Articles tagged with: voice

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Sing ‘The Magic Flute’ at Jackdaws!

Have you always wanted to sing an aria, duet or chorus from Mozart’s most famous opera?

Will CarslakeThe Magic Flute has enchanted music and theatre lovers of all ages for hundreds of years. With charm and wit, it tells the story of a terrifying and joyful journey in pursuit of love, wisdom and happiness as Prince Tamino tries to rescue the Princess Pamina from the evil Sarastro. From the stratospheric arias of the Queen of the Night, through the jolly folk tunes of Papageno the Birdcatcher, to the profound music of Sarastro, leader of the enlightened ones, it is a full expression of Mozart’s musical and dramatic genius.

At the Come and Sing Opera Day, William Carslake will guide you through Mozart’s magical masterpiece. You will sing some of the most rousing choruses and tackle the solos and ensembles. William says, “we will sing in English, and can send out in music advance if wished. Please let us know if you would like to sing a certain part!”

‘Often referred to by many as Mozart’s only pantomime, The Magic Flute is a riot of life, lust and ludicrous plot that somehow belies its portentous position in Mozart’s output’ – Classic FM

The course runs from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 14 December and is open to singers of all abilities. The £35 fee includes the delicious home cooked lunch and all music needed for the workshop.

Jackdaws is in Great Elm, just 3 miles from Frome. Visit the course page to book or call 01373 812383 to ask any questions.

Come and Sing: Mozart’s Magic Flute
Sunday 14 December
William Carslake
11am – 3pm
Fee: £35 including lunch and music

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Graham Fitch, Ameral Gunson… Full!

Ameral Gunson at JackdawsThe latest course to sell out from our 2014-15 season is Ameral Gunson’s Singing and Imagination. Ameral joins Graham Fitch, whose Practising the Piano, went to a waiting list two weeks ago.

If you missed out on booking for Singing and Imagination, we recommend Advanced Singing Technique with Teresa Cahill instead. Teresa is one of the great British sopranos. Her career has taken her across the globe and seen her perform under Sir Georg Solti, Normal Del Mar, Vernon Handley, Otto Klemperer and alongside Roger Vignoles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Placido Domingo at the most prestigious classical festivals – the Proms, Aldeburgh, Glyndebourne (and that’s just in the UK!)

She has been visiting Jackdaws since the beginning with her course for advanced singers. Bring your own choice of repertoire from opera, operetta and oratorio in German, French, Italian or English and we will discover the depth of interpretation possible using vocal technique.

If the theatrical, creative imagination element of Ameral’s course appealed to you, then perhaps you the upcoming Audition Preparation Weekend in November would be a better alternative.

Led by vocal coach Audrey Hyland and opera director Saffron van Zwanenberg, this weekend should be the focus of your preparation for upcoming vocal auditions, whatever your ability. The panel, who both have extensive experience on audition panels, have structured the weekend to feature enactments of audition scenarios, vocal tuition and performance tips to raise the level your performance and give you the competitive edge.

To view all Jackdaws Vocal Courses, visit the Voice page.

Jackdaws programme of One-Day Taster Courses are also selling well, and serve as a fantastic introduction to areas of music you may not have considered – Alexander technique, anyone?

Advanced Singing Technique Course Details
Friday 17 – Sunday 19 October 2014
Course No. 3113
Level: Advanced
Fee: £200

Audition Preparation Weekend Course Details
Friday 7 – Sunday 9 November 2014
Course No. 3115
Level: A
Fee: £200

B&B available from £30 per night

Singing in French

Singing in French

Flowers in the Jackdaws Rose GardenThe French chanson and mélodie repertoire contains some of the most beautiful songs ever written, by the greatest composers in history. Fauré, Berlioz, Poulenc, Duparc, Debussy, Ravel, Chausson…

Robin Bowman is an expert in French song. For 30 years he was French consultant to the National Opera Studio, London, and from 1997 to 2008 was Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music. For 25 years he taught at the Académie Internationale Maurice Ravel, and spent a further 11 at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. He played for the classes of Pierre Bernac, the singer for whom Poulenc wrote more than half of his songs, during the last ten years of Bernac’s life in the 1970s. Robin was delighted to be on the adjudication panel for the Kathleen Ferrier Competition 2013.

To learn French song is to learn French culture, custom, ideas, history and traditions.

When taught and coached well, French is a healthy and rewarding language for singing. This course is open to singers of all abilities and will enable each participant to study and perform three or four French songs of their own choice, further preparing their favourite for an intimate Sunday afternoon concert at the end of the course.

Robin Bowman and accompanist Edwige HerchenroderSinging in French Course Details
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 September 2014
Course No. 3107
Level: All
Fee: £190
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

Jackdaws Season 2014-15

Jackdaws Season 2014-15

JACKDAWS PRESENTS EXCITING NEW PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR 14-15 SEASON

Anna Stegmann Photo: Marco Borggreve

New Tutor for 2014-15, Anna Stegmann

Jackdaws Music Education Trust is delighted to present its latest programme of weekend music courses.

The season commences in October 2014 and sees residential courses offered with tutors such as Graham Fitch and Philip Fowke on piano, Evelyn Tubb and Rosa Mannnion on voice as well as ensemble courses and much more. Jackdaws’ series of taster Day Courses also return offering a wonderful introduction to new areas of music making as well as a famous Jackdaws lunch.

Jackdaws is also delighted to welcome some new tutors: Anna Stegmann, contemporary recorder Professor at the Royal Academy is taking a joint course with resident recorder tutor Pamela Thorby; celebrated soprano, Mary Plazas leads the Opera Workshop for singers of all ability; renowned singers Sarah Leonard and Stephen Varcoe are leading an English Song weekend and the extraordinary piano teacher Penelope Roskell is coming to Jackdaws for the first time.

“I am so delighted that such eminent professional musicians continue to support the work we do to include musicians from all backgrounds in accessing the best teaching and being inspired by discovering new repertoire and techniques. Often being a musician can be a solitary experience, so we are thrilled to be able to enable our tutors and our participants in coming together to bring music to life whilst spending time in our picturesque and inspiring location.” – Saffron van Zwanenberg, Jackdaws Artistic Director

Alongside all of these wonderful opportunities Jackdaws will also be continuing to be at the forefront of music education for children and young people in Somerset, championing classical music and musicians and promoting a classical method of teaching and learning to support and enable young people to fulfil their musical aspirations.

To view all Jackdaws courses visit the Calendar

NEW COURSE for 2014: Ensemble Singing

NEW COURSE for 2014: Ensemble Singing

Following your feedback we have taken the opportunity to refocus the aims of our summer Chamber Choir weekend with William Carslake and Jessica Walker. Your course has had a facelift and is now Jackdaws’ first “Ensemble Singing Weekend

Jackdaws Tutors William Carslake and Jessica WalkerIf you enjoy singing in harmony, or have always wanted to try singing with other voices, come and work with Will and Jess who will help you sing any ensemble you have had a secret hankering to try out.

“Ensemble singing” includes duets, trios, quartets and quintets from Opera, Oratorio, Close Harmony and Barbershop

Whatever your genre of interest, Will and Jess are here to help you sing, employing their own unique brand of technical expertise and inspiring knowledge alongside their passion and enthusiasm for all things sung! This will include help and tips for sight singing, individual vocal tuition and they are happy to arrange music around the voices available so you can all sing together in parts.

The course will still run on Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st August.

Ensemble Singing Course Details
Thursday 28 – Sunday 31 August 2014
Course No. 3104
Level: All
Fee: £260
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards – two weeks until application closes!

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards – two weeks until application closes!

Andrew Dickinson, Winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2013

Andrew Dickinson,
Winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2013

It is now only two weeks until application closes for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2013.

The award, uniquely rewarding potential as well as achievement, has been running since 1992. In that time it has been won by many rising stars such as Christopher Maltman (1994), Andrew Kennedy (1999), Marta Fontanals-Simmons (2011).

With Preliminary Audition Rounds held over the weekend of 18th – 20th September at Jackdaws and London, the final will be held at the Wigmore Hall, London, on Friday 8th November.

We are very lucky to boast a highly respected Judging panel at the awards this year. Comprised of Dame Felicity Lott, Ian Partridge CBE and Malcolm Martineau, the panel will be chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg, Artistic Director of Jackdaws.

Jackdaws Young Artists and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards are very grateful for the generous support of Penelope Davies, Geoffrey & Margaret Batten (Accompanist prize) and Jackdaws Trustees (Audience prize).

All the information you need in order to apply is available to download in an application pack.
Applications can then be made using the following forms submitted by post or email to music@jackdaws.org:
Vocal Awards Application (.pdf)
Vocal Awards Application Form (.doc)

Application forms must be returned with your entry fee, copy of birth certificate, curriculum vitae and two letters of recommendation by 5pm on the 11th October 2012.

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards – four weeks until application closes!

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards – four weeks until application closes!

Maureen Lehane Vocal AwardsIt is four weeks today that application closes for the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards which are, uniquely rewarding potential as well as achievement. With Preliminary Audition Rounds held over the weekend of 18th – 20th September at Jackdaws and London, the final will be held at the Wigmore Hall, London, on Friday 8th November.

We are very lucky to boast a highly respected Judging panel at the awards this year. Comprised of Dame Felicity Lott, Ian Partridge CBE and Malcolm Martineau, the panel will be chaired by Saffron van Zwanenberg, Artistic Director of Jackdaws.

All the information you need in order to apply is available to download here

Applications can be made using the following forms submitted by post or email to music@jackdaws.org:
Vocal Awards Application (.pdf)
Vocal Awards Application Form (.doc)

Application forms must be returned with your entry fee, copy of birth certificate, curriculum vitae and two letters of recommendation by 5pm on the 11th October 2012.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing you soon!

Singing and Imagination

Book a late summer voice retreat at Jackdaws to work with Ameral Gunson and accompanist Marion Lea this September on Singing and Imagination.

Ameral explains the course title;
“Singing is an activity first and foremost of the imagination, of us being alive imaginatively to the music, the drama and the poetry. We will work to hear the sounds in our imagination before we sing, and anticipate how the resonance will feel to keep engaged when not actively singing.”

Participants are invited to bring three pieces in English from any period and one “prop” which you feel may help stimulate your imagination.

Ameral Gunson at Jackdaws

Ameral Gunson at Jackdaws


Ameral Gunson studied singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Walter Gruner before joining the BBC Singers; she continued her studies with Otakar Kraus. After leaving the BBC Singers she quickly established a successful and varied solo career which has included performances throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. She includes many operatic roles in her repertoire and has appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Alter Oper Frankfurt and the Turin and Helsinki opera houses. Her recordings for EMI and Chandos include Verdi’s Requiem, The Rape of Lucretia and the Grammy award winning discs of Peter Grimes

Course details:
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September 2013
Singing and Imagination
Course No. 3057
Level: Advanced.
Fee £190
B&B available from £30 per night
Click here to book

Philip Fowke Sold Out – Again!

Philip Fowke Sold Out – Again!

Jackdaws Tutor Philip Fowke

Jackdaws Tutor Philip Fowke

We start the week with the fantastic news that Philip Fowke’s September Piano Workshop course has sold out. Philip is one of Jackdaws’ most adored tutors and as such returns to us twice a year to run his Piano Workshop, which sells out just as routinely! Details for both of his 2014 courses in February and September are already live on our website and ready to take your bookings.

Also sold out this week is Stylish Baroque with Theresa Caudle and Alastair Ross, and our Summer Production.

If you missed out on a place on our Summer Production week you can still take advantage of our FREE Gifted and Talented Workshops this August for children aged between 9 – 15; although we have only a few places remaining on this Thursday’s Singing Workshop with Saffron van Zwanenberg we are still taking bookings – all you have to do is call or email us to book a place and bring a packed lunch on the day… oh and bring your best Tra la la la’s!

Singing in French

Singing in FrenchWhat a time celebrate British success in France by improving your understanding of the beautiful French language. Robin Bowman’s course Singing in French makes a wonderful continuation of Chris Froome’s success in the Tour de France, which next year comes to Yorkshire.

Singing in French


avec Robin Bowman
Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September
vendredi 30 août – dimanche 1 septembre

This course is open to singers of all abilities and will enable each participant to study and perform three or four French songs of their own choice, further preparing their favourite for an intimate Sunday afternoon concert at the end of the course.

Robin Bowman worked during the 1970s as assistant to Pierre Bernac, for whom Poulenc wrote more than half of his songs. From 1978 to 2008, Robin was French consultant to the National Opera Studio, London, and from 1997 to 2008 was Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. For twenty-five years he taught at the Académie Internationale Maurice Ravel, and for a further eleven at the Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. An accompanist and collaborative pianist of international reputation, he now works in retirement for the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, continues many summer schools and teaches and coaches for the Birmingham Conservatoire. Robin was on the adjudication panel for the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Award.

Click to book your place on Singing in French

or call 01373 812383 or contact music@jackdaws.org

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