In 2012, world renowned concert pianist, Meng Yang Pan, generously made time for local schoolchildren to attend part of the afternoon rehearsal for her evening concert.
The day, which started at 10am, provided a variety of activities themed around music and the local area to keep youngsters’ attention captivated.
We received charming and beautifully illustrated "thank you" letters from the children which can be viewed here or by clicking on the images below.
In previous years these days have included a bug hunt in the Churchyard organised by local naturalist and Fressingfield Councillor, Peter Vincent, an interactive music performance directed by David Taylor, Choirmaster at Brentwood Cathedral and Deputy Headmaster of Brentwood School and a lively talk on the Battle of Trafalgar by Tim Clayton, writer and local historian.
The Music Festival’s Education Day was prompted in 2006 by jazz singer Jacqui Dankworth when she involved local schoolchildren in singing “rounds” during her warm-up for that evening’s concert. As part of the Festival’s aim is to improve the accessibility of live high quality classical music, the tradition of opening up afternoon rehearsals to schoolchildren became established.
Over recent years, various artistes have generously donated their time to helping open the ears and imagination of young people in the village and surrounding community. The Choir of Christ’s College Cambridge, baroque ensemble Badinage, Julian Lloyd Webber and Tasmin Little have all, in their uniquely different ways, provided different aspects of musical delight.
The slightly more formal arrangement of a specific Education Day, while retaining its relaxed and fun atmosphere, came about as a means of ensuring that facilities could be made available for everyone’s comfort and that schools could more easily plan their visits.