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Once again Jimmy the JAMtots Bear is with his bestest friends at his Castle of Wonders Holiday Fun Workshop. The weather might be dull outside, but inside The Windmill Studio Centre, the children have brought in the sunshine... happy days!
Hillingdon’s victory in the London New Year’s Day Parade 2016 culminated in a special reception at Uxbridge Civic Centre during which the £10,000 winner’s cheque and trophy were officially presented.Parade Executive Director, Robert Bone, presented the first place prizes to Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr George Cooper, in front of a cheering audience of more than 100 participants, parents, sponsors and council staff.A 40-strong cast from Ruislip Manor’s JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency represented Hillingdon in the London borough’s competition ofthe annual parade, scooping £10,000 for the Mayor of Hillingdon’s Charity Appeal.Each of the performers, ranging in age from 5 to 50+, was presented with a medal depicting this year’s theme of 30 Magical Years of the London New Year’s Day Parade. Medals were also presented to a host of others that had been involved behind the scenes including costume makers, float buildersand sponsors.The borough’s entry, ‘Dreams Can Come True in Hillingdon’, featuring nearly every Walt Disney character, involved the cast singing and dancing for over two hours along the parade route from Green Park to Parliament Square to rousing cheers from around 50,000 spectators.The reception, hosted by The Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Judith Cooper, also saw Neil Hutchings, a representative from sponsor Redrow Homes Ltd, present anadditional £1,000 cheque for the Mayor’s Charity Appeal. This, together with donations from Taylor Wimpey, Reddingtons Ltd, O’Halloran & O’Brien Ltd and Modebest Builders Ltd, brought the total raised to £14,000.It was a case of third time lucky for Hillingdon and JAM2000 director Judy McPhee and her husband Gordon McPhee, who hand-built the float. In 2014, Hillingdon were runners-up and third last year, bringing total winnings to £21,000 for local charities over the years.The Mayor praised the JAM2000 performers for their talent, energy and creativity in sealing victory. Judy McPhee added:“What a magical night in which everyone who had a part to play in Hillingdon’s success came together to celebrate and be rewarded. I couldn’t be more proud.”Hillingdon’s entry spanned the generations including four family groups involved both behind the scenes and in the parade itself:Emma Thomas (Cruella Deville) and Mark Thomas (float builder/pirate) and children Shelby, 10, (Pocahontas) and Isabel, 7, (Snow White) from Harefield.Emma Briscoe (Maleficent) and Paul Briscoe (pirate) and children Megan, 6, (Minnie Mouse) and Toby, 8, (pirate) from Ruislip Gardens.Carol Roques (parade co-ordinator/JAM2000 staff) and grown up children Ollie (Genie) and Viccy (Scar/JAM2000 staff) from Ruislip Manor.Elaine Mahon (chaperone/JAM2000 staff) and Kieran Mahon (pirate), and children Hannah, 9, (Sleeping Beauty) and Adam, 7, (pirate) from Harrow.
RUISLIP ROCKS FOR CHARITYRUISLIP was really rocking after two super sell-out performances of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, the local Lions Club’s annual festive variety show in aid of charity. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Research; Limbless, Blind and Homeless Armed Forces Survivors and the local NSPCC will be among the recipients of the £3,000+ raised from the Ruislip Lions’ Christmas spectacular at Ruislip’s Winston Churchill Theatre on 12 December.Artistic Director for the first time Judy McPhee, director of JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency, convinced Ruislip Lions to add a matinee performance this year giving more families the chance to enjoy the entertainment and dramatically boost the fundraising effort.“It was a gamble, which paid off,” said Judy, who was full of praise for the show’s 100+ performers. “I couldn’t have been more proud of everyone who took part from the tiniest tots to teenagers and adults plus the army of parents and helpers backstage who made this such a memorable and successful show in aid of so many fantastic causes.” JAM2000’s singers and dancers, who train at The Windmill Studio Centre in Ruislip Manor, wowed audiences with their stunning costumes and polished routines incorporating the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the mystery and magic of Disney and the rock, pop and hip hop funk music of the moment.The variety show was billed ‘From Rock to Opera’ with the opera element provided by the spell-binding, classically-trained young soprano, Francesca Mepham. Up and coming 17-year-old pop singer Charlotte Donovan - niece of Nathan Moore, lead singer in the famous 80’s band Brother Beyond - performed with passion and pazazz. Hillingdon Youth Big Band had the audience singing and dancing in their seats as did show compere and performer Kin Kelly with his toe-tapping tribute to the King himself, Elvis Presley. The most breath-taking performance came from UK National Champion gymnasts and strong GB team contenders Callum and Kieran, from Hillingdon Gymnastics Club. Santa in his sleigh rounded off the show, which couldn’t have happened without the generous sponsorship of City Grove and the Johal Family with additional support from Bennett Homes Estate Agents and TGS Live Events. Judy McPhee was asked to produce and direct the Christmas concert by Ruislip Lions Concert Committee chair persons, Allan and Lynne Kauffman – former Hillingdon Mayor and Mayoress – after she and her JAM2000 performers helped Hillingdon to second place in the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2014, scooping Mayor’s Rainbow Charities and third place in 2015, winning £5,000.Allan Kauffman said: “I knew this concert for Ruislip Lions Productions was a departure from the norm and would be very different. For starters we had two generous sponsors which allowed us to have some theatrical blue sky thinking. I had the feeling the concert would be great but it exceeded my wildest dreams! “I always feel the best guide to the success of any concert is the audience reaction as they leave the theatre. The foyer was a buzz with comments like, ‘what a fantastic show’, ‘boy that was action packed’, ‘what stunning costumes’, ‘the lighting and sound were incredible’, ‘I feel so Christmassy now’.” Allan added: “A massive thank you to Judy McPhee, Director and Producer, and her JAM2000 team at the Windmill Studio Centre for her partnership with Lions to sprinkle a flurry of magic over Christmas time.”
Dance Production 2015More than 100 performers aged from 2½ to 50+ wowed audiences with ‘STOP! JAM2000 JUNCTION’ – a 2-hour singing and dancing spectacular similar in standard to a leading West End show.Slick, professional, amazing – were just some of the words used to describe the Ruislip Manor-based performing arts school’s 2015 dance production, staged at the Reed Theatre at the Alec Reed Academy, Northolt.A thousand people watched the show over five performances in which all on stage were in-tune, in-step and bang on-time!Produced, directed and choreographed from start to finish by JAM2000 Director, Judy McPhee, the show was the culmination of just over one year's hard graft by students, staff and a small army of back stage volunteers alike.Superb singing and dancing routines spanning the likes of Disney, Hollywood Greats, Miss Saigon, Bruno Mars and One Republic as well as hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, were brought to life by a mesmerising array of originally-designed, made-to-measure costumes – each hand-made by a talented team of local seamstresses.A rich fusion of dancing genres - jazz, tap, modern, hip hop, street and musical theatre – were featured in the show, which had audiences laughing, crying and oohing and ahing in equal measure. The biggest audience reaction came when the pre-schoolers, known as ‘JAM Splats!’, came onto stage dressed as ‘dwarfs’ as part of a Snow White number featuring cute 6 and 7 year old girls.Much to the delight of younger members of the audience and cast, Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofie and Olaf joined in the dancing together with JAM2000’s very own loveable mascot Jimmy the Jamtots Bear, who whizzed off stage each performance on an electric scooter!Judy McPhee, well known for getting the best out of her performers whatever their ability, said: “I am immensely proud of each and every one of my performers who worked so hard and gave their all to put on the best JAM2000 dance production to date. I have never known so many standing ovations, which makes all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into putting on these shows so worthwhile!”Hillingdon Deputy Mayor Cllr John Hensley, who was in the audience on the final night, likened the production to a West End show, adding that he was particularly impressed with the Miss Saigon segment.If you missed this year’s show, there’s another chance to see JAM2000’s talented performers in action when they take to the stage for matinee and evening performances in Ruislip Lions’ Christmas Variety Show at the Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip, on Saturday 12th December 2015.Watch this space for ticket information.