The Ingenium 2016 Blog - Day 1, Week 1

19 July 2016


Welcome to the Ingenium Academy 2016! We’re so excited that the course has finally begun. Yesterday was a truly wonderful and musical first day – we have welcomed students from all over the world, with more to arrive as the course goes on.



On Sunday our pastoral team were at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as London St Pancras International, ensuring that each student was met with a sign and a smile – and a selfie, of course! Then it was back to Winchester to unpack, meet everyone and gather for a big welcome sing with our choir leader Robbie Jacobs.


DAY ONE: After breakfast Ingenium began with a whole school meeting, where we introduced all our staff. Then without delay, it was straight into music making! The orchestra began with rehearsing The Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn, and the choir started the morning with a piece by James MacMillan.



The saxophone students were working on an ensemble piece, and also having a go at circular breathing – which involved an array of brilliant faces! The weather has been wonderful so our conductors began outside in the sunshine, and our pianists settled into their individual practice rooms, had their first lessons with our piano staff and participated in a faculty recital.


After lunch, we have our musicianship session. The students looked at composition in groups covering aspects such as compositional technique, harmony and even composing a radio ‘jingle’. The new compositions are being developed later in the week, so stay tuned.


A quick break and it was back to rehearsal for the afternoon. The choir have been singing an arrangement of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, which already sounds great!



Individual singing and instrumental lessons were happening throughout the day. Our singers had lessons with Amanda Smallbone and Jennifer Snapes (National Youth Choir of Great Britain). We welcomed Clare Duckworth from the London Symphony Orchestra to teach our violins, and our flutes received a lesson from Clare Findlater (ENO, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra).


The conductors were working with Richard Laing, and conducting their rehearsal pianist Tamara in a workshop of Dvorak’s Czech Suite during the afternoon.



After dinner we blew off some steam on the playing field with some team-building games before another big day on Tuesday. What a brilliant first day of Ingenium 2016, we can't wait for the next three weeks!




Musicians of the day



Tess was yesterday's conductor of the day. She was engaged the whole time, making positive contributions and comments, asking intelligent questions and naturally expressive in her conducting.



Eleonora sang really well and led the altos confidently. She also helped her fellow students who had to leave for lessons catch up when they returned. She is also already planning the choreography...!



Sax tutor Dominic wanted to recognise Romain for his excellent sight reading - he played a piece almost perfectly first time, and Dom was really impressed.



Habiba is pianist of the day, for bravely volunteering to play in the faculty recital. She was also really engaged in her lesson.



Kristina (violin) is musician of the day for the orchestra, as she was thrown in at deep end to lead on day 1, as well as playing a solo! She led fantastically and her solo was beautiful.


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