earth” on Wednesday 29 June at Elmwood & Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater. The students updated the story to tell of the fight against global warming and how we are saving earth from mankind’s thoughtlessness; a modern retelling which was really effective. It was a truly joyful experience for all involved.

Since September, Jack’s Music Club has been enjoying a new term of varied experiences and sound worlds. We have a whole new intake of keen young musicians attending each week, who gave two fantastic performances at the Jackdaws Christmas Concert, celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven (the concert happened to take place on 16 December, the maestro’s birthday). Jackdaws is now also an Arts Award centre and Jack’s members have the opportunity to earn a qualification during their usual weekly session.

We have continued to develop our work with the Music Hub for Somerset, taking a very active part in the Singing Strategy for Somerset schools, offering a mixed-programme of teacher training and in-school sessions, and the first Somerset Schools Singing Festival, which took place in the Summer term.

Caecilia AndriessenSaying ‘Vaarwel’

In May, we said a very sad farewell to Caecilia Andriessen, who retired. Caecilia was one of the very first tutors at Jackdaws and has been leading her unique “Pianos for All” ensemble course for the last 21 years, making the trip over from The Hague with several faithful students every year since 1995. The Pianos for All weekend involved groups of pianists playing music arranged for two, three and four pianos! We will miss this very special and joyful part of our annual calendar.

Saying ‘Hello’ to our Artists in Residence

In the Summer, the VIDA Guitar Quartet became the first Jackdaws Artists in Residence. It is the first time that such an appointment has been made by Jackdaws, and we are looking forward to unveiling future plans and discovering how the new relationship will bear fruit.

VIDA Concert at Jackdaws in December 2016VIDA celebrated this announcement with a fundraising concert on Saturday 3 December; their last before heading off on tour to the United States at the beginning of 2017. The concert raised important funds for Jackdaws and was a great treat for the local community.

The VIDA Quartet have a strong association with Jackdaws through the longstanding relationship between two members, Mark Eden and Christopher Stell (who also perform as the Eden Stell Guitar Duo). The Duo have been teaching at Jackdaws for more than 20 years and, as Artists in Residence, the Quartet will be ambassadors for Jackdaws in the UK and around the world.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Winners of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 216

L to R: Saffron van Zwanenberg, Leo Nicholson (Accomp Prize), Holly Marie Bingham (2nd Prize), Nardus Williams (1st & Audience Prizes), Rosemary Joshua, Sam Carl (3rd Prize), Joan Rodgers, Julian Jacobson

The 2016 Vocal Awards continued with the same high standards set in previous years. This year it was Nardus Williams, a young soprano currently studying at the Guildhall with Yvonne Kenny, who took First Place as well as the Audience Prize. The Judges – Rosemary Joshua, Joan Rodgers, Julian Jacobson, chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg – were very impressed with her performance.

We are all looking forward to the Vocal Awards 2017, which will be the 25th year of the competition. Keep your eyes peeled for details of how we are going to celebrate this significant milestone, which kickstarts the celebrations for Jackdaws 25th anniversary in 2018.

Two Great Losses

Sadly, we lost two great friends in 2016. The first was very early in the year when we heard of loss of tutor Kenneth van Barthold on 16 February. He was 88 years old and had been giving courses at Jackdaws for many years. An exceptional man, his obituary in the Telegraph shows just how respected he was.

sarah-wheeler-at-maureen-memorial-concertThen, in April, we received news that a long-time supporter of Jackdaws, Sarah Wheeler, had also passed away. She was a supporter of Jackdaws from the beginning, and a long time friend of Maureen. Sarah led the fundraising campaign that allowed us to buy our building, and when Maureen passed away in 2010, it was she who helped to organise the concert in her memory. She was a great lover of art and music and was a passionate believer in the healing power of both. As a result, she founded the Mental Fight Club and later the Dragon Cafe to share the benefit of both with others. She will be very sadly missed in Great Elm.

New Technology

We ended the year by releasing a video about our weekend courses. Produced by Tambrisk pictures, the four-minute video showcases our facilities and surroundings whilst answering questions a new-comer might have about their first visit to a Jackdaws music course. Watch the video here…

The Staff and Trustsees at Jackdaws want to thank all friends, supporters, colleagues and organisations who have helped us this year including;
Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation, Rosemary Bugden Trust, the Mercers’ Trust, the Mackintosh Foundation, Frome Voices, Cooper Hall Foundation.

Grants were also received from a number of local councils and funding bodies;
Arts Council England, Sound Foundation Somerset, Frome Town Council, South Somerset District Council.

We are also extremely grateful to the number of individuals who have made donations both large and small, and to Friends of Jackdaws, whose regular contributions ensure that Jackdaws can continue to facilitate the joy of music participation for everyone.

If you would like to make a donation to Jackdaws, you can do so by becoming a Friend, or making a one-off donation. For more information read Supporting Jackdaws.

Vote for Year of…

Vote for Year of…

Music Teacher Awards OperaPLUS

Vote for Jackdaws on the ClassicFM website now! Voting closes 30 November.

At the start of 2016, we were delighted to be awarded with the ClassicFM Best Classical Music Education Initiative for our innovative project OperaPLUS. Well, the finalists for the 2017 award have just been announced, and we’re are finalists for a second year running. This time, with our large scale project The Year of….

The Year of… Project
The Year of project was started in 2013 by Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg, who wanted to bring exceptional musicians to schools in Somerset to inspire and support children to start, and continue, playing an instrument.

In each Year of… project, a different ensemble or artist highlights their musical instrument with a whole school performance workshop, followed by smaller group work with up to 30 ‘players’ from each school playing a wide range of instruments in preparation for a Grand Finale concert where all the schools perform en masse alongside the professionals in Frome’s Cheese & Grain.

So far, the Year of project has involved the Carducci String Quartet (2013 – Year of the String Quartet), the Eden Stell Guitar Duo (2014 – Year of Guitar), Percussionist Joby Burgess (2015 – Year of Percussion), the Gelachter Wind Trio (2016 – Year of the Reed) and we are just embarking on 2017 – Year of the Recorder, which will be led by the recorder virtuosi Anna Stegmann and Tabea Debus.

In the four years of this project so far we have worked with nearly 50 schools in hard to reach areas of Somerset and engaged with over 15,000 children, young people and their teachers, introducing them to inspiring celebrated  musicians from the orchesetral and chamber music worlds.

Preparations for Year of the Recorder in 2017 are already well underway and will involve up to a further 12 schools and all of their pupils

We are grateful to all of the funders who have made this project possible – Arts Council England, Sound Foundation Somerset, The Radcliffe Trust, Austin Hope Pilkington Trust, Cavatina Trust, Frome Town Council.

Please vote for Jackdaws on the ClassicFM website now. Thank you. Voting closes 30 November.

Earn your Arts Award at Jack’s Music Club

Earn your Arts Award at Jack’s Music Club

Jack's Music ClubJack’s Music Club returns on Friday 16 September, and we’re looking for young musicians – just like you – musicians of any ability who want to use music as a social opportunity to play in groups and ensembles.

We’ll give you the opportunity to earn your Arts Award and introduce you to new ideas, challenge you, and get you to try new things to develop your musical skills every week, all at Jack’s Music Club.

Arts Award

Organised by Trinity College London, Arts Award and is a nationally recognised qualification offered at 5 levels. You can earn your Bronze Arts Award at Jack’s whatever instrument you play (even if it’s a bit unusual or you don’t read music) because it focuses on practical music making, doing research, sharing skills, listening and talking about your inspiration. It can be used to boost your achievements alongside graded music exams and you can celebrate your progress by performing in our concerts as part of Jack’s Music Club.

There are no entry or age requirements for Bronze or Silver Arts Awards, and no time limit to complete the qualifications.

Jackdaws is a registered Arts Award Centre with two trained advisors in house who can support you though your Bronze and Silver level Arts Award. Jack’s gives you the opportunity to complete the ‘skill share’ element of Arts Award in the usual Friday music club session. We will be offering the chance to earn your Bronze level award (equivalent to grades 1-3 Music Grade exams).

If you’re between 12 and 18 years old, come and get involved in Jack’s after school club for a chance to meet other teenagers with a passion for music.

Upcoming Sessions Autumn Term 2016
Arts Award LogoFriday 11 November – Dulcimers with Timothy Manning
Friday 18 November – Saffron van Zwanenberg
Friday 25 November – Concert Preparation!
Friday 2 December – Jazz Piano with John Law
Saturday 3 December – VIDA Concert at Jackdaws, FREE tickets for Jack’s members
Friday 9 December – Concert Preparation!
Friday 16 December – Jackdaws Christmas Concert! Rehearsal from 4:30, Concert 6:30 – 8

Why not try us for the first term of the new school year?

Weekly sessions in term time at 4:30-6pm

Fridays at Jackdaws, Great Elm, BA11 3NY.
Cost: £2 per session (additional costs to take optional Arts Award qualification)
Just turn up or get more details from josh@jackdaws.org

Read more about Arts Award and Young Musicians

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