Trent Chamber Academy


The orchestra was established in 2002 by Catherine Janssens, a Belgian student studying at the time at the School of Violin Making, and Roger Bryan. Both of them shared a common wish in the Violin School to develop music at the school and to give students and musicians in and around Newark a new opportunity to make music together.

Even though Janssens left school some years ago, her idea still lives on. The Academy most recently combined with the Choral Society to perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in November. Nic Fallowfield of the Birmingham Conservatoire has again been invited as guest conductor to rehearse and work on May’s concert programme recently.

The Academy’s repertoire and ambitions have continued to expand ever since its formation – not only in the range of pieces it performs, but also for example through invitations to appear with Newark Choral Society, Newark Music Club and at the Newark Festival. For two years now the Violin School students have been augmented by a group of woodwind players, most of whom have studied or are still studying at the Woodwind School, giving the orchestra the opportunity to play major symphonic works in addition to its core string repertoire. 

The collective musical experience from the Academy’s members includes classically trained players from such institutions as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Leeds College of Music and Berlin University of the Arts. The Schools cultural diversity is reflected in the Academy’s membership, which has included players from Britain, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. And of course there are also members from the Newark area as well as teachers from the Violin School.

What makes the sound of the TCA special is not only the unique fact that most of the players are playing on instruments made by themselves or fellow students, but also that in addition to performing in the Academy it is the players who are responsible for the orchestras management and for driving the development that it is currently enjoying. The youthful passion and energy of its members, their musical experience and a willingness to learn that can only be found in such an inspiring environment as the Newark School of Violin Making characterizes the Academys sound and philosophy of performance.