IN THIS UPDATE:
2. ROUND 5 FUNDRAISING TARGET ACHIEVED!
GRANTS IMPACT - FEEDBACK AND FIGURES
In December, our grants supported 9 live concerts in 6 locations including Woodford, Bakewell, Northampton, Birmingham, London and York. Several ensembles participated in the York Early Music Christmas Festival, and concerts from Spiritato and The Marian Consort and Solomon’s Knot remain available to watch online until 31st January here.
One of our recently-formed ensembles, Figure, reflected on their November concert at Union Chapel pairing requiem masses set by Charpentier and Fauré. The concert received 5 star reviews and glowing feedback from members of the 340-strong audience, including a good proportion of under-30s. Director and conductor Freddie Waxman commented:
'This concert feels like a turning point – it has solidified the core team and creative identity of Figure. For the future, we have a much clearer vision of the kind of work we want to make, and have developed our track record of being able to deliver unique music experiences. We are moving to the next stage as an organisation, with an ambitious programme for 2023. Thank you so much to Continuo Foundation for making all this possible.'
The impact of Continuo's grant-making activity since inception, summarised in figures:
£377,500 disbursed to 55 different ensembles
709 individual freelance musicians benefited
20,441 live audiences participated
61,366 online audiences participated
8 CD recordings released so far
ROUND 5 FUNDRAISING TARGET ACHIEVED!
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are thrilled to report that we have raised the £100,000 needed to launch Grant Round 5 on the 10th January! We have also received donations and pledges of £62,075 for Grant Round 6, planned to launch in July, so there is £37,925 remaining to be raised for grants in 2023.
This takes total funds secured for grants to £622,000 since Continuo was founded in 2020. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all who contributed - your support is much appreciated and will enable so many musicians and audiences to continue to benefit from glorious live music in 2023.
In the words of Maya Angelou, 'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.' There are so many fantastic ideas for projects which simply won't happen without our grants. As always, 100% of donations goes to enabling musicians to share music with people across the UK.
If you would like to help us close the 2023 funding gap, please don't hesitate to contact Tina on email@example.com to discuss how you can make a difference.
CONTINUO CONNECT - DIGITAL HUB
We are excited to be preparing for the soft launch of Continuo Connect for ensembles when we open Grant Round 5 next week. In this first phase, the site will provide a blank canvas for ensembles and musicians to create profiles and list upcoming concerts. This will streamline the application process for applicants and the evaluation process for our team of assessors.
We will then be launching Continuo Connect to the general public next month, once ensembles and musicians have had the opportunity to create what will essentially become an interactive directory where ensembles and musicians will be visible to each other, to promoters and to the public - and a comprehensive listing of concerts for audiences to find nearby events, anywhere in the UK.
Continuo Connect has the potential to significantly open up access to period music for audiences across the country, as well as being a valuable marketing and collaboration tool for ensembles. We will share more about the public launch in the coming weeks.
When the site starts being used, we will collect feedback and usage data to make improvements on an ongoing basis. If you would like to support the further development of the hub, or have ideas of potential sponsors who might wish to display their logo on the site, please contact Tina Vadaneaux.
DECEMBER PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Ex Cathedra – Bach Christmas Oratorio
Ex Cathedra performed Bach's Christmas Oratorio at Birmingham Symphony Hall, the second in their Birmingham concert series, to an enthusiastic audience of all ages. The final concert in the series, 'Byrd's Great', will be a celebration of Byrd’s 400th anniversary in collaboration with His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts and the Linarol Consort of Viols on 5th February at Town Hall, Birmingham. There will also be a singing workshop on the 4th.
Yorkshire Baroque Soloists – Handel’s Brockes Passion
The Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, together with the Yorkshire Bach Choir and an outstanding cast of soloists, presented Handel’s 'Brockes Passion'. Seldom performed in the North of England, for many in the audience at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall (University of York), this was a thrilling first encounter with the work. The Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, founded in 1973, are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a concert on 25th January in the same location.
Solomon’s Knot – Kuhnau Christmas Cantatas
Solomon’s Knot gave two performances of Christmas Cantatas by Johann Kuhnau, at the NCEM in York and, despite the rail strike, the following day in London. The ensemble marked the 300th anniversary of the death of Kuhnau, a predecessor of JS Bach in Leipzig. Festive trumpets, horns, drums, and sparkling voices were enjoyed by more than 500 people and received glowing reviews from critics. The York concert was filmed and is available to watch online here until 31st January.
Fiori Musicali - 12 Days of Christmas / Mr Handel's Messiah
Fiori Musicali had a busy month, starting with concerts in Woodford and Bakewell of a festive programme performed with members of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts. The Bakewell concert organiser wrote to thank us:
“without your support, the event could not have taken place and over 100 people from our local community would not have had such a fantastic start to Christmas.”
These concerts were followed by 'Mr Handel's Messiah' in Northampton Cathedral. The final concert in the series will be 'Telemann's World' at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery on 27th January - tickets available here.