Masterful Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

Garden Organic’s Ryton Gardens near Coventry is a fabulously beautiful place, and on Saturday it was teeming with amazing people – Master Gardeners and Master Composters from across the country who had gathered for their annual National Masters Conference.

National Masters Conference cake!

National Masters Conference (Olympics-themed) cake!

At last year’s conference, my eco-musical Compost!The (mini-)Musical (commissioned by York Rotters) won an award for innovation.

National Masters Innovation Award 2011 for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

National Masters Innovation Award 2011 for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

This year, Catherine Bamford from York Rotters and I were invited to the conference to give the delegates a flavour of the musical.

A packed marquee of some 160 Master Gardeners and Master Composters raised the roof with their enthusiastic drumming, chanting and singing of the musical. What a great sound – from a record-breaking number of Compost! performers.

Afterwards the participants were teeming with suggestions: we ought to go on a national tour – no, a world tour;  if the ‘Military Wives’ could do it, so could the ‘Master Gardeners and Composters’, they enthused!

Although we have no national (or international) tour planned – as yet! – lots of delegates bought a Compost!The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack, so they’ll be taking the musical back to their part of the country and putting on performances where they are. I’m looking forward to hearing how these performances go!

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack flyer

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack flyer

Next on the stage after us was Chris Collins, the Blue Peter gardener, who gave an inspiring talk about how to engage and enthuse children about plants and gardening.

Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, on stage at Garden Organic after our Compost! The (mini-)Musical. 30 June 2012

Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins, the next speaker on stage at Garden Organic after our Compost! The (mini-)Musical. 30 June 2012

Thank you to everyone at Garden Organic who was involved in organising the conference and putting on the workshops. And hats off to all the Master Gardeners and Master Composters who give up their time to volunteer in their communities, making them greener, more sustainable places, full of happier, healthier and more fulfilled people. (I can say this with confidence as the research presented at the conference had the stats to prove it!)

Me with Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins at the National Masters Conference at Garden Organic, 30 june 2012

Me with Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins at the National Masters Conference at Garden Organic, 30 june 2012

Stop Press: The post-conference feedback has been great too. Take a look at this quote from the (Masters award-winning)  ‘The Compost Bin’ blog:

After the lunch break we were treated to a performance of “Compost – the mini musical”  from Anneliese Emmans Dean and York Rotters  – which was absolutely BRILLIANT. So funny and creative! If you can go and see it I recommend doing so. It is also available to purchase as a teaching tool .’

Many thanks!

Anneliese Emmans Deaninfo@theBigBuzz.biz –  www.theBigBuzz.biz

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Compost! at York Primary School Council Conference

Well, not only has the Sheriff of York now heard York schoolchildren perform my award-winning eco-musical Compost! The (mini-)Musical, but the Lord Mayor of York has too. And both of them complimented the children on their work!

The Lord Mayor of York at the Annual School Council Conference at York Theatre Royal, 22 March 2012

The Lord Mayor of York at the Annual School Council Conference at York Theatre Royal, 22 March 2012

This all took place in the very grand surroundings of York Theatre Royal, where the annual York Primary School Council Conference was held last Thursday (22 March). This is an occasion where pupil school councillors from all the primary schools in York get together to share ideas and experiences, put questions to leading members of the York community (including city councillors, head teachers and a police officer), and attend workshops.

I had the great good fortune to be invited to be a workshop leader for the day. In my workshop, I taught the children a very mini version of Compost! The (mini-)Musical – which they successfully learned in super-quick time.

One group even went onto the main stage of York Theatre Royal at the end of the conference and performed the musical to everyone present – including, as I mentioned, the Lord Mayor of York himself! Listen to the end of their performance  (followed by a Thank You from teacher Mrs Pendry):

Then, it was the Lord Mayor of York’s turn to speak. Have a listen:

Thank you to the very wonderful Vikki Pendry, York’s Advanced Skills Teacher for Sustainable Schools, for inviting me to take part in the day.

Vikki Pendry, Advanced Skills Teacher for Sustainable Schools in York, 22.3.12

Vikki Pendry, Advanced Skills Teacher for Sustainable Schools in York, 22.3.12

Thanks too to Lesley White and her colleagues at City of York Council for their organisational work.

Most of all, thank you to the inspiring schoolchildren I had the privilege of working with last Thursday. Judging by the creative, responsible and hard-working children I met and whose presentations I watched, I am confident that York will be in very good hands in the future!

Preparing the stage at York Theatre Royal for Compost! The (mini-)Musical, 22 March 2012

Preparing the stage at York Theatre Royal for Compost! The (mini-)Musical, 22 March 2012

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz

Compost! The (mini-)Musical wins national award!

Well, what do you know? My eco-musical ‘Compost! The (mini-)Musical‘ – an edu-taining way for children and grown-ups to learn about how (and why) to compost –  has just won a national award!

National Masters Innovation Award for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

National Masters Innovation Award for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

As you can see, this Garden Organic National Masters Award was presented to York Rotters, who commissioned Compost! The (mini-)Musical from me, and with whom I work closely to deliver teaching sessions all over York – as you can see here and here.

It was Keely Mellor, the then York Rotters Co-ordinator who, back in 2007, commissioned me to ‘come up with something’ about composting. She invited me to attend a York Rotters compost training day, and lo, Compost! The (mini-)Musical was born!

In 2009 I published a comprehensive Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack with Resource CD, so anyone anywhere can teach and put on the musical. So far, packs have been sold as far afield as America, Portugal and Turkey – as well as to schools in Britain. Order your copy here!

Compost! The(mini-)Musical Teaching Pack

Compost! The(mini-)Musical Teaching Pack

A big Thank You to everyone at York Rotters, especially the current Co-ordinator Catherine Bamford, and the good folk at York Environment Centre, for all their support and encouragement over the years.

Catherine Bamford of York Rotters dispensing composting advice at a Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

Catherine Bamford of York Rotters dispensing composting advice at a Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

And thank you to the Master Composters at Garden Organic, for recognising us with this award!

With my compost bin and my 'Compost! The (mini-)Musical' Teaching Pack

With my compost bin and my ‘Compost! The (mini-)Musical’ Teaching Pack

Find out more about York Rotters and our Compost! The (mini-)Musical activities by clicking here, and scrolling down through the posts.

To put on Compost! The (mini-)Musical where you are, order your copy of the Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack here.

If you’d like any further information, email me!

Anneliese Emmans Dean – www.theBigBuzz.biz

York Climate Week

It was Climate Week last week, and to mark the occasion, anyone who was anyone in York  performed – or attended a performance of – Compost! the (mini-)Musical, and learnt how to combat global warming through worm power!

Practising the drum for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

Practising the drum for Compost! The (mini-)Musical

Rachel Simpson of York Rotters and I have been busy flitting to schools and Brownie groups across York over the past couple of weeks to teach them my eco-musical Compost! the (mini-)Musical, and we’ve been very  impressed with the fabulous performances the children have given.

Rachel preparing for another Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

Rachel preparing for another Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance

The pupils of Hempland and Knavesmire Primary Schools even included my French composting song in their show,  and performed it as a round!

Hempland Primary School, York

Hempland Primary School, York

The pupils of Fishergate Primary School performed the musical in public in the centre of York on Friday, to rapturous applause, and a great write-up in The Press.

Pupils performing Compost! The (mini-)Musical in York for Climate Week 2011

Pupils performing Compost! The (mini-)Musical in York for Climate Week 2011

And Copmanthorpe Brownies gave a great – girls only – performance too.

 All set for a Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance at Knavesmire Primary School

All set for a Compost! The (mini-)Musical performance at Knavesmire Primary School

Thank you to all the teachers, Brownie leaders, pupils and Brownies who have welcomed Rachel and me over the past couple of weeks, and huge congratulations to all the children on their performances.

In the Climate Week tent in the centre of York, March 2011

In the Climate Week tent in the centre of York, March 2011

If you’d like to put on Compost! The (mini-)Musical where you are, then check out my comprehensive Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack, which contains everything you need to put on a great performance where you are.

(Not forgetting the Teaching Pack for my other eco-musical, called Go MAD! A global warming warning. Find out more)

Remember: Think Global – Compost Local!

STOP PRESS: Since writing this post, Compost! The (mini-)Musical has won a national award! Find out more

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz

Compost! The (mini-)Musical in the USA

Compost! The (mini-)Musical has crossed the Atlantic! US children’s magazine Jack and Jill is running an illustrated feature (by American journalist Barbara Hall) about my BigBuzz eco-musical Compost! The (mini-)Musical in their latest issue.

US children's magazine Jack and Jill To complement the article, there’s a video on the Jack and Jill website all about the musical. The video features many of the groups of children here in Britain who have learned and performed Compost!

Watch the video here

If you’d like to join in and put on Compost! The (mini-)Musical where you are, you can buy the comprehensive Teaching Pack (which includes a resource CD) from theBigBuzz website, or from Amazon.

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack

Compost! The (mini-)Musical Teaching Pack

Anneliese Emmans Dean – www.theBigBuzz.bizinfo@theBigBuzz.biz

Lord Deramore’s Science Week 2010

Congratulations to the pupils at Lord Deramore’s Primary School in Heslington on their Science Week achievements. All the school, from Early Years upwards, took part, and I was lucky enough to be present at their final assembly, where each class demonstrated some of what they’d learnt.

I spent two days at the school as part of their Science Week, working with Years 1 through to 5. I discovered  that Years 1 and 2 make very good millipedes, Years 3 and 4 are excellent budding wildlife photographers, and Year 5 is bursting with strong voices and acting and artistic talent.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here are some of the amazing photos Years 3 and 4 took using my top-secret Wildlife Photography Technique that I taught them:

Painted Lady butterly photographed by Lord Deramore Primary pupil, 11.6.10

Painted Lady butterfly photographed by Lord Deramore Primary pupil, 11.6.10

Harlequin ladybird larva photographed by Lord Deramore Primary pupil, 11.6.10

Harlequin ladybird larva photographed by Lord Deramore Primary pupil, 11.6.10

The children were very observant, finding butterflies,  ladybird larvae, snails, a lacewing, spiderlings, caterpillars, and even a mystery beetle (which I’m still trying to identify) in their school grounds.

And here are some of the performers in Year 5’s rendition of my eco-musical about climate change called Go MAD! – which they learnt in just one day! As you’ll see, they each made a ‘comedy’ or ‘tragedy’ mask for the performance.

Year 5 go MAD! performers, Lord Deramore's Primary School, 11.6.10

Year 5 go MAD! performers, Lord Deramore's Primary School, 11.6.10

Go MAD! performers at Lord Deramore School, 11.6.10

Go MAD! performers at Lord Deramore's School, 11.6.10

I was lucky enough to be part of their Science Week last year too (find out more), and I’d like to thank them for inviting me back this year.

Some of you may know that Lord Deramore’s is the primary school I went to when I was a child, so I have  very soft spot for it …I’m pleased to be able to report that it’s still a very special school, full of  smiling, enthusiastic and helpful staff and children alike. I very much enjoyed my two days there this week.

Anneliese Emmans Deaninfo@theBigbuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz

Singing in the Rain!

Undaunted by the driving rain we had on Sunday, the massed Brownies of Heslington and Fulford marched through the centre of York as part of the York Carnival Parade.

They were dressed in fabulous ‘compost’ costumes that they’d made, and were shaking their home-made recycled instruments. They looked and sounded great!

Brownies waiting to go on stage, with leader Sue Lawrence, York, 6.6.10

Brownies waiting to go on stage, with leader Sue Lawrence, York, 6.6.10

I donned my sou’wester to conduct them in their performance of  Compost! The (mini-)Musical‘ …

Togged out in sou-wester for a summer performance of 'Compost! The (mini-)Musical', York,  6.6.10

Togged out in sou-wester for a summer performance of 'Compost! The (mini-)Musical', York, 6.6.10

… which they bravely performed on a proper stage set up in the middle of York’s busy shopping street, Parliament Street, to enthusiastic rounds of applause from the audience.

Brownies performing 'Compost! The (mini-)Musical' at York Carnival, 6.6.10

Brownies performing 'Compost! The (mini-)Musical' at York Carnival, 6.6.10

Huge thanks go to Sue Lawrence for her indefatigable enthusiasm for this project. And to Catherine Bamford from York Rotters who, along with her extremely helpful Mum and daughter Holly, managed to get all the compost bins and music stands that we needed into the (pedestrianised) centre of York for the performance.

York Carnival main stage, 6.6.10

York Carnival main stage, 6.6.10

Think global – Compost local!

Anneliese Emmans Dean info@theBigBuzz.bizwww.theBigBuzz.biz