Ingenium 2017 Blog - Week 3
19 August 2017
What an incredible three weeks! We can't believe it's gone by so fast. It's time to look back on all the excitement and music making in our final week...
Monday morning came and we hit the ground running. For the final week our orchestra was led by Tim Redmond (London Symphony Orchestra) and our choir by Robbie Jacobs (National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Boston Youth Choir). The orchestral students were also busy with individual lessons that day, as we were joined by a host of prestigious visiting staff including Léonie Adams (ENO, RPO, West End) for cello lessons and Tom Redmond (LSO) for french horn lessons. Our pianists and saxophonists were off to a flying start, with individual lessons and group classes on technique and performance.
Robbie Jacobs started our choir off with a wonderfully varied and international programme, ranging from traditional Spanish and Icelandic pieces to a medley of classic Michael Jackson songs. Meanwhile, the orchestra began with a challenging programme of Berlioz and Vaughan Williams, plus the beautiful "Little Suite" by 20th Century Polish composer Witold Lutosławski.
Musicianship on Monday included some exciting composition sessions, and a wonderful addition was a masterclass in combatting performance anxiety delivered by Tom Redmond. In addition to his career as a horn player, Tom is a speaker and presenter at concerts and for BBC radio, so he had a wealth of expert advice to share with us.
Our evening activity on Monday was a well-earned rest in the form of Movie Night. We gathered in Winchester College's New Hall, which was transformed into a cinema complete with projector screen, to watch celebrated Hollywood musical La La Land.
On Tuesday morning the orchestra split into sectional rehearsals, with the wind and brass led by Tom Redmond, and the strings by Léonie Adams.
Our piano students had the opportunity to sign up for a range of helpful and interesting sessions including harmony and theory, harpsichord and early keyboards with Heather Tomala, and Alexander Technique with visiting expert Helen Kearns.
Musicianship on Tuesday offered an opportunity for our strings to try Alexander Technique, but also included a fascinating panel discussion with our prestigious faculty of music staff. It was a unique opportunity for the students to hear about life as a professional musician, and to ask some really insightful questions about what it's really like to work in the music industry.
Preparations were also under way for the performance opportunity of a lifetime that evening...the Ingenium Academy Talent Show! The blockbuster display included beatboxing, monologues and some impressive (and hilarious) dance routines - although of course the staff's dance medley finale stole the show.
The morning of our final Wednesday was given over to preparations for the finale concert, and for some of our pianists an opportunity to rehearse for the recital in Winchester's amazing 11th Century cathedral on Friday. The students' hard work was soon to be rewarded however, as at lunchtime our music and instruments were put to one side as we boarded the coaches to London.
Our first stop was the British Museum, where we explored exhibits including Africa, Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Then, we put up our umbrellas and headed out into the bustling and rainy capital to explore the sights of Covent Garden Market.
The true highlight of the day was a trip to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, to watch Harry Warren's incredible musical 42nd Street. Featuring the UK's very best pit musicians in the orchestra and an all-star cast, it was truly spectacular show.
After all the excitement of London, we started morning sessions on Thursday with a renewed energy. The orchestra, saxophones and choir began rehearsals on their repertoire with fresh eyes and ears, and the pianists used their individual lessons and group sharing sessions to build upon what they had learned earlier in the week.
Thursday afternoon's musicianship session was another varied set of exciting workshops, with prestigious visiting experts sharing their knowledge and skills. Pete Long (director of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club House Band) took wind and rhythm section players for a workshop on jazz improvisation, while the pianists were given a masterclass by one of the UK's foremost pianists, Leon McCawley (professor at the Royal College of Music).
After the musicianship session Leon's piano masterclass lasted the full afternoon, and Pete Long took our saxophones for an in-depth session on controlling tone to create the right sound for jazz, as well as impovisation and jazz technique. Meanwhile, everyone else had an opportunity for chamber music rehearsals, or to practice for Performance Platform.
Always a highlight of the week, the evening included some really impressive performances from instrumentalists and vocalists alike. A wonderful start to what would be a performance-filled final few days to come.
A big day for the pianists, on Friday we walked the short distance to Winchester's iconic and ancient 11th Century cathedral, where we held a lunchtime recital featuring the hard work of several of our piano students.
After the recital we returned to Winchester College for our musicianship session, which was a conducting workshop including the rare opportunity for students to try their hand at conducting the choir or orchestra.
Friday evening was our final celebratory barbeque, and happily the sun was shining enough for us to enjoy it outdoors! Our final awards ceremony also followed, where each student received a certificate of attendance, an award for something memorable they had contributed to the course, and applause from the whole school for their achievements at Ingenium. To see such wonderful achievements and strong friendships formed over the three weeks is one of the best parts of Ingenium.
All too soon, our finale day arrived. The morning was given over entirely to final preparations for our Festival Showcase, which started after lunch. We were delighted to welcome over a hundred of our students' family and friends, who throughout the course of the afternoon enjoyed three concerts, traditional English afternoon tea, a tour of Winchester College campus, and a garden party with wine and refreshments. Throughout the afternoon we also heard performances from chamber groups during afternoon tea, and from singers during the garden party backed by a student jazz ensemble and soloists.
The concerts were the true highlight of the afternoon. Featuring the fruits of all the hard work our students had put in over the week, the performances were passionate and accomplished, and the atmosphere throughout was simply fantastic.
The finale of the day brought the students from all our programmes together, in a rendition of "Lullaby Of Broadway" from 42nd Street specially orchestrated for us by conductor Tim Redmond. It was a magical but also emotional moment for everyone, knowing that it was the last music we would be making together this summer. With full hearts and heads full of memories, we said goodnight and prepared for our journeys home the next day, to countries all over the world.
Thank you everybody for a truly fantastic Ingenium 2017! We've loved living and working with you all over the three weeks, you have all proven yourselves to be incredibly special and talented young people. We're sad that it's over, but we are already looking forward to next year's course and we hope to see you at Ingenium 2018.
Please do keep in touch, we always love to hear what our students get up to throughout the year. Remember you can also join the Ingenium Community to share memories and photos with everyone.
See you next year!
Musicans of the Day
Pianist: Pablo, for taking criticism constructively and confidently
Singer: Clara for an excellent attitude, great posture and focus.
Orchestra: The whole clarinet section, for transposing all day smilingly, willingly and fantastically!
Pianist: Anna S, for noticeable improvement over the three weeks, proving that you have worked very hard! Stylish playing, and wonderful enthusiasm for the world of piano.
Singer: Anastasija and India, for performing through their singing, communicating well and always smiling.
Saxophone: Hannah, for a great soprano lesson. You had never played it before, and sounded fantastic by the end.
Piano: Jennifer, for a great lesson with Hiro. Also for a keen approach to the historical research exercise, and wanting to know more!
Singer: Annemijn, for always smiling and contributing fantasticially, superb singing and for being a pleasure to have in the choir.
Orchestra: Jarvis, for playing fantastically all week, great intonation, technique and attitude.
Applications for the Ingenium Academy 2018 are now open exclusively for Returning Students - you can email us for more details on firstname.lastname@example.org. Secure your place with us for next summer!