Children in Rugby can enjoy world-class classical music next week – thanks to the efforts of a mum who lives in the town.
The Wheels on Debussy is a high-quality classical music experience, performed by talented and international musicians in a relaxed environment.
And the second concert in the series takes place at St Andrew’s church in Rugby on Wednesday, October 26, when award-winning violinist David LePage and cellist and vocalist Matthew Sharp perform for a young audience.
Organiser Fiona Sharp said: “Our aim is to showcase different musicians, instruments and styles so that the children can experience the joy and variety of live music.
“The concerts are totally geared towards the children. We bring toys, colouring, craft, snacks and drinks for everyone. They can eat their snacks, mums can breastfeed, children can dance and sing. All of this is encouraged.
“The musicians we work with understand both what the children want - giving opportunities for them to participate in and shape the music-making - as well as being able to offer a musical experience for the parents that you would find on the finest stages in the world, where our musicians are often to be found.”
The idea for The Wheels on Debussy came when Fiona was living in Tonbridge, Kent.
Fiona said: “With three children under five years old, I was getting frustrated.
“I wanted to take my children to exciting, good quality live music, played by professional musicians, and open the door of wonderful music for them to charge through. But I was too far from London, where arts for young children is well-established, and I didn’t have the budget to take them to this type of event regularly.
“When I met Louise Knight in Tonbridge it became clear she was also looking for something exciting and different for her children to experience.
“Being full time mums didn’t stop us – we knew we could create something special.”
Previous performances have featured the internationally acclaimed musician Dominic Harlan doing a mash-up of The Grand Old Duke of York nursery rhyme and Rachmaninoff, and the celebrated cellist Matthew Sharp has used an electric toothbrush to bring the intricacies of Bach to life.
Fiona added: “What’s amazing is the impact the concerts have had on both child and carer. We have had children boogie to classical tangos, jump up and down to traditional Cypriot songs played on an accordion and santouri and bliss out to Chopin. And for the parents, it feels like an oasis from the usual playgroups.”
The concert starts at 10.30am, with visitors asked to arrive for 10am for coffee, cake, toys and craft. Advance tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children. Visit www.thewheelsondebussy.com for details.