March/April 2016 News

Read on to find out Sound Foundation Somerset provider news and events.  Go to the SFS website to find out about all the exciting music activities on offer for children and young people in Somerset this Spring and Summer!

Jackdaws Year of the Guitar workshops start this week

Jackdaws wins prestigious Music Teacher Award!

Jackdaws Music Education Trust was presented with a prestigious Music Teacher Award for Excellence for the OperaPLUS project, which won the category of “Best Classical Music Education Initiative”, sponsored by Classic FM.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for us; all our friends and supporters who took the time to give their backing to the campaign. It is an honour to receive this Award and it is down to your support that we are able to continue to run projects like this.

OperaPLUS brings together primary school children to perform alongside professional opera singers from Jackdaws Young Artist programme, in full length versions of well-known operas, sung in English. For many, it provides a first encounter with a live opera performance, and since 2010 has introduced countless children and adults alike to the art form in an accessible and inclusive setting. In 2015 alone, the project worked with 14 schools with up to 120 children in each of the five performances across the county.

Read more online.


News from South West Music School

Sunday 19th January saw 20 South West Music School Core and Feeder students gather at Wellington School in Somerset at the South West Music School Rock & Pop day. Under the tutelage of five experienced rock and pop tutors, the students rehearsed and then performed a mixture of classic and modern tracks to an audience of parents.

Read more online.


Actiontrack Performance Company offer incredible range of musical opportunities this term

They range from World music residences to recording sessions for young musicians at their studio in Taunton. First off international drum sensation,  The Dhol Foundation,  are setting up camp at Danesfield School and running a week of workshops in Dhol drumming. The week will culminate in a full blown performance from the band on Friday the 18th March. This is a chance to see real masters of music at work. Don’t miss it!

Actiontrack then continue their tour of the Javanese Gamelan at Courtfields School and Minehead Middle. These workshops give students the unique chance to learn about another musical culture and devise new pieces of traditional Indonesian music. Then it’s time for the release of On The Record 5 and the launch of the next project; On The Record 6! On The Record 5 explores the answer to the question; What is Culture? The album has been written and performed by young musicians from Somerset. The launch will take place towards the end of April at the Actiontrack recording studio. Keep your eyes on our website and Facebook page for the release date.

Read more online.


Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians celebrates its 2nd birthday 

The Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians is a wonderful resource in the South West and offers fantastic opportunities to its students. The Centre has professional music tutors with dedication and drive providing excellent musical coaching to improve skills, knowledge and confidence.  A 2nd birthday tea party was held at the Hestercombe Centre last Saturday.

The tuition fees equate to the unbeatable rate of £5.68 per hour, which is fantastic value for top quality music coaching of our core curriculum providing a much more rounded music education than just having a single private music lesson. The fees are billed termly so at £27 per Saturday that is £270 per term of ten weeks. A limited number of full or part-bursaries are available to families in Somerset who satisfy strict criteria. 

LEARN TO PLAY DAY on Saturday 12th March 2016 

It is national Learn to Play Day - all around the UK on Saturday 12th March so if you are aged 5-18 come and try out a musical instrument free of charge at Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians near Taunton.
Free taster lessons will be available on the following instruments: guitar, bass guitar, singing, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, cornet, trumpet, and trombone.

Places are limited so booking is essential.

For further information please contact the Hestercombe CYM office: 01823 410110 or 07754 217993 or hcym@cym.org.uk.


Music Workshops with Bones Apart

Cheddar Valley Music Club and Somerset Music invite you to a day of music making with internationally renowned Trombone Quartet, Bones Apart on 25th April.



"musically and technically world class" Jay Friedman Principal Trombone, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Read more online.

Other news from around the County....


Striking a Chord with Yeovil schools

It is now several weeks into the pilot of a new and dynamic music project,’Strike a Chord!’- the music programme which brings world-class musicians into the classrooms of Yeovil schools to ignite the touch paper for the Octagon’s pioneering long-term vision for music provision in South Somerset.

Read more online.

Artsmark incentive scheme announced...

Go to the Spaeda website to find out about the next Artsmark briefing and Spaeda's move to Hestercombe House.

You can also find out more about the Artsmark incentive scheme for eligible schools being offered by Spaeda and Sound Foundation Somerset.   Schools applying to the new Artsmark (launched Sept 2015) may be eligible for a subsidy on their Artsmark registration where these schools are InspirED partners and are engaging with Sound Foundation Somerset.

Diary Dates:

Friday 13th May - Primary Music Conference - Dillington House

Sunday 24th April - South West Single Reed Day - Wells Cathedral School

March/April - Lots of exciting Somerset Music events including the Somerset Spectacular, performances by the Somerset County Youth Concert Band and the Somerset County Youth Orchestra and the Somerset County Youth Choir - go to the SFS website for more info.

15-17 July 2016 - Sound Foundation Somerset Festival