News

Tried and tested, activity bags are a hit!

Thank you to Lilley Mitchell and Radio Oxford for the feature they ran today which you can hear in the video above. As part of our work with the MCS Partnerships Team, we have put together 100 free activity bags for children to enjoy during the summer holidays. Designed with arts and creativity in mind, the bags will encourage children away from screens, out into the open air, and will stimulate hungry minds and imagination! Read more…

The Phoenix Art Project goes live

In April as part of our collaboration with Oxfordshire Artweeks we invited artistic responses on the theme of The Phoenix, rebirth and resurgence. As the world slowly emerges from lockdown and the arts begin a period of renewed activity, we wanted to know what it meant to you and how it prompted you to respond creatively. We received over 50 entries from both keen amateur artists and seasoned professionals. The media chosen ranged across the Read more…

‘The Door in the Cellar’ winners announced

Today OFA and MCS Partnerships announce the five young writers who have triumphed in this year’s short story competition for 7 to 11-year olds. Since its launch in 2009 the Festival has been running a creative writing element as part of their learning and engagement work with the MCS Partnerships team. This year it took the form of a 250-word short story competition. The theme ‘The Door in the Cellar’ was set by award-winning children’s Read more…

Brendan Ball performs 'Call to Arms' by Darren Fellows

Our final trumpet world premiere

We are pleased to present another premiere as we release the film of the last of our five winners in the ‘Say it in 60 seconds’ composition project. Congratulations to Darren Fellows composer of ‘Call to Arms’. The piece is played by trumpeter Brendan Ball who has done an outstanding job of interpreting and performing these new works. Our thanks also go to film director Emma Tranter, filmmaker Jean Paul Caruana and AGM Digital Arts Read more…

Gaia – Gaian Thinking is not a Luxury

As part of the Global Dance Film Project in partnership with Dancin’ Oxford, Oxford International Links, Mandala Theatre and Ashtar Theatre’s International Digital and Live Festival, OFA has commissioned a dance piece called ‘Gaia – Gaian Thinking Is Not A luxury’ that has been performed by Contact Dance Company around stunning locations in Malta. Dr Michelle Castelletti, Director, Oxford Festival of the Arts explains how the commission came about: As soon as I started discussing Read more…

#sayitin60seconds, our fourth winner

We have another premiere for you to enjoy as part of our composition project for solo trumpet. This time the piece is ‘FURY’ by Dan Jenkins, a challenging and exciting new work which Brendan Ball performs with his usual aplomb and skill. Brendan told us “The challenge was to make the trumpet display as many versions of anger, angst, frustration, brooding mood, & temper as possible”. We think you will agree that he has achieved Read more…

Our third premiere #sayitin60seconds

We are delighted to premiere another new work as part of our #sayitin60seconds composition project. Brendan Ball performs ‘Whereupon the Soul Leapt from the Body’ by Richard Peat. Congratulations to Richard.We have two more pieces to premiere and then news is coming of the next stage of this project which is an exciting education and mentoring opportunity for young people.

Our second winner is announced as part of #sayitin60seconds

Brendan Ball performs the second our of winning compositions in the #sayitin60seconds project which called for new work for solo trumpet that is no longer than a minute. Here the piece is ‘Dreams of Pi’ written by Richard Montgomery. We have three more winning works to share with you, and news of how this project will shortly become an education and mentoring opportunity for young musicians.

Music for Mustardseed t-shirts on sale now

Commemorate and celebrate the wonderful Music for Mustardseed concert with a special edition t-shirt. Available in small, medium, large and extra large. UK shipping is free and all the proceeds go towards Mustardseed Junior School. It’s the ideal summer wardrobe addition! The t-shirts are £40 and available here.

‘Say it in 60 seconds’ the first winning score

We are delighted to premiere the first of our winning scores from our ‘Say it in 60 seconds’ composition project. We present ‘Scuttle’ from ‘Three Bagatelles’ composed by Carl Borg and performed by Brendan Ball. This is the first of five winning 60 second scores for solo trumpet that will be released over the coming weeks. The project continues later this year and will include a mentoring element as we encourage young composers to write Read more…