The DEMOCRAT

Free musical evening at Ardoch by the Bonnie Banks

ardoch on Loch Lomond 2Ardoch, the Loch Lomondside venue for the Jonas Foundation concert.

March 16, 2018 – The Jonas Foundation, which combats the social exclusion of young people, will be back at Ardoch on Loch Lomondside next month.

The youngsters will be rehearsing and performing a musical event in front of a public audience.  And they have extended a generous invitation to you to be there – free of charge.

You are cordially invited to attend their performance of ‘Baba Yaga’ at 7pm on Friday 6 April at Ardoch G83 8ND.  Although there is no entry charge, you will need to telephone 01389 710401 to reserve a seat and a complimentary buffet meal afterwards. There is ample parking.

Ardoch frequently welcomes charities to its facilities in Gartocharn. Since it opened in 2010, residential and day events at Ardoch have proved to be very successful for a variety of organisations who benefit from discounts and subsidies.  These are provided by The Ardoch Foundation which has a mission to support young people.

Dumbarton St Patrick’s Youth Club, Shettleston Harriers, Girlguiding Glasgow, LCTF, SHA, Rainbow Valley, Ignite Theatre, Cyrenians and Columba 1400 have all made repeat visits to the fabulous facility Ardoch, by Gartocharn.

Ardoch Weekend 2​​​​​​Some children from Dumbarton district enjoy the facilities at Ardoch.

In the nineties, a group of children under the tutelage of our founder Christine Sigwart, started singing at the French Protestant Church in London, accompanying Church Services and celebrations with their music. It did not take long before they called themselves “Les Rossignols de Soho”.

The lively songs and little musicals brought the “Rossignols de Soho” to various parts of Europe – from Germany, Switzerland to Sweden.  As years passed and the number of children grew, instrumental music was also introduced. What had started as a youth club – joining children from expatriate families with Inner City children – grew into a Music School. The ‘Swiss Church Music School’, under the roof and with great support of the Swiss Church in London.

About 40 youngsters learned to play an instrument, with singing and performing musicals still at the heart of the school.  Bringing together youngsters from different origins and backgrounds, offering an opportunity to share, laugh and perform together was only one aspect of the school.  In the process of acquiring a solid musical education, learning to work together towards a goal (concerts and tours) and gaining self-esteem as you progress evidently becomes just as important.

The Music School moved to Elephant and Castle, South of the River, in 2002.  In 2003 a formal charity, the Jonas Foundation, was created in Switzerland, by Christine Sigwart, thus opening opportunities to more children around the world.  Then, in August 2012, Christine launched the UK registered charity “Jonas Foundation UK”.

Christine Sigwart’s vision and efforts make it possible for many children, in the UK and many other parts of the world, to learn and engage in the universal language of music.

Jonas Pic 2

A concert involving children from the Jonas Foundation.

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