Articles tagged with: Jackdaws Education

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.

The Stylist of Somerset – “Pure magic!”

The Stylist of Somerset – “Pure magic!”

“Sometimes something quite exceptional can happen when you’re least expecting it… Thank you. Encore. Encore.” – Jo Woodward

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th May saw something quite exceptional happen involving children from 6 Somerset schools, 6 Jackdaws Young Artists and a Rossini opera.

Jackdaws annual OperaPLUS project culminated two weeks of intense rehearsals and workshops with performances of “The Stylist of Somerset” (also known as Rossini’s Barber of Seville) at Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater and the Cheese & Grain, Frome with children singing as part of the opera performance.

Three schools were involved in each performance – Robert Blake, Elmwood and Penrose in Bridgwater and Critchill, Hayesdown and St John’s in Frome.

“All the children were fully engaged both as performers and as onlookers.” – Alan Burgess

OperaPLUS RehearsalsIn the two weeks preceding the shows, six Jackdaws Young Artists – all currently studying at one of the major British Music Conservatoires – led workshops with children at all six schools and Jack’s Music Club, working with the children on the part they would play and teaching the songs they later sang in the production.

The opera selected was Rossini’s opera buffa Barber of Seville, which was given a fresh and exciting spin and renamed “The Stylist of Somerset“. Based on popular TV talent shows, the evil Dr Bartolo was compared with a certain infamous judge with Rosina as his next star talent, Almaviva is a Pop star and, of course, Figaro is the best stylist in all of Somerset! Alan Burgess, headteacher of St John’s School who participated, said “Perhaps the greatest testimony of the production’s success was evidenced in the faces of everyone watching: they were enthralled from start to finish.

The performance was enjoyed by performers, children, parents and teachers alike.

“I am sure that neither of our sons (our 10 year old was in the audience with us) would have chosen to watch an opera with us. But they, like us were gripped from the very start.” – Kelly Newton

2014 is the 5th year that the OperaPLUS project has taken place. Previous years have seen productions of The Magic Flute, La Cenerentola and Semele, each time involving schools as far afield as Dulverton and Bridgwater.
As a parent I am feeling so very fortunate to have been able to share with my child in such an experience; as I felt so very much part of it as he did.” Charlotte Deniz Sanches

Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg addressed the audience immediately after the Frome performance, saying “It’s really very simple… Bring it to them and they love it.

Funder Logos

Read our introduction to the Stylist of Somerset.

Introduction to OperaPLUS 2014

Introduction to OperaPLUS 2014

RossiniOperaPLUS 2014 will be focus on Rossini’s Barber of Seville in a brand new production, with a Jackdaws twist.

Gioacchino Rossini
…was born in Pesaro on the Adriatic coast of Italy. He is Italy’s greatest loved composer of opera buffa (comic opera). Born on 29 February 1792, a leap year. He died 76 years later on 13 November 1868 (aged 18!)

Rossini’s operas earned him fame and money during his lifetime, which was, and is, unusual for a composer. A keen chef, his culinary legacy also lives on in the form of several pasta dishes and a strawberry cocktail made with champagne.

He was known for the speed with which he composed and once boasted that he could set a shopping list to music. Unusually for a composer, he retired from composition in 1829 having written 39 operas, although did write several smaller scale pieces after this. His opera buffa, La Cenerentola (1817), based on the story of Cinderella, was Jackdaws’ focus for OperaPLUS 2012 and was received with great acclaim. The 2014 programme focuses on Rossini’s most famous work, The Barber of Seville, written in 1815 (aged 23).

The Barber of Seville
The two-act libretto by Cesare Sterbini is based on Pierre Beaumarchais’ renowned comedic stage play “Le Barbier de Séville“, the first in his ‘Figaro trilogy’. Mozart famously set the second play in his Le nozze di Figaro.

With a comical libretto, the piece is an Opera buffa and indeed is often considered the best example of the Buffa style – it is certainly the most well known opera from the genre, and contains the famous Patter song ‘Largo al Factotum‘.

Rossini CocktailRossini Key Terms
Bel Canto – literally “beautiful voice”, a style of Italian singing characterised by its grace, virtuosity and agility
Libretto – like the text of a play, these are the words the composer sets to music
Opera buffa – literally “comic opera”, with a humorous libretto as well as visual gags
Overture – an instrumental introduction heard at the start of each Act, which often includes melodies which will be heard
Rossini Crescendo – a passage of music which gets louder over a repeated pattern. Rossini’s frequent employment of this device earned him the nickname ‘Signor Crescendo’

The Barber story follows Rosina, a young heiress, who is being pursued by her guardian, Dr. Bartolo, who wants to keep her fortune by marrying her himself. But Rosina has fallen in love with Count Almaviva and together with Figaro the Barber, they outsmart Dr. Bartolo so Rosina and the Count can marry.

Jackdaws OperaPLUS production, the Stylist of Somerset, takes a slightly different angle. Set in the style of popular television Talent shows, Rosina is a hopeful young contestant auditioning for Bartolo, a judge. She is in love with the already famous superstar Almaviva, who loves her back. Almaviva and Rosina ask their stylist, Figaro, to help them outsmart the evil Bartolo.

Jackdaws’ OperaPLUS production of the Stylist of Somerset will be performed twice:
Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater on May 8 at 12:30pm
Cheese & Grain, Frome on May 9 at 5:30pm

Jackdaws Big Sing returns!

Jackdaws Big Sing returns!

Jackdaws Big SingThis Wednesday (26 March) sees the return of the Jackdaws Big Sing at St John’s Church, Frome, 10am. Big Sing is a collaborative performance from pupils at school in Frome under the direction of Caroline Radcliffe, at the culmination of the Twilight Sessions series run by Jackdaws.

The children will be performing a selection of world music songs, selected for their ability to engage children with varied actions and develop their musical skills with easy to learn parts, layered to create interesting and continually varied textures.

During the Twilight Sesssions, Caroline works with school teachers to establish a plan for encouraging the use of singing in the classroom. A follow up school visit sees Caroline work with the teachers and children in the school setting to ensure they are working in a way which is as beneficial, inclusive and fun as possible.

The Big Sing is the final event in the Twilight programme and will feature the massed choirs of children from Mells, Nunney, St Louis and Leigh on Mendip schools singing together. This is not a performance as we might usually expect, as the children will not be singing ‘out’ towards the audience. Instead, they will be singing ‘inwards’ towards each other with the focus not on providing a spectacle for observers but on ensuring that the children work well as a team to create music in what might be their first such event. Parents of participating children are welcome to attend.

The news report from last year’s successful Big Sing can be read in our News Archive.

Internationally Renowned Guitar Duo visit Frome School Children

Internationally Renowned Guitar Duo visit Frome School Children

A great start to the Year of Guitar WorkshopsIn the week Monday 10 to Friday 14 March the Eden Stell Guitar Duo visited 14 schools, (including the SEN school and Secondary school) in the Frome area as part of the “Year of Guitar” project run by Jackdaws Music Education Trust.

Mark Eden and Chris Stell spent an hour and a half in each school, performing an interactive concert to the whole school and then leading a rehearsal with instrumental players participating on guitars, violins, cellos, drums and other percussion, xylophones, flutes and recorders.

They rehearsed a range of pieces which the schools will perform en masse alongside Eden Stell in a huge community concert in the Cheese and Grain on June 6th at 5.30pm.

Eden Stell Guitar Duo celebrate their 25th anniversary this year. Internationally renowned for their dynamism, innovation and breathtaking virtuosity the Eden Stell Guitar Duo have ‘breathed new life into the world of the classical guitar’ (Rotterdam Dagblad).

Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading guitar ensembles, the duo’s chameleon-like ability to communicate in a multitude of musical styles makes them a constantly evolving entity with a unique creative voice.

The “Year of Guitar” project follows Jackdaws wonderfully successful “Year of the String Quartet” which saw the Carducci String Quartet visit 14 schools in Frome before leading a massed performance of 140 children on violins, violas, cellos and percussion. 2015 will be the Year of Percussion.

The “Year of Guitar” finale concert will be at the Cheese & Grain, Frome on 6th June 2014. Tickets available from the Cheese & Grain box office from May 26th priced £5/ £3 for children under 16.

Jackdaws Year of Guitar has been made possible with the help of funding from Arts Council England and Sound Foundation Somerset.
Sound Foundation Somerset and Arts Council England

Other links:
www.edenstell.com

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

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.

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.

OperaPLUS

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.

Arts Award Supporter Organisation

Arts Award Supporter Organisation

Arts Award SupporterAs of October 2013, Jackdaws is an Arts Award Supporter organisation.

Arts Award is a qualification run by Trinity College, London which provides framework for young people to learn and develop their creativity and leadership skills. As a supporter of Arts Award, Jackdaws offers activities that young people can use to help them achieve their Arts Award, such as:

  • workshops, like our Gifted and Talented sessions or Jack’s Music Club
  • arts and cultural events which they can review – such as our concerts and performances
  • opportunities to find out about artists and cultural opportunities from our tutors and visiting musicians
  • a chance to share skills or lead arts projects during our various projects

If you are completing your Arts Award at the moment and want to know more about our activities and how we can help with your qualification – just get in contact, we’ll be happy to talk to you!

For more information about Arts Award visit their website.

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