Chiltern Arts aims to bring the highest quality music and arts out of the capital and into the beautiful venues in and around the Chiltern Hills. We founded in 2017, with around 20 events from September 2017 to May 2018, centred around the Chiltern Arts Festival in February. Artists performing included the award-winning choir Tenebrae, Tasmin Little, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment 'Experience' Ensemble and internationally-renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Chiltern Arts also launched 'Take Note' – an annual competition which in its inaugural year offered a platform for emerging instrumental and vocal ensembles to learn from those at the top of their profession and compete to perform in the festival. In 2019 we are expanding this scheme to include a secondary schools competition, judged by the winners of the main scheme. The 2018 programme attracted audiences of c.1,300, engaged 60 local school children and formed a new Festival Chorus comprising 70 singers of all ages and we are aiming to increase these numbers significantly in 2019.
Developing our education projects is a key aim in the coming year, and our first full-scale education project will include composition workshops, art workshops and a poetry competition, all of which will culminate in producing a two-week art and sound exhibition based on Prokofiev's famous work, Peter and the Wolf. Working with local music education partners, we are focusing particularly on areas on high cultural deprivation (High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Luton) and are also offering students in these areas and beyond the opportunity to hear the work performed live by a professional orchestra.
Business donations will go towards continuing to develop and expand our education projects in 2019 and beyond, and will also help to ensure we are able to continue presenting the highest-quality music and arts in this beautiful area of the country. Artists we are working with for the 2018-19 season include baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Steven Osborne, violinist Fenella Humphreys and the David Rees-Williams Trio.