The final will be held at the Wigmore Hall, Thursday 14 November, 1-4pm. Adjudicated by Sir John Tomlinson, Emma Bell, Michael Dussek and Chaired by Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg.
The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are unique in recognising potential as well as achievement. For over 20 years, the Award has been a springboard on to international careers in opera house and on the concert stage. For a full history of past winners, who include Anna Devin (2008), Dawid Kimberg (2004), Christopher Maltman (1994), Sarah Fox (1996), Amanda Echalaz (2002), Madeleine Pierard (2009) and Julien van Mellaerts (2015), visit the archive.
1st Prize: £2000
Final Round: The Wigmore Hall, 14 November
Singers aged: 22 – 30
Closing date: Friday 18 October
Following a close final at the Wigmore Hall this afternoon, Jackdaws are delighted to announce the winners of the 26th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards:
James Atkinson, Baritone
Charlotte Bowden, Soprano
Verity Wingate, Soprano
Michael Pandya, playing for Charlotte Bowden
Charlotte Bowden, Soprano
The judges – Amanda Roocroft, Patricia Bardon, Alisdair Hogarth and Saffron van Zwanenberg – said this has been the finest year for interpretations of Peter Wishart’s music.
All finalists were required to present a programme consisting of four items, two own choice items in addition to one song by each of the two set composers; Handel, of whose music Maureen Lehane was a renowned interpreter, and Peter Wishart, her late husband in whose memory the awards were founded.
The Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are possible because of supported from The Rosemary Budgen Charitable Trust, AIMS, Cooper Hall Emerging Artists, and Geoffrey & Margaret Batten. The Audience Prize was supported by the Jackdaws Trustees.
Following two days of auditions, Jackdaws are delighted to present the singers in the final round of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2018.
James Atkinson, Baritone
Accompanied by Hamish Brown
Charlotte Bowden, Soprano
Accompanied by Michael Pandya
Glen Cunningham, Tenor
Accompanied by Lucy Colquhoun
Kamilla Dunstan, Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanied by Joe Howson
Kieron Connor Valentine, Countertenor
Accompanied by Alex Jenkins
Stephanie Wake-Edwards, Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanied by Richard Gowers
Verity Wingate, Soprano
Accompanied by Marina Staneva
Grace-Marie Wyatt, Soprano
Accompanied by Marina de Lucas Garcia
Finalists will compete at the Wigmore Hall from 1pm on Friday 16 November. The judges Amanda Roocroft, Patricia Bardon and Alisdair Hogarth, chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg, will decide who will be the recipient of the £2,000 first prize. The winner will be announced at 3:45pm.
Each performer will present a 20 minute programme made up of four works; one by each of the two set composers, Handel and Peter Wishart, and two own choice selections.
Tickets for the final are available directly from the Wigmore Hall.
In 2013, we launched the 20Jackdaws campaign to raise funds to help with the building of a new studio at Jackdaws. We asked you to give us £20 (or £200, or £2000..!) to celebrate our 20th birthday and the beginning of the journey towards the new space. In return, we would note your donation by adding your name to a display in the new studio with your own ‘jackdaw’.
2018 marks our 25th birthday and, following a long process of appointing an architect and getting planning permission etc, the build commenced in July this year and will be complete early next year.
There is still time (just!) to add your name to the long list of people who donated to the 20Jackdaws campaign. This would help us to decorate the space inside, and landscape the gardens around the studio.
So why not have your name on our wall of Jackdaws fame and help us to complete this project, which will support the future of Jackdaws for another 20 years.
If you would like to discuss your donation further, then please contact Development Manager Katharine Meadows by emailing email@example.com or calling 01373 812383.
Saffron van Zwanenberg
Artistic Director of Jackdaws Music Education Trust
See how the build is progressing on our Building Blog.
Our build team made the most of the warm September days to make great progress with the structure (that you can now see), Read more…
Below: Progress on the new studio, 28 September 2018
Every year, we announce the more Jackdaws residential Weekend and One Day Courses. We welcome a range of new and returning tutors to our programme to keep our teaching varied, current, and so we can encourage you to try something new and find a new challenge.
We have full weekend courses, running Friday evening until Sunday afternoon; longer Three Day Courses from Thursday to Sunday; and One Day Courses bite-sized introductions to essential topics for all musicians. Some of the wonderful new tutors we welcome this year are Joan Rodgers, Alisdair Hogarth, Isobel Buchanan, Robert Chevara, Madeleine Mitchell and Alison Wells. Follow their links to read their full biographies and course descriptions, booking is now open!
Art Songs by African-American and Black British Composers
with Michael Harper
Fri 25 – Sun 27 January 2019
The City Musick – Renaissance Wind Band Music for Court & City
with William Lyons and Richard Thomas
Fri 15 – Sun 17 February 2019
From Panic to Poise: Strategies for Managing Performance Anxiety Weekend
with Wendy Skeen
Fri 3 – Sun 5 May 2019
Request a printed copy of the new brochure, or subscribe to our mailing list below.
After three weeks of OperaPLUS, with workshops and performances across Somerset and Wiltshire, the team sang their final note of the 2018 project last Friday.
The five performances involved hundreds of children from 13 schools, not to mention siblings, classmates and school-friends in the audience, singing alongside the professional singers in the full-length production of “The Daughter of the Regiment” performed in their own school halls.
“I can honestly say, that in all the years I have been working in schools, The Team Mascot was one of the best arts projects I have had the privilege of being involved with.” – Music lead of a participating school
‘The Team Mascot’ is Jackdaws Artistic Director Saffron van Zwanenberg’s interpretation of Donizetti’s operatic comedy. All performances were semi-staged, sung in English and performed “in the round” to make them as accessible as possible, from first time opera goers (and there were a lot of them!) to seasoned listeners.
Some of our favourite feedback from the OperaPLUS shows…
- “I am writing to say you have inspired me to want to listen to more opera”
- “You have built up a truly inspirational opera project and you should be incredibly proud of what you are doing.”
- “Thank you for giving my friends and I one of the most memorable moments of our lives.”
- “The opportunity helped us to see what opera is really like. The performance was brilliant and the atmosphere was great.”
- “I never knew I would ever have a chance to sing opera”
- “Everyone was a little afraid of opera but all of us loved it at the end.”
- “You produced a very professional opera which was musically impressive and did not patronise your young chorus or your audience!”
- “It was the most captivating, imaginative and engaging performance in which the school children were so obviously included and valued.”
- “The students and parents were absolutely buzzing and it was something they will all remember for a very long time.
OperaPLUS has continued to expand since 2010. This year is the first time this Award-winning music education project has been taken into Wiltshire.
All performances were supported by Arts Council England, the Department for Education, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust. Shows in Somerset are further supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Frome Town Council and South Somerset District Council. Shows in Wiltshire are further supported by Wiltshire Music Connect and Calne Town Council.
Our longer weekend courses offer more time for you to spend at Jackdaws this summer, working with some wonderful tutors, to explore something new or to hone your vocal skills. Arrive in the valley on a Thursday evening for a relaxed supper and a chance to meet your tutors and fellow participants, followed by the first class. With full days on the Friday and Saturday, the course comes to an end on the Sunday afternoon.
Jackdaws Three Day Weekend Courses are an excellent opportunity to commit the time you never quite seem to find to working on your singing. With the long Summer evenings, the beautiful countryside and the high-level of tuition, you’ll find you have the space to achieve much more than you set out to.
Staged Opera Scenes with
Saffron van Zwanenberg & Rosa Mannion
Thurs 5 – Sun 8 July 2018
If you’ve always dreamed of singing opera with others, Staged Opera Scenes may be the course for you. Open to All singers, this ensemble course blends performance and technique, under the guidance of Saffron van Zwanenberg and Rosa Mannion. Each participant offers three suggestions of roles and one solo piece that they would like to explore, they will then work on their solo and an ensemble piece. Read more…
“I had two major breakthroughs and came home from the course inspired”
Unlocking Your Vocal Potential
with Jessica Walker
Thurs 9 – Sun 12 August 2018
In August, Jessica Walker helps singers of all abilities unlock their vocal potential, focussing her weekend on vocal technique and practical exercises. Jessica will work with you both individually and in groups, aiming to improve your singing confidence by the end of the weekend. Read more…
Preparing a Role
with Phillip Thomas
Thurs 23 – Sun 26 August 2018
Phillip Thomas returns to Jackdaws to work with Advanced level singers who wish to explore how to prepare a role. His extensive work with singers and opera companies, knowledge of the repertoire and the demands involved in preparing a full role are unmatched. Singers are invited to choose a role in which to immerse themselves for this longer weekend. You do not need to have prepared the full role just have a good grasp of some of the music and a working knowledge of the rest. Read more…
Course fees include all meals and refreshments at Jackdaws, prepared by our dedicated cooks. Local accommodation is available, which we are happy to book for you.
SOUND THE TRUMPETS! THE AWARD-WINNING PROJECT “JACKDAWS YEAR OF…” BRINGS WORLD CLASS BRASS QUINTET TO LOCAL SCHOOLS
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
In 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:
“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.”
“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
Saffron van Zwanenberg
Artistic Director at Jackdaws
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01373 812383
Projects and Digital Officer
email@example.com / 01373 812383
Jackdaws Music Education Trust is a registered Charity 1037073.
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.
We 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.
OperaPLUS (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.
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.
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.
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!
We 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.