ACS International School

Jamie Cullum Strikes The Right Note For Festival Fundraiser

Published Thursday 19th of November 2015 11:30:59 AM

International Jazz star, Jamie Cullum, took time out of his packed schedule on Friday 6 November to support a major fundraising effort by Bath Festivals, where his father, John Cullum is Chair. "Like many arts organisations we are finding new and creative ways to raise the funds we require to deliver the three festivals that we are well known for and also the year round education work that we take great pride in" said John Cullum. "When I approached Jamie, he was delighted to support Bath Festivals as he is aware of the good work that we do. He suggested a combination of a schools performance followed by an intimate gig as his way of contributing to our fundraising efforts" John first visited Kingswood School in Bath, who have been an avid supporter of Bath Festivals and, as well as being a major sponsor of music, literature and children's literature events, have made a generous donation in support of the charity's work. Kingswood invited music students from Hayesfield, St Gregory's and Norton Hill School to join their pupils for an exclusive Jamie Cullum concert followed by a Q&A session. The pupils were interested in how Jamie started in music, why he chose the piano as an instrument and his song writing process. Jamie's responses were insightful and inspiring, as he talked about the importance of loving the music you play, but also how difficult it can be for young musicians starting out, as they have to set themselves up for criticism – a really brave thing to do. He added: "There is value in the music you love; there is also value in music you don't love. All of it is important". Lucky students from Kingswood Jazz Orchestra were then treated to a masterclass where Jamie worked with the group on a performance of the jazz standard, 'All of Me', before launching into a swing version of the Sesame Street Theme. The masterclass finished off with Jamie helping every member of the band improve their improvisation skills. Said Kingswood School Director of Music, Oliver Parker: "We are delighted to host Jamie Cullum here at the Kingswood Theatre. It is such a joy to watch our pupils be inspired by his innate musicality and his passion for great music-making. We are so pleased that our continuing relationship with Bath Festivals has made such a wonderful day possible. Our pupils are so fortunate to have opportunities to hear and learn from great performers such as Jamie." Jonathan Sedcole, a Year 9 pianist with the Kingwood Jazz Orchestra, said "It was an amazing afternoon and he was so inspiring. It was great!" In the evening, Bath Spa University played host to an exclusive dinner prepared by Michelin starred chef, Sam Moody from The Priory Hotel. This was followed by an intimate concert for 150 people in The Michael Tippet Centre at the University. The events have raised in excess of £20,000 which will go toward the Music Festival in 2016 and the year round Learning and Participation Programme.

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