Arts Award at Burbage Primary

We can’t believe it’s nearly school half term! Since the beginning of October, we’ve been at Burbage Primary School delivering Arts Award Discover level to Year 4 children.

Arts Award is a portfolio-based qualification provided by Trinity College London and supported by Arts Council England. It gives children and young people the opportunity to learn about the arts, artists and art organisations, and to grow their arts and leadership talents. The structure is similar to that of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards with Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, and additionally Discover and Explore as introductory levels. Young people who attain their Gold level are awarded 35 UCAS points towards a university application. So far, we have been working for eight weeks in primary schools teaching the children about different art forms and introducing them to local artists and organisations. At the end of the eight-week programme the children get a certificate in a celebration assembly.

Our first session at Burbage began with a few warm-ups and games – one being to create an action for our name (mine was a Grease Lightning move). The first session was an introduction to the programme and for us to talk to the children about what art is, and whether they knew of any artists or consider themselves artists; the latter is always an interesting discussion in the first session. It was wonderful to see so many children talk about playing a musical instrument, and such a range too – singing, piano, recorder, guitar and drums to name a few! Some children also talked about having dance lessons, drawing and painting and writing stories. We also talked about other ways the children are artists, such as decorating a cake and how video games and graphics are also art forms. We rounded the session off with a game that I remember from being at primary school – Say Boom Chicka Boom – a call and response game with each round adopting a different voice – quiet, loud, fast, slow and the children came up with some of their own. 

Last week, the children met a local artist and painter and this week, we will be getting messy in the classroom, doing some crafts and painting based on a landmark or image of Buxton. The children will also be meeting other artists and taking part in workshops, including some singing, acting and drama and a visit to the Buxton Opera House! We can’t wait!

Lily Bracegirdle Artists & Engagement Manager | Claire Barlow Literary & Outreach Manager

 

 

Welcome to our interns!

Each year, the Festival welcomes seven interns to work behind the scenes, whether that be running the opera surtitles, page-turning, working front of house, managing artists’ riders or doing some social media (because we’re very social media savvy here), each day is varied and different from the last! I was an intern a couple of years ago at the Festival and absolutely loved it – the sheer variety of tasks and fast-paced environment; meeting new people and gaining new experiences. I’m really looking forward to welcoming our interns this year, and thought I’d have a quick catch up with them all to find out what they’re looking forward to at Buxton.

Verena Silcher

Verena Silcher

Most of all, I’m looking forward to being surrounded by music every day and to be involved in the day to day running of a large and exciting festival. The internship scheme is such a great opportunity to gain hands on experience and I’m really grateful to be able to find out more about how everything works and what challenges I’ll encounter. I’m particularly looking forward to operating the surtitles for Beethoven’s Leonore and since I’ve played the cello from the age of six, I certainly don’t want to miss Lionel Handy’s concert on July 21. Last but not least I’m looking forward to exploring Buxton and of course to meeting my fellow interns.

Olivia O'Connell

Olivia O’Connell

I’m eagerly anticipating my return to Buxton Opera House after spending my summers as a teenager performing on its stage. But, I’m equally as excited to work behind the scenes and with the creative and technical staff and hope to gain insight into the ‘other’ side of the glorious Opera House. I’ll be working on a new production of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi – a variation on Romeo and Juliet – in the year marking 400 years after Shakespeare’s death!

Oliver Gildea

Oliver Gildea

I am very much looking forward to being part of the Buxton opera festival! I look forward to taking charge of the surtitles for Tamerlano and meeting lots of interesting new people whilst at the festival. I am very excited about the prospect of being able to work with and watch some amazingly talented musicians!

Philippa Ridgway

Pip Ridgway

I am delighted to be working for the Buxton Festival this year! I am excited to have a great festival experience, and I’m particularly looking forward to the opera productions, especially Tamerlano, and performances from Manchester Chamber Choir.

 

Emily Castles

Emily Castles

The Buxton Festival is a brilliant few weeks of literature, music and opera, and I am thrilled to be working at such a prestigious event and cannot wait to get stuck in! As a keen historian I am particularly looking forward to ‘An Evening of Murder with Dr Lucy Worsley’ as well as Josephine Wilkinson’s talk about the fifth wife of Henry Vlll, Katherine Howard. I am also extremely excited to watch David Crystal’s talk on Shakespeare and Claire Harman’s talk on Charlotte Brontë, exploring two of the biggest literary icons on their joint anniversaries through the eyes of the contemporary reader.

Matt ThomasMatt Thomas

I’m looking forward to actually watching one of the operas this year. For one reason or another, I didn’t manage it last year except for page-turning at the opera excerpts concerts.

 

 

Lee Moore

Lee Moore

I’m looking forward to being back in Buxton having done the internship last year! I’ll be working on the technical side of events, including microphone handling, stage set-up and sound checks. I like in particular the Music in the Cafe line-up this year.

We look forward to welcoming them very soon!

Lily Bracegirdle Executive Assistant

Buxton Poetry Competition – Now Open!

Buxton Poetry Competition is now open!

Our annual poetry competition is now accepting entries on the theme of Hidden. Here we talk to the competition organiser Claire Barlow.

Hi Claire, please can you tell us a bit about the history of the competition?

Hello, I’ve been running the competition for eight years now and every year it is a delight to be involved! The competition started when Buxton Festival and the University of Derby got together to create a joint project which would encourage people from across the country to have a go at creative writing. We had no idea that we would get so many great entries over the years and from people as far away as Australia, the United States and Brazil!

Wow, do people really enter from Brazil?

Yes they do, and we get entries from across Europe too. Every year I look forward to getting a parcel of entries from the same school in Slovenia, it puts me to shame that the young people can write poetry in English when I can’t say ‘hello’ in Slovenian!

But you don’t judge the competition do you?

No I don’t (thank goodness, with 600 poems to read!) We have a great team of judges each year who do take the time to read all the poems entered and to create a shortlist of poems. Then the judges whittle that list down further to choose a first, second, third, Highly Commended and Commended winner from each category. We have three categories allowing poets of all ages to enter, there is Children’s Poetry for those under 12 years old, Young People’s Poetry for those aged 12 to 18 and our Open Category for poets over the age of 18. What’s great is that the Children’s and Young People’s Categories are free to enter so young people from all backgrounds can enter the competition without any financial barriers.

Are the judges the same each year?

Matt Black
Poet Matt Black

No, I like to have a few new faces each year to keep things fresh and fair. All judging is done totally anonymously, I make sure of that, but it is nice to know that we get new perspectives and opinions from our judges each year. This year we welcome Matt Black as our Open Category judge. Matt won the competition in 2013 so we’re delighted to welcome him back as a judge this time.

This year’s competition theme is Hidden, can you tell us why the poetry competition has a theme?

The idea behind having a theme is to focus writers’ attention and to provide a stimulus to spark the imagination. We want people to create new work for the competition not to just enter something that was written a few years ago that they submit to every competition going. I also really like the idea that we are creating a collective body of work. Each year we publish an anthology of the shortlisted poems and I feel that a theme gives that document added purpose and impact. It is also fascinating to see how poets interpret our theme. I usually have a few ideas of what people will write about, but each year there are winning poems that surprise me in the way they answer our brief, and that’s great!

Can schools enter the competition?

Yes, we love getting entries from schools from across the country. The entries can’t be group efforts though, each child needs to write their own poem. I think kids will love the theme this year, I imagine poems from the younger entrants about hidden treasure, hide-and-seek and lost toys.

What do people need to do to enter the competition?

You need to visit http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk/outreach/poetry-competition/ to download an entry pack. This has all the competition rules and entry information plus a form to fill in to send back with your poems. The closing date of the competition is 26th August, so you have plenty of time to perfect your work. For any more information please send me an email at claire@buxtonfestival.co.uk.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced at the Buxton Festival Book Weekend in November 2016. At this special event we’ll hear all the shortlisted poems read by their authors, plus some work from our current and past judges. Then our Patron Lady Jasmine Cavendish will announce the winners of the competition for 2016. This year our top prize in the Open Category has been increased to £500 so it’s really worth having a go at entering the competition.

Thanks Claire, we’re off to write our entry now…

In association with

Derby Uni logo