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Goldfinch and Big Lottery bring Birdswing to Lapwing

Filed in Uncategorized by on September 10, 2013 1 Comment

A Suffolk-based opera composer is swapping the Royal Albert Hall for a barn in Stowmarket as part of an innovative project that will help a group of Lapwing students with their communication by mimicking local birdsong.

Peter Cowdrey is a composer and musician whose works have been premiered at venues as prestigious as the Royal Albert Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank. However Peter is also an enthusiastic twitcher, or ornithologist to be technical, and last year he and his colleague Rosie Johnston decided to combine his love of birds and music into a project helping primary school children get back to nature by recording birdcalls, slowing them down on special equipment and then recreating the sounds themselves.

Now, thanks to an ‘Awards for All’ grant of £9,553 from the Big Lottery Fund, the Birdswing project, run by the Goldfinch Foundation, will be able to help Lapwing students. The sessions will take place over ten weeks using the facilities and resources at the Brockford Barn studios.

Peter Cowdrey said: “This is a really exciting project for us. Helping with young people who have complex needs is something we don’t have much experience of but the Awards for All funding means we will be able to explore new ways of working. I’m sure the young people will love it and it’s going to be fascinating.” Peter, Rosie and Pam Harling-Challis, a Suffolk-based digital artist, choreographer and educator, are the team working with Lapwing Suffolk and staff at Brockford Barn to deliver this project on behalf of The Goldfinch Foundation”

Rosie Johnston from The Goldfinch Foundation says ‘we will be introducing Birdswing to young adults facing verbal communication challenges, as a means not only of inspiring and motivating their interest in the natural acoustic world but also helping them to develop confidence, functional and practical skills that may encourage steps towards an degree of independence.

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

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  1. Marion Slade-Moll says:

    I met them all today and they are inspirational, the whole team!!! I am really looking forward to working there for the next few months with our students!!


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