Art Attack!

What do you get when you put 30 children in a classroom with poster paint, glue and tissue paper? Some fabulous collages of Buxton landmarks (and a lot of mess!)

Buxton collages
Buxton collages in progress

This messy fun was not just because I love to cut and stick, but because we are working with children from Buxton Infants School to help them achieve their Discover level Arts Award. Over eight weeks 60 year one children at the school will have a go at visual art, poetry and singing. They will also discuss ‘what is art’ and ‘what makes an artist’ and will have a tour around Buxton Opera House and a drama workshop with Crazy Craig (otherwise known as Craig Sanders, Learning and Participation Officer at Buxton Opera House).


Last week the kids met Buxton artist, Suzanne Pearson, and grilled her about how she became an artist; whether she prefers paint or pencils, what time of day she paints and where she gets her inspiration from. Suzanne invited the children to do a postcard size drawing to submit into the Green Man Gallery’s 6×4: Inspired by Landscape project which aims to generate 5,000 pictures to exhibit and break a world record.

Suzanne Pearson

Arts Award is an accredited scheme supported by Arts Council England and provided by Trinity College London. After completing the Arts Award eight-week programme with Buxton Festival, each child gets a certificate presented at a celebration assembly at school. From September 2016 we hope to get over 300 children from five Buxton primary schools through their Arts Award at the Discover Level – that’s a lot of mess and fun!

Claire Barlow Outreach Manager

Kaleidoscope Choir hits the right notes at Cavendish Hospital

Last week our Kaleidoscope Choir visited the patients on the Spencer Ward at Cavendish Hospital in Buxton. We invited the patients and their families to join us for an open rehearsal of fun songs, music games and performances of our latest repertoire.

A highlight of the afternoon was our rendition of Distant Peak a new song written specifically for the choir by one of our members, Jacob. It was the song’s first public performance and we were all very pleased (and relieved) that we did it justice.

Kaleidoscope Choir showed that they are a true community choir yesterday when they shared their rehearsal with patients with their families and carers at Cavendish Hospital. It was a rewarding experience for the choir to get such an enthusiastic response from their audience which resulted in simultaneous applause in return!” Choir leader, Carol Bowns

The final song of the afternoon was a version of Love Me Tender which brought tears to the eyes of many of the audience and performers. The choir felt very proud to be invited to perform for this special audience and we really enjoyed meeting the patients, many of whom are suffering with dementia and other mental health issues.

It was lovely to sing to and with the residents at the Cavendish Hospital and I found singing Love Me Tender quite emotional in that context! I enjoy the range of music we cover at choir and the informality and fun of it all.” Choir member

It gave me great pleasure to be part of our choir yesterday and it was good to give so much enjoyment to the patients and their families. I have been a member of the Kaleidoscope choir since the beginning. The enthusiasm shown by Carole and the camaraderie throughout the choir makes Tuesday rehearsals a day to look forward to!” Choir member

I really enjoy singing in the Kaleidoscope Choir – I am always in a good mood after our noise making sessions – something to do with endorphins I’m told.  I have no delusion that I am a great singer, I just enjoy singing with a lovely group of local folks.” Choir member

Kaleidoscope Choir is run by Buxton Festival in partnership with Buxton Opera House. We rehearse every Tuesday lunchtime in the Dress Circle Bar at Buxton Opera House. The choir is made up of about 35 local amateur singers – new members are always welcome. We perform regularly at Buxton events including the Spring Fair, Christmas Lights Switch On and Festival Fringe.

Claire Barlow Outreach Manager

We’ve been nominated!

Buxton Festival’s production of Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco (2015) has been nominated in the Opera category at the Manchester Theatre Awards! Members of the Festival team will be heading over to HOME in Manchester on Friday 4th March at a celebrity event(!) to hear the results. A blog post about the day will follow next month. Wish us luck!

The shortlist can be found here.

Buxton Festival presents Giovanna d'Arco. Directed by Elijah Moshinsky. Photo (c) Jonathan Keenan
Giovanna d’Arco (2015)

Internship programme 2016

Do you see yourself working in the arts? Want to gain some experience? Look no further!

In 2016 the placements will run from 4th July – 27th July in Buxton.  While the placements are unpaid we do provide simple accommodation in Buxton and £500 towards your food and travel expenses.

Being a Festival Intern can be a hugely rewarding experience that will help you on your way to a great job in the arts.  Past Festival Interns have gone on to work in a variety of settings including Wembley Arena, the Lowry Theatre and Buxton Festival!  Being a Festival Intern is also VERY hard work.  We are looking for enthusiastic, friendly, motivated people who will thrive on the long days, variety of roles and pressure of the Festival.

There are two types of internship available:

Festival Intern:

  • operating the Festival opera surtitles (some additional rehearsals w/c 24th June)
  • page-turning
  • stewarding events
  • front-of-house duties
  • venue set-up
  • general ‘running’
  • admin in the Festival office

Literary Series Intern:

  • venue set-up
  • front of house duties
  • liaising with authors
  • author meet and greet
  • general ‘running’
  • admin in the Festival office

You will have the chance to see as many Festival events as you can get to from world-class opera, to the best of UK chamber music to the famous faces of our literary series.

Competition for these exciting and rewarding roles is strong and places are limited.  If you would like to apply please send a CV and covering letter detailing which role you are applying for, and any relevant skills and experience you think you could bring to the role to

Closing date – 18th March 2015

Festival brochure 2016 arrives!

Our long anticipated brochure for 2016 arrived at the office last Friday. After so much careful planning, designing and editing, it was wonderful to see the final product! From the front cover, it is very clear that the Festival will be welcoming a wealth of brilliant musicians, writers and opera shows – from Julia Bradbury to Angela Hewitt and La Serenissima’s rendition of Vivaldi’s La Sena Festeggiante. Online booking opens on Tuesday 29 March. Check out the full brochure here.

BF brochure 2016 cover