Chamber music goes to school


Even before the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival officially begins on June 23, a number of artists are already at work; specifically a number of very young musicians and composers!

The Festival organisers go backstage to explore the Peasmarsh Festival education programme that has been running for several years now. In the weeks leading up to the festival, students at Peasmarsh and Beckley primary schools are working with their music educator and members of the Castalian String Quartet to compose short works building on themes from the festival programme.

“So if you want to see and hear the result of this fabulous experience and take part in active music-making”, they write, “come along to the free education concert on Friday June 24 at 1 pm. Our very young composers will have the chance to hear their works performed live and also enjoy a performance from our guest ensemble the Castalian String Quartet”.

Children prepare to make music
Children prepare to make music

Festival music educator, Sam Glazier, writes: “It was ten years ago that I first came to Peasmarsh for the Florestan festival. A memorable sunny afternoon, with children from Beckley and Peasmarsh singing to each other under the churchyard yew, ensured that I came back again the next summer. Now I can’t seem to stay away.

“It’s a real buzz to share in the awe and wonder of children who are hearing sublime live chamber music for the first time. It’s equally a joy to bring their enthusiasm and creativity into a collaborative composition process with professional musicians, who are often astonished by the results. Lucky me – an annual June residency in Peasmarsh, where the sun always shines, and the thrill of music-making is truly inclusive, without compromising a jot on quality”.

Miss Gibbs, teacher at Beckley primary school writes: “Sam makes this experience both fun and a learning experience and his fellow musicians work very sympathetically with the children; the results are always impressive. It is also fantastic for the children to be able to perform in public. I would like to thank the organisers for allowing us to take part in this enjoyable and memorable experience”.

In conclusion says the Festival team: “We are sincerely grateful to all of you who support the festival and make such a programme possible; we look forward to enjoying this amazing festival with you”.

Photo: Peasmarsh festival team member

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