Articles tagged with: Local Schools

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.

Song Story Success!

Song Story Success!

Jackdaws Song Story 2016 with William Carslake and Flora CurzonOn 29 June, the final large-scale Jackdaws Education project of 2015-16 saw children from four Somerset schools perform their own response to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a special performance at Robert Blake and Elmwood School in Bridgwater.

Using the sonnets which inspired Vivaldi during his original composition, each school developed a response to a particular season with the team. Vivaldi’s sonnets tell a story of the weather and the impact upon humans but our students wanted to update this story to make it more relevant to them, so the four seasons were recomposed to tell of the way we have mistreated Mother Earth, Gaia (ancient English for Earth) so that both her and mankind are now suffering from extreme weather.

All schools agreed that our story needed a superhero; he was to be called Sascha, from Alexander, meaning defender of Mankind. Sascha tries to help Gaia and the people of Earth defend themselves against the weather and the evil duo of the fly-tipping Dr Cuckoo and Lord Bacchus, head of the big oil corporations, poisoning the rivers and oceans.

Ultimately, the people realise they have to work together to help Sascha and unite to save Gaia. Though they succeed, they realise there is still a lot to be done and at the end they pledge to do a better job of looking after the Earth.

The music, mostly adapted from the famous suite of violin concertos, also featured special selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria, and was performed live by Music Director & pianist, William Carslake, violinist Flora Curzon and Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg. The children performed in choirs and in percussion orchestras.

The unique Song Story project was designed to introduce children to the music of the great composers by engaging them in a live performance, using the composer’s music as inspiration to a dramatic narrative of their own creation.

Jack’s Summer Series

Jack’s Summer Series

Jacks LogoEvery Friday in May we are giving you the chance to try Jack’s Music Club for free.

At Jack’s we give teenagers the opportunity to make music together by inviting a different tutor each week to give sessions introducing their unique way of making music.

You don’t need to be able to read music and don’t need to be a confident performer – we’ll be playing together anyway. All instruments and singers welcome.

 

Guitars by Laurence ParnellThe Summer Series Sessions take place on:

Friday 6 May, 4:30 – 6pm

Friday 13 May, 4:30 – 6pm

Friday 20 May, 4:30 – 6pm

Friday 27 May, 4:30 – 6pm – SPECIAL VISIT TO FROME FM STUDIOS

Cost: Free

Location: Jackdaws Music Education Trust

OperaPLUS – The Love Potion

OperaPLUS – The Love Potion

Award winning Education project, Jackdaws OperaPLUS, returns with a production of Donizetti’s The Love Potion (L’elisir d’amore), a comic tale of unrequited love set in the heartland of Somerset.

Featuring 18 Somerset schools performing alongside the professional cast in 5 performances at venues across the county.

Music Teacher Awards OperaPLUSPerformances
21 & 22 April: Holyrood School, Chard
27 & 28 April: The Blue School, Wells
29 April: Cheese & Grain, Frome

All performances start at 5:30pm

Tickets available on the door (and in advance from the Cheese & Grain for the 29th), priced between £2 – £5.

English translation by Arthur Jacobs (copyright Ricordi).

If you are a school looking for the resources page, you will find it here.

Love Potion is Generously supported by Arts Council England, Sound Foundation Somerset, Frome Town Council and South Somerset District Council

Year of the Reed Tickets available now

Year of the Reed Tickets available now

Jackdaws Year of the Reed with the Gelachter TrioTickets went on sale this morning for the fourth “Year of…” project, the Year of the Reed featuring the Gelächter Trio. There are just over 100 tickets available for the performance, which will see almost 200 school children performing en masse with the Gelächter Trio on Tuesday 22 March at 5:30pm.

The programme will feature the Trio performing several solo items, in amongst pieces such as Tchaikovsky’s Theme from Swan Lake and the Duke Ellington Jazz standard “C Jam Blues”.

Lasting around 1 hour, the concert is always a highlight on the calendar of Jackdaws Education projects.

Year of the Reed
featuring the Gelächter Trio
with 12 Somerset Schools
Tuesday 22 March, 5:30pm
Cheese & Grain, Frome
Tickets: £5 / £2 under 16
Available from: 01373 455420