Highlights from last summer, and what we're looking forward to...
11 May 2018
Are you as excited as we are about Ingenium 2018? We wanted to share some memorable moments from last summer - and what we are eagerly looking forward to this year…
With so many wonderful memories to choose from, it's almost impossible to choose just a few to list here - but we're going to try! We're always amazed by how much our students achieve in just a few weeks. Here are a few of our very favourite memories from Ingenium 2017.
The Big Sing
Any list of Ingenium highlights obviously has to begin with our first ‘big sing’. On the very first day, when everyone has arrived and unpacked, we all gather together for the very first music making of the course.
Jo Forbes-L’Estrange (Swingle Singers) leads our newly-arrived students in song
For our opening number last summer we welcomed Jo Forbes-L’Estrange, former musical director of Grammy-award-winning The Swingle Singers, to direct us in a bluesy rendition of Splanky (as sung by The Real Group). Many of us were tired and jetlagged after long journeys, but with Jo's infectious energy it wasn't long before everyone was scatting, improvising, finger-snapping and playing the role of a saxophone or trumpet section with their voices. It was a terrific way to launch us into the course, sparking the enthusiasm and creativity that we would carry into the weeks ahead.
Piano Masterclass with Leon McCawley
In the final week of the course we were thrilled to welcome visiting pianist Leon McCawley, professor at the Royal College of Music, for a piano masterclass. Leon led a full afternoon of constructive conversation, working with our piano students to completely transform the sound of the pieces that they had been working on.
Leon McCawley (Royal College of Music) leading a masterclass for Ingenium Academy pianists
Some of the most inspiring musical moments each year can be found in our musicianship workshops.
Matt Sharp takes our string players through a cinematic soundscape
Workshop highlights from last year included a Big Band and improvisation workshop with jazz workshop leader Adam Saunders, a cinematic soundscape for strings with Matt Sharp, and gospel singing with Ken Burton.
Ken Burton (top) and Adam Saunders, leading Gospel Singing and Big Band workshops
Alongside all the action, other sessions were quieter and more though-provoking. Alexander Technique with Helen Kearns and Performance Anxiety with oboist Jess Mogridge taught us how to use our bodies more naturally, avoid tension, and how to focus and remain calm under the pressure of performance. Several students said these were their favourite workshops, as they encountered ideas and techniques they had never come across before.
Performance Anxiety workshop with Jessica Mogridge (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
Singing Byrd in the woods
In our first week, vocal director Tom Appleton took our choir on a journey back in time to the world of William Byrd, singing sacred music in secret during the Reformation. To help imagine what it might have been like, we took a walk in the woods near Winchester College and sung his Ave Verum Corpus amongst the trees. The result was magical.
Tom Appleton conducting the Ingenium Academy choir in William Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus
A real highlight of the course was an evening spent with visiting Ceilidh band Fiddle Paradiddle, who led the school in an evening of Scottish dancing. It was an opportunity to let off some steam after a week of hard work, so everyone threw themselves into the spirit!
Ceilidh band Fiddle Paradiddle leading us in traditional Scottish dancing
From the Talent Show and Cabaret Night to Silly Olympics, Sports Day and the Crystal Maze, the range of evening activities always held something to look forward to, and gave us the chance to unwind after the day’s musical activities.
Boarding houses competing at 'tug-of-war' during our Sports Day evening activity
Trips & Outings
While Ingenium 2016 was remarkably hot, in summer 2017 we were less lucky with the weather and saw lots of rain. That didn’t stop us though, and in an impressive display of great British spirit our international students braved the wind and showers for a trip to the seaside town of Bournemouth. Only the bravest ventured onto the beach - luckily a nearby fish and chip shop offered shelter and tasty food to sustain us!
Experiencing a truly British day at the seaside with wind, rain and fish & chips!
An undeniable high point of last summer was our trip to London. We began our day with a boat trip during which we caught a glimpse of some of London’s most iconic landmarks, such as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the Shard, City Hall and Big Ben.
After a whole-school photo outside the bustling Houses of Parliament, we proceeded to St James’s Piccadilly to rehearse and prepare for the evening. While our orchestra, choir, saxophonists and pianists rehearsed, our conducting students had the incredible opportunity to visit the Royal Albert Hall, and sit in part of the National Youth Orchestra's rehearsal for the BBC Proms, with conductor/composer Thomas Adès.
Ingenium Academy conductors observing Thomas Adès rehearsing with the National Youth Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall
After final preparations were complete, our concert began. The evening showcased brilliant performances featuring students from all our programmes, and the rousing whole-school finale brought us a standing ovation from the audience.
Festival Showcase and Garden Party
The culmination of three weeks’ intensive music making was our annual Festival Showcase, a full afternoon of performances including three jam-packed concerts, showcasing the work of all our programmes including the orchestra, choir, and the saxophones and pianists.
We were delighted to welcome our students’ friends and family for the afternoon, which also included a traditional English afternoon tea, a tour of Winchester College, and our Garden Party. In between concerts we also heard performances from student chamber music groups, including our string quartet and jazz band, to entertain us as we enjoyed refreshments in the sunshine.
Ingenium string quartet, friends & family at the Garden Party, and our concert finale
It was the perfect way to share with friends and family everything that the students had achieved, and the incredible progress they had made in such a short time. The final performance of the summer was a whole-school rendition of songs from the musical 42nd Street, which we had been to see in London earlier that week. The sound of everyone together and seeing the bonds of friendship and musicianship that had formed over the three weeks was truly special.
Still not excited? There's loads more of our favourite moments in our 2017 highlights video!
So what's in store this summer?
Surely after all that, Ingenium 2018 has a lot to live up to? Well don't worry - with an amazing line-up of teachers and workshops, a fantastic pastoral team, and a whole extra week and two new programmes, this summer looks to be even bigger, busier and more musical than ever...
Would you like to spend your summer making music with us?