DUXFORD SATURDAY WORKSHOP ENCOURAGES HUNDREDS TO PLAY, SING AND ACT
Duxford Saturday Workshop (DSW) has around 300 members of all ages from Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire.
Set up as a charity in 1972, the workshop has helped hundreds of people choose, learn and then perform with a wide variety of instruments from bassoons to ukuleles. There are performance groups including a choir, junior drama group, jazz groups and folk ensembles.
Director Arwen Gilbert said: ”The DSW ethos is all about performing and learning together. Members include adults who have always wanted to learn an instrument or those who haven’t played for years. We also have experienced musicians who want to learn new skills or just perform with others. We try to have groups for all levels of players and fellow musicians are very supportive.”
DSW meets during term-time Saturday morning at Duxford Primary School. The instruments available to learn can all be played in groups and will include flutes, guitars, clarinets, saxophones, trombones, oboes and recorders.
Arwen explained: ”Tuition is in mixed age groups, with children able to learn an instrument at workshop from Year Five. There are also junior music groups available for children from Year 1 upwards.
“We have more than 200 instruments which can be hired to members, at reasonable rates. Membership costs £20 a year, with a weekly fee of £2 or £1 for up to three activities, so it is excellent value.”
Tuition is not available in piano or drum kit, as they cannot be taught in a group setting
All groups depend on volunteers to lead them and Arwen also appealed for more volunteer tutors to join DSW. ”Every year we have young people who have performed in our junior drama group or taken up an instrument at Duxford, come back as volunteers to teach others but we also need more adult volunteer tutors, particularly in brass instruments.”