Local school children are to launch a Spring Bank Holiday celebration of Totnes’ fantastic musical talent on 27 May culminating in a show by British jazz royalty, Courtney Pine.
The Party, which is brought to you by the Dartington International Summer School and Festival, opens with a special schools commission in St Mary’s Church at 6pm, led by the charismatic Brazilian percussionist and composer Adriano Adewale. He and his band will lead a vibrant performance of this new choral work written and performed by talented young people from Kingskerswell C of E Primary School, Park School, Shaldon Primary and Torre C of E Primary School.
This exciting new performance touches on the evocative landscape and rich heritage of south Devon – complete with swashbuckling pirates, beautiful seascapes and a distinctly nautical air.
Adriano Adewale has been working with the schools since November 2015 to create four songs that will be accompanied by singer Emilia Marttenson, percussionist Andres Ticino, acoustic guitarist Luiz Morais and bass clarinet Andrew Woolf.
Adriano said: ‘All the children have been great – really interested and enthusiastic whether or not they’d previously attended a choir.
‘We started with a brainstorm on their ideas around the sea – about the creatures that live in the sea; about how they like to enjoy themselves by the sea; about the danger of the sea; and about how refugees are using the sea to seek safety. I wrote the tunes for each song, and then we wrote the lyrics together.
‘Schools have been happy to learn how other schools think and share their knowledge by learning each other’s songs – it’s going to sound lovely in this absolutely beautiful and intimate space.’
Kingskerswell C of E Primary School teacher Joanne Shot said: ‘It has really drawn out the creativity of some of the children who sometimes struggle academically. In the last session for example, one child who is usually quiet and withdrawn really came out of themselves and sang a solo with great confidence. At the start children were self-conscious but now, after learning the melody and putting the words to it, they’re absolutely buzzing.’
Dartington International Summer School and Festival artistic director, Joanna MacGregor, will introduce the children’s performance, and said: ‘We’re hoping this will be the first of many Summer School town parties to celebrate the creative richness of Totnes and south Devon.
‘We’re incredibly lucky that so many wonderful local performers are joining the party. You’ll be able to catch chamber ensembles, jazz acts, choirs, folk singers, street performers, rock bands and more throughout the evening.’
It’s a chance to see more than 400 south west performers, from the very local to those travelling from Ashburton, Brixham and Plymouth, in more than 25 venues and spaces around town, including Barrel House Ball Room, Royal Seven Stars Hotel, Nautilus Rooms and Totnes Guildhall. Look out for Jamming Station, Ronnie Jones Quartet, South West Music School, Dartington Morris Men, Ensemble Baklava, South Devon Big Band, poet Simon Williams and Plymouth Mayflower Chorus to name but a few.
Find the full programme at dartington.org/whats-on/summer-school/party-in-the-town/
All performances at the Dartington International Summer School and Festival event are free thanks to support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Tickets are only required for Courtney Pines’ House of Legends (a standing event), for which free tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis from 5pm at the Civic Hall.
(from a press release)