“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.”
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.
On 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.
Year of Recorder Grand Finale Concert
Wednesday 22 March, 5:30pm
Cheese & Grain
Tickets: £5 adults / £3 under 16s
The concert will last approximately 1 hour.
Here 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.
In 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!