On February 5th, the Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund supported a tutoring session for the Oasby Music Group Cantabile Violin Quartet. Clare Thompson visited the children, aged 8-10, to work with them on preparing Telemann’s Concerto for 4 Violins for performance in the local music festivals and the Pro Corda Chamber Festival. Hester, the 1st violinist of the quartet summed up the day:

“Clare came to coach us three days before we played in the first round of the Pro Corda chamber competition. We had never entered the competition before so our quartet masterclass gave us more confidence - I certainly felt more relaxed and confident. We had time to really practise the things Clare showed us: things like my first note, where she got me to turn my bow more for a stronger sound; and pressing with the bow and keeping it moving where we had repeated crotchets like the opening Gs - so that everything flowed. We worked on our balance, making sure we were all loud enough in our solos, and on our togetherness. For example, in the third movement, which is hard because it's slow, Clare conducted us first so we really knew where the beats fell, and then she got us to play with our eyes closed so we listened to one another. It was extremely useful and, because Clare was so jolly, it was fun and encouraging too.”

The quartet went on to reach the Pro Corda Finals and to win the overall trophy for best performance at Grantham Music Festival for a second year in a row.

Laura Gardiner
Teacher and Director of Oasby Music Group

Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund