Vladimir Ashkenazy – London Concert Day-Trip

December 11th 2011

A group of fourteen students had the opportunity to spend an action-packed day in London, the highlight of which was the chance to meet Vladimir Ashkenazy backstage at the Royal Festival Hall!

The day began with a very early meet at Jersey Airport, followed by the train to Victoria.  The walking route to the Thames presented the opportunity for the group to visit Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey:

Westminster Abbey

By 10am the group were standing under Big Ben in time to hear the chimes, and this was followed by a hot chocolate at County Hall on the river.  The next activity was a trip on the London Eye, quite a spectacular way of seeing the sheer size of the capital and the skyscrapers under construction.

London Eye

Some free time at the Christmas Market outside the Southbank Centre was next, followed by lunch in the cafe.  After lunch, the Philharmonia’s principal Percussionist David Corkhill met with the group, a close contact of Chris and Emmanuelle from teaching at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  A trip backstage followed, a remarkable opportunity to see behind the scenes of one of the country’s leading concert halls, and Mr Corkhill was also able to introduce the group to the conductor of the concert, none other than Vladimir Ashkenazy:

Vladimir Ashkenazy with students

The group spent a wonderful question and answer session with Maestro Ashkenazy, asking questions they had prepared earlier in the day and finding out about life as a pianist and conductor, the differences with working in contrasting concert halls and with various different orchestras.  This was truly a once in a lifetime experience for all.

The concert itself opened with a scintillating performance of Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, followed by Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, who was encouraged through applause to give an encore of Debussy’s La Puerta del Vino.  The second half opened with De Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain, and concluded with a seminal work which actually has a close connection to Jersey (as it is written that he actually started writing the work here) – Claude Debussy’s La Mer.  Of particular note was the rousing last movement, leading the whole concert to a truly epic conclusion.

London Train

A short train journey to Gatwick led to the group literally singing their way onto the plane with Christmas Carols!  We are grateful for the support of the Jersey Arts Trust in helping to cover many of the costs associated with the tour.


Christmas Concert

December 9th 2011

Twenty-five students came together to perform at the end-of-term Christmas Concert, in front of a large audience of family and friends.  Many children performed carols, and one particular highlight was the eight-strong ‘Cello Ensemble’ performing Silent Night.


Christmas Concert




Winter Project Week – Helix and In Accord


November 30th/December 1st 2011

The Winter Project Week linked with Jersey Tourism to give academy students the opportunity to perform for the opening of the
‘Fête dé Noué’.  Students from the Junior and Lower Intermediate departments formed a large fifty-strong Samba group, led by the visiting Helix Percussion Duo of Louise Morgan and Catherine Ring.  The first day was spent rehearsing, and learning the various rhythms and calls needed to create the Samba.  Students from the Upper Intermediate and Advanced departments were led by the In Accord violin/accordion duo of Harriet Mackenzie and Milos Milivojevic, spending the first day learning a Ukranian Bell Carol, and then dividing into smaller ensembles to bring Polish Christmas carols to life.

Crowd gathering at the Fete de Noue

The second day gave some time for final rehearsals and preparations before the start of the event itself at the Royal Square.  Whilst it did not snow this year, the rain was absolutely torrential!  This meant that the In Accord led group were only able to perform their Ukranian Bell Carol as it was too wet even to get the instruments out of their cases!

In Accord performing with students

However, the Christmas Samba went ahead in full force, and the children were lit up with glowing bracelets and drums decorated with tinsel.  They led the hundred-strong brave audience through town to the Spirit of Christmas market at the Weighbridge Place, bringing vibrancy, colour and sheer noise (!), leading very effectively to the switching on of the christmas tree lights and the firework display which followed to end the whole event.  An absolutely wonderful time was had by all despite the weather!

Christmas Samba!

(all photographs courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post)

During their stay on the island, the two visiting groups also gave concerts at Le Rocquier School, Victoria College and VCP, performing to over six hundred children during the course of the visit.  Our thanks go to both Jersey Tourism and the Jersey Arts Trust for their support of this event.


Royal College of Music Junior Department


November 27th 2011

A group of six students aged 8-17 from the Royal College of Music Junior Department visited the island along with their teacher, professor Viktoria Grigoreva, for a day of masterclasses and a concert.  The connection with professor Grigoreva was made during the International Music Forum and Competition in Madeira, which Chris George and Emmanuelle attended as adjudicators in March 2011.  Plans were discussed during the summer term, and the event took place on Sunday November 27th. 

During the morning, professor Grigoreva gave tuition to three local young violinists whilst the visiting students visited Mont Orgueil Castle, and during the afternoon they gave an excellent concert, performing side by side with various academy students.  The concert itself was very well attended, and our thanks go to the Jersey Arts Trust for covering most of the costs associated with the tour.

Royal College of Music Junior Department and Friends


European Festival Baroque Orchestra


November 25th 2011

During their visit to the island, organised by Music In Action, members of the European Festival Baroque Orchestra were hosted at the academy and kindly offered to perform an after-school concert introducing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  Led by Anna Smith from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the group took the audience of children and families through the movements, explaining each incredible gesture and texture Vivaldi uses to mirror the storyline which underpins the music.  This was a wonderful insight into the sheer detail the composer went into in order to evoke the words through music, and expertly performed by all players. 

The concert at Fort Regent the following evening was very well attended and received excellent feedback.  Pictured here are four of the members in full costume at the academy:

European Festival Baroque Orchestra players

(photograph courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post)


CTV Mozart Manuscript Recording

October 31st 2011

Channel Television got in touch with the academy in relation to the sale of a rare Mozart manuscript through Stanley Gibbons.

The 238-year-old score was part of the ‘Serenade in D major’, believed to have been composed in 1773 for the graduation of a family friend. The seven-movement work was most likely written by Mozart between July and August 1773 whilst visiting Vienna with his father. It was originally bound with another piece of music but when they were sold in 1975 they were separated and the other has not been seen since.

Mozart Manuscript

Students from the academy had the opportunity to go and see the manuscript at the Stanley Gibbons offices, a remarkable opportunity to actually hold something which came from Mozart’s own pen.

That evening an ensemble of academy students gathered together to rehearse and perform the extract itself. Channel Television attended to film the performance, and a great experience was had by all.



Jersey Eisteddfod Preparation Concert


October 23rd 2011

In preparation for the Eisteddfod, seventeen students of various ages performed in front of an audience of family and friends to give their pieces a ‘dry-run’ before the start of the festival.  For the Eisteddfod itself, in addition to all the solo entries various academy ensembles participated in the Langley Trophy class, two of them pictured here:

Eisteddfod Quartet Eisteddfod Duo



Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Masterclass Week


August 15th-21st 2011

The academy hosted an incredible week of opera with students on the brink of international careers receiving tuition from soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, tenor Dennis O’Neill, and pianist Michael Pollock.  An incredible busy, productive and fruitful time was had by all:

Each morning masterclasses took place in which each of the visiting students had the opportunity to receive on-stage tuition from the masters.  This was open to the public, and attracted a healthy audience of young vocal students, local teachers, and adult amateur singers.  Three of the participating vocal students, and one of the young pianists, were local students who are currently studying at music colleges in the UK.

Opera Students

Lunchtime Concerts
Each lunchtime the students and stars took to the stage at the Jersey Arts Centre.  The first concert featured Dame Kiri and Michael Pollock performing an intimate selection of songs and arias for voice and piano, and launched the whole week off with the kind of superb quality the students would all aspire towards.  The following lunchtime concerts gave each of the students the opportunity to perform, putting into practice the lessons learnt through the morning masterclasses.

Concert 1

Finale Masterclass Performance
The culmination of the educational side of the week saw each of the students take to the Arts Centre platform in front of a packed auditorium, for a mixture of on-stage tuition and performances.  It was a fascinating evening combining elements of expert vocal tuition with some beautiful performances.  All of the Arts Centre concerts and the morning masterclasses were sponsored by RBS Coutts.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Opera Gala Night
The ‘grand finale’ of the week was held at the Jersey Opera House, handing over the stage to Dame Kiri and Dennis O’Neill, singing various solos and duets and joining side by side with many of the visiting students.  This remarkable evening brought a remarkable week to a fitting close, and the event was sponsored by Rawlinson and Hunter, raising funds for the Kanawa Foundation and the Jersey Opera House’s new studio workshop facilities.

Dennis O'Neill, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and students

(all photographs courtesy of Stuart McAllister)

Musique et Aventure 2011

July 24th-31st 2011

This year marked the fifth anniversary of Musique et Aventure, the academy’s summer music course for children aged 10-17.  The course attracted forty students again this year, and as always the large body of local children was joined by various students from the UK, Guernsey and France.  

Each morning music tuition took place at the academy, and as well as each student having an individual one-to-one lesson each day, there were a variety of duos, trios, small ensembles and larger chamber orchestras created.  The teaching faculty of nine teachers from Jersey, the UK and France enjoyed greatly the hard work and commitment demonstrated by all students, many of whom learnt entirely new repertoire over the course of the week.  These intensive mornings of music led towards the Grande Finale concert in which all the students performed in front of a large audience of family and friends:

Grande Finale

…et Aventure!

As well as the musical side of the course, each afternoon also gave students the opportunity to enjoy various activities, and this year we were blessed with some glorious sunshine!  The first activity was an afternoon at Jersey Adventure Golf, with the students competing in teams of 4-6.  Some of the holes were ridiculously challenging, and many (including the teachers it has to be said!) were hitting double figures on the score sheet!

Jersey Adventure Golf

A sunny afternoon at St Ouen’s Bay gave the group the chance to have a surfing lesson with the Jersey Surf School, and whilst not everyone managed to stand up fully there was a general concensus in that it was more fun to either lie down or kneel!

The amphibious Duck Boats took the group, along with their instruments, to Elizabeth Castle for a Castle Concert al-fresco on the castle’s Parade Grounds.  The concert provided a platform for string and wind players, and various members of the teaching faculty also performed.  An enthusiastic audience of families and holidaymakers enjoyed the concert, and we would like to give our thanks to Jersey Heritage for allowing us to perform in such a special location.

Elizabeth Castle 2

The final afternoons gave the students free time to enjoy lawn games at Chateau Vermont, and for many a quite time to do some extra practice in preparation for the final concert.

Thank You
Our congratulations go to all the participating students for all their hard work and commitment, and to all the parents and teachers for helping to make this week such a special occassion which has now become a vital part of many children’s summer holidays.  Our thanks also go to the Jersey Arts Trust for their continued support of Musique et Aventure.

Visit www.musiqueetaventure.com for further information on the course.


Elizabeth Castle 1

The Brundibár Project

June/July 2011

Brundibar logo

The Brundibár project has been a large-scale collaboration between the academy, Chethams School of Music (the UK’s leading under-18 specialist music school), Victoria College Preparatory School, Springfield School, Grainville School, Jersey College for Girls, Les Quennevais School, Victoria College, and the Jersey War Tunnels.

The planning for this began in earnest from January, pictured here is Chris George (JAM), Jane Silvester (VCP), Iain George (Springfield), and Paul Simmonds (Jersey War Tunnels) at an on-site meeting in January:

Brundibar initial meeting

Rehearsals began in the months leading up to the performance week, and pictured here is the combined VCP/Springfield chorus rehearsing, and the combined JAM/Chetham’s orchestra rehearsing with conductor Stephen Threlfall (Director of Music at Chetham’s):

Brundibar Rehearsal 2

Brundibar Orchestra rehearsal

Brundibár is a “childrens opera”, originally performed in 1943 from within the confines of the Jewish ghetto Terezin. The children imprisoned within would go on to perform the work over fifty times. Most of the participants, including the composer Hans Krása, later lost their lives at Auschwitz. On the surface the work presents a colourful story of children joining together to overcome an adult villain, the wicked organ-grinder “Brundibár. But the history surrounding the work gives an insight into the social and political events of the Second World War and Holocaust. Because of the messages lying behind this work a whole range of educational outreach events took place all over the island during the course of the project.

Brundibar 5

Dr Martin Stern, himself a survivor of Terezin, visited many schools to talk about his experiences, and also introduced each performance of Brundibar. There were three performances in total, the first was delivered to one hundred primary school children from various schools, and the following two public performances were both sold out. DVDs of the performance can be obtained from Digital Diggle, and the opening performance was also filmed by Channel Television.


Brundibar 4

On behalf of all the organising bodies involved in this rich and varied collaboration, we would like to extend our congratulations to all the children involved, and our sincere thanks to the Jersey War Tunnels for all their assistance, the Jersey Arts Trust for their continued support of Jersey Academy of Music projects, Freddie Cohen for the sponsorship of Dr Martin Stern’s visit, the JADC for help with costumes, and finally to the parents of all the performers for their hard work too!

Brundibar 2

(all photographs courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post)



– Cast List –


Lead Roles

Aninku – Gemma Daubeney

Pepicek – Joseph Barette

Brundibar – Max Treharne

Sparrow – Katie Bastiman

Cat – Laura Clarke

Dog – Rachel Hayden

Policeman – Ruben Maric

Milkman – Charles Blackwell

Baker – Jonathan Kene

Ice-cream Seller – Elisha Hart

Les Quennevais Drama Group

Vicky Doleman

Joanna Le Brocq

Sophie Martin

Rebecca Le Gros

Christina Goncalves

Choir Members from VCP

Billy Baker

Leo Waddington

Jasper Clarke

Tom Pollard

William Wycherley

Jake Clarke

Max Denby

Daniel Hayden

Myles Holmes

Alexander Merren

Carter Weekes

Robert Clark

Viraj Kotedia

Henry Dowling

Morgan Gregory

Max Harrington

Oscar Fitzpatrick-Nash

Angus Hay

Thorston Lane

Ben Le Chevalier

Adam Baluchi

Matthew Daubeney

Oliver De Sousa

Jonathan Heward

Charles Blackwell

Thomas De La Cour

Oscar Barette

Calvin De Louche

Finn Laing

Choir Members from Springfield

Raquel Pinheiro Correia

Chloe Crouch

Bethany Moisan

Courtney Anders

Jonathan Kene

Jessica Jaye Stoneman

Elisha Hart

Deanna De Lemos Cooper

Paige Nichols

Ryan Eccles

Lea Camacho

William Emerson

Wiki Chylinska

Marianna Alves

Shannon O’Callaghan

Nicole Nunes

Suzanne Le Vesconte

Sofia De Freitas

Kaitlin Rabet

Jessica Martins

Cristiana Pereira

Amber Baudains

Jordan Al Fajardo

Holly Noel

Melissa Lewis

Georgia Ferguson

Owen Hiney

Anthony Richardson


Conductor – Stephen Threlfall

Flute – Victoria Rees

Clarinet – Daniel Scriven

Trumpet – Andrew Thompson

Guitar – Iain George

Accordion – James Poingdestre

Percussion – Will Matthews and Jack Chown


Emily Earl

Roman Lytwyniw

Nadia Vasileva

Elliot Samphier

Philip Beaugie

Antoinette Tuckwell

Isobel Osborne


Finlay Hare

Aiden Haslam

Double Bass – Ben Taylor-Davies

Piano – Grace Garnier

Vocal Support – Rhiain Taylor and Katie Orchard