StART – aims & history

Aims

StART will contribute to the wider mission of the Church by promoting and supporting the Arts.

To achieve this, StART will:

  • affirm St Andrew’s care for the whole community by offering these concerts in a welcoming way that excludes no-one by virtue of cost or intimidating formality
  • support the church’s outreach to Holt Primary School through musical presentations by concert musicians
  • promote the Church building as a welcoming and accessible venue available for musical and other performances and exhibitions
  • encourage donations sufficient both to pay musicians at least a modest fee and to raise funds for St Andrew’s Church and the StART Fund
  • develop further arts-based initiatives and outreach if and as the organisers feel appropriate.

History

StART came into being in early 2019 as the successor to FALCON (Facilitating Arts & Literature for Children of Norfolk). In collaboration with St Andrew’s, the FALCON concerts were set up and run by Phil Barrett who, as a former art teacher at the Purcell School for Young Musicians, had contact with many musicians in the early years of their professional careers.

Initially musicians came to play with only expenses paid, but by 2017 FALCON was putting on four concerts a year and proving successful enough to offer a small fee as well. Good will, generous hospitality, and appreciative audiences in the relatively intimate setting of the church ensured that performers valued the experience, with, latterly, musicians performing an additional concert at Holt Primary School on the previous afternoon, and some musicians performing at St Andrew’s more than once. Meanwhile an excellent piano has been purchased, with the help of a legacy received by the church, and over the years a not inconsiderable amount of money has been raised, shared between FALCON and St Andrew’s Church.

At the end of 2018, when Phil informed St Andrews that, sadly, FALCON was coming to “the end of its flight”, and therefore would no longer be able to manage the concerts, nor would it continue to have a bank account enabling it to raise funds under the FALCON name. Many people felt that the momentum should be sustained if possible. And therefore a group of St Andrew’s church members, together with Fr Howard, met to discuss whether the church could take on responsibility for the concerts. With the feeling that St. Andrews would like to continue to raise money, as part of its out-reach, for similar creative activities as FALCON has done, as well as for its own Church funds, perhaps chiefly at Holt Primary School but not restricted to that.

The name StART was agreed, and volunteers for the numerous behind-the-scenes tasks stepped forward. It was agreed that Mark Jones, the Director of Music at St Andrew’s, should chair the organising group.