Magpies, apples, swing dancing and an afternoon in Winchester - Week 1 Day 3
25th July 2019
Beautiful sunshine, high quality music and a fun 1930's dance lesson made for a brilliant Wednesday!
Whole school photo outside the cathedral
All our groups were eager to make the most of their morning's music making, before a trip into Winchester this afternoon for a well-earned break.
The orchestra began their day with more detailed work on their classic repertoire, with a particular focus on Rossini’s Thieving Magpie Overture. The group worked on keeping the tempo steady in challenging rhythmic passages, adding dynamic contrast to create excitement and drama, and the exploring humorous character of the piece. It was a very hot morning but that didn't stop our students seeking the best from each other and the music.
In rehearsal with Matthew Taylor
Our choral musicians pulled out all the stops during the morning, working on their "love" themed programme in preparation for Friday's concert and getting to grips with trickier passages of the Whitacre and Judith Weir. Some of the singers also auditioned for short solos in Jessie’s Song from Toy Story 2 and Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You. It was great to see so many of them come forward for this opportunity and we're excited to hear the results.
Detailed work was also on the agenda for our saxophones today, with tuning chords being a particularly important topic as they continued their work on folk songs from around the British Isles. They discussed how tuning is flexible and to know one’s place in the chord is essential for correct intonation. With this information the saxophonists were able to put this in place in their ensemble rehearsals and individual practice.
Pianists continued to grow as a family, with support for each other in lessons staying strong. Our skilled team of tutors gave advice on style, articulation and dynamics, as well as encouraging the students to really convey emotion to their audience. We’re excited to see this emotion in performances on Friday!
Piano lesson with Simon Callaghan
Conducting students discussed the importance of placing the beat of the music, using apples to demonstrate. There was also an emphasis on what it feels like to conduct, having the correct bounce, employing different movements for different pieces and more specifically lighter movements for lighter pieces. To demonstrate they used balls of various weights, for example a tennis ball for lighter music.
Conductors with instrumentalists
It was time for our composers to workshop their pieces with staff members. Having young professionals bring the compositions to life was a real joy for the composers, giving them inspiration and an example of what they can continue to work towards. The group also looked at texture, producing varied textural material for their quartet pieces to create overall contrast and further layers to the music.
The afternoon brought more sunny weather, so we were taken on a tour of Winchester’s historic town centre, finishing up with a whole school picture by beautiful and ancient Winchester Cathedral. Following this there was some much-anticipated free time, whether that involved souvenir shopping, taking in the sights with an ice cream or simply finding the nearest Starbucks! As the days at Ingenium are so busy with music making, it was a lovely opportunity for students to socialise outside of their programmes and boarding houses and relax.
A quick photo opportunity under the arches of Winchester's 11th-Century cathedral
Soon it was time to head back for dinner, as we had to get ready for a night of swing dancing! The students all dressed up for the occasion, and visiting swing band Down for the Count provided the music for our dance lesson: learning all the steps and moves to the popular Charleston dance. There were even appearances from some of our saxophone, piano and vocal students, who had the opportunity to join the band on stage - all embraced the swing theme in true Ingenium style and gave powerful performances. The rapturous applause at the end of the evening said it all.
Our Swing Night musicians
And rapturous applause is what our students will be looking for during Friday’s concert! With another two days of determination and high energy, they’ll definitely be on course for some remarkable performances.
See more photos from this summer on our Facebook page.
Musicians of the day:
Orchestra: Oliver, for throwing himself into being put in the leader seat, but also being happy to float around between the 1sts and 2nds, as well as playing timpani fantastically
Vocal: Manuella, for auditioning with real bravery and heart
Saxophone: Clayton, for improvements in counting and watching during ensemble, excelling in baritone low notes and tone, as well as giving a good performance in performance class
Piano: Stephane, for being a delight to teach, making himself a member of the family, having a high level lesson on his Mozart Piano Concerto and talking in depth about orchestral parts in relation to this
Conductor: Matteo and James
Matteo, for being first to conduct and playing the repertoire so well
James, for bringing great ideas to the Haydn and brilliant advice to his musicians
Composer: Andrew, for workshopping his flute and guitar piece efficiently, working well with the musicians and remaining open minded about compositional ideas in the work
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.
We love speaking to young musicians, teachers and families from around the world - so don't hesitate to get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!
Phone: +44 (0)20 7060 4076
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