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Latest News

Professorship in Performance Practice Announced

24 June 2014

Trinity Laban has announced the appointment of John Irving as Professor of Performance Practice. The chair was awarded in recognition of Irving’s research achievements.

John Irving is an internationally recognised Mozart scholar. Formerly director of the Institute of Musical Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Irving was also Professor of Music at the universities of London and Bristol. As a performer on the early keyboard, Irving has recorded CDs of Mozart, Vanhal, Beethoven and Haydn. Irving has also contributed to a number of scholarly publications, including the Cambridge Companion to the Symphony, and the Oxford Handbook of Musical Topic Theory.

The announcement follows the appointment of Professor Irving as a Reader in Music at Trinity Laban in April 2013.

Irving said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been granted this title, and look forward to extending in a conservatoire context the work I began in performance practice research as Professor of Music at the universities of Bristol and London. In particular, I look forward to engaging with audiences outside higher education through my role, as well as research advocacy within Trinity Laban itself.’

Scratch Youth Messiah returns!

19 June 2014

The second Scratch Youth Messiah will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 30 November 2014, raising money for Water Aid UK.

School and youth choirs of all levels of experienced are invited to come and sing Handel’s Messiah alongside a professional orchestra and soloists, conducted by Suzy Dibgy OBE. Those taking part in the event can raise money for Water Aid by filling empty water bottles with coins for its ‘Bottle It’ campaign. The school raising the most money will receive a £500 voucher to spend at specialist singing suppliers ChoraLine.com.

Choirs comprising children and young singers under the age of 25 are requested to register their interest now. Over 1,000 free places have been made available and choirs can choose to sing everything, or just join in with the opening chorus, ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, and final ‘Amen’. Last year saw 42 ensembles participating at the inaugural event, with enthusiastic feedback.

‘We hadn’t even got out of our seats before one little dot in Year 5 asked if we could sing a bit more of it next year!’ commented a teacher from St Mary’s school, Worcester.

The Scratch Youth Messiah will take place at 14:00 and will be followed by the 40th annual evening performance of Messiah From Scratch by The Really Big Chorus, the UK’s largest choral society.

Information packs for schools and choir leaders are available from the Youth Messiah website.

New head of Junior Trinity announced

17 June 2014

Tabby Estell
Tabby Estell

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance has announced the appointment of Tabby Estell as the new head of Junior Trinity. Tabby will take over from Marion Friend following her retirement this summer.

Tabby has over twenty years of experience in the world of music education, including managing the London Sinfonietta’s pioneering education programme. She has also held specialist education positions in a number of organisations, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House and Southbank Centre.

Marion Friend commented: ‘I am really delighted that Tabby has been appointed as my successor at Junior Trinity. I know that she shares my commitment to the highest level of music education for young people as well as bringing a wealth of experience from her work with leading professional arts organisations. I hope she enjoys the role as much as I have over the past 12 years.’

Dr Claire Mera Nelson, director of music at Trinity Laban, added: ‘Tabby is the perfect successor to fill the very big shoes left by Marion. She is a guardian of knowledge about excellence in music as well as someone with strong and innate sense of what is needed for young people. I would like to pay tribute to Marion and her many years of dedicated work in growing the reputation and quality of Junior Trinity, which today is one of the finest and most inclusive Saturday schools for gifted and talented young musicians in the world.’

Talented Young Musicians Report

16 June 2014

Hand on Heart Arts recently conducted some research into the need for a musical talent and progression programme for young people living in the East Midlands region.

The research, commissioned by the East Midlands music education hubs and The Mighty Creatives (East Midlands ACE Bridge Organisation) found some gaps in music provision. In their report, Hand on Heart Arts identified a number of opportunities for partners to work together to find new ways to engage young people in music making, performance, production and consumption.

This ‘Talented Young Musicians Report’ brings case studies of young musicians from a wide range of backgrounds, and suggests ways in which professionals can identify and support talent and potential in pupils across a range of contexts and abilities. Whilst the report is focused on the East Midlands region, many of the issues raised are not specific to this one area and contain points of interest for sectors across the country.

The report can be found on The Mighty Creatives website, and the Hand on Heart Arts website.

Queen's Birthday Honours

14 June 2014

Victoria Sharp, founder and chief executive of London Music Masters, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for 2014. The American philanthropist and art historian, who set up the charity in 2008, is also chairman of the London Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a council member of the Royal College of Music.

Also well-known to MT readers will be Trinity Laban Junior Department director Marion Friend, who has been awarded an MBE for services to music education; John and Noretta Conci-Leech (both MBE), founders of the Keyboard Charitable Trust, which funds and supports promising young keyboard players; and Wilson Graham, Chairman of the Ulster Youth Choir, who received an MBE for services to music and young people in Northern Ireland.

The only person to be specifically recognised as a music teacher is Doris Thorogood, London College of Music’s Folkestone representative, who was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her part in organising the Folkestone annual sponsored ‘music playathon’.

The artistic director of English National Opera John Berry, whose risk-taking has seen the company win a sheaf of awards (and run a significant deficit) has been appointed CBE.

Elsewhere, Andrew Carter, headteacher of South Farnham Community Junior School, has been knighted. The academy has nearly quadrupled in size under Carter, and is seen as an extremely successful ‘teaching school’, launching the careers of scores of teachers.

Several university supremos were recognised, with knighthoods awarded to Nottingham’s prof. Greenaway and Birmingham’s prof. Eastwood, and CBEs handed to Huddersfield’s prof. Cryan and Open University Wales’ Robert Humphreys.

Music industry figures on the roll-call include Island Records president Darcus Beese (OBE); Askonas Holt’s Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray (MBEs); and Boosey & Hawkes managing director Janis Susskind (OBE).

Pop singer Cerys Mathews was awarded an MBE, and other musicians to receive gongs include András Schiff (knighthood), Talvin Singh (OBE), folk musician Eliza Carthy (MBE), Muhammad Ayyub (MBE), conductor Martin Binks (MBE), composer Laurence Johnson (MBE) and conductor Andrew Penny (MBE).

Other recipients of the MBE include William Martin, for services to music and charity in Scotland; Lady Portal, for services to music and Scouting in Hampshire; Fiona Ritchie, for services to broadcasting and traditional Scottish Music; Reuben Turner, for services to the Anglo-Jewish community, especially to Jewish Music, and Alan Wilkinson, honorary music director and co-founder of Music in Country Churches. 

Find the full list here

For a full list of those recognised in education and children's services, click here

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