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Latest News

Call for entries for NMC LEA Awards

30 June 2009

The National Music Council’s (NMC) annual Local Education Authority (LEA) Music Awards for the financial year 2008/09, plus the Creative Music-Making Awards and the Jazz Education Awards, are open to all music services in England, Scotland and Wales.  

The NMC LEA Music Awards Scheme is organised with the assistance of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Federation of Music Services and Music Education Council. An annual major trophy and a variable number of diplomas are awarded to LEAs that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to music provision in a particular year. The PRS Foundation presents awards in recognition of a commitment to creative music-making, and Jazz Services presents awards which recognise a commitment to jazz education.

Details and application forms are available on the NMC website. Deadline for submission is 7 August. For further information contact Fiona Harvey.

New choral conducting course from British Kodály Academy

29 June 2009

The British Kodály Academy (BKA) is supporting a Choir Conducting Course run by Esther Hargittai, starting this September.

The course is aimed at teachers who wish to start a choir or improve their existing choir, musicians and choir singers who wish to understand more about conducting and wish to learn and practice. It is suitable for both newcomers to choral conducting and more experienced conductors wishing to hone their skills. It is also designed to provide some methodology and useful tips for choirs, especially children’s choirs. The sessions will cover a wide range of topics which are essential for choir conducting – dealing with technical and musical matters and dealing with the singers.


The course will take place once a week beginning on the 15 September, taking place on Tuesday evenings at the Kentwood Centre in Penge for three terms. The course fee is £190 per term, plus a BKA registration fee of £15 per term. There is a 10% concession for students.

For further details and an application form, click here.

New appointments at GSMD

29 June 2009

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) has announced the appointment of Alasdair Tait as Head of Chamber Music. Tait, who is currently Director of Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music, will take up his post in September 2009.

Alasdair Tait began his career as the cellist of the Belcea Quartet, whose work included a five-year residency at Wigmore Hall, involving regular education work. He is also a founder member of the Ulysees Ensemble, an international chamber group specialising in contemporary music, and holds the position of Chief Executive of the Young Concert Artists Trust.

In his new role, Tait will oversee the coordination of all chamber music coaching and performance activity, leading on artistic direction and coaching methods, and developing networks with international performers, teachers and venues. He will supervise the preparation and participation of students in a wide range of performing activities including recitals, masterclasses and competitions.

GSMD has also announced that Pierre Doumenge has been appointed Associate Deputy Head of Strings. Doumenge, who currently teaches cello at the Yehudi Menuhin School as well as at GSMD, will take up his post in September 2009. His new role will include responsibility for management of string chamber music groups, co-ordination of modules and components of strings training, as well as support to the Head and Deputy Head of Strings.

www.gsmd.ac.uk

In Harmony kicks off in Lambeth

25 June 2009

In Harmony Lambeth was formally launched yesterday evening at the Lansdowne Green Estate, Lambeth.

In Harmony Lambeth is part of the £3 million programme funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DSCF) which encourages participation in orchestral music to help children to grow and develop both socially and musically.

The launch event saw over 70 children from local primary schools showcasing their newfound skills. Some of the children have been having group singing lessons, and some have studied the cello. In addition to this, folk band Bellowhead, Artists in Residence at the Southbank Centre, gave a performance.

The event was attended by Ed Balls, secretary of state for the DSCF, who commented: ‘As well as promoting invaluable life skills such as creativity and concentration, music has the power to change lives. I’m looking forward to seeing the effect the In Harmony programme has on the children of Lambeth and their community over the next two years. In a year’s time these children could be playing to a packed Festival Hall, and I will certainly be buying a ticket.’

Balls also had some advice for the children themselves: ‘I hope you’ll do lots of practice when you take up the violin, viola or cello. If you practise every night, you’ll do better and better.’

Boffins recreate Ancient Greek instrument

24 June 2009

A collaboration between music and computer technology will be showcased in a concert this week. The sound of the harp-like Epigonion, an ancient Greek instrument, will be recreated using the GÉANT and EUMEDCONNECT networks and computer modelling technology by the ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) project. The Epigonion will play alongside physical instruments in the Musica @ Fisica concert in Catania, Italy on 26 June.

The Epigonion is a stringed instrument with a sound similar to a modern harp or a harpsichord. Knowledge of the Epigonion is based on archaeological findings, historical pictures and literature. Using this archaeological data as an input, it was then transformed by a complex digital audio rendering technique to model the actual sound of the instrument. This advanced physical modelling synthesis creates a virtual model of the instrument and reproduces the sound that the instrument might have made by simulating its behaviour as a mechanical system. ASTRA’s computer modelling procedure needs extreme amounts of computing power, requiring half an hour of processing time for each minute of the concert.

Friday’s concert will be broadcast live via the internet here, starting at 7pm UK time.


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