Conducting Masterclass at Brunel University, UK
On Thursday November 24th 2011 from 10-12 noon, I gave a conducting masterclass to music majors at the Music Department of Brunel University, in the UK. Conducting is something you do, rather than read about in my view and the students were welcoming and receptive, though sometimes the practical nature of the class seemed to take them by surprise!
In what seems now like another life, I taught undergrads and post-grads at Brunel’s Music Department for three years and was Head of its Foundation Course in the 1990s, when it was based in leafy St Margaret’s, in South West London. We did some great work with incredibly talented students, many of whom have gone on to major careers. I am also proud that many were students who in other circumstances might not have been given a chance by the system, because qualifications and structured training by knowledgeable educators was not available.It was great to going back and see my old colleagues like composer Colin Riley and tenor sax player Tim Whitehead. Colin wrote ‘Piano Circus’, the piece for 6 pianos, that you see being performed here. It was also a time to reflect, and to realise how much I have changed since then.