Hitchin violinist offers free place at music summer school

One lucky young musician will be able to attend the four-day music masterclass at Meppershall Village Hall for free

One lucky young musician will be able to attend the four-day music masterclass at Meppershall Village Hall for free - Credit: Caroline Owen

After multiple lockdowns halted ensemble performing, young musicians are encouraged to pick up their instruments once more and join in with an exciting summer programme.

Hitchin violinist Caroline Owen decided to launch Wizard Strings so young musicians can play as an ensemble, something many were robbed of during the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

To celebrate that instrumentalists can now perform together once more, Caroline is offering a free place on the four-day course to one lucky music maestro.

Two runners up will be awarded a commemorative t-shirt.

The masterclasses, held at Meppershall Village Hall from August 16-19, are open to beginners to Grade 5 in violin, viola, cello and double bass.

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Omar Puente - legendary virtuosic Cuban Star international violist - will make a special guest appearance for a one-off session.

Cuban jazz musician Omar Puente

Cuban jazz musician Omar Puente will lead a masterclass at the week-long workshop - Credit: Supplied by Caroline Owen

There will also be an opportunity to perform circus skills - learning aerial hoop, juggling and poi - and the opportunity to attend a Latin and samba workshop, ahead of a finale concert on the Thursday.

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Caroline said: "I founded the strings academy in 2015 to take music into state schools, where there is a real need for specialist music education.

"Twenty students signed up at the first school, and we have been in demand ever since, with over 60 students learning to play violin.

"During the lockdowns, my students missed out on coming together to play music and have fun in ensembles, so I decided to launch Wizard Strings this summer bringing together an array of talented tutors and world-class artists to inspire the budding musicians."

During lockdown, Caroline - who studied at highly renowned music conservatoire Leeds College of Music - was honoured as the most inspirational music educator of the year by Greater London Enterprise Awards 2020. 

Before COVID, her career took her all over the world, performing at Milan Fashion Week and Thompson Gold to name a few, and has toured with Jeff Wayne for the last decade.

"I have always taught during my performance career but with all the tours cancelled this  is now my opportunity to give back," she added.

"Omar is such a incredible musician and generous person, I am delighted that he is coming to Wizard Strings this summer to lead a Masterclass for the string players."

To enter Caroline's competition, simply send the name of the young performer and their instrument, along with their favourite music to listen to, to info@carolineviolinist.com. Entries close Monday, August 9.

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