Budding Biggleswade musicians could win a place at Wizard Strings summer course

Wizard Strings is open to all string players - violin/viola/cello and double bass - from beginner to grade 5.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:25 pm
The Strings Academy. Photo: Caroline Owen.

Budding musicians in the Biggleswade area can enter an exciting competition to win a place at the Wizard Strings Summer Music Course.

The four-day summer camp is running from August 16 - 19 at Meppershall Village Hall, with opportunities including a masterclass with Cuban virtuosic violinist Omar Puente, circus skills, musicianship workshops, and a gala performance to family and friends.

All that parents or guardians have to do is email their child's name and instrument to [email protected] by August 13, with a description of which music their child loves to listen to. Places are also available to book for £45 per day or £160 for the whole week.

Talking about Mr Puente, their special guest, organiser Caroline Owen said: "Omar was born in Cuba and toured the world with various orchestras before settling in the UK. I was his first student in 1999 and he has played with musicians including Nigel Kennedy and Jools Holland.

"He is such a generous person and brilliant with children - charismatic and inspiring.

"He loves teaching and is a phenomenal violinist; this is an incredible opportunity."

The week will begin on Monday with a 'welcome and play day', including rehearsals and arts and crafts with tutors Will Alleyne and Caroline Owen.

Showtime Circus. Photo: Showtime Circus.

On Tuesday there will be a masterclass with international star Mr Puente, while on Wednesday there will be a visit from Showtime Circus, whose motto is 'Life is Better Upside Down!' They will be teaching skills such as aerial hoop, juggling and poi.

To finish the week there will be an African drumming and Latin percussion session from The Music Workshop company, topped off with an orchestral performance for family and friends.

Local musician and jazz pianist Micheal O'Neal will also be providing piano accompaniment on the Tuesday and Thursday.

Caroline, a violinist and music educator who lives in Great Barford, said: "I decided to launch Wizard Strings as many budding musicians have not had a chance to play as an live ensemble during the lockdowns.

Wizard Strings. Photo: Caroline Owen.

"The younger players can look up to the more experienced players and think, 'I want to play like that!', pushing themselves to be better.

"They can make new friends and it will have a real family feel.

"As a musician you also learn so many skills that are transferable in life."

Wizard Strings is open to all string players - violin/viola/cello and double bass - from beginner to grade 5.

One child's place on the whole course has also been sponsored by American Mike Grande, from Rock Out Loud Live (ROLL), a specialist online music teaching portal.

Caroline's business, The Strings Academy, uses the portal to deliver lessons, and was able to maintain classes during lockdown thanks to ROLL.

Caroline has enjoyed teaching in person again, too, and has pupils at Sandy Secondary School, Great Barford Primary Academy, and Pilgrims Pre-Preparatory School.

She added: "Over last year our students have been taking Grade exams on the MTB online exam board with a 100 per cent pass rate. They have won medals at the Bedfordshire Music Festival, performed online concerts where their family across UK and even the world can attend, and been awarded Blue Peter Music Badges for dedication to music. They have attended Nicola Benedetti Sessions, too."

Caroline would like to say a huge thank you to Mike for the sponsorship, and to everyone who has offered to run workshops at Wizard Strings.

The Wizard Strings Summer Music Course will run from 9am - 4pm, with the option of early drop off and late pick up at 8.30am and 4.30pm.

Competition: to enter simply let Caroline know your child's name and instrument and which music they love to listen to. Email: [email protected]

There is an on-site cafe and the option to pre-order lunches.

Booking Link: https://the-strings-academy.class4kids.co.uk To find out more about the Wizard Strings guests: