For many years JAM has been proud to work, collaborate and celebrate Romney Marsh talent in dedicated community-led projects. This year three exceptional projects underline our commitment to boost creativity and connection within the local community. Together with our partners, London Mozart Players, the Romney Marsh Community Hub and Rebecca Lodge Birkebaek, we are proud to offer invaluable opportunities for the community to participate in and enjoy the arts.
JAM on the Marsh
For over 20 years, JAM has enabled, promoted and commissioned new music in the UK. We are proud to say that we have premiered over 180 pieces at Music of Our Time and JAM on the Marsh.
On 20 March JAM will continue this tradition with a concert of new music for choir, brass and organ. Nine contemporary works will receive their world / London premieres, including the world premiere of a JAM Commission from Isabelle Ryder (Illumination) and a revisit of JAM’s 2010 Commission from Tarik O’Regan (The Night’s Untruth).
Taking place as part of JAM on the Marsh festival from 1-13 July 2024, our next residential course will focus on writing for opera and is designed to take the participants’ compositional skills to the next level. We are thrilled to collaborate with some of Britain’s biggest names in opera composition for this year’s residency; composers will receive tutoring from Jonathan Dove CBE, Professor Shirley Thompson OBE, Professor Paul Mealor LVO CStG, Dr John Frederick Hudson, Grahame Davies LVO and Nicholas Cleobury.
Ever since the first JAM on the Marsh in 2014, with music at its core, JAM has been eager to represent a wide range of artforms at the festival: from poetry to photography, ceramics to sculptures, mosaics to sand art, opera to theatre and dance, and everything in between. We are proud to have featured and supported many local, as well as national artists over the years, giving them a platform to present their works in Kent’s atmospheric Romney Marsh.
Since 2002 JAM has invited composers to submit to its Call for Music, giving them the chance to have their work performed at JAM’s season opening concert in central London. Each year the panel has the difficult task of choosing a handful of compositions, from an ever-growing pool of submissions. In 2022’s Call for Music we received 150 submissions.
Following the huge success of July’s sold-out arts festival, JAM now presents a selection of performances and exhibitions to a wider audience online. Under the inspirational leadership of curator Nicholas Cleobury, this year was our most dynamic festival yet.
One month ago, we closed our 10th JAM on the Marsh festival, concluding two fantastic weeks celebrating extraordinary music, art and theatre, all performed by outstanding artists. From intimate concerts with world-class musicians such as classical guitarist Craig Ogden, tenor Nicky Spence and the Joe Stilgoe Trio, to the powerful 60-voice Delaware Choral Scholars bringing flavours of American choral music and the world premiere commissioned by JAM of a community oratorio with over 100 performers – this diverse festival offered engagement and enjoyment for all generations.
Local amateurs join professional musicians to shine a light on one of the most pressing issues of our time in Richard Peat and Timothy Knapman’s Community Oratorio, The Sky Engine. This commission brings a diverse group of musicians together, with all of them playing a meaningful and integral part in the performance: children from two Romney Marsh schools and community players will perform alongside the choristers of Canterbury Cathedral Choir, the London Mozart Players (LMP), opera singers Rebecca Afowny-Jones and Julian Close, actor Kudzanayi Chiwawa and conductor Michael Bawtree.
In highlighting the multi-arts of JAM on the Marsh, this year’s festival includes four exhibitions by artists connected to Romney Marsh. Free to visit, on display every day throughout the festival, the exhibitions feature a variety of artforms, with nature as a prominent theme: from large-scale oil paintings of the Romney Marsh beaches, to pottery inspired by space and photographs taken of items reclaimed from the beaches to mixed media paintings.
With only a few weeks until JAM on the Marsh celebrates its 10th festival on 4-16 July 2023, JAM would like to introduce the new Festival Curator, Nicholas Cleobury. The esteemed conductor, Nicholas Cleobury, is the 6th Festival Curator of JAM on the Marsh and has been a friend and supporter of JAM for nearly 20 years, in which he has had significant influence on the renowned commissioning programme of JAM.