22nd – 27th July 2019

The JAM Summer Course was once again fully subscribed, and the thirty children involved had a very busy and action-packed week of music and activities.  Through the support of the One Foundation, a team of visiting teachers joined the local faculty, including brass specialist Steve Thompson, Abbie Burrows for woodwind, Richard Boardman and Damon Flanagan for strings, and Hayley Parkes for piano.   The visiting guest artiste this year was violinist beatboxer Faz Shah, who got every single student beatboxing!

Concerts included an evening at Georgetown Methodist Church, the end-of-course concert at St Helier Methodist Centre, and a brilliant day at Mont Orgueil Castle – for this event we provided the musical finale to Jersey Heritage’s week of Musical Mayhem at Mont Orgueil in which lots of children had made musical instruments which we led in a ‘Junk Samba’ through the castle, performing in ensembles in lots of interesting locations.

Along with the afternoon activities including a guided Moonwalk to Seymour Tower with Jersey Walking Adventures, and an action-packed afternoon at St Brelade’s Bay with Jersey Seafaris and Absolute Adventures, the week was crammed to the brim!

Our congratulations go to all the students involved for a wonderful week, and all the hard work that went alongside the fun to enable all the newly-formed ensembles to deliver some truly memorable performances.  Bravo!


18th May 2019

On 18th May,  the Academy’s senior flute students spent the day with internationally renowned and multi-award-winning flautist, Gareth McLearnon. 

The day began with a group workshop focusing on Tone, where the students learnt some interesting techniques including singing while playing. Gareth then spent time with the younger flautists, working on posture and technique and giving advice on how to improve their current pieces. The afternoon was spent in an Open Masterclass for the older students who all benefited from their individual session with Gareth as well as learning from observing their peers. 

The day rounded off with a Flute Choir session playing one of Gareth’s own compositions “Single Yellow Line” which included learning many extended techniques and sound effects. The students loved the piece so much that we have now purchased it to add to the repertoire!

20th-23rd June 2019

Around 100 of the academy’s orchestral-instrumentalists joined forces with visiting students and teachers from Chetham’s School of Music in one of our biggest projects of the year!

Senior-level instrumentalists formed a 45-strong Chamber Orchestra, rehearsing intensively each evening to bring together Coates’ vibrant London Suite, and Popper’s reflective Requiem for Three Cellos and Chamber Orchestra.

Then on the Saturday a huge range of young instrumentalists from 5yrs of age right up to adult learners joined forces to spend the weekend learning and rehearsing music which had been specially arranged to bring together all ages and levels, including Bizet’s Toreador’s Song, Offenbach’s Can Can, Great Movie Adventures by John Williams, and James Bond by Barry.

Led by conductor Steve Threlfall, Director of Music at Chetham’s, and all the local JAM teaching team, this culminated in a truly spectacular concert at the beautiful Great Hall at Highlands.

During their visit, the wind quintet and string quintet from Chetham’s also performed schools concerts at Janvrin, JCG Prep, and Hautlieu (pictured).

This project was also particularly meaningful as it was not only part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Chetham’s, but also one of the final projects led by Steve Threlfall who is retiring from his role as Director of Music later this year.  It was also wonderful to hear performances from some of the Jersey students who are currently studying at Chetham’s including soprano Esther Shea, cellist Iona Russell, and pianist Esther Cushen.  Bravo to all for a fantastic event (and thank you to Nigel Crespel for the brilliant photos)!

3rd-5th May 2019

Steve Thompson arrived in Jersey for a weekend residency at Chateau Vermont bringing with him 10 of his students from St Dunstan’s College, London along with their Director of music Dominic Oldfield for a Street Jazz weekend project.

14 local JAM students joined forces with our guests to form a Street Jazz band. The students integrated well from the off set for a long but fulfilling day. From 9-5pm the students were incredible at taking on the task of sight reading 7 new pieces  – all with the added pressure of performing them twice the following day! Thanks to Steve’s fantastic arranging of some great pieces including It must be love, Disco 2000 & Rolling in the deep by Adele, this made the job somewhat easier – all of the students rose to the challenge and played fantastically! Sectionals followed lunch before the band came back together to perform the pieces through – they’d done so well there was even time for a game of rounders on the lawn!

On Sunday the students met at the Chateau first thing for a final rehearsal before being bused down to the Jersey International Boat Show’s main stage in Weighbridge Square for their first performance at 12. After an hour for lunch & a chance to soak up the atmosphere, they reconvened to play another great set in a more street and busking style second performance in Liberation Square.

Our visitors then went bowling & had a Thai meal before being dropped up to the airport  – tired out but with feedback from Steve that they had really enjoyed their weekend here! Let’s hope we can do it all again next year! A big thanks to all the staff and students for making the weekend such a success!


In the meantime Steve will be returning to this Summer’s Course where he will be giving individual lessons as well as coaching jazz and other ensembles!

10th/11th May 2019

Organised by JAM percussion tutor Eva Hsieh, we had two busy days of workshops delivered by the quite incredible Ruairi Glasheen.  He travelled to the island with bags full of Bodhrán drums, and worked with children from VCP, Janvrin, and JCG on the Friday, before leading workshops for JAM students (and parents!) on the Saturday.  Great feedback from everyone involved, something completely different and great fun!

5th-7th July 2019

Founded in 1560, Solihull School is a leading co-educational independent school situated near the centre of Solihull, West Midlands, England.  The music department benefits from excellent accommodation in the David Turnbull Music School, opened in 2009.

A student trio consisting of clarinet, violin and piano look forward to visiting Jersey in July, alongside a staff trio, Luisa Rosina, Head of Woodwind, Hanlie Martens, Head of Keyboard and Helen Roberts, Head of Strings.

The students will be working alongside JAM senior instrumentalists, and the teachers collaborating with JAM teachers, to lead towards a chamber music concert featuring exciting chamber music works of a wide variety of styles and genres.


20th-24th June 2019

Our longstanding friendship with Chetham’s School of Music continues with an exciting residency this summer, with a visiting string quintet and wind quintet of young musicians and various teachers, led by Director of Music Stephen Threlfall, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the school.  We will be involving all the JAM string, woodwind, brass, and percussion students of all ages and levels to create a giant multi-level symphony orchestra, and also create a smaller chamber orchestra of more senior players to perform various beautiful and exciting works.

Local young musicians joined by staff and students from Chetham’s School of Music, 2008

Click here for the flyer/poster: Multi-Level Orchestra project June 2019

Saturday 18th May 2019

Gareth McLearnon is an internationally renowned and multi-award-winning flutist, composer, arranger and educator who travels the globe every year leading a diverse, innovative, creative and exciting musical career (www.garethmclearnon.com).  Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he attended the Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1999-2003 and is currently based in London where he lives with his wife and fellow flutist Abigail Burrows.

This event is fully subscribed.

Saturday 11th May 2019


This term, we have a virtuoso Bodhrán Irish Drum specialist over to the island, organised by our percussion teacher Eva Hsieh.  His name is Ruairi Glasheen, and he is a world leader on folk drumming, specialising in delivering engaging and entertaining workshops for children and young musicians.  Click on this link for info – https://www.ruairiglasheen.net/about.

He is travelling to the island equipped with massive bags full of Bodhrán Irish drums (!), and so in the workshops all the participants will get a real hands-on experience of this fascinating style of folk playing.  We will be dividing the applicants into three groups based on age (from school year 5 upwards), with sessions taking place at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm on Sat 11th May.  The cost of the one-hour workshop is £10 per person, and parents are welcome to participate too!

Click here for the poster/flyer:  Bodhrán Irish Drum Workshop

4th and 5th May 2019

Following the success of Steve Thompson’s visit to last Summer’s music course where he inspired the beginnings of the JAM Big Band , we are excited to announce that Steve will be returning at the beginning of May with some of his UK students to hold an exciting weekend course at Chateau Vermont!

Pupils from JAM will join forces with the brass department of St Dunstan’s College London for a weekend exploration of Street Brass!

From it’s conception on the streets of New Orleans, the Street Brass phenomenon has swept the UK and Europe over the last decade. Taking inspiration from the Hot 8, Rebirth Brass Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, new groups have sprung up all over, putting their own take on the sound, mashing up styles from across the globe.

On this course, led by Steve Thompson, a long term stalwart of the ‘Hackney Colliery Band’ (‘One of the greatest live bands we have in this country’ – BBC Radio 2) we reinvent the Brass Band for the 21st Century with thumping covers on modern tunes for a new generation, culminating in a live performance at the Jersey Boat Show