Country walks, conducting and composing - Week 1 Day 6
28th July 2019
After a busy week of music making and following Friday’s concert, there was no stopping our young musicians.
Tim Redmond leading our conductors
The conducting students had perhaps their biggest challenge of the week, with a full day in masterclass with their peers. Led by Tim Redmond, these budding conductors tried their hand at both classic repertoire and new pieces from our composition students. It was fascinating to watch the conductors adapt to the choir and orchestra’s needs, how movements needed to be larger for the bigger orchestral group and more intimate for the vocal pieces, and how the use of a baton was applied more to the instrumentalists.
Conducting the choir
Perhaps, the most exciting aspect of these sessions was the new repertoire. Having polished their work in workshops and sessions through the week, the composition students finally had the chance to hear their music come alive in actualised sound – and under the trusted hands of their peers. Learning about the practical difficulties the orchestra, choir and conductors had to deal with in approaching their work, the composers picked up technical pointers; considering the difficulties a singer encounters with diction was perhaps rich food for thought for a composer with little experience in writing for the voice. This tremendous opportunity for collaboration between these young musicians was an inspiring taster for what their futures may hold.
Premiering new compositions
The day was also infused with fun. In the morning, blessed by cooling English rain, half the group congregated for ball games in the sports hall. Keeping healthy is an important part of life, and with games of netball and football we experienced the discipline required by athletes in doing their drills, reminding us of how we musicians exercise discipline in a different way, with regular, rigorous practice in the rehearsal room.
Fun and games
Our orchestral students took an afternoon walk in the Winchester countryside, taking in the views around them and acquainting themselves with nature. This allowed the students much needed time in the open air, away from their instruments and the fast pace of rehearsals. They were able to spend time with the friends they have made in the week and enjoy some time to relax.
Just before dinner, we all went for a walk into town to the magnificent Winchester Cathedral to attend Evensong. Experiencing this typical English musical tradition was a first for most, and hearing the formidable sound of the cathedral’s famed organ and being introduced to sacred repertoire was truly a pleasure.
To the end the day (and week!), we awarded our students that were leaving with their certificates and then all enjoyed our evening activity, which tonight was the popular boardgame Cluedo in live form with a musical twist. With our orchestral students starting work on Bizet’s Carmen Suite next week, it was a suitable time to introduce them to the story of the iconic musical figure with some murder-mystery-solving games, all designed to get everyone working together and igniting their fun competitive spirits.
Murder Mystery in the style of Bizet's Carmen
Tomorrow we sadly say goodbye to some fantastic students but also excitingly welcome new arrivals!
Bring it on.
See more photos from this summer on our Facebook page.
Programmes range from 1 week to 4 weeks long. Students can attend one immersive programme, or broaden their experience by combining programmes to suit their interests.
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