The Ingenium 2016 Blog - Day 2, Week 1

20 July 2016


What a scorcher! Yesterday was the hottest day of 2016 in the UK with 31 degrees and beautiful sunshine, which was wonderful but exhausting! Despite the heat, our young musicians threw themselves into another full day of music making and we have so much more to share with you.



As usual we began the day with a whole school warm-up led by pastoral leader Yannick, followed by the first session of rehearsals. For the orchestra, Tuesday begins differently to other days as they are split up for sectionals, which were led by international oboist Jessica Mogridge (LSO, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra) and violist Sarah Malcolm (LSO, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra).


Our saxophonists began the day with a beautiful and nostalgic ensemble rendition of ‘Oh Danny Boy’, in contrast to the conductors who were practicing pulse placement using pieces of fruit!



Lots of students enjoyed individual lessons throughout the day and our percussion students had a morning session with visiting tutor Catherine Ring, who performs with the acclaimed Colin Currie Group as well as Endymion ensemble, percussion quartet EnsembleBASH and alternative brass group Perhaps Contraption.



Our violists joined Sarah Malcolm for their lessons, Clare Duckworth returned to teach more of our violin section, and we were delighted to be joined by Ingenium regular Matthew Sharp to work with our cellos and lead an improvisation workshop. Matthew’s varied career includes everything from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera North to Glastonbury, working across music and theatre.


Musicianship was a real highlight. In addition to Matthew’s improvisation class, visiting saxophonist Nathan Hassall (teacher at the Royal College of Music) led a jazz improvisation session, and the remaining students learned “Ascot Opening Race” from My Fair Lady in a musical theatre workshop with our very own John and Heather - including some brilliant choreography.



Before dinner, we gathered in our pastoral groups for a meeting. During this time students share what they have enjoyed that day, and let us know about anything they would like more of, or are finding challenging. We really enjoy these meetings, as they help us to make sure all our students are getting the most out of Ingenium.



The evening activity to finish the day gathered everyone together for a quiz organised by our pastoral staff, with a challenging music round. Congratulations to the winning team!


Musicians of the day



Robert and Rocco were tied for the award; Robert for asking lots of engaging and intelligent questions, and Rocco for conducting a really hard piece but making it look fluent and easy.



Robbie wanted to recognise Oputjo for her fantastic energy and enthusiasm, and for a brilliant solo.



Elias, for his excellent contributions in Nathan Hassall’s jazz and improvisation workshop.



Osereme, for a wonderful rendition of Scarlatti, and impressing everyone with his musical ear and improvisation.



Sydnae led the Dvorak brilliantly, really engaged with Matt Sharp’s improvisation class, and had an infectiously positive and diligent attitude.