The Ingenium 2016 Blog - Day 2, Week 3
3 August 2016
Tuesday included all kinds of music making - from the very serious to the very silly! Our talent show in the evening was a great way to relax after a hard day's rehearsal.
The orchestra and choir did some really impressive in-depth rehearsal yesterday morning, dividing up for sectionals to focus on the music in detail. We welcomed visiting string expert and cellist Léonie Adams (Northern Ballet, Orchestra of the Swan, British Philharmonic Orchestra) to work with our string section, and Mike Daniels (Premiere Brass, Moonrakers Dance Orchestra), who worked with the wind and brass section on getting to grips with the challenging syncopation of Appalachian Spring and The Chairman Dances. Meanwhile, Tim Redmond held an intensive rehearsal with the percussion and piano players, who will be joining the orchestra to perform these pieces.
The choir have been singing a broad variety of repertoire, including both challenging sacred music and some lighter pop compositions including 'Valerie'. Like the orchestra, the singers also divided into sections for part of the morning to work on their individual lines, a really useful exercise when getting to know new music. They also made use of the chapel, which was great for putting the repertoire in context as well as enhancing the sound with its wonderful acoustic.
The afternoon's musicianship session included engaging composition workshops, variously covering leitmotifs (composing motifs to 'represent' the pastoral team yielded amusing results), text setting, and songwriting with our expert Heather Tomala. We also welcomed Pete Long (Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club) for a masterclass in Big Band and jazz improvisation, and our young musicians were transformed into a jazz band for the afternoon playing some brilliant jazz solos, complete with rhythm section.
After musicianship Pete Long also took our saxophones for the remainder of the day, working on building a jazz solo and sharing the secrets of playing loud, high and stylishly on the saxophone. It was also a great opportunity for the students to ask questions about the life of a professional musican, and learn what it really means to work as a professional instrumentalist.
The evening activity last night was our spectacular talent show, where the students took the opportunity to share some remarkable abilities (and outfits) with their peers in Winchester College's atmospheric theatre. We had everything from dance routines and karaoke to gymnastics and contemporary dance, linked seamlessly by our expert pastoral comperes and their hilarious (terrible) jokes. Of course the show had a strong musical theme, and there were some very touching vocal performances amongst the lighter acts. The staff joined in for a finale number, "Don't Stop Believing" although we were certainly upstaged by the students on this particular occasion!
Musicians of the Day
Lorenzo, for a fab lesson with Hiro, who said he was impressed that you showed interest in new things and willingness to try out new ideas.
Katarina, for excellent progress with the extended techniques and for persevering in Pete Long's improvisation class.
Malu, for being "on it" all rehearsal, helping others to learn the music and being an exceptional choir member.
William and Christian, for concentrating hard on learning the orchestral piano parts, and for playing with an orchestra for the first time very well.