The purpose of the 2017 Note Race is to raise as much money as we can to help children and families. The Cambridge Team is supporting
The Cambridge Team is grateful for the support of
Team Cambridge Organising Committee:
Most of the year I can be found hurrying along Grange Road from one school to another in order to teach my wonderful pupils how to play the piano. Every summer, I wave my arms at some 180 children in the 9/10 plus choir and more recently the SATB group. The rest of the time I love playing piano duets with Maurice (see below). My involvement with Grade-1-athon goes back to a year of great personal loss from which was born the idea of an open, mass Grade-1-athon to benefit our local children’s hospice. Three Grade Ones with Distinction later (on Clarinet, Cello and Oboe), I now play the bassoon in the joyous Cambridge Wind Band. The Bassoon was my ‘experimental’ concept instrument in 2003 but the only Grade that I shall not be taking on it is …. Grade 1! This year, it is the heavenly harp for us both.
I was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. I read music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, studying composition with Robin Holloway. I now teach the piano at Anglia Ruskin University, King’s College School, Swavesey Village College and also privately.
In addition to piano, I play the bassoon and recorder, and have played keyboard in a ceilidh band! I participated in the 2004, 2011 and 2015 Cambridge Grade-1-athon events on viola and horn. I reached the dizzy heights of Grade 5 horn several years ago and I now play regularly with Cambridge Wind Band.
I have known Thanea Hodges for some time – we teach music together at St John’s College School and King’s College School, and often have coffee together in the mornings before starting our respective days.
It was when Thanea asked me to help on The Oxford and Cambridge Note Race committee that I got involved. I had been keen to do something in aid of childrens’ charities for some time and this seemed an ideal (if rather zany) opportunity.
So far I’m enjoying the experience but I’m having serious doubts about my ability to get any sound at all out of the clarinet. Do come and laugh at me (and us) at the West Road concert on 10 September. I might even reveal my Grade 1 mark to you; but you’ll have to put some money in the bucket.
Kevin Jones, Chair and Chief Operations Officer
I was lucky enough, as Head of St John’s College School, to be able to support the wonderful Thanea Hodges by hosting the Grade-1-athon in all of its previous manifestations. Now no longer at St John’s, I remain devoted to the Grade-1-athon which this year supports causes very close to my heart. I have spent my professional life devoted to children and their well-being. I am on the steering groups of the Cultural Learning Alliance and of the My Cambridge cultural education partnership, the advisory boards for the Artsmark Award and the Institute of Imagination, and am an adviser to Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, all of which promote the value of the arts in children’s lives. I am also a trustee of Mind with Heart, an international charity dedicated to developing mindfulness and compassion in education. The latest Grade-1-athon came about in part because Thanea came to the screening I arranged in Cambridge of Vanessa Redgrave’s film Sea Sorrow, about the plight of Syrian refugees, at which Vanessa and Alf Dubs spoke. Thanea’s extraordinary compassion in response to this and to the needs of children in Cambridgeshire has brought us all together again to do wonderful things