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.
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.
Lancashire Music Service launches new online teaching resource
23 June 2009
Lancashire Music Service (LMS) has linked up with software developer and publisher Charanga to create an online package designed to bring music education to larger numbers of schoolchildren.
Inspira provides teachers with a three-term non-notational programme of instrumentation and singing lessons which will be provided free to all schools in Lancashire. It offers a wide range of activities, including new songs, play, rap, backing tracks and lesson plans. The programme can be bought and used by music services elsewhere in the country via either a CD-Rom or a web download. It is being launched at the Red Rose Hub in Preston on 2 July.
FMS teams up with Marc Jaffrey
17 June 2009
The Federation of Music Services (FMS) is launching a campaign to champion the value of music and to raise awareness of the essential role of music services for children, schools and families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Former Music Manifesto Champion Marc Jaffrey, of Think Again Media, will be supporting the FMS in a programme of media and advocacy work with Music Services around the country. Think Again Media aims to help politicians and the public understand the value of the FMS and Music Services’ work and the role they play in enriching children and young people’s lives. Services will have access to training and expertise to help them get their messages across powerfully.
‘We are going to see a one of the toughest spending rounds in UK history and all public services will be asked to prove their value,’ says Jaffrey. ‘Think Again Media will work with the FMS nationally and with individual services in their areas to help them demonstrate their worth in compelling and imaginative ways.’ Full details will be announced later this month.
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