In 2015 we delivered the following outreach projects:
We completed a pilot programme delivering Arts Award in a local primary school supported by our local Bridge Organisation – The Mighty Creatives. The children achieved their Discover Arts Award through a series of fun activities and outings. Arts Award is a great way for young people to engage with the arts from the age of 5. We have just started working with the next school in Buxton and look forward to expanding the programme in 2016.
Secondary school choirs gained an insight of opera by taking part in a singing masterclass with professional vocal coach Tim Lole. Guided by soprano Elise Nurre Dye and tenor Neil Allen the young people learn a chorus from Lucia di Lammermoor. The sessions start with vocal and physical warm-ups before the choir are led in a range of drama exercises to introduce the emotions and motivations of the characters in the opera. The sessions culminate with the choir and soloists giving a performance of the scene. The young people who took part in the masterclasses are looking forward to coming to see the Festival’s production of Lucia in July.
This year we have continued to develop our lunchtime choir for adults in partnership with Buxton Opera House. Choir members are now building a repertoire of choral music from gospel, to world music, to choral classics to pop. The choir have enjoyed performing at several local events including Buxton Spring Fair and Buxton Fringe Festival. From September this year the choir will be meeting every week instead of every fortnight. We hope this will help the choir members to continue to develop their performance skills in the lead up to our Christmas concert on 8th December 2015. New members are always welcome!
Festival for a Fiver
Young people were once again welcomed to Buxton Festival via our Festival for a Fiver campaign. Through this special offer we were able to encourage people under the age of 25 to give opera a try by removing any financial barriers. Through this scheme any Festival ticket was available for just £5 to under 30 year olds after 1st June.
Family Events at the Festival
At the Festival this summer families enjoyed a range of specially designed events and activities. On the middle weekend of the Festival we welcomed Flying The Nest a quirky, open-air show which was filled with a fantastic mix of music, puppetry, facts and fun. On the last weekend of the Festival families enjoyed storytelling in the Pavilion Gardens with the Magical Storytelling Yurt from High Peak Community Arts.
Live Music Now! – concert for children with special needs
In May over 100 children with special educational needs attended a concert at the Octagon in Buxton hosted by the Festival. Young performers from the K’antu Ensemble delighted the young audience with a delightful programme of early music and song.
This year’s Buxton Poetry Competition was a real success with over 600 poems entered over the three categories. Our theme in 2015 was Time and judges were delighted to welcome poems of all styles and interpretations. As part of the poetry competition in 2015 we hosted a workshop day for students from Buxton Community School and St Thomas More Catholic School. The students worked with professional poet River Walton to create a poem each to enter into the competition. The competition winning poems can be found at www.buxtonfestival.co.uk
Crazy Composers – with The English Concert
To celebrate The English Concert’s visit to Buxton with their production of Dido and Aneas by Purcell we are delighted to have worked in partnership on a project with 42 Year Five pupils from Fairfield Junior School. The children discovered the world of classical music by learning about the composers, the instruments, meeting the musicians and working with a composer. The project culminated in a performance of The English Concert’s Crazy Composers Suite with new material created and performed by the Buxton children. This was a unique opportunity for young people to learn about music from the UK’s leading Baroque orchestra.