Ingenium 2017 Blog - Week 2 Update

6 August 2017

What a week it's been! Recitals, concerts, workshops, rehearsals, activities, trips, and more... Let's get up to speed on Ingenium 2017: Week 2.


With all of our new students happily settled in after Monday, our teachers took them to task on Tuesday with some challenging and immersive music making.



During the morning sessions our orchestra divided into sectionals of woodwind/brass and strings. The woodwind were led by Jess Mogridge (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia), and the strings by Miranda Allen (BBC Concert & Symphony Orchestras), who also gave individual lessons throughout the day.


The pianos had a varied morning of individual lessons, sight-reading class, transcription skills and options of signing up to learn figured bass. The saxophones worked on technique, working specifically on vibrato and tone.


Adam Saunders continued his fantastic work with the choir, who learned all the music for week 2 by ear and by the second day were already sounding incredible. Repertoire for the week included an original piece by Adam and Pete Churchill, for performance with a string section in the London concert.


Musicianship sessions in the afternoon included a session on jazz harmony for the pianos, led by Adam Saunders. Helen Kearns took students for a session on Alexander Technique, and Heather Tomala led a masterclass on baroque performance.



We were also joined by Matt Sharp (English National Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra), who workshopped a cinematic piece with the orchestral strings to create an amazingly full sound.


Throughout the rest of the afternoon our chamber groups had time to work together, but rehearsals were also under way for the evening's activity: Cabaret Night! A chance to wind down and dress up, the orchestra's rehearsal hall was transformed into a jazz club for the night. We enjoyed performances including our jazz band, numbers from broadway shows, and even a rendition of "Time Warp".



Wednesday is trip day!  Before our afternoon excursion, our talented young conductors took to the podium to conduct the orchestra's wind section in Strauss' Wind Serenade. There were also rehearsals for Monteverdi's Ave Maris Stella, with the choir and instrumentalists from the orchestra and saxophone programme.



With our packed lunches in hand, we boarded the coaches to Bournemouth. Despite extremely unfortunate weather, our students were fantastically upbeat and enjoyed some free time exploring the seaside town, and even braved a look at the waves before taking refuge in a seafront shop to experience British fish and chips - hiding from the rain, they truly got the British summer experience!



As a reward for keeping positive despite the rain and wind, our evening activity was a highlight of the course - we were visited by top Ceilidh band Fiddle Paradiddle, who led the school in an evening of Scottish dancing. A chance to let off some steam, everyone threw themselves into the spirit and had a fantastic time.



Visiting tutors on Thursday included Sarah Malcolm for viola lessons (BBC Concert Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra), and Gwen Reed (Silk Street Sinfonia, Ensemble Nova Luce) for double bass lessons. The conductors had the opportunity to work with the orchestra, rehearsing Elgar's Nimrod.


We had some really exciting musicianship sessions on Thursday, including big band jazz with Adam Saunders, a vocal improvisation workshop with Sophie Grimmer (Royal Opera House, RADA), and a chance for the pianists to play the organ in St Michael's Church.



The afternoon offered the opportunity for rehearsals for our evening performance platform, which is always a highlight of the week. Students shared solo and chamber pieces in performance before the rest of the school, and the support and encouragement the students gave to each other in their applause was fantastic.



With the concert approaching on Saturday, Friday offered our final chance to knuckle down and work on performance repertoire. For the orchestra, choir and saxophones, the morning was given over entirely to rehearsal to get everything together for the big concert.


At lunchtime however, there was another opportunity for some of our pianists to perform, in our brand new lunchtime piano recital. We saw some brilliant performances, demonstrating the incredible improvement that our pianists have made during even a short time with us. The students once more were wonderfully supportive of each other, and created a really warm and exciting atmosphere for the performance.



A celebratory barbeque ended the day, with games and relaxing on the playing field. Friday evening was also the final opportunity to gather the whole school together in Winchester before the concert in London, so we took the opportunity to sadly say goodbye to those who would be leaving us at the weekend. Students received their awards and certificates, and most importantly cheers and applause from their friends. We will miss you all during this last week!


Musicians of the day

Tuesday 1 August


Aitana, who brought a piece to Hiro's lesson that you had clearly worked hard at since last time and improved. Also for being generally conscientious, open to ideas, and for a great figured bass session with Heather.



Alessandra, for being stylistically aware, for always participating, and just for playing beautifully.



Jonas. Simple words from Tim: "Good attitude, great hair."



Martina, for always being really positive, working well with your section and working hard at learning all the music by heart.


Wednesday 2 August


Christine came to Hiro's lesson with a new piece and a set of great questions, really prepared. He enjoyed discussing all the ideas.



Elias, for skillful and enthusiastic playing, for being really involved and attentive with the choir, ad having a great attitude.



Sophia, for always being on the ball, full of energy and singing wonderfully.



Hannah, for great effort in performance class. You did your best to do what Dom was suggesting, and really pushed yourself.



Joseph, for keeping your cool while sorting out the tricky Strauss Wind Serenade, and working through your section very well.


Thursday 3 August


Christian, for being ace in your technique class and then staying on for the next one. You made thoughtful, probing comments, and really thought about what your were saying and how it could help others.



Oscar for a mature attitude, quality playing, and solid leadership.



Lots of mentions from Adam! Anastasija for great emotion, brilliant engagement in your face, and being really positive and keen. Cecilia, for coming alive when you sing, and Jason for being a great team player. You've been brilliant all week.



Jonja, for having an excellent attitude and a fantastic session with the orchestra.


Special Commendation

James, for great work in the Big Band session!


Friday 4 August


Sarah, for an informative and highly engaging presentation, full of unusual anecdotal information. It was also hilarious!



The whole viola section! All week your conduct has been simply flawless, always ready to play and paying attention. Well done.



Abigail, for being such fun all week. Your brilliant ad-libbing also shows how musical and talented you are.



Joe, for excellent transposition - but also for always having a welcoming, thoughtful and helpful attitude, and giving up your break times to practice and make music with other students.



Alex and Gara, for leading throughtful and intelligent discussion with the conductors.


Stay tuned for a summary of our amazing London concert...!



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