Children from Cheddar, Rode & Norton St Philp schools have composed special Birthday Fanfares for Jackdaws Education Trust and Onyx Brass Quintet to celebrate the 25th Birthday of both organisations.
The schools performed their specially written fanfares at a Grand Finale concert at Frome’s Cheese and Grain, on 20 March, as part of Jackdaws Music Education Trust’s award-winning music project “Year of Brass” which saw over 250 children work with the Onyx Brass Quintet in schools throughout Somerset. Over 150 of the children took part in the final concert, at the Cheese and Grain, where the Fanfares were given their premiere. The children, many of whom have only been learning their brass instruments since January, were led by the Quintet in a spirited performance of Rossini’s overture to William Tell, Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues and Dawn at the Oasis by Timothy Jackson. The concert was sold out and enthusiastically received by the audience. “What a way to inspire kids to play instruments! Loved it!” said one parent, after the concert.
THE YEAR OF BRASS
After working with young musicians in schools across the breadth of Somerset, during March, the world class Onyx Brass Quintet performed alongside over 150 pupils from those schools in a Grand Finale concert at Frome’s Cheese & Grain.
“I thought it was inspiring and incredible how everyone was playing in sync. Amazing from everyone in the room!” – One participant
In addition, the Onyx Brass Quintet played several solo pieces which held both audience and children in rapture. Their varied programme included an arrangement of Bach’s Fugue in C major BWV846, Charpentier’s Prelude to Te Deum, James Maynard’s Fanfare and arrangements of the popular tunes You Make me Feel So Young, and What a Wonderful World.
The children performing alongside the Quintet ranged from First school children aged 7 up to 18-year-old college students, with a wide range of abilities on show. One participating school had only started whole-class ensemble Brass teaching in January, but were still able to join in the show alongside other students thanks to their workshop with the Onyx Brass Quintet earlier in March.
Each school workshop with Onyx Brass also featured a 45-minute interactive performance to the whole school, specially designed to stimulate the children’s imaginations, and used interactive games to teach musicianship skills.
The musicians worked with smaller groups of children to prepare music for this final performance, also giving school teachers a chance to learn from them. Teachers were supported throughout the project with resources including recordings and sheet music for all pieces, downloadable from the dedicated schools area on the Jackdaws website.
25th ANNIVERSARY FANFARE
The Year of Brass project fell on a landmark year for both Jackdaws and the Onyx Brass Quintet. With both groups celebrating their 25th anniversaries in 2018, Jackdaws commemorated the occasion by launching a competition among participating schools to compose a Fanfare. The final round, between Cheddar First School and Rode & Norton St Philip, was held during the concert, with Onyx Brass deciding to award first prize to Cheddar First School, who received a £50 voucher for music resources.
The Year of Brass project was supported by Sound Foundation Somerset, Arts Council England, The Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and Jackdaws Music Education Trust.